Breville BOV650XL Review – A Compact Smart Oven

If you want a Breville toaster oven, you will need to pay a lot of money for it. The Breville BOV650XL compact smart oven is only a 4-slice unit but it costs much more than even large capacity ovens from reputable brands like Oster and Black & Decker. So, is it worth it to pay this much for just a compact unit? We will review this toaster oven below and give you an idea of its pros and cons.

Breville BOV650XL Review : What Makes It So Costly?

breville bov450xl toaster oven

The unique aspect of a Breville toaster oven is its trademarked Element IQ cooking technology. This technology adjusts the power of the 4 quartz heating elements to cook food more evenly and quickly. When you select the a cooking function, the appliance adjusts the heat accordingly to give you optimum results. For example, if you are broiling, you will have a high temperature at the top and a low temperature at the bottom to melt and brown your food. But if you choose toast, you will have both searing top and bottom heat to seal in moisture in the middle and crisp the outer layer of the bread.

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Therefore, Element IQ is a sophisticated heat sensing and distribution system that enables efficient cooking. Thus, together with the overall design of the unit, Breville commands a premium over its competitors.

Other features that make up the Breville BOV650XL include:

  • 1800-watt
  • 8 cooking functions
  • LCD display
  • Time and temperature control dial
  • Frozen food button
  • Temperature conversion button
  • Start/Cancel button
  • 2-hour timer
  • Auto shut-off
  • 3 rack height slots
  • Removable crumb tray
  • Baking pan and broil rack included
  • Size: 16.5″ (W) x 15.5″ (D) x 10.25″ (H)

The 8 cooking functions available are toast, bagel, bake, roast, broil, pizza, cookies, and reheat. You use the selector dial to choose your desired cooking mode. Time, temperature and toast settings have already been preset for these functions although you can change them by pressing the selector dial and then rotating it until your desired setting is reached. For instance, the default toast setting is 4 for darkness and 2 for number of slices. You can choose a different darkness level from 1 to 7 and number of slices from 1 to 4.

By using a dial and a digital display, the setting will be precise. There are also no up and down arrows to press which can be a hassle when you need to press quite a few times to reach the setting that you want.

The other convenience is the frozen food button, not often found on other brands. This feature lengthens the cooking process to take into account the defrosting time. It is available for the pizza, toast, bagel, bake and cookies functions. There is also a temperature conversion button to switch between Fahrenheit and Celcius readings for easy reference when you are trying out recipes.

What Are The Dimensions Of The Breville BOV650XL?

The exterior dimensions of the Breville BOV650XL of 16.5″ (W) x (15.5″ (D) x 10.25″ (H) is including the handle. The handle adds another 2″ or so to the overall depth. The interior measurements are 12″ (W) x 12″ (D) x 5″ (H). The back is rounded and hence, the 12″ depth is measured from the deepest end to the door. Also, if you take into account the heating elements, you will have about 4.5″ of usable space for the height from the lowest rack position.

The toaster oven can take in 4 slices of bread at one time and can fit a 12″ pizza. It can also fit a 10″ x 10″ baking pan.

Should You Buy The Breville BOV650XL Compact 4-Slice Smart Oven?

Pros
  1. breville bov450xlA well-made oven – At one glance, you will know that this is a well-made appliance. It looks solid and sleek unlike its cheap counterparts which can be light and flimsy. For example, the Proctor Silex 4-slice toaster oven only weighs about 8 lbs, but the Breville BOV650XL is double the weight at 16 lbs. The enameled trays and racks also seem to be of good quality that would last.
  2. Cooks and toasts beautifully – The majority of buyers have no complaints about its cooking performance. The toasts turn out to be evenly shaded and cripsy on the outside. It takes less than 3 minutes to get your toast done on the medium shade setting. From the buyer reviews, we can see that they are happy with their cooking results for a wide variety of food ranging from muffins to steaks. This is consistent with the reviews for the other smart ovens in the Breville product line, including the smaller BOV450XL.
  3. Many functions – 8 pre-set functions is a lot for a compact unit. The way it gives off and distributes heat is also different for the different functions to give better tasting food. Most models have between 4 to 6 cooking modes. For instance, the Black & Decker TO1303SB has bake, broil, toast and keep warm functions only.
Cons
  1. Difficult to set with the dial – Changing settings can be annoying with the dial, especially when you want to set the time. The timer moves in 1-minute increments for the first hour and the dial can be a little twicthy when it comes to fine-tuning. Most toaster ovens use the up and down arrows to change the time and temperature and the Panasonic Flash Xpress is one example.
  2. Expensive – The Breville toaster oven is a very expensive model and you will need to pay about $180 for it at the time of review. You can get the digital 4-slice Cuisinart TOB-100 for less than $90 at times. Although the interior is slightly smaller and the heating element is different for the Cuisinart unit, it is still a big price difference between the two brands.
  3. No convection and auto slide out features – For the price, it still lacks the convection feature. If you want convection heat, you will need to get the larger Breville BOV800XL but this one costs a lot more. You may need to fork out an additional $60 to $80 for the bigger unit which also has the auto slide out rack feature which is missing from the BOV650XL. However, for about the same price as the BOV650XL or even slightly less, you can get the Cuisinart TOB-135 if you really need the convection function.
  4. Quit working – There have been complaints from some users that the oven’s heating elements quit working after a period of about 2 to 4 years of use. While this tends to happen to all toaster ovens, consumers will certainly expect a longer lifespan for the high price paid.

Except for the size and the controls design, there is little to separate the Breville BOV450XL and BOV650XL. In fact, the former has the additional ‘A Bit More’ feature which can conveniently add a little bit more cooking time to the cycle. It is also about $30 cheaper. Hence, we think the Breville BOV450XL is a better buy since the size difference is minimal – only about an inch narrower. So, if you can settle for an 11″ pizza instead of 12″, go with the smaller unit.

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