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How Smart is Breville BOV650XL’s Element IQ Really?

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Let’s See What Makes Breville BOV650XL one of the Best Toaster Oven

Picking a toaster oven can be as easy as wandering into the nearest big box stores and grabbing the cheapest model on the shelf. However, if you’re more like me and like to know what you’re buying, you’ll do some research in advance.

If you had done your homework right, any toaster oven review will lead you to the one model that I think is highly worth considering. That model is the Breville BOV650XL Toaster Oven.

In this Breville BOV650XL reviews, we’ll keep the discussion focused only on what’s important. The list of topics can be endless but I’ll just highlight few pros and cons that are critical to help you make a well-informed decision.

What Aspects are Considered Important?

There are several important factors to take into consideration when making a toaster oven purchase.

First, there is size and capacity. You don’t want to end up with an oven that’s too small. It’ll be useless to cook anything meaningful. At the same time, you also don’t want to end up with an oven that’s too big. Especially if you’re running out of space in your kitchen top.

Then there is functionality and heating methods used, quality consideration, ease of use and last but not least, aesthetics and accessories available.

Not sure why each is important? Let’s take a look at each consideration.

Size and Capacity

The Breville BOV650XL is described as being a smaller version of the company’s larger model, the BOV800XL. It measures 10.25 inches tall, 16.5 inches wide and 15.5 inches in depth.

Compared to my low-cost Toast-R-Oven, it’s approximately an inch wider and just a few inches taller. The main difference comes in the depth.

There’s a five inch difference in depth between my inexpensive toaster oven and the Breville model. This does mean it takes up more counter space. But this also means this oven can hold four pieces of toast as compared to two. And it can bake a pizza of 12 inches in diameter when my cheaper oven couldn’t.

It has a 0.6 cubic foot interior. This model will definitely save you a few inches over the full-sized model, but it has a lot more depth than a standard toaster oven.

One feature I love is the concave oven space in this model, making it possible to bake pizzas or other round-shaped items.

Temperature reading display of Breville BOV650XL toaster ovenPreheating orange indicator of Breville element IQ toaster oven

Functionality and Heating Methods

Breville BOV650XL oven has several settings that allow a variety of heating methods. It includes a standard Toast setting as well as seven other pre-set programs: Bagel, Bake, Roast, Broil, Pizza, Cookies and Reheat.

These various settings are easy to use. Not only that, they can be customized to your personal tastes. The oven will even remember these settings and use them in the future.

The biggest thing to note about this oven, and a big con for some people, is that it is not a convection oven. A convection oven has an in-built fan that speeds the process of baking by circulating hot air and stripping away cold air.

Another feedback commonly shared in many oven reviews discussing about Breville BOV650XL is the oven’s exterior that can get very hot. If you think about using the top of this oven as a storage space, you can almost forget about it. Well, unless you’re prepared to move things around before and after each use.

Quality Compared to Cost

This one is up in the air. In general, this model has great reviews regarding how long it lasts. It is definitely more of an investment than a basic toaster oven, but the value does seem to outweigh the extra cost.

The features also add to its value. The Breville company is also lauded for producing high-quality products.

Ease of Use

Known as the “Smart Oven,” the Breville BOV650XL has a feature the company calls Element IQ. This feature uses the pre-set programming options to determine where to deliver the temperature, what temperature to use and when to deliver that temperature.

If you’re familiar with toaster oven cooking, you know that broiling and toasting requires different heat profile. To broil, you need higher amount of heat from the top. To toast, you need the same amount of heat from top and bottom.

Breville BOV650XL smart oven is equipped with heating element located both at the top and bottom. Don’t take this for granted! Not every toaster oven is built this way. In fact, even the most popular toaster ovens in the past did not have this feature.

“Sounds great, but what do I get out of it?” you may ask. One benefit is obvious. If you love to toast often, your toasting experience will never be the same again.

Non-stick pan accessories of Breville BOV650XL ovenInner compartment of Breville BOV650 toaster oven

You no longer need to monitor the color of the chicken roast every 5 minutes just to make sure that it doesn’t get overburnt. You no longer need to open and close the oven compartment during cooking. You no longer need to turn your dishes upside down.

That’s not the best part. The best part is your dishes will always turn out closer to perfection. More even browness. More even tenderness.

This model also comes with a nonstick cavity coating. This makes it easy to clean. The oven rack is easy to slide out of the oven. But mind you that it does not come out automatically.

One concern that’s often raised by many BOV650XL owners is the lack of stopping mechanism on the rack. It sounds silly and trivial. But tell this to someone who spends lots of time in the kitchen.

With all hands tied and every dish demanding attention, such trivial issue can create a big mess. If you forget there are no stops, the rack will just keep coming until it falls out of the oven.

Aesthetics and Accessories

This toaster oven hits all the right notes if you’re looking for a modern appliance. It has a very sleek appearance with a stainless steel exterior.

This model also comes with a few nifty extras. The baking rack can be moved to three different heights within the oven. Additionally, the oven comes with a baking pan and an enamel broil rack, both 10 inches by 10 inches.

There are three different setting dials and a nice display screen that changes colors when the oven is done cooking. Some consumers have complained that the display screen can be difficult to read at certain angles.

My Personal Recommendation for Breville BOV650XL

In my mind, there are a few key pros and a few balancing cons with Breville BOV650XL smart oven.

The biggest con is that the rack doesn’t have stops. This makes it easy to slide the rack all the way out and burn yourself. Also, some users might find the capacity to be a bit small. But then again, Breville BOV800XL is what you need to be looking at if bigger capacity is desired.

If you’re tight on space or don’t need something big and fancy, this is a great option. It’ll fit enough food for one or two people with ease and has a lot of great features that make it easy to use.

So do you think you’ve just found yourself the best toaster oven for your budget and need?

Photograph courtesy of imgur