How does the Breville Smart Oven stand up to the Pro model?
Air fryers have become one of the most popular countertop appliances in recent years, but their size usually limits how much you can make in them — unless you opt for an air fryer oven like the Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer or Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro. With increased capacity and additional cooking functions, these air fryers can do the work of multiple appliances in your kitchen.
But if you’re trying to choose between the Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer or the Pro, two feature-packed air-fryer ovens, it helps to know exactly what they have in common and how they differ.
Both ovens have a convection fan to circulate air around their interior and cook foods more quickly. They can get foods like french fries and chicken tenders almost as crispy as deep-frying them would but without all the oil and grease. However, the Pro is a more advanced model, so it has a wider temperature range, two additional cooking functions and multiple speeds for its convection fan. It’s also larger than the Smart Oven Air Fryer, but that also means the Pro takes up more countertop space and costs more.
The BestReviews Testing Lab put both Breville air fryer ovens through their paces to see how their cooking performance, versatility and features compare. Ultimately, the Pro stands out as the better overall option and is especially ideal for large families, entertaining and home bakers. But with its more compact design and affordable price tag, the Smart Oven Air Fryer may be a better fit for smaller kitchens or those on a budget.
Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer vs. Pro specs
The Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer and Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro have a similar look and design. However, they differ in several key areas that affect how versatile each model is.
Smart Oven Air Fryer specs
Type: Oven air fryer | Capacity: 0.8 cu. ft. | Dimensions: 18.9” W x 15.9” D x 10.9” H | Weight: 28.7 lb | Material: Stainless steel | Control Type: Knob | Number of Functions: 11 | Temperature Range: 120 to 450 degrees
The Smart Oven Air Fryer is a large-capacity air fryer, so it can hold more food than the average basket-style model. Its capacity of 0.8 cubic feet is large enough to hold six slices of toast, a 13-inch pizza, a 9-cup muffin tray or a whole chicken. During testing, we fit just under 2 pounds of french fries in the oven’s air-frying basket, so it can easily accommodate families of four to five. It’s relatively large but has a more compact design than the Pro, making it a better fit for small kitchens or those with limited countertop space.
The oven boasts 11 cooking functions, including air-frying, toasting, baking, roasting, broiling, reheating, warming and slow cooking, plus presets for bagels, cookies and pizza. The knob controls and LCD display are nearly identical to those on the Pro, and we found it easy to select functions and set precise temperatures and times. Like the Pro, it has a brushed stainless steel finish that looks great sitting on the counter.
Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro specs
Type: Oven air fryer | Capacity: 1 cu. ft. | Dimensions: 21.5” W x 17.1” D x 12.7” H | Weight: 38.9 lb | Material: Stainless steel | Control Type: Knob | Number of Functions: 13 | Temperature Range: 80 to 480 degrees
The Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro is a bit larger than the Smart Oven Air Fryer, so it requires more countertop space. But the increased size also means that it can hold more food. It can fit nine slices of toast, a 13-inch pizza, a 12-cup muffin tray or even a 14-pound. turkey, making it ideal for larger families or regular entertaining. During testing, we easily fit a 2-pound bag of frozen french fries in its air-frying basket. It also has a wider temperature range than the Smart Oven Air Fryer and other air fryer ovens, so it offers 13 cooking functions, including air-frying, toasting, baking, roasting, broiling, reheating, warming, proofing, slow cooking and dehydrating. It has presets for bagels, pizza and cookies, too, which take all the guesswork out of choosing the right cooking temperature and time.
The Pro is fairly heavy, weighing 10 pounds more than the Smart Oven Air Fryer, so you won’t want to take it in and out of the cabinet each time you use it. Fortunately, it has a brushed stainless steel finish like the Smart Oven Air Fryer, so you won’t mind having it on your countertop. It also has a user-friendly LCD display and simple knob controls that are easy to use and allow you to set precise temperatures in 5-degree increments.
- Size and capacity: The Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer is smaller than the Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro by 2 to 3 inches for all dimensions, so it takes up less countertop space. However, the difference in size also extends to the ovens’ capacity. The Pro offers a full 1 cubic foot of interior space, while the Smart Oven Air Fryer only has 0.8 cubic feet.
- Temperature range: The Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro has a wider temperature range than the Smart Oven Air Fryer. The Pro can go as low as 80 degrees and heat up to 480 degrees, while the Smart Oven Air Fryer has a minimum of 120 degrees and a high of 450 degrees.
- Number of functions: The Smart Oven Air Fryer features 11 cooking functions and presets. The Pro provides all the same cooking functions and presets but offers an additional two because of its expanded temperature range.
- Convection speeds: The Smart Oven Air Fryer’s convection fan only operates at a single speed. With the Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro, you can choose between two convection speeds.
- Design: While the Pro is larger than the Smart Oven Air Fryer, the two look nearly identical otherwise. They are both rectangular and feature stainless steel construction. The Pro only comes in a brushed stainless steel finish, while the Smart Oven Air Fryer is available in nine colors and finishes, including brushed stainless steel. The ovens also have a sturdy bar handle and a window in the door with markings to indicate the proper rack position for each cooking function.
- Controls: Both the Smart Oven Air Fryer and the Pro have an easy-to-read LCD display with user-friendly knob controls that let you choose the function and adjust the temperature and time.
Ease of use comparison
The Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer and the Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro have nearly identical controls, featuring an LCD display and knob controls. Both ovens also have buttons to start and stop cooking or activate certain features.
Operating both ovens is relatively simple. There is a knob to choose the desired cooking function or preset, a knob to set the temperature and a knob to set the time. The temperature knob also allows you to select the darkness level for toast, while the time knob lets you choose the number of slices. Once you choose your desired settings, you only have to press the Start/Stop button to turn the ovens on.
Both the Smart Oven Air Fryer and the Pro are fairly intuitive to use, though the knob controls can lead to some issues. During testing, we found that we would sometimes turn past our chosen temperature or time setting and have to adjust it before turning on the oven. Fortunately, adjusting the settings isn’t difficult — you only have to turn the dial in the opposite direction to decrease the temperature or time on both ovens.
Cooking functions comparison
The Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro has all the same cooking functions as the Smart Oven Air Fryer, so both models can air-fry, toast, broil, bake, roast, warm, reheat and slow cook. Both also have presets for bagels, pizza and cookies. However, the Pro’s wider temperature range provides two additional cooking functions: proofing dough and dehydrating.
These additional features may come in handy for some home cooks, particularly those who enjoy baking or making their own jerky or dried fruit snacks. But for the average person, the extra functions may only get a little use.
During testing, the Smart Oven Air Fryer and the Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro offered similar performance for baking, toasting and roasting, as well as the pizza and cookies settings. However, the Pro stood out for its more efficient, consistent air-frying performance. It air-fried frozen french fries, chicken wings, Brussels sprouts and bacon all in one minute less than the Smart Oven Air Fryer. The Pro also cooked the food more evenly. Its french fries were crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. On the other hand, the fries from the Smart Oven Air Fryer were slightly overcooked, so they were somewhat dry inside.
We had similar results with chicken wings and bacon. The Pro got the wings crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, while the bacon was crispy, without any chewy areas. The wings from the Smart Oven Air Fryer weren’t as crisp on the exterior, and the bacon was still fairly limp in the center.
The Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer regularly costs $349.95 and is available at Amazon and Best Buy. The Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro usually retails for $399.95 and is available at Amazon and Best Buy.
Both models are pricey, but the Smart Oven Air Fryer offers 11 cooking functions, and the Pro has 13, making them highly versatile kitchen appliances. The Pro is also large enough to hold a 14-pound turkey, so it can handle holiday dinners and other regular entertaining. While you can find similar air fryer ovens that can perform multiple cooking functions, few have the capacity of the Pro.
How we tested
To test the Smart Oven Air Fryer and the Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro, we air-fried the same foods in each oven. We compared the cooking time and the overall flavor and texture of the finished products to see how the two models compared.
Air-frying french fries
We air-fried frozen french fries at 400 degrees in the Smart Oven Air Fryer and the Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro. The Pro needed just 14 minutes to get the fries crispy, while the Smart Oven Air Fryer took 15 minutes to develop a crispy exterior. The fries from the Pro had better flavor, though, because the interior was fluffy and tender. Those from the Smart Oven Air Fryer were slightly dry, so they weren’t as flavorful.
Air-frying chicken wings
We air-fried chicken wings at 400 degrees in the Smart Oven Air Fryer and the Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro. The Pro fully cooked the wings in 20 minutes, while the Smart Oven Air Fryer needed 21 minutes. The wings from the Pro developed a crispy skin but still had a juicy interior. The wings got slightly crispy in the Smart Oven Air Fryer but weren’t as evenly cooked all over.
Air-frying hot dogs
We air-fried hot dogs at 400 degrees in the Smart Oven Air Fryer and Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro. Both models needed just eight minutes to fully cook the hot dogs, but the hot dogs from the Pro had a noticeably crispier exterior.
Air-frying Brussels sprouts
We air-fried Brussels sprouts in the Smart Oven Air Fryer and Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro at 375 degrees. The Pro needed just 11 minutes to fully cook the veggies, but the Smart Oven Air Fryer took 12 minutes. The sprouts from the Pro were mostly crispy, while those from the Smart Oven Air Fryer were still somewhat soggy in spots.
We air-fried bacon in the Smart Oven Air Fryer and the Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro at 350 degrees. In 10 minutes, the bacon from the Pro got almost perfectly crispy, even though we prefer extra-crisp bacon. The Smart Oven Air Fryer struggled a bit with bacon — in 11 minutes, it got crisp near the ends, but the center was still limp.
Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer vs. Pro FAQ
How easy to use are the Breville smart ovens?
The Breville Smart Ovens are both very easy to use. The knob controls are highly intuitive, so we didn’t need to consult the owner’s manual much when using either oven.
Is the cooking quality the same for both ovens?
While both ovens work well for toasting, baking, roasting and other oven features, we found the Pro air-fried better than the Smart Oven Air Fryer. It cooked foods slightly faster than the Smart Oven Air Fryer and provided more consistent results for french fries, chicken wings, hot dogs, Brussels sprouts and bacon.
Can a Breville Smart Oven replace my traditional oven?
The Breville Smart Ovens can do everything that your traditional oven does. However, their size may limit their use in your kitchen. The Pro can fit up to a 14-pound turkey, but for occasions when you’re cooking for an especially large group, you’ll likely need the increased capacity of your traditional oven.
Should you buy the Breville Smart Oven or the Pro model?
While the Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer and Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro offer many of the same features, we give the overall edge to the Pro. It provides two additional cooking functions because of its expanded temperature range and can fit a small turkey. Its increased versatility and capacity make it an excellent fit for larger families and home cooks who entertain frequently.
But the Smart Oven Air Fryer’s compact size makes it a better option in a smaller kitchen with limited countertop space. It’s also $50 cheaper, so it may fit a wider range of budgets.
Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Jennifer Blair writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2023 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.