The Breville 650XL Toaster Oven is one heck of a toaster oven! For years we were content with regular “toaster ovens” – you know, the kind you get at Walmart or Target in the $20 – $50 range. They work fine for most things. But the Breville Toaster Oven is more like a little oven. Oh yeah, it makes perfect toast. I thought toast was toast. Bread that was grilled on top and bottom. Breville toast does that but it is done perfectly. The sensors in the 4 element heating rods adjusts the heat and time based on your input – how many pieces of bread and how dark do you like your toast. Same with bagels using the bagel setting. This smart oven has advanced technology that adjusts the heating elements for optimum results every time.
At first, after I decided to splurge on this toaster, I was concerned that my technology challenged wife may have trouble figuring out how to set the setting. Basically, you turn the top knob to what you are making (toast, bagel, pizza, reheat, bake, etc.), then you turn the bottom knob to either temperature (for baking or reheating) or number of items (toast, bagels). The you push that same knob in to switch to “time” for baking, reheating, broiling, reheating. Or darkness for toast and bagels.
She got it right away… said it was easy (and was a little insulted that I was afraid she wouldn’t get it).
What we love about the Breville 650XL is how well it cooks. It is only my wife and I so most meals don’t require an entire oven. We’ve cooked chicken, potatoes, burgers, hot dogs, and many other things in this oven. They all come out perfect and faster than if we used our big oven. I use it quite often to reheat left over pizza. Sure, I could nuke it in microwave for 45 seconds, but if I have a few minutes to spare, I prefer the Breville Toaster Oven. I set it to “Reheat” and temp to 400 and time to 10 minutes. Comes out hot and crispy – perfect! We use it for re-heating leftovers all the time. BTW, you can put your plate on top of the oven to warm it up while pizza (or whatever) is cooking. This is especially useful when the left over pizza was on that plate in the refrigerator and is cold.
Oh, did I mention how easy it is to clean. The crumb tray easily slides out for easy cleaning. There are 4 heating elements – 2 on top, 2 on bottom. When reheating pizza, I put a piece of foil under pizza so cheese doesn’t melt and fall on elements.
So what are the cons? Probably the only thing we miss is the tray does not come out automatically when we open the door. Not a big deal, but our old $20 toaster did that. I’ve tried to test the accuracy of the temperature settings with a thermal heat gun (probably should just use an oven thermometer)… anyway, the temp seems to be off by about 10 degrees or so. So if recipe calls for 400 degrees we set it at 410 degrees.
Another con is the price. Amazon sells it for about $179 (check current price here). As much as I love it, I still had trouble justifying the cost. My wife has no regrets… she loves it and figures we will have it for years to come, so the cost isn’t that much. Plus she feels we will probably save on our gas bill since we rarely use our large oven anymore… I countered with gas is less than electric and at 1800 watts, this little oven may not save us that much… we’ll see. We’ve had it nearly a year now, I can’t tell if we are saving anything or not.
The size is perfect for us. It fits nicely in the area we have available and is large enough to cook a whole chicken. The next model up – the Breville BOV800XL Toaster Oven is a little larger but so is the price tag. The smaller model the Breville BOV450XL Mini Smart Oven is slightly smaller and about $30 less expensive. We’re glad we got the model we did.
Check it out at Amazon… they are very good about returns if you don’t like it or have a problem. Amazon & Costco are my 2 go-to places to shop. Good prices, good return policy. I put links to the 3 models below. If you get one, come back here and write a comment if you like it (or not). If you look at Amazon’s comments, you will see that most all are 5 star rating.