Breville Smart Oven Air Alternative: Mini ovens are ideal for a number of reasons. Whether you simply don’t have space or need a full one in your home, or you’re a regular traveler and need something to fit into your motor-home or caravan, they can make life so much easier.
There is much to consider before you take the plunge and buy one, from size to capacity to features. Fortunately, not only have we reviewed and narrowed down the best mini ovens available, we’ve also put together a practical guide to help you know what to look for.
- Smart element IQ: there's heat, and there's smart heat. Element IQ Transfers heat intelligently...
- 8 cooking functions: 8 cooking functions to guide you to perfection: bagel, toast, bake, broil,...
- Not-so-mini capacity: your mini smart oven Fits 4 not-so-mini slices of toast, cookies, tuna melts...
- EvenToast Technology - The toaster oven interior is specially designed for even toasting of up to 4...
- 9" Pizza, 4 Slices of Bread - The compact toaster oven fits nicely on the countertop, while the...
- Four Functions - The stainless steel toaster oven's cooking functions include: baking, broiling,...
- 1800-Watts with 7 Functions: Air Fry, Convection Bake, Convection Broil, Bake, Broil, Warm, Toast
- 0.6 Cubic Foot Non-Stick Interior with Oven Light. Dimensions (L X W X H) : 15.50 x 16.00 x 14.00...
- Capacity: Toast 6 slices of bread, Air Fry 3lbs of chicken wings, Bake a 12-inch pizza or Roast a 4...
- Countertop convection oven features convection technology for fast, even heating
- Digital settings for pizza, bake, broil, toast, and defrost
- Large interior fits 2 take-and-bake pizzas, a family-sized chicken, or 18 slices of bread
- Convection heating fan circulates warm air throughout the oven for fast, even baking. Plus, two rack...
- Digital Controls easy-to-use buttons provide precision control over time, temperature, and function:...
- 120-Minute Timer with automatic turns off when the timer runs out, oven dimensions (L x W x H) 22.8...
What To Look For When Buying A Mini Oven
The needs of each mini oven are different, but if you buy for a particular reason, then there are some very important aspects that you should look out for:
- Cooking functions: What are you going to do in your oven? Do you need to defrost food, grill bacon, bake cakes or slowly cook one or two casseroles a week? Want a fan-operated oven for a more consistent and reliable kitchen? The features you’ll be looking for are unique to your cooking needs, but make sure they’re at least customizable.
Temperature range: Do you often toast croissants in the morning at 60°C? If so, a stove that starts at 100°C can cause some burns.
- Size: You don’t necessarily need an oven with about 30 litres “for all cases”, because even those with a little more than 21 litres are still spacious enough for most basic needs. But think again about what you are going to cook. Would you like to prepare pizzas, or perhaps you need a large casserole dish? In this case, a mini oven with a rounded back and great depth may be required.
The price of a mini oven varies, starting at around $60 and reach up to $200. Those at the top of the scale will usually have more features, settings and more reliability in terms of accurate temperature and cooking, but that doesn’t mean you have to let off steam, as some cheaper models are still pretty good for their price.
However, from our reviews, we would say that if you are going to use your mini oven as a primary cooker frequently, issues that are that bit more are well worth the money.
Most mini ovens are supplied with the cooking bases of a baking tray and a wire rack. Some are also supplied with a crumb tray, which sits at the bottom of the oven and collects crumbs or cooking residue, and others with a handle for easy removal of shelves and racks.
Standard trays and racks don’t usually fit in a mini oven, but if you want more than one, you can buy extras.
A few are also supplied with a rotisserie device, which would be ideal if you know that you often cook chicken or pieces of meat, but are worried that they will be thoroughly cooked.
Some mini ovens come with two hotplate rings on the top, making them great all-in-one appliances for anyone who relies solely on their mini cooker for all their cooking.
However, the vast majority of hobs cannot be used at the same time as the cooking chamber. Even if they can, you will notice a power reduction in both functions. For this reason, if you know that you need to use both at the same time or rely on the hob section, it might be best to buy a separate mini hob.
When you get your new mini oven, there is some free space you need to leave, just like with a gas stove, microwave or toaster. Most suggest about 10 cm, but this can increase to about 25 cm on the stronger models. Make sure you have the right place and read the manual before you buy, otherwise overheating may occur.
Do I need a timer?
Most mini ovens will be equipped with a timer. This way you can set the cooking time, and it often rings when you’re done, then turns itself off for safety.
Some will only reach a maximum of 60 minutes, but don’t let this put you off, as this is usually a good time to check your earnings!
Is a mini oven easy to clean?
Most are much easier to clean than standard ovens. There is no stooping to see what you are doing for starters.
They also usually only occasionally need a cloth with soap and water and not with aggressive chemicals. Before buying, always check the instruction manual and user’s manual, especially if you are buying a warranty, as you do not want to invalidate it.
If the model you have chosen is equipped with a crumb drawer, this will help you to clean it thoroughly. It can catch all crumbs of bread or dripping fat or cheese from bacon/cheese on toast. All you have to do is remove it while cleaning, and that’s the job.
Are mini ovens expensive to run?
No! Especially compared to a large standard oven or stove. There is a smaller room to warm up, so most can preheat to 200°C in less than five minutes. This is the only way to save money on operating costs.
Since there is a smaller room, the heat can also be concentrated more on your food so that less energy is wasted.
If you occasionally need to cook for yourself or perhaps just cook fried potatoes/pizza in the oven, it might be a good alternative to fire your main oven continuously.