Breville toaster oven flaws?

jaxoDecember 22, 2010

I read reviews on Amazon and William Sonoma sites and the compact oven doesn't slide tray out automatically like the larger model.

If you get the large model, reviews say the preheat beep goes off about 10-15 minute before the set temperature is really reached. The reviewer days Breville knows about the preheat issue and will fix it in future new or revised models. People who buy now are just stuck with the flaw.

Other reviews say the knobs are mushy without precise smooth clicks when you turn them and you would expect better at this price.

What do you think?

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Ok - I just bought the large Breville toaster oven and I'm very pleased. I checked with Breville about the preheat before buying it and they said, that like ALL ovens, the oven will beep when the thermostat reaches temperature but that you still need a bit more time for the temperature to stabilize throughout the oven. This is not a flaw and they are not planning any fixes. The few times I've used the oven, I've let it preheat an extra 10 minutes and things cook fine - even get done early due to convection.

The knobs turn smoothly - they don't click. I don't see a problem here - they work fine.

The rack on the large oven only slides out automatically on the toaster (middle) position. Not a big deal.

There was also a review about how after 3 days, the oven still smelled from burn-in and was unusable. I had no such experience - initial burn-in was fine with no smell.

Like most of the reviewers, I think this is a great product and would give it 5 stars after 2 1/2 weeks of use.

One thing I've learned, no matter what product you pick - you will find some bad reviews - either because people got a defective product or because you can't design a product that will please everybody.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2010 at 2:23PM
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The automatic slide out is only a magnet on the door and the tray.Not a big deal at all. We love ours. Read reviews on Amazon with a grain of salt. There are people who complain about anything just to complain..

    Bookmark   December 22, 2010 at 3:18PM
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The William Sonoma reviewer says the rep told him their engineers are "working on" the preheat issue for next generation models.
The review about the dials said it's hard to land on a setting because the knob moves so loosely with no heft resistance or indentation clicks to securely reach a setting.
I'll stop by the local William Sonoma and play with one if they have a display model.
I would prefer the compact model since it saves counter space, but then you lose one of the best features which is the rack that comes out automatically with the door opening.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2010 at 4:12PM
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I have the compact oven, and while it would be nice if it had the auto pull-out rack, it's not a make or break feature for us. Yes, it's stupid that ALL toaster ovens don't have this feature, but I've had toaster ovens with and without this feature over the years, and have adjusted fine to either one.

I really like my compact oven!

    Bookmark   December 22, 2010 at 4:44PM
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The bamboo cutting board about 16" by 11" is a nice accessory. The feet are made of silicone on the bottom, to resist heat.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2010 at 6:03PM
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The knobs do turn without resistance but I don't think it's a problem.
I wasn't even aware that there was an issue with the preheat. The only thing that concerns me is that the top gets very hot when the oven is used. You have to be careful.

Overall it is a great product -- we use ours every day.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2010 at 7:16PM
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The top getting very hot is what the bamboo cutting board is for. The feet resist heat. It is a good accessory. Less than $30.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2010 at 8:14PM
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We have the compact, and I like it on balance. I would like it better if the rack slid out automatically, though---this is an issue (though not a dealbreaker) where we're using the oven now (a temporary "kitchen" in our dining room) because I never have a potholder handy to pull it out so I'm constantly sticking forks in (great...), and if you pull it out too far, it falls off the track. I don't expect this to be anywhere near as much of an issue in normal kitchen use, though, and still prefer the oven without that feature that toasts properly to the ovens that have it but don't toast (the main issue we had with the others we tried out). We did not want to give up the counter space required for the bigger one, so the compact is a good fit in that regard. I do wonder why they didn't do the pullout rack, though, given that the big oven has it so they clearly had it in mind---maybe presented a design challenge?

My complaints are mostly just nitty gritty things---nothing that makes me regret buying it:
- You're supposed to move the rack for different functions. I gave that up early on and it's been fine to just leave it at the bake position for everything.
- If you want to change the timer after hitting preheat, you have to turn the oven off, adjust the time, and then turn preheat on again. I wish it just had a physical timer instead of getting all digital; then these two things could be modified concurrently. (You set the time, hit preheat, set the temp, and then it preheats and once preheated, cooks for that amount of time.)
- It takes a bit long to cook things compared to instructions on frozen food---have not yet found our oven thermometer, so can't say if this is a temp issue, an issue with the size of the oven, an issue with the directions on the food (almost universally Trader Joe's so could be that whatever test oven they use just performs differently) or "normal," since we've not made food like this in our real oven before. Also do not know how preheat beep relates to oven temp yet. Will test soon.

Things I like:
- Great size--not too big a footprint, but can fit full casserole pans and pies.
- TOASTS! Who knew that would be such an issue, but we tried several new toaster ovens that could not toast to save their lives. This one seems to do a good job of that while also doing a solid job on baking/broiling/etc.
- I actually like that the top gets hot---we use it to warm plates, and did the same with our old GE Toast-R-Oven, so it was a wish list item. I also like that they put the little bumpers on the side and back of the compact version to make sure you don't put it too close to the wall--dunno if the big one has this.
- Knobs seem fine on compact, and they do click, so maybe they changed that. Liked that it had (some) physical knobs instead of lots of buttons.

I don't know if I would have spent this much on a toaster oven on my own (ours was a registry gift) but am glad I have it, if that helps any!

    Bookmark   December 22, 2010 at 8:44PM
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Oh, one more like and one more dislike:

- Crumb tray is awesome. Our old toaster oven had to be unplugged and turned upside down so the trap door could be open (great design, GE!) This one just pulls out.

- LCD screen has text even in standby mode, which seems like a waste. My husband did measure the energy draw, though, and over two days it was still zero, so it doesn't seem to have big phantom power issues, at least...

    Bookmark   December 22, 2010 at 8:52PM
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The knobs on my larger Breville do click. I can both feel and hear the click. When I first turn the knob, it takes a second to start to register--a very small lag that is a very small annoyance. Overall I'm still remarkably pleased with the oven.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2010 at 9:57AM
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I just checked my Breville and what mnerg said is right on. The knobs turn smoothly but there are small click and you can feel and hear. I never paid much attention to this.

For me the best thing about this toaster oven is that it actually makes great toast!

    Bookmark   December 23, 2010 at 10:35AM
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I picked up the larger Breville toaster oven at William Sonoma yesterday. It was about $25 more than after sales tax, but they have a $50 coupon with purchases over $250 right now, so it could end up cheaper than buying through Amazon if I find something on or after December 26th that makes good use of the coupon before it expires.
I just tried out the oven a few minutes ago. I bought a frozen casserole dish, preheated the oven and then inserted the dish within a minute or two after the preheat beep, baked it for the exact time time on the package and it came out great.

So, it looks like the preheat is OK on my unit or maybe for this particular dish it's just not critical to preheat all the way for it to still bake as expected.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2010 at 11:13PM
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Glad you're enjoying it!

So we have an interesting development...I did finally find our oven thermometer, and indeed, our compact oven is *not* at temperature when it beeps. In fact, it isn't even near temperature for 15-20 minutes after the preheat beep, which explains why things have taken so much longer to cook! I emailed Breville a couple of days ago to see what to do.

Fast forward to today, when we saw some good friends and they gave us a belated wedding gift---the big Breville oven! The compact one was on our registry, and we received it last month. They bought the big one much earlier this fall, because the brick-and-mortar Williams-Sonoma stores only carry the big one here---so it wasn't marked off on the registry as purchased, because technically it was a different item. We're outside of the return period on their gift---but not on the compact oven.

What to do?? It's a nice dilemma to have, but we need to decide which we'd rather have, all else being equal---and all else not being equal (i.e., if we can't return the big one) do we still keep the little one? Return it for the temp issues? Wait for Breville to resolve it?

Any thoughts on this? We got the little one solely for its size, knowing that we were giving up the convection feature. Still not sure we want/need one quite as big as the big one, though the added features are obviously nice. I tried the knobs, and they are indeed different, so I see what people are talking about---the compact oven gives definitive clicks when you change settings, but the large one does turn more freely. But then, it does have the automatic rack thing....and we only have a very small gas oven, so this could realistically be a second oven of sorts. Small kitchen with counter space at a premium, though.

Ideas?? I'm thinking before I try to go deal with W-S, I need to know what we'd ideally like in the end.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2010 at 3:38AM
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The William Sonoma I went to had both ovens.
I have limited counter space, but the difference in size between the two didn't make a difference between anything fitting or not fitting on the counter, so I went with larger oven to get more interior size and convection.
The automatic slide out rack is nice, but since you can only use it when the rack is in the middle position, that was not enough reason to buy it by itself. You will often need to use the lower rack position and then the magnet used to pull out the rack is of no benefit.

As long as you have enough space on your counter to have a four inch radius around the larger oven, then you might as well get the large version. If you don't have that room then get the smaller oven and use your regular oven if you need to bake things that don't fit in it.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2010 at 12:11PM
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Thanks---all resolved now! The info about the slideout rack was especially useful, since with the compact one we use the rack primarily in the bottom position anyway. In the end, major differences came down to convection and size. We got them out side by side and decided the bigger one was just a little too big for our needs, so decided to see what W-S had to say. They were pretty gracious about it and let me exchange it as long as I used the full credit today.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2010 at 7:15PM
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I usually leave the toaster oven door open when broiling, to let moisture escape, so I'm not sure I'd want the rack to ''automatically'' slide out when the door is opened.

I don't have a Breville, so I am not sure how it works.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2010 at 2:03PM
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I looked through the manual and I don't think they recommend opening the door for broiling. Regardless, the rack doesn't come out automatically when the rack is in the broil position anyways.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2010 at 2:11PM
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As a further update: I got an email today from Breville that they are replacing our compact toaster oven for the preheat temperature problem (!)---I was expecting them to hedge or suggest that we just wait longer after the beep, but I guess maybe this is a problem they think will be corrected with a different machine, which is very promising. Huh. It's a nice outcome, though, given that we now own three Breville appliances---makes me feel more confident about that!

    Bookmark   December 27, 2010 at 8:15PM
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Surprisingly, I was able to fit a 13X9 inch pan in the oven. I didn't need a pan that big to cook what I had, but it was the only pan available.
I roasted a whole 4.5 lb chicken a couple days ago.
Looks like I won't need to use the big oven much based on the size of what I normally roast and bake.
If my oven has the low preheat problem, it isn't affecting what I've used it for so far.
What's perfect preheat temp the most critical for? A cake?

    Bookmark   December 27, 2010 at 9:11PM
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I mentioned I bought the Breville bamboo cutting board.
I did not buy the Breville oven.

This is part of a larger conversation about how big a range/cooktop/toaster/oven/etc we really need.

RE: Future of Counter Top Cooker Appliances. Toaster Oven, Roaster, Etc

Here is a link that might be useful: Future of Counter Top Cooker Appliances. Toaster Oven, Roaster,

    Bookmark   January 1, 2011 at 2:11PM
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Now that I have had it for several days, I have found that the biggest flaw is that it is difficult to clean.
If you are using it as a toaster, then it's easy to empty the crumb tray, but any greasy spills are splatter bake on and seem impossible to remove.

The oven manual says:

The walls on the inside of the oven
feature a non-stick coating for easy
cleaning. To clean any spattering that
may occur while cooking, wipe the
walls with a soft, damp sponge.
A non-abrasive liquid cleanser or mild
spray solution may be used to avoid
build-up of stains. Apply the cleanser to
the sponge, not the oven surface, before
cleaning. Avoid touching the quartz
heating elements"

Only the side walls are nonstick and any splatter on the interior top does not come off and they chose to ignore that and they failed to list any cleaning instructions for that area. I tried wiping and then scrubbing with a pad for 15 minutes and it will not come off. They should have made the entire interior nonstick instead of just the sides.

Anyone have any idea how to clean this? Wiping with a damp sponge as they suggest is useless.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2011 at 3:32PM
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Cleaning?!? Why bother :-). I haven't used the oven enough to get any splatter on the top but I took a look at the oven. The top has 3 heating element with a small space between them. You can't even see the top unless you stick your head in the oven :-). I suppose you could try "self-cleaning" by running the oven on high for a while to see if you can burn it off - but frankly, as long as the burnt on stuff doesn't smoke and disflavor your food, I wouldn't bother. My attitude is, if you can't see it, it isn't dirty. Sorry I'm not more helpful.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2011 at 5:16PM
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Okay, I'll be a little less flip in this response -:) I took a closer look at your picture and then at my oven and I think you're talking about the very top front of the oven which is visible when the door is open. The only possible suggestion I might make is to use the cold Easy Off oven cleaner - I acutally have used that in my self cleaning gas oven in the areas that don't self-clean very well (range manufacturer's sugesstion). BUT I would not use it on the Breville whithout checking with them first - that area is quite close to the heating elements and you could risk damaging them. Frankly, I think I'd just learn to live with it - you don't see it when the oven door is closed.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2011 at 5:37PM
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Just bought the Breville toaster and am having a hard time getting it to heat up even during initial set up/start up. Followed instructions but no heat. Any suggestions

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 9:51PM
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Sounds like you have a bad unit. Return it for a new one.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 11:32PM
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The major concern I have is durability. Many reviewers on amazon loved their Breville oven but quality control was poor with a significant failure rate after one year. Can some you owners please speak to this concern? I only have one oven and could use an extra for family holiday dinners.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 9:40AM
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I've had mine for over 2 years and no problems.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 10:02AM
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About two years here, also. No reliability issues, good as a small oven, terrible as a toaster. Here's the bottom of a slice of white bread after toasting for an excruciating 6:43, the highest setting:

It does a very nice job as a warming oven, 130 deg is 130 deg, 140 is 140...

This post was edited by foodonastump on Thu, Mar 28, 13 at 10:34

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 10:30AM
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I actually disagree with foodonastump. I find the Breville toasts better than any other toaster oven I've ever had. Yes, it takes a long time, and the bottom will have lines on it because of the rack but this is true of all toaster ovens. If your main goal is toasting, then you should get a toaster, I also like the bagel setting which only toasts one side of the bagel.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 10:39AM
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I agree with the lines being nature of the beast, but look how uneven it is, top to bottom. Next time I toast several pieces I'll take another picture, it's even worse. And it's not just slow, it's really slow. For the price I expected better. Like I said, as a small oven it's good.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 10:48AM
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show the top of the toast as well - it will look a lot better than the bottom!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 11:24AM
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Just to clarify, I agree that a toaster oven is a compromise and will not do as good a job as a regular toaster and that the bottom is never as well toasted as the top. But in my experience with toaster ovens over the years, I find the Breville to be the best I've had and certainly wouldn't call it a terrible toaster. I think it takes longer than other toaster ovens because the oven cavity is bigger and therefore the heating elements are farther from the bread. I've also had much less of a problem with burning toast than I have with other toaster ovens and toasters.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 2:41PM
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LOL Weissman, the top was annoyingly perfect this time (albeit not very dark for a max setting) so it didn't help me make my case! But I can't show you - I smeared it with Nutella and gave it to my daughter.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 5:06PM
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@foodonastump - In our house, Nutella is best eaten straight from the jar. ;-)

We have the smaller Breville counter top oven and it is great as an oven but just 'okay' as a toaster. Better than no toaster, though, and we don't have room for a separate toaster.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 10:16AM
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So Breville makes 3 different sizes. The smallest one (the mini) would be the best for toast because the bread will be closer to the top and bottom elements.

The Breville is about as powerful and efficient of a toaster oven you can get and still plug it in to a standard wall socket. All Brevilles draw the same power for toasting and baking- and it's more than most of the other brands- they also use a better quartz heating element. I think the biggest one draws a little extra power for broiling only...

For what it's worth, American test kitchens, or whatever that show and magazine is called, has always rated the Breville as the best.

The sizes are large, compact and mini. The mini would likely make the best toast- it's only 9 inches tall. The compact would be next- it's 10" tall, followed by the original large, which has the most head room, and therefor places the heating element further from the bread, at least on "toast" .

But the largest one is probably better for baking, or as an oven for 'taller' dishes, because of the extra headroom and the fan may help slightly.

I do know that if you plug your Breville in to the same circuit as your micro wave and use them both at the same time, the power will be lower.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 12:08AM
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@alexr is right about the wattage draw. 1800 watts, I think. That's a big draw and can blow out anything else that uses computer type circuitry or electronics when being used at the same time, on the same circuit breaker. (Steam irons have been known to do the same thing. Mine cause brown-outs in the sewing room and my computerized sewing machines are on a UPS for that reason)

I agree about the distance between the elements and item being toasted. That was the conclusion I had drawn also, regarding the 'meh' toasting we get in this oven. Still, better than nothing in our kitchen ...

During our kitchen remodel, when I plugged our Breville Compact Smart OVen into a wall socket in the family room (where we were camping out for 8 weeks), ALL the lights in that room (on that circuit) flckered whenever we used the Oven cycle. Toast cycle wasn't as noticeable. I had the electricians give me a dedicated plug in the kitchen, but I think they wired it to the ceiling lights because they flicker a little bit whenever the oven is in use. And we have LED lights in the ceiling; very minimal wattage draw.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 9:17AM
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I just purchased the Breville Toaster Over 800XL on 3/28/13 and I'm confused with the color of the LCD. I was under the impression that the back light is supposed to be Blue. My toaster oven is actually White. I have seen videos and photos of this before I purchased and wanted it not only for the great work it does but that it also matched a Keruig B70 that has a blue LCD screen to match. What is the color of the LCD on your Breville Toaster Oven 800XL, thanks in advance for your responses.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 3:23PM
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My LCD is light blue - but looks the same as your which also appears light blue in your photo.

This post was edited by weissman on Sat, Mar 30, 13 at 15:32

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 3:31PM
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Since the Breville's screen is off most of the time does it really matter if it matches a Keurig screen, which is also off most of the time? I don't understand why that would even be any kind of a factor in making a decision in buying a piece of kitchen equipment, I worry more about how it will perform than the looks of it to be honest, but maybe that is just me.

When I had mine, before my kitchen remodel, it was a light blue color. But since it turns off it is mostly dark grey or even a green looking color.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 11:55AM
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As I mentioned back in 2010, the oven has a non-stick surface on the interior sides and rear walls that makes those specific surfaces not too difficult to clean, but it does not address the interior ceiling.
It has a very difficult to clean ceiling combined with very delicate quartz heating elements that the manual says to use "extreme caution" when cleaning.
It is not possible to clean burned and caked on grease with extreme caution and gentleness, so it now has a disgusting amount of grease on the ceiling that can never be cleaned.
I you roast or broil uncovered foods that splatter grease up on the interior ceiling of the oven, there needs to be some way to get this mess off.

I am ready to replace it with something else now.

Is there another brand and model of toaster oven that where the entire interior can be periodically cleaned of all food and grease? Maybe disassembled and cleaned with oven cleaner or other effective cleaning agent?

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 9:19PM
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