Soon enough everything in your home is going to be smart, including your kitchen gadgets. Smart glasses, smart scales and smart locks are all highly regarded for their enhanced features and upgraded designs, but do smart ovens live up to their name?
They’re designed with the overwhelmed chef in mind to make recipes simpler and easier, but do they deliver? We decided to do what we’ve done with many different technologies with lofty promises: test them ourselves.
SPY Editors have spent months using three of the top smart ovens from Breville, Tovala and June. We’ve also researched the top contenders in the category and put them all head to to head to bring you our definitive rankings for the best smart ovens available.
What Are Smart Ovens?
In recent years, we’ve seen growing interest in the best microwave alternatives, and smart ovens are a more sophisticated alternative for foodies and home chefs. Smart oven is an umbrella term for a number of different kitchen appliances, but it typically refers to a multi-purpose countertop appliance used to heat or re-heat food. Crucially, they have some type of smart capability such as the ability to sync with an app or connect to your home WiFi. Smart ovens might be air fryers, steam ovens, toaster ovens or a combination.
The Best Smart Ovens At a Glance
1. Best Overall — Breville Joule Oven — $398.25 at Amazon
2. Runner Up — Tovala Smart Oven — 199.00 at Amazon
3. Best Design — June Smart Oven — $899.00 at June
4. Great Value — Anova Precision Oven — $699.00 at Anova
5. Best Splurge — Brava Smart Oven — $1,295.00 at Amazon
6. Best Budget — Cosori Smart Toaster Oven — $199.99 at Cosori
What is a Smart Oven?
Smart ovens are the latest high-ticket appliance to hit the shelves that promise to replace a seemingly impossible number of kitchen gadgets with one powerful machine. Many of them are designed to be a toaster oven, air fryer, regular oven, dehydrator, reheater and more all in one — and many of them sync up with an app on your phone where you can access real-time cooking updates and recipes.
Smart ovens are an ideal solution to homes that don’t come with an oven, have an oven that’s sub-par or need extra cooking space but don’t have room to install a second oven. They typically sit on the counter, if you have room, and the ones with larger capacity can essentially act as a second fully functional oven complete with “roast,” “bake,” “toast” and other settings.
Breville Joule Oven Air Fryer Pro
Best For: High-budget cooks looking for a countertop appliance that can act as a full-scale oven
Why We Chose It: It’s very intuitive to use, comes with a variety of cooking functions that deliver for the most part and it looks great on the counter
Breville’s Joule Oven Air Fryer Pro was the best smart oven we tested. It takes up a lot of counter space but has a ton of room inside for roasting vegetables, toasting bread and even baking a whole chicken. The controls on the front of the oven are super intuitive to use, and the stainless steel exterior looks polished and clean. It comes equipped with 13 different cooking functions including toast, bagel, roast, bake, air fry, warm up, cookies, slow cook and even dehydrate. It uses two-speed convection cooking technology to cook food evenly and quickly, which SPY Editors definitely noticed during testing. The Breville Joule definitely cooked things faster than a standard oven at the same temperature, and required less time to reach the same level of doneness.
It syncs up with an app that SPY Editors found only marginally helpful, but it does alert you when the oven has sufficiently preheated. It also automatically starts the cooking process and timer as soon as the oven is heated, which can be a nuisance if you’re not immediately ready to insert your food.
- Powerful oven with 13 cooking functions
- Uses an Element iQ system to decrease cold spots and produce even cooking throughout
- Extra large capacity inside
- Pretty exterior and intuitive control knobs
- LCD screen shows time, temperature and cooking mode clearly
- Comes with 6 cooking accessories including a roasting tray, pizza pan and air fryer basket
- Toast function doesn’t work as well as a standard toaster
- App didn’t feel necessary when testing
- Timer automatically starts as soon as oven has preheated, doesn’t give user time to put food in
Dimensions: 21.5″ W x 17.3″ D x 12.8″ H
Weight: 38.9 pounds
Warranty: 2 year
Tovala Smart Oven
Best For: People who hate cooking, and want their smart oven to do basically all of the work
Why We Chose It: It comes with optional meal kits and the ability to custom cook certain frozen meals from grocery stores, making it perfect for a hands-off chef who wants to do as little cooking as possible
The Breville might have come out on top in our testing spreadsheets, but the Tovala was still one of the best smart ovens we tested, and came in a close second. It comes with a much more affordable price, but no less impressive cooking features and results. Right out of the box, our testers found it super easy to set up and use. Tovala comes with meal kits designed exclusively to be used with the oven which were also very easy to make, as well as the ability to scan compatible meals from the grocery store that Tovala is programmed to cook to perfection. You can use the oven’s steam + air fry functions to cook other things, but it’s not designed for that. Rather, it’s great for chefs who want their smart oven to do as much of the work for them as possible.
The Tovala meal subscription at $12 a portion, which is expensive but not a huge leap beyond your standard meal kit delivery service. If you’re trying to avoid the cooking process entirely, then Tovala might be the smart oven for you.
- Very easy to set up and use
- Great for use with Tovala meal kits, for chefs who don’t want to do a lot of prep or clean up
- Smaller dimensions, takes up less counter space
- Great for folks who live alone and don’t need the space a full oven provides to cook for one person
- Much cheaper price tag
- Designed for use with a meal kit, rather than being a fully-functional smart oven for any recipe
- Doesn’t have as many cooking functions
Dimensions: 12.75″ W x 11″ D x 8″ H
Weight: 20.9 pounds
Wattage: 1525 watts
Warranty: 1 year
June Smart Oven
Best For: A high-performance oven that’s built with smart features that deliver
Why We Chose It: If you don’t mind spending a little extra money, the June Smart Oven comes with the highest-end features of any of the ovens we tested, and a price to match
The June Smart Oven is one of the smartest cooking devices SPY editors have ever tested and delivers on the steep promises of its features. We found it heats up faster than any other smart oven we tested, is programmed to automatically sense over 100 different foods and adjust cooking settings accordingly, and even comes with an interior camera that allows you to monitor your cooking progress remotely.
It has an internal thermometer that keeps food from overcooking or undercooking, and comes with 12 different cooking features including broiling, toasting, roasting, baking, grilling and dehydrating. It delivers on almost all of them, except for air frying. It can do it, but it was its most disappointing function.
The one big snag with the June is its price tag. It costs close to $1,000 or more if you add in optional accessory packages, and while your initial purchase comes with a free year of access to their app, afterwards it costs $10 per month.
- Smart cooking functions and automatic temperature adjustment based on food
- Easy set up
- Luxe touchscreen interface for simple operation
- Ultra-fast preheating
- 12 different cooking functions
- Interior thermometer prevents over and undercooking
- Interior camera for remote monitoring via mobile app
- Very expensive
- Large size takes up a lot of counter space
- Air frying function doesn’t perform as well as others
Dimensions: 19.6″ W x 19″ D x 12.75″ H
Weight: 39 pounds
Wattage: 1800 watts
Warranty: 1 year
Anova Precision Oven
Anova’s smart oven comes with a super affordable price tag relative to the breadth of its functions. It can steam, convection bake, air fry, proof, toast, roast, bake, sous vide, broil, dehydrate and more. It has a gorgeous, sleep exterior with a tinted window inside so you can monitor your meal’s progress. It’s built for precision when it comes to cooking temperature and time, and it comes with a temperature probe and sensor so you can monitor the progress of longer cooks.
It has the ability to conduct controlled steam injections to help with bread bakes, and it comes with an app filled with recipes, cooking tips and other helpful information.
- 12 cooking functions
- Built in with water tank for bread steaming
- 2 year warranty
- Large size takes up counter space
Dimensions: 22.4″ W x 17.7″ D x 14.1″ H
Wattage: 1800 watts
Brava Smart Oven
Brava makes a beast of an oven with a price tag to match. It comes with 10 different cooking functions, 7,000 different cooking programs for everything from broccoli to chicken, lasagna and bread. It has an LED-backlit touchscreen for programming and is designed to preheat 2-4x faster than a traditional oven. The starter set comes with a temperature sensor for accurate cooks as well as glass and metal trays tailored to fit inside the smart oven. It also comes with an internal camera for monitoring cooking progress, and an app.
- Built with three cooking zones for optimal heating
- Designed to preheat and cook 2-4x faster
- Comes with thousands of preset recipes built in
- Mobile app integration
- Super expensive price tag
- No window to visually monitor cooking
Dimensions: 16.4″ W x 11.3″ H x 17.3″ D
Weight: 34.4 pounds
Wattage: 1800 watts
Warranty: 1 year
Cosori Smart Air Fryer Toaster Oven
Cosori also makes a smart oven marketed as a toaster oven/ air fryer combo complete with 12 cooking functions and a 32-quart internal capacity. It’s got space for an entire rotisserie chicken, a 13-inch pizza or 6 slices of bread for toasting, and uses a convection fan for faster cooking and crispier results. It can sync with a smart app, comes with six different cooking accessories and while it does have a simpler design it doesn’t skimp on aesthetics. It’s designed to circulate hot air efficiently for even cooking and comes with a much more affordable price tag.
- Much more affordable price tag
- Comes with cooking accessories
- Can sync with a mobile app
- 12 cooking functions
- Works with Alexa
- Simpler design than more expensive smart ovens
Dimensions: 20.1″ W x 16.5″ D x 12.5″ H
Weight: 19.6 pounds
Wattage: 1800 watts
How We Tested The Best Smart Ovens
Each SPY Editor spent 3-4 weeks testing each smart oven, and some have continued to test them over the past four months to gauge longevity and continued cooking accuracy. We used them as a typical consumer would in our kitchens including using all of the features, cooking everything from lengthy slow cooks to quick morning toasts. SPY Editors with an affinity for cooking, who enjoy preparing meals in their kitchens all week long, used these ovens in place of and in addition to their regular oven to gain a sense of how helpful “smart” ovens are.
In addition to weighing objective factors like dimensions, weight, wattage and internal size, we were also taking detailed notes based on the following subjective factors, that you can only get a sense of after using a product. So you, the consumer, don’t have to buy and return a smart oven you don’t like, we’ve done the work of looking for potential red and green flags that only become visible after using a product in multiple ways over the course of weeks, and perhaps months.
- Ease of Use — How user-friendly is the oven? Was it simple to set up?
- Cooking Ability — Did it cook as well as it promises to? Did all of the cooking functions work equally as well?
- Smart App — Was the smart app helpful? Did it sync with the oven well?
- Design of Machine — Does it look like an appliance you’d want permanently stationed on your counter?
- Dimensions — How much space does it take up on the counter? Does the internal capacity feel justified relative to the overall dimensions?