Breville just launched a brand new smart kitchen gadget, the Joule Oven Air Fryer Pro, that takes all the impressive culinary functions of their previous kitchen tech and elevates them with an app. The oven comes programmed with 13 different cooking methods including roast, bake, air fry, toast, dehydrate, proof, slow cook, and reheat, and has specific temperature modes for properly preparing things like cookies and pizza. Breville has taken the individual cooking jobs done by air fryers, toaster ovens, proofing drawers and food dehydrators — and combined them all into one device.
Does it deliver? How smart is it, really? We tested the Joule Oven Pro for nearly two months and found an answer.
Keep reading for our full Breville Joule Smart Oven review and hear all the details about how we tested this device, how it works in a more experienced kitchen, who we think it’s for and the nitty gritty details like size dimensions and usability. If you’re looking for a TLDR answer as to whether you should buy it or not, we say yes.
What Is a Smart Oven?
Smart ovens are a small but growing category in the kitchen gadget market, and they’re becoming popular microwave alternatives for foodies and home chefs. In addition to testing the Breville Joule, SPY product testers have also reviewed popular smart ovens from Ninja, Tovola and June. Typically, when we refer to smart ovens, we’re talking about countertop appliances with WiFi connectivity.
The Breville Joule is smart in two senses. First, it can be controlled remotely with an app, convenient for slow-cook recipes. Second, an onboard computer, the Element iQ System, adjusts cooking settings in real-time based on what you’re making, reducing cooking time and simplifying the process.
Breville Joule Oven Air Fryer Pro Review: At a Glance
Buy This If: If you have a large kitchen, a large budget for new appliances and want a machine that combines the jobs of multiple appliances into one, this is a great pick. If you’re a new cook who doesn’t mind an app doing a lot of the work for you, and enjoys a bit of hand holding during the cooking process? This oven is also a great option. If you have limited counter space and a limited budget but are intrigued by the idea of a smart oven, then this is one of the best options we’ve tested yet.
- 13 different cooking functions/modes
- Easy user interface
- Comes with an app for low-maintenance cooking
- High price point
- Large sizes, takes up a lot of counter space
- 21.5″ W x 17.3″ D x 12.8″ H
- Brushed Stainless Steel exterior
- Temperature Range of 80-480°F
- Settings: Toast, Bagel, Bake, Air Fry, Broil, Roast, Pizza, Cookies, Proof, Reheat, Slow Cook, Keep Warm, Dehydrate
- 2 Year Limited Product Warranty
Breville Joule Oven Air Fryer Pro: What’s Included
In July of 2019, Breville purchased the brand ChefSteps, the makers of the Joule sous vide circulator, designed to slow cook meat to perfection by regulating the temperature of water. If you haven’t added a sous vide to your repertoire of cooking tech, I highly recommend you do so.
After acquiring the brand and their technology, Breville has now released a Joule product under its own name and added app functionality to its already-strong line of smart and powerful toaster ovens. Here are a few key pieces of information about the oven and everything included when you buy it, before we get into the review itself.
- 13″ non-stick pizza pan
- Two reversible wire racks for inside can be switched around into 8 different rack positions
- 9″ x 13″ broiling rack
- 9″ x 13″ enamel roasting pan
- Air fry/ dehydrate basket
Using The Breville Joule Oven Air Fryer Pro
Let me start by saying I don’t like gadgets that have been rigged with an app that don’t need. I’ve reviewed a lot of “smart” fitness and recovery equipment that comes with an app, and I always find myself resistant to using them. Can’t I just turn the thing on myself?
The answer with this oven is, absolutely, but the app is also quite intuitive, easy to use, and with the right recipe would definitely be a big help to beginner chefs.
How I Tested The Breville Joule Oven
I received my Breville Joule Oven about two months ago, and since then have tried almost every function it offers minus the “Dehydrate” and “Slow Cook” modes, which have limited recipes on the app. I’ve toasted bread, roasted a number of vegetables including broccoli and asparagus, reheated turkey meatballs and baked cookies. Everything has come out superb, and having a miniature oven in my kitchen that heats up faster and cooks with the precision my larger, older oven can’t always seem to muster has improved my cooking experience greatly.
The Breville Joule Oven comes with very clear, easy-to-use controls on the front that allow you to select the cooking mode from an impressively lengthy list, the temperature/intensity as well as the cooking time. If you use the app, all of these factors are selected for you, and you simply have to press “start.” The app won’t start the oven for you, as a safety precaution, and it has an auto-off feature for the same purpose.
Cooking With The Breville Joule Oven
Each of the accessories the Breville Joule Oven comes with is high-quality, easy to clean and fits precisely inside the oven. I’ve mostly used the roasting tray and the air fryer basket, both of which slide in and out easily. The oven also magnetically ejects whatever pan is inside when you open the door mid-cook, so you can easily grab it with an oven mitt or flip the food if needed.
The door of the oven is lightweight and easy to open and close, and the oven itself only requires one outlet and an internet connection to function.
When you turn on the oven and set it to a certain temperature, it usually needs a few minutes to preheat. After it’s done preheating, it beeps as a normal oven would but it also sends a notification to your phone via an app that it’s time to put things into the oven. Is this app ding entirely necessary if you’re cooking at home? Not really, it’s convenient if you decide to leave your kitchen and go far enough away that you wouldn’t be able to hear the sound, but the problem is as soon as the oven is preheated the timer starts counting down. It doesn’t wait for you to put your food in, so if you’re far away you might miss a minute or two of your cook time as you insert your roasting tray and close the door.
What We Liked About the Breville Joule Oven Air Fryer Pro
The Breville Joule Oven is a kitchen gadget that comes with a lot of functionality built into one machine, and on the whole it does everything pretty well. It doesn’t have the 2-in-1-shampoo-and-conditioner effect of being a multi-functional gadget that’s trying to do too much, and therefore doesn’t do anything that well. It toasts well, roasts vegetables superbly, can reheat food on command, give food a crispy air fry and even roast proteins like salmon and chicken just as well as your kitchen’s regular-sized oven.
It’s very intuitive to operate on the machine itself, and the app is designed with the busy, newbie chef in mind. The recipes are relatively basic, but once you put something into the oven you don’t have to do a whole lot to get dinner on the table. It’s not as large as a regular oven, so you can’t cook two things in there at once, but if you’re employing it and your regular oven you’ve got a comprehensive operation that’ll handle most meals with ease.
I really like the sleek stainless steel exterior, I like how shiny the buttons are and I like that it’s entirely monochromatic. If you’re not into silver, they also sell a black stainless steel model that’s currently sold out, but should be restocked soon.
What We Didn’t Like About the Breville Joule Oven Air Fryer Pro
I’m still not entirely convinced the app is necessary. I understand why they created a “smart” kitchen gadget, because every other brand is, but my guess is most experienced chefs who already know the temperatures and times they like to use to prepare things aren’t going to employ its power very much.
I don’t like that the timer starts as soon as the oven is preheated, because it doesn’t give you time to put your food in the oven. I also don’t love the size of the oven. It’s quite large, and luckily I have a lot of counter space in my kitchen, but if I didn’t I don’t think it would be worth it. It’s not the kind of gadget you can just get out when you want to use it, because it’s super large and heavy. It’s going to be a semi-permanent fixture on most countertops.
The door of the oven is very lightweight, which makes adding food or taking it out super easy. However, it can snap shut if you take your hand off of it too fast, and this creates a loud, clunky noise. This is a small nitpicky detail, but if you’re a person who never settles for anything less than soft-close doors and drawers, this might bug you too.
On the whole, though, I don’t have a lot of cons about Breville’s Joule Oven. It’s well-designed, works as it should and would make a great addition to households with large kitchens that love a multi-function, smart device they can control with their phone.
Pricing: Is the Breville Joule Oven Air Fryer Pro Worth It?
At $399-$499, the price tag is definitely the biggest drawback of this smart oven. Normally priced at $499, this smart oven can be purchased via Amazon for $399 as of this writing. While it’s more expensive at the official Breville store, there are financing options available for as low as $65/month. I’d be remiss to not emphasize how expensive this toaster oven/air fryer is, and point out that if you already have gadgets that perform a few of these specialized tasks — an air fryer, a toaster oven, a food dehydrator or a slow cooker — it’s not a necessary purchase. If you don’t love smart gadgets, I would be hesitant to fork up the extra cash since those capabilities are definitely adding to its price tag.
On balance, I believe it lives up to its price tag. The smart functionality works very well, even if it’s not my cup of tea. It’s worth spending the money if you need a few of these appliances already and have a larger budget. It looks fantastic on the counter, is very simple to operate and delivers delicious food quickly. It would make a great contender for a wedding registry, or a big splurge gift for the cook in your life.
Breville Joule Oven Air Fryer Pro: Should You Buy It?
As I said at the beginning, if you’re a new cook with a big budget for smart kitchen appliances, this oven is a great choice. If you’ve been wanting to invest in a high-quality toaster oven and love an appliance you can control from your phone, this is a great pick.
This toaster oven carries an exorbitant price tag compared to some of the budget-friendly options on the market, but it lives up to its price point. It didn’t break down or malfunction once while I was testing it, and the construction of the machine itself and all of its accessories feel very high-quality.
- Joule Oven App that controls the oven from afar for hands-off, low-maintenance cooking
- 8 different possible rack positions with a magnetic auto-eject feature so it’s easy to grab your pan without burning yourself
- “A Bit More” cooking time button for when the recipe finishes, but your food needs a little more time to finish
- Element iQ technology that moves power around the oven for optimal cooking temperatures