Tuesday, April 25, 2017

A "Bells And Whistles" Toaster Oven: The Breville BOV450XL Toaster Oven!

The Good: Cooks evenly and well, Very stylish, Easy-to-clean, Decent capacity
The Bad: Controls are not intuitive, Large footprint, Comparatively expensive, No "off" button!
The Basics: The Breville BOV450XL Toaster Oven is more toaster oven than most anyone will need . . . and users have to pay for that overkill!

For the past week, I have been in one of my favorite places on Earth. The return to a place I have always loved has been a real divided experience for me. On the big plus side, I'm somewhere I love to be; on the minor negative side, it has changed. The kitchen, especially, where I am is virtually unrecognizable to the room I spent many happy hours in in the past. That said, the new kitchen is legitimately awesome and it is stocked with brand new products that I have had a chance to truly play with and now review. The first one I decided to focus on is the Breville BOV450XL Toaster Oven for the very simple reason that out of all the new appliances, it is the one I am most comfortable using! There is something intimidating about working in a kitchen where one is acutely aware that they are unable to afford to replace or repair anything they damage. Even I could (eventually) afford a Breville BOV450XL Toaster Oven!

The Breville BOV450XL model is fairly new to the market and it looks very modern. Built with a stainless steel finish and a slew of buttons and a dial, the front of the Breville BOV450XL Toaster Oven prominently features a digital display that very clearly states times and temperature. The display face is excellent for anyone who goes into the kitchen bleary-eyed in the morning and forgot their glasses elsewhere!

The Breville BOV450XL Toaster Oven is a toaster oven which has both multiple toasting settings and oven-heating settings. That means the Breville BOV450XL Toaster Oven is designed for toasting bread and baking small dishes. The Breville BOV450XL Toaster Oven is 15 1/5" wide by 8 1/2" tall by 13" deep and because of the heating elements inside has an internal, usable space of 11" by 11" by 4". The internal space makes it just big enough to cook a small casserole, a small tray of muffins, three full slices of pizza or three whole bagels. This is a decent alternative on small cooking projects from a standard oven as the BOV450XL is generally more energy efficient than older models. The Breville BOV450XL Toaster Oven is the first toaster oven I can remember using where the electric cord is so big and thick that I did not have any concern that it could be melted by the heat of the toaster over. However, for those who are concerned with footprint, the Breville BOV450XL Toaster Oven features a cord that ends in a very solid and substantial plug; trying to place the toaster directly in front of an electric outlet does not work as the plug pushes the unit away from the wall by at least three inches!

The BOV450XL is very stylish as it is a toaster oven that will thrill anyone who likes the look of brushed steel. The unit has well-obscured black feet and an obvious ceramic glass door.

Loading the toaster oven is quite simple. This is essentially a ceramic and metal breadbox-shaped toaster oven with a large ceramic glass door in the front. The top of the door in adorned with a very solid steel handle that projects away from the door. No matter how long the Breville BOV450XL Toaster Oven was in use, the handle never seemed to get too hot to touch! Opening the Breville BOV450XL Toaster Oven is as simple as pulling the handle down, which rotates the front door open. Inside the BOV450XL is a wire rack shelf which will support a couple pounds of food. The strong steel rack does not show any signs of buckling! After the dish or bread products one wants to toast are placed in the toaster oven, one needs only to set the controls.

Unfortunately, the conrtols on the Breville BOV450XL Toaster Oven are not intuitive to use and are often over-complicated. First, one must adjust a dial at the top. The dial sets the Breville BOV450XL Toaster Oven to various cooking tasks from "toast" and "bagel" to "pizza" and "Bake." How are cookies cooked different than simply baking them in the Breville BOV450XL Toaster Oven? I have no clue, but they are! After the type of heat is set, the rest of the unit operates on buttons. Adjustments can be made using arrow buttons under the display to increase or decrease time or temperature. When I started cooking pizza one night, I noticed the unit was default-set to think it was frozen and had adjusted somehow; given that it was not frozen, I had to find the accompanying button (which I did by graphic alone) to change the setting. After all of those buttons are figured out, one has to actually press the "start" button. If your food is done cooking early, one must hit the Start/Cancel button and it cancels (not pauses) it.

The Breville BOV450XL Toaster Oven irked me because it did not have an "off" button. The unit shuts itself off after a minute, but there is something unsettling about toasting something and when it is done and the toast is pulled out, the toaster oven is primed and ready for the next slices. Perhaps this would be a big selling point to a restaurant, but for home use, it seems like the recipe for a safety issue!

On the cleaning front, the Breville BOV450XL Toaster Oven is very easy to use. Below the heating element, the bottom of the toaster oven is guarded by a tray that catches anything that falls off the cooking surface. As a result, keeping the Breville BOV450XL Toaster Oven clean is usually just a matter of sliding the bottom tray out, wiping it off and sliding it back in! The ceramic door and the stainless steel also wipes clean with exceptional ease.

For the price, though, I would want a toaster oven that was more simple and direct to use. I like bells and whistles, but I like them to be easy to use; intuitive functionality based on a direct form. The Breville BOV450XL Toaster Oven does not have that. The Breville BOV450XL Toaster Oven does, however, do all the cooking and toasting it promises while looking incredible doing it!

For other kitchen appliances, please check out my reviews of:
Black And Decker CTO6120B Toaster Oven
Samsung Stainless Steel Microwave
GE GSD2100NOOWW Dishwasher


For other kitchen appliance reviews, please be sure to visit my Home And Garden Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2017 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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