I have a long standing love affair with small kitchen appliances. Over a quarter of my kitchen cabinets are filled with them. It may be an addiction, or just an obsession, I’m not sure, but I know I can’t get enough of them. My new favorite kitchen appliance isn’t really all that small, it’s the new Breville Smart Oven Air. I got it two days before Thanksgiving thanks to a very generous gift card from my in-laws for my birthday. Well, it was actually for both me and my husband because our birthdays are two days apart. As you get to know me, you will learn that I am “economical”. I prefer that term to cheap, because I am not really cheap, I just enjoy getting a good deal on things, and have a strong appreciate for the dollar. So this normally $399 item is not something I would buy for myself, but with the gift card and the holiday special at William Sonoma it was practically free, and free is my favorite number.
This Thanksgiving I decided I wanted to make a turkey and ham, so I really needed the extra oven space. When we bought our home two years ago, we got all new appliances, and at the time I was so excited to get a range with split ovens. I thought it would be such a great idea to have the small oven on top and the big oven on bottom so that I could cook multiple things at different temperatures. I could not have been more wrong. It’s awful! The top oven is so small that no matter what you put in there it’s too close to the flame. It will either burn on the bottom or scorch on the top. The bottom oven is now too small to hold big items, like a 20lb turkey, because it had to give up the space to the tiny top oven. My first Thanksgiving with it, I bought a 20lb turkey and when I went to put it in the oven, it didn’t fit! So, if you are thinking about getting one of those types of ovens, be advised it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. The point here is that, in order to make a turkey and a ham I needed more oven space, and the Breville was the perfect fit. Well, sort of.
I bought it because it said it could hold a 14lb turkey, and I asked the sales associate at William Sonoma if that claim was true. She assured me that she owned one and it was absolutely true, so I believed her. Turns out it does not hold a 14lb turkey. A 12lb will fit just fine, but 14 wasn’t happening. I wasn’t thrilled about that, but it wasn’t too bad, I could fit the turkey in the main oven and the ham fit perfectly in the new counter-top one. Crisis averted, and Thanksgiving was a massive success!
Back on topic since, as usual, I went off on a tangent, the Breville has a ton of amazing features, and I still haven’t tapped into all of them. It has a total of 13 Pre-programmed settings which include: Toast 9 slices of bread, Bagel setting, Broil, Bake, Roast, Warm, Pizza, Proof, Airfry, Reheat, Cookies, Slow Cook, Dehydrate. The first time I used the airfry I kind of set the smoke alarm off, but it was 100% my fault. I was trying to make candied bacon, and the sugar started to burn and then the whole thing started smoking. This was the third time, and third different way, I tried to make candied bacon that day and I burned it every single time. Needless to say, I gave up and will not be attempting to make that again anytime soon.
I have used it so many times to toast, roast, and bake stuff, and I absolutely love that I can fit a 9×11 casserole dish in there, the size alone makes it so in essence I have a third oven. It’s been especially helpful when making large batches of things like muffins, or my different savory “cupcake” recipes. I am actually going to try and make apple chips in it today with the dehydrate feature. Apparently by future I mean now, because I just took a 15 minute break from writing this to cut up some apples, sprinkle them with cinnamon and pop them in the oven on dehydrate. So expect a full review on that soon.
I will add that I sliced, cored and peeled my apples using my KitchenAid stand mixer with the spiralizer attachment kit. I really mean it when I say I have an entire kitchen filled with small kitchen appliances. Just on my counters alone I have the KitchenAid mixer, Food Saver Vacuum Sealer, Cuisinart Food Processor, Vitamix blender, Nespresso Vertuoline coffee/espresso maker, an older/smaller version of my new Breville oven and the new Breville Smart Oven Air. That’s in addition to all the other ones in my cabinets, like the waffle iron, deep fryer (which I am pretty sure I have never used since my husband bought it and I am not deep frying anything), a rice cooker, an Instant Pot (LOVE this thing!), a Crock Pot, a Little Dipper (small crockpot for sauces), a pasta making machine, a bread maker, and more I can’t even think of off the top of my head. It’s a sickness, I know, but I just love kitchen appliances! The funny part is that I can’t stand clutter, and had to negotiate with my husband on what went on the counters, because he wanted everything out there and there was absolutely no way my OCD was going to let that happen. It took some back and forth, but we came to an agreement.
What’s your favorite small kitchen appliance? I think it’s a three way tie for me between the Vitamix, food processor and stand mixer.