Emily and I have had a microwave-free kitchen for nearly 8 years now (minus the short time we tested a microwave a little while ago), but we've discovered there's a kitchen appliance that better suits our cooking habits with many of the same options that a microwave offers without the uneven cooking...
Emily reviewed the Breville Smart Oven today over at The Kitchn (my personal second favourite kitchen appliance, only behind the Breville panini press I got for her birthday). Here's some of the key points of what she thought about the toaster oven:
The Smart Oven – features and strong points
We have played around with all of the settings, making toast, bagels, toasted nuts, roasted vegetables, roasted chicken, baked tofu, pizza, cake, and quick bread. Whether you select the convection option or not, the oven preheats quickly and cooks evenly. With the energy-efficient convection setting on, it also cooks more quickly. We have actually switched to using the Smart Oven for almost all of our toasting, roasting, baking, and heating needs.
The oven comes with a magnetic wire rack (which pulls out when the door is opened – very cool feature), two 12 x 12-inch baking and broiling pans, and a 13-inch non-stick pizza pan. There's also a removable crumb tray that makes cleanup easy.
We have only two criticisms of the oven. First, the digital timer alert is not as loud as we'd like. Since we have been using this for baking, we expected the beep to be more like that of a full-size oven and audible from another room. But this is really a minor issue, and we'll just rely on our portable timer.
Another possible drawback is the oven's size. It measures 18.5 x 12.5 x 10.75 inches, which might not be a problem if you have large/deep counters, but for small space dwellers, it isn't ideal.
Plenty more details about the Breville Smart Oven over at The Kitchn.