When a retired pastry chef and restaurant owner chooses the oven for her Skoolie… which one does she choose? Ha! It took me a while and a stack of research, but here are the reasons I choose the Breville Smart Oven Air (not an affiliate link).
- Since it will be the only oven in the Skoolie, it needs to be able to actually bake things. In other words, it needs to be more than a toaster oven. We had a glorified toaster oven in our first Tiny and it was good for many things but sometimes the limitations were vexing. I read the product material and the reviews until I was confident that this oven could handle any baking challenge we are likely to throw at it. Furthermore, after extensive testing, I now know that it cooks anything we like to eat (and then some) and we love it!
- Size: It’s a small oven that is roughly the same size as the larger toaster ovens on the market. It takes less space than a small size range, and since our Skoolie will have less than 130 sq ft of living space, that was important. It still has enough space inside the oven to roast a 14 pound turkey, as long as the turkey is square. LOL! Just checking to see if you’re paying attention.
- Power: It takes less power than a small range. It may still require more power than a small solar power system can handle, however… it takes MUCH less power than a microwave! So that’s a bonus. And this will be great for those times and places where we are able to plug in an umbilical cord.
- Features: This oven has some really fancy features! The one that really caught my attention was the dehydrate function. When we sold the restaurant, the new chef/owner wanted my Excalibur dehydrator and so I gave it to him. I’m still kicking myself – can you tell? I’ve missed having fresh yogurt, kale chips, and pineapple flowers (among other things). Now FINALLY, I can do all of those things again – without an additional appliance in my home. SCORE!
- The air fry feature was a revelation! We LOVED sweet potato crisps made in this oven, then drizzled with olive oil and sea salt!
- Another perk is that it doesn’t overheat the kitchen when we use it in the summer!
- Price: The Breville Smart Oven Air is $399 pretty much everywhere. I checked. This is not a cheap item but there are cheaper oven models in the product line. Less bells and whistles = more affordable. It is still a better value than buying a full size (or even a fun sized) range. And we already have a induction cook top.
NOTICE: There is a lot included in the box with this oven, so wait to purchase bits and pieces until you’ve seen what comes with it. I didn’t realize that and now I have an extra air fry basket that I don’t need.
Living tiny for a foodie doesn’t have to be a sacrifice!
I recently saw a Skoolie with an Excalibur Dehydrator, so I will also mention…
Having used both the Excalibur Dehydrator in our restaurant, and the Breville Smart Oven Air Dehydrator more recently, I am very happy to say that both are excellent! I expected to find the Breville dehydrating function underwhelming because it was small. However, the Breville really isn’t that much smaller than the Excalibur, and I prefer the door on the Breville. I was able to make a lot of yogurt very comfortably in the Breville, and that was the feature of the Excalibur that I missed the most. Knowing what I know now, having used both, I prefer the Breville because it has so many features without adding an extra piece of equipment to the kitchen. What makes this deal even sweeter is that I can have all those features at my finger tips in a tiny house kitchen. Now that’s brilliant!