Size: 21.5 x 17.3 L x 12.8 inches
Weight: 23 pounds
Capacity: 9 slices toast; 14 pound turkey
Controls: Digital, App
Modes: Toast, Bagel, Bake, Air Fry, Broil, Roast, Pizza, Cookies, Proof, Reheat, Slow Cook, Keep Warm, Dehydrate
Smart features: Joule App recipe assistant, Alexa- and Google Assistant-compatible
The smart oven concept isn’t necessarily a new one, but the Breville Joule Oven Air Fryer Pro successfully tacks on some “smart” features to what was already one of the best toaster ovens and best air fryers around.
As you might have guessed from the name, this multi-purpose Breville appliance is a collaboration with ChefSteps, as in the ChefSteps Joule Sous Vide. Though the Joule Oven Air Fryer Pro isn’t a precision cooker, it does promise to take the guesswork out of food preparation. So does it deliver?
The Joule Oven app houses a collection of step-by-step recipes that automatically initiate any of the 13 total settings on your oven, offering to take some of the hassle out of getting dinner on the table. Oh, and you can use Alexa or Google Assistant to change settings or set timers hands-free whether you’re air-frying, roasting, toasting, broiling or otherwise.
Still, as you’ll see in this Breville Joule Oven Air Fryer Pro review, a lot in terms of accessories, cooking performance and cleaning is very similar to the $399 Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro. And like most Breville gadgets, this one isn’t cheap at $499 — but it can replace your oven.
Breville Joule Air Fryer Pro review: Price and availability
Breville Joule Oven Air Fryer Pro review: Design and accessories
Like the Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro, the Breville Joule Oven Air Fryer Pro is a fairly large, rectangular countertop appliance featuring a drop-down door and towel handle. The unit we tested is a familiar, brushed stainless steel, but it comes in a black stainless steel finish as well.
The LCD display, buttons and dials are also identical to the interface of the Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro, but they’re no less sophisticated on the Joule Oven. The controls are highly intuitive for anyone who’s used a standard toaster oven.
Measuring 21.5 x 17.3 x 12.8 inches and weighing 23 pounds, the Joule Oven is more substantial than most standalone toaster ovens and air fryers, but still light enough to manage out of the box and onto the counter without help. Accessories in the box include a 13-inch non-stick pizza pan, 2 wire racks, 9 x 13-inch broiling rack, 9 x 13-inch enamel roasting pan and an air fry/dehydrate basket.
Breville Joule Oven Air Fryer Pro: Cooking performance
We put the Breville Joule Oven Air Fryer Pro through our standard series of toaster oven and air fryer tests, and it scored high marks across the board. Something the Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro fell short on was toast, but the Joule Oven offered a beautiful ombre across different shades of darkness for our multigrain bread and toasted each piece evenly on both sides.
When we baked brownies, we found the knife didn’t come out clean after the bake time suggested on the Betty Crocker box. But, after a few extra minutes in the Joule Oven, the brownies emerged cakey on the surface, slightly crisp on the edges and perfectly fudgy in the center.
Our tests included air frying two kinds of French fries – frozen and homemade. The frozen French fries offered the ideal goldeness and satisfying crunch after a standard cook time, even with the basket a bit more crowded (which, to anyone who knows how to use an air fryer, is considered one of the most common air fryer mistakes.) But, the scratch-made fries didn’t offer the same slack. A lightly over-crowded basket caused inconsistent cooking and required double the time to finish.
For two methods of cooking Brussels sprouts — air fry and roast – they came out crisp on the outside without losing moisture on the inside. Roasting them is more forgiving for a larger quantity, though air frying a single-serving of greens is quick and easy.
Our tests include preparing three different types of chicken: baking breaded chicken cutlets, roasting a whole chicken and air frying chicken wings. The chicken cutlets browned evenly and retained moisture, though we helped out the moisture levels of our whole chicken by adding a bit of water to the roasting pan as a precaution. We set the roast chicken to 400 degrees for one hour, but noticed after about 35 minutes that the skin began to char. As to save dinner, we covered the chicken loosely with aluminum foil for the remaining 25 minutes, at which point the innermost thigh successfully registered 165 degrees.
We opted to follow the Breville Joule Oven app’s recipe assistant for the chicken wings. ChefSteps “Leveled-Up Air-Fried Chicken Wings” recipe demonstrated step-by-step how to season and coat the wings, then offered a prompt to preheat the oven. Unlike the June Oven, which actually lets you preheat the oven from the companion app, we still needed to press the physical start button on the Joule Oven to begin cooking, but none of the settings were up to chance.
When the bake duration finished, the app showed how to transfer the wings from the roasting pan to the air fryer basket. It even encouraged replacing the roasting pan at the bottom-most insert in the oven to catch grease drips, which is a tip we hadn’t thought of before.
Sure enough, after following the steps, our wings were devour-worthy. The skin crisped up nicely, while the meat was almost tender enough to fall off the bone.
Breville Joule Oven Air Fryer Pro: Ease of use and cleaning
As demo-ed by the chicken wings, the Joule Oven’s smart feature is its app and library of recipes with multi-function steps. Though we needed to switch the accessory for the wings, some recipes can automatically change the cook settings during the process — say if you want to proof then bake croissants. This option is aptly called Autopilot. The combination of the app’s recipe walkthroughs and Autopilot take some of the intimidation out of baking or making a meal.
You can also pair Alexa or Google Assistant with the oven to preheat it hands-free, though we didn’t find much use for this. Even though we have many of the best smart home devices in our house, including a voice-enabled faucet, it felt more natural (and a bit safer) to control the oven using the standard dials.
In fact, you can bypass the app/voice controls entirely and operate the oven manually using the LCD display, dials and buttons. While we love the touchscreen navigation of the June Oven, less tech-savvy family members saw it as daunting. We like how the Joule Oven is pretty effortless to learn thanks to labels though. Plus, each preparation mode clearly indicates which rack position to use, which are all printed in the exact location on the glass.
The oven light makes it easy to check on your food, and 20 seconds before the timer runs out the light turns on automatically. A buzzer lets you know when the food is done, and you can raise or lower the buzzer volume in the app if you’d like. And as we’ve seen with all Breville appliances, this oven has a cord plug with a loop to make it easy to pull the cord out of a wall socket.
One thing to be cautious about — the oven does get hot to the touch, especially on the glass and top surface. While baking the brownies mentioned above, the top surface reached 155°F and the glass measured 245°F. As it operates, the Breville has a dBA reading of 53, which is average for air fryers.
And do not put any of the accessories in the dishwasher. Breville recommends hand-washing all trays and racks, which means more time and effort cleaning. With the exception of the air fryer basket, food remnants came off easily with soap and warm water.
Breville Joule Oven Air Fryer Pro: Verdict
The Breville Joule Oven Air Fryer Pro is a rather pricey countertop appliance, but it’s also the only countertop appliance you might need thanks to the variety of cook modes. It looks great and can put an entire meal on the table.
But, if you’re not interested in the ChefSteps integrations, Autopilot function or voice assistant compatibility, you’re probably better off with the Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro, which costs $100 less and comes with the same accessories. For a more affordable option, we like the Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven, though note it has a smaller capacity.
We happen to think the step-by-step recipes of the Breville Joule app are scrumptious, simple to follow and well-informed, even with our prior cooking experience. Let’s just say we’ll never make chicken wings the same again.