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Hamilton Beach 31401 vs Breville Smart Oven Pro Side-by-Side Comparison

Alan Nguyen
Reviewer
Nguyen Ntk
Visual Specialist
Updated
Tested Using Methodology v1.0
Updated Mar 19, 2023
Tested Using Methodology v1.0
Updated Apr 3, 2023
The front of a closed stainless steel Hamilton Beach 31401 4-Slice Capacity Countertop Toaster Oven on a white background.
The front of a closed stainless steel Breville BOV845BSS Smart Oven Pro Convection Toaster Oven on a white background.

Our Verdict

4.6
Overall Score
  • Performance (50%)
    5.1/10
  • Design (25%)
    3.6/10
  • Usability (25%)
    4.6/10
7.8
Overall Score
  • Performance (50%)
    6.9/10
  • Design (25%)
    9.3/10
  • Usability (25%)
    8.0/10

The Hamilton Beach 31401 is a very standard small toaster oven while the Breville Smart Oven Pro is quite an elaborate large convection toaster oven. As a result, it’s no surprise that the latter is the winner.

The Hamilton has three basic analog control dials and no interior light to help with convenience. Meanwhile, the Smart Oven Pro has numerous cooking presets and additional toggle switches including internal lighting, convection, temperature conversion, and frozen foods. It also has a non-stick interior for easy cleaning which is a rare feature.

The Breville didn’t score the highest in terms of performance—all above average. It’s not as good as other same-sized units with the same power output but enough to win against the Hamilton’s below-average scores. Give credits where credits due, the Hamilton has a higher score in toasting bread than the Breville–one of the best for a small unit.

Good for Toast Only

Hamilton Beach 4-Slice Toaster Oven Performance

Breville Smart Oven Pro Performance: Not As Expected
5.1
Performance Scores
  • Toast (40%)7.7/10
  • Pizza (25%)5.5/10
  • Whole Roasted Chicken (25%)1.0/10
  • Baked French Fries (10%)4.0/10
6.9
Performance Scores
  • Toast (40%)6.8/10
  • Pizza (25%)6.8/10
  • Whole Roasted Chicken (25%)7.5/10
  • Baked French Fries (10%)6.1/10
7.7

Toast

6.8
From left to right, 24 pieces of toast for the top and bottom of three toast levels including lighter, medium, and darker.
On the left: 2m 30s; In the middle: 4m 15s; On the right: 5m 55s
From left to right, 24 pieces of toast for the top and bottom of three toast levels including lighter, medium, and darker.
The top and bottom of the best four pieces of toast from the Hamilton Beach 31401 4-Slice Capacity Countertop Toaster Oven.
On the left are the top and bottom of four pieces of toast from the first batch, and on the right are from the second batch.
Taste: 8
50% * 8 = 4.0
Even Surface Color: 7.5
20% * 7.5 = 1.5
Consecutive Usability: 7.3
30% * 7.3 = 2.2
  • Function: Toast
  • Number Of Slices: 4
  • Toast Level: Medium
  • Cooking Time: 4m 15s
  • Second Batch: 4m 15s
  • Convection: No

With our Toast test, we determined the best option was right at the position of the Toast icon—around 4 minutes 15 seconds on the timer, scoring a 7.7/10. Turning the knob halfway down would result in no color and turning it halfway up nearly burnt the toast.

With 4m 15s, the Hamilton Beach produced 4 pieces with a light golden brown color on the top and golden on the bottom. Although that was great, the top and the bottom were quite different and they were both only about 80% even throughout. Thus, we gave it a 7.5/10.

The first batch of toast had a nice balance of crispiness on the outside and softness on the inside, deserving an 8/10 for taste. Our head chef Tuyet Pham determined it would go well with pretty much everything including eggs benedict, omelet, and especially sandwiches. It wasn’t as suitable for soup but the second batch was.

The second batch got crispier and more even in color. However, it also became browner so we gave it a 7.3/10 for consecutive usability. If you want the second batch to be the same as the first, remember to only turn the knob to ¾ to Medium—around 3 minutes 40 seconds.

Breville Smart Oven Pro Toaster Oven Toast Test
From left to right, 24 pieces of toast for the top and bottom of three toast levels including lighter, medium, and darker.
The top and bottom of the best four pieces of toast from the Breville BOV845BSS Smart Oven Pro Convection Toaster Oven.
On the left are the top and bottom of four pieces of toast from the first batch, and on the right are from the second batch.
Taste: 6.5
50% * 6.5 = 3.3
Even Surface Color: 7
20% * 7 = 1.4
Consecutive Usability: 7
30% * 7 = 2.1
  • Function: Toast
  • Number Of Slices: 4
  • Toast Level: 5/7
  • Cooking Time: 5m 13s
  • Second Batch: 3m 42s
  • Convection: No

We began our Toast test by choosing toast level 4—the middle one out of the 7 options—for 4 pieces which we placed on tray level 2. The four pieces of bread came out only slightly toasted on top. We then chose level 5 and the surface color was more appetizing but less even.

So, we tried again one last time at level 6 but it produced four completely brown pieces of toast which were also a bit dry. In the end, we settled for level 5—5 minutes 13 seconds on the timer—as the best possible option with a score of 6.8/10.

At this level, the toast had a perfect golden brown color around the center of the oven. However, it was lighter the further it got to the rear, so we could only give it a 7/10 for even surface color.

The unevenness also translated to the texture where the toast achieved great crispiness in the golden brown areas but got softer in the lighter areas. This resulted in a 6.5/10 for taste from our chef.

Our head chef, Tuyet Pham, determined they would be good to have with omelets and sandwiches. They could be served with soups or eggs benedict but wouldn't make a perfect pairing.

We placed the second batch of four in immediately after the first one. We chose level 5 again whereupon the oven automatically deducted the timer to 3 minutes 42 seconds.

Because the oven was already hot, the second batch showed an increase in evenness for both surface color and crispiness deserving a 7/10. This batch would be more suitable for soups.

5.5

Pizza

6.8
A toaster oven baked 9-inch thick-crust meat pizza with cheese, onions, and green bell peppers on top inside a baking pan.
A toaster oven baked 9-inch thick-crust meat pizza with cheese, onions, and green bell peppers on top inside a baking pan.
The cross surface of a slice of toast oven baked 9-inch thick-crust meat pizza with cheese, onions, and green bell peppers.
Two hands break apart a slice of pizza with melty cheese, meat, and green bell peppers on top baked using a toaster oven.
Cooking Time: 0
20% * 0 = 0.0
Crust: 6
20% * 6 = 1.2
Toppings: 7.5
30% * 7.5 = 2.3
Taste: 7
30% * 7 = 2.1
  • Function: Bake
  • Temperature:  450°F
  • Cooking Time: 10m 30s
  • Convection:  No

The Hamilton didn’t perform well in baking a 9-inch thick-crust meat pizza scoring a 5.6/10.

Compared to the recommended 10 minutes on the label, the oven took only a tad bit longer at 10m 30s. However, this meant that it failed the cooking time criterion with 10 minutes being the time limit for our Pizza test.

For the most part, the crust didn’t have a good toasted coloring and was soft so it got a 6/10. The toppings had pretty good caramelization but some darkened areas of the cheese lowered the score to 7.5/10. After tasting the pizza, our chef gave it a 7/10.

Breville Smart Oven Pro Toaster Oven Pizza
A toaster oven baked 9-inch thick-crust meat pizza with cheese, onions, and green bell peppers on top inside a baking pan.
Two hands break apart a slice of pizza with cheese, meat, onions, and green bell peppers on top baked using a toaster oven.
Two slices of oven baked 9-inch thick-crust meat pizza with cheese, onions, and green bell peppers on top of one another.
Cooking Time: 10
20% * 10 = 2.0
Crust: 6
20% * 6 = 1.2
Toppings: 6
30% * 6 = 1.8
Taste: 6
30% * 6 = 1.8
  • Function: Bake
  • Temperature: 450°F
  • Cooking Time: 4m
  • Convection: Yes

For our Pizza test, we didn’t use the pizza presets because they didn’t include the correct size for our choice of pizza. This was also a good chance to test out the Breville pizza pan, but we were surprised to find the overall score ended up at 6.8/10.

Thanks to the oven’s strong power output and convection setting, it only took 4 minutes to bake a 9-inch thick-crust meat pizza placed on tray level 2. This was extremely fast and deserved a 10/10 according to our data on average toaster oven performance.

However, the pizza still had a problem with cooking evenness. A quarter of the entire crust was golden brown but the rest of it lacked color. As you can imagine, the golden brown part was crispy on the outside and soft on the inside while the lighter part was simply soft throughout. Thus, we could only give the crust a 6/10.

The same issue applied to the toppings which had a nice caramelization where the crust was golden but not much in the substandard area. The cheese was also not quite melty so the toppings also got a 6/10.

Altogether, our chef gave the pizza another 6/10 after tasting it. We chose not to increase the cooking time of the pizza as it could result in burning the part of the crust and toppings that were already properly baked.

1.0

Whole Roasted Chicken

7.5
A whole roasted chicken using the Hamilton Beach 31401 Toaster Oven on a baking rack and baking pan on a white background.
A whole roasted chicken using the Hamilton Beach 31401 Toaster Oven on a baking rack and baking pan on a white background.
A tray of whole toaster oven roasted chicken. The thermometer has two probes inside the chicken and both display 176°F.
Seven pieces of a carved chicken including a carcass, two breasts, two wings, and two thighs on a silver baking pan.
The chicken thigh meat is still pink. In the white background is the rest of the roasted chicken on a baking pan.
Cooking Time: 0
20% * 0 = 0.0
Skin: 5
20% * 5 = 1.0
Doneness: 0
20% * 0 = 0.0
Taste: 0
40% * 0 = 0.0
  • Function: Rotisserie
  • Temperature: 350°F
  • Cooking Time: 1h 30m
  • Convection: No

This was one of the rare occasions where an oven failed the entirety of our Whole Roasted Chicken test. Our speculations concerned the instability of the heating elements and the fact that the chicken grazed the upper safeguard during cooking.

After 1h 30m—our time limit, the oven wasn’t able to roast the chicken to a desirable outcome and failed the first criterion. After roasting, the skin had no noticeable caramelization and barely enough for a 5/10.

The chicken reached an internal temperature of 176°F which was quite good. However, the meat itself was undercooked and still pink in a lot of areas. Thus, it was another failure. Due to the meat being undercooked, our chef couldn’t taste it to give a score.

Breville Smart Oven Pro Toaster Oven Whole Roasted Chicken Test
Breville Smart Oven Pro Toaster Oven Whole Roasted ChickenA whole roasted chicken using the Breville BOV845BSSUSC Toaster Oven backside up on an enamel broiling rack and baking pan.
A whole roasted chicken using the Breville BOV845BSSUSC Toaster Oven belly up on an enamel broiling rack and baking pan.
A tray of whole toaster oven roasted chicken. The thermometer has two probes inside the chicken and both display 198°F.
Eight pieces of a carved chicken including two carcass halves, two breasts, two wings, and two thighs on a baking pan.
Two hands pulling apart a roasted chicken thigh from the carcass. In the white background is the rest of the roasted chicken.
Cooking Time: 8
20% * 8 = 1.6
Skin: 7
20% * 7 = 1.4
Doneness: 8.6
20% * 8.6 = 1.7
Taste: 7
40% * 7 = 2.8
  • Function: Bake
  • Temperature: 350°F
  • Cooking Time: 1h
  • Convection: Yes

For our Whole Roasted Chicken test, we placed a 3 lb chicken in a belly-up position onto the broiling rack and baking pan combo on tray level 1. The outcome was pretty satisfactory, scoring a 7.5/10.

The Breville took 1 hour to roast the chicken to a desirable color which was our standard for an 8/10. The skin overall had a golden color, especially at the wings and the tips. However, it still had some very light areas.

In addition, when we flipped the chicken after the first 40 minutes, some of the skin on the back of the chicken got stuck to the broiling rack. This was an indication that the skin was soft and didn’t crisp up much despite having the convection fan deployed. Thus, we gave the skin a 7/10.

The oven was able to maintain a good internal temperature so the chicken was cooked all the way through leaving behind no pink spots. However, the cooking time was a little long, so the chicken’s internal temperature ended up at 198°F which was higher than the recommended 180°F by the USDA. We gave the doneness of this chicken an 8.6/10.

Nonetheless, the meat wasn’t dry and combined with the skin it was enough to get a 7/10 for taste from our chef.

4.0

Baked French Fries

6.1
Pieces of baked french fries using the Hamilton Beach 31401 Toaster Oven on a silver baking pan on a white background.
Pieces of baked french fries using the Hamilton Beach 31401 Toaster Oven on a silver baking pan on a white background.
A close-up of pieces of baked french fries using the Hamilton Beach 31401 Oven on a silver baking pan on a white background.
Six pieces of broken-up baked french fries are stacked on top of pieces of whole fries on a silver baking pan.
Cooking Time: 0
20% * 0 = 0.0
Color: 5
20% * 5 = 1.0
Texture: 5
20% * 5 = 1.0
Taste: 5
40% * 5 = 2.0
  • Function: Bake
  • Temperature: 400°F
  • Cooking Time: 30 m
  • Convection: No

The Hamilton Beach wasn’t suitable for baking 12 oz of french fries scoring only a 4/10.

There were no noticeable changes to the fries after 30 minutes of baking in this oven. Due to our time limit of 25 minutes, this constituted a failure in the cooking time section of our Baked French Fries test.

There was no change in the fries’ color so they received a 5/10. The oven basically thawed and heated the fries so they were very soggy scoring another 5/10. Our chef could only give the fries a minimal score of 5/10 for taste.

Breville Smart Oven Pro Toaster Oven Baked French Fries
Breville Smart Oven Pro Toaster Oven Baked French FriesPieces of baked french fries using the Breville BOV845BSSUSC Toaster Oven on an enamel baking pan on a white background.
A close-up of pieces of baked french fries using the Breville BOV845BSSUSC on an enamel baking pan on a white background.
Eight pieces of broken-up baked french fries are stacked on top of pieces of whole fries on an enamel baking pan.
Cooking Time: 6
20% * 6 = 1.2
Color: 6.5
20% * 6.5 = 1.3
Texture: 6
20% * 6 = 1.2
Taste: 6
40% * 6 = 2.4
  • Function: Bake
  • Temperature: 400°F
  • Cooking Time: 24m
  • Convection: Yes

Despite the power draw of 1800 W, the Breville didn’t perform as well in baking french fries as many toaster ovens with the same output earning a 6.1/10. Looking at the results from the Ninja DT201, our assumption was that the broiling rack wasn’t as efficient for this purpose as an air fryer basket.

For our Baked French Fries test, we didn’t turn on the Frozen Foods toggle because we needed to keep track of the exact cooking time. The oven took 24 minutes to bake 12 oz of frozen fries on tray level 2 which wasn’t very fast. Compared to many other toaster ovens we’ve tested, it could only get a 6/10 for cooking time.

Even though we gave the fries a toss after the first 10 minutes, they still came out with uneven coloring scoring a 6.5/10. Most of the thinner fries had a pretty good golden color while most of the thicker ones had a much lighter color.

To the same degree, the fries had different textures throughout earning it a 6/10 for this testing component. The pieces with a golden color were crispy outside and soft inside while the lighter ones were mostly just soft all the way through.

With all of that in mind, our chef couldn’t give a score higher than 6/10 after tasting the fries.

No Stand-Out Features

Hamilton Beach Stainless Steel Toaster Oven Design

Breville BOV845BSS Stainless Steel Toaster Oven Design: High-Quality Features
3.6
design Scores
  • Exterior (20%)4.0/10
  • Interior (30%)1.0/10
  • Build Quality (50%)5.0/10
9.3
design Scores
  • Exterior (20%)9.5/10
  • Interior (30%)9.5/10
  • Build Quality (50%)9.0/10

In the Hamilton Beach Countertop Toaster Oven Box

In the Breville Smart Convection Toaster Oven Box
An oven rack, a user manual, the Hamilton Beach 31401 4-Slice Capacity Countertop Toaster Oven, a box, and a baking pan.
  • Model: 31401
  • Warranty: 1-year limited in the US and 5-year limited in Canada
  • User Manual
  • Baking Rack
  • Baking Pan
  • Removable Crumb Tray

Inside the packaging are the Hamilton Beach oven, a baking rack, a baking pan, a removable crumb tray, and a simple user manual.

A box, the Breville BOV845BSSUSC, a pizza pan, a broiling rack, a warranty, a user manual, an oven rack, and a baking pan.
  • Model: BOV845BSSUSC
  • Warranty: 1 year (US only)
  • User Manual
  • Baking Rack
  • Baking Pan
  • Broiling Rack
  • Pizza Pan

The Breville toaster oven came in an eye-catching box but it was only secured with two foam pads. On the bright side, its accessories including a baking rack, baking pan, broiling rack, and pizza pan were neatly placed in a fitted carton box.

The oven’s user manual explains in detail how each oven function works and includes a number of recipes. To elevate your pizza party, you can opt for the optional pizza crisper, pizza stone, and bamboo cutting board.

4.0

Exterior

9.5
A closed front of the Hamilton Beach 31401 4-Slice Countertop Toaster Oven with exterior measurements on a white background.
A closed front of the Hamilton Beach 31401 4-Slice Countertop Toaster Oven with exterior measurements on a white background.
The front of a closed Hamilton Beach 31401 4-Slice Countertop Toaster Oven has a control panel and the right has holes.
The back and left sides of the Hamilton Beach 31401 have air ventilation holes. The back has a power cord and one buffer.
The top of the stainless steel Hamilton Beach 31401 4-Slice Capacity Countertop Toaster Oven on a grey background.
On a grey background, the bottom of the Hamilton Beach 31401 4-Slice Countertop Toaster Oven has four stands and holes.
  • Weight:
    5.4 lbs (2.4 kg)
  • Length:
    15.0" (38.0 cm)
  • Width:
    12.2" (31.0 cm)
  • Height:
    8.5" (21.6 cm)
  • Material:
    Stainless steel
  • Color:
    Silver
  • Door Handle:
    cool-touch
  • Tray Indicators:
    No
  • Crumb Tray:
    Removable

The Hamilton Beach has a stainless steel exterior, a back buffer to prevent the oven from being too close to the wall, and a cool-touch door handle. However, the back buffer isn’t designed to wrap the power cord around, unlike many other toaster ovens.

A closed front of the Breville BOV845BSSUSC Smart Convection Toaster Oven with exterior measurements on a white background.
A closed front of the Breville BOV845BSSUSC Smart Convection Toaster Oven with exterior measurements on a white background.
Breville Smart Oven Pro Toaster Oven ExteriorThe front of a closed Breville BOV845BSSUSC Convection Toaster Oven has a control panel and the right has ventilation holes.
The back and left sides of the Breville BOV845BSSUSC Toaster Oven have air ventilation holes. The back has two buffers.
The top, front, and right sides of the Breville BOV845BSSUSC Smart Oven Pro Convection Toaster Oven on a white background.
On a white background, the Breville BOV845BSSUSC’s bottom has four stands and two carrying handles with ventilation holes.
  • Weight:
    18.1 lbs (8.2 kg)
  • Length:
    18.4" (46.7 cm)
  • Width:
    15.9" (40.5 cm)
  • Height:
    10.8" (27.4 cm)
  • Material:
    Stainless steel
  • Color:
    Silver
  • Door Handle:
    Cool-touch
  • Tray Indicators:
    Yes
  • Crumb Tray:
    Slide-out

An exterior feature that stood out to us on the Breville is its side-positioned carrying handles which double up as air ventilation holes for the convection system. We were also impressed by the indicators on the glass door that direct you to its three tray levels and many cooking functions.

The Breville has an interesting automatic eject feature for when the oven rack is in the middle guide rail. This is achieved thanks to a magnet in the corresponding position on the oven door.

Further attention to the design shows in the convenient slide-out crumb tray and strong base stands. The oven’s door handle is cool-touch and provides a good grip. Unfortunately, the back buffers are not long enough to create ample space between the back of the oven and the wall.

Our measurements of 18.39" x 15.94" x 10.78" for the oven pretty much coincided with the dimensions provided by the manufacturer—18.5" x 14.5" x 11". The 1.5-inch difference in width is probably because we took the door handle into account.

Control Panel

The control panel of the Hamilton Beach 31401 4-Slice Toaster Oven has 3 control knobs for temperature, function, and timer.
  • Type:
    3 control knobs
  • Temperature:
    100°F - 450°F
  • Timer:
    1 minute - 30 minutes + stay-on
  • Indicator Light:
    Yes
  • Status Bar:
    No
  • Light Toggle:
    No
  • Convection Toggle:
    No
  • Rotation Toggle:
    No
  • Automatic Preheat:
    No
  • Audio Cues:
    No

The Hamilton Beach has three simple control knobs for Temperature, Function, and Timer. Even though the timer is only from 1 minute to 30 minutes, it has a stay-on position. 1 minute to 30 minutes, it has a stay-on position.

The Breville BOV845BSSUSC’s control panel has an LCD, 5 buttons, and 3 control knobs for function, temperature, and time.
  • Type:
    LCD + 3 control knobs + 5 buttons
  • Temperature:
    120°F - 450°F
  • Timer:
    1 minute - 10 hours
  • Indicator Light:
    Yes
  • Status Bar:
    Yes
  • Light Toggle:
    Yes
  • Convection Toggle:
    Yes
  • Rotation Toggle:
    No
  • Automatic Preheat:
    Yes
  • Audio Cues:
    No

The Breville has 3 control knobs for function, temperature, and timer. Its five buttons include four toggles for temperature conversion, interior light, convection fan, and Defrost feature. The Start/Cancel button and the digital display both shine red when the oven’s cooking.

The LCD screen will display ‘E01’, ‘E02’, or ‘E05’ when there is a non-resettable issue with the appliance. When this happens, immediately unplug the cord from the wall outlet and call the Breville Customer Service Center.

The ‘E03’ shows up when the oven temperature exceeds its design limit. Should this occur, unplug your oven, allow it to cool for 15 minutes, then plug it back in.

The ‘E04’ appears when the room temperature is below the set minimum. If this happens, unplug the oven and move it to a warmer area.

Cooking Functions of the Hamilton Beach 31401 Toaster Oven

Cooking Functions of the Breville BOV845BSS Smart Oven Pro
The function knob of the Hamilton Beach 31401 4-Slice Toaster Oven has 3 cooking functions including Broil, Toast, and Bake.
  • Toast
  • Bake
  • Broil

If you know your way around the kitchen, the bake and broil functions will be all you need. The temperature knob has a Min setting which can act as Keep Warm and maintain the oven at around 100°F.

Breville BOV845BSSUSC has 10 cooking functions: Toast, Bagel, Bake, Roast, Broil, Pizza, Cookies, Reheat, Warm, Slow Cook.
  • Toast (level 1-7)
  • Bagel (level 1-7)
  • Bake (1 minute - 10 hours)
  • Roast (1 minute - 2 hours)
  • Broil (300°F, 400°F, 500°F; 1 minute - 20 minutes)
  • Pizza (6″-13″; Fresh/Frozen)
  • Cookies (1 minute - 1 hour)
  • Reheat (1 minute - 2 hours)
  • Warm (1 minute - 2 hours)
  • Slow Cook (2 hours - 10 hours)

The Breville has 10 cooking functions which make full use of its wide timer and temperature ranges. Functions that allow for the full adjustment of temperature (120°F - 450°F) include Bake, Roast, Cookies, Reheat, and Warm.

The Toast and Bagel functions have 1-7 levels which include predetermined timers for 1-6 slices. This toaster oven went the extra mile as most others don’t take the number of slices into account.

Meanwhile, the pizza function includes presets for sizes ranging from 6" to 13" along with fresh or frozen pizzas. The Broil function has three preset temperatures including 500°F, 400°F, and 300°F for up to 20 minutes.

The Slow Cook function has two settings: ‘LO’ with a timer of 4-10 hours and ‘HI’ with 2-8 hours; and you can further adjust the timer up and down while cooking. After the Slow Cook cycle finishes, this function automatically turns to Keep Warm at 175°F for up to another 2 hours.

1.0

Interior

9.5
The Hamilton Beach 31401 4-Slice Toaster Oven’s cooking chamber has 2 quartz heating elements with guards and 2 guide rails.
The Hamilton Beach 31401 4-Slice Toaster Oven’s cooking chamber has 2 quartz heating elements with guards and 2 guide rails.
The bottom quartz heating element with guard and 2 rails on the left wall of the Hamilton Beach 31401’s cooking chamber.
  • Heating Elements:
    2 quartz
  • Convection Fan:
    No
  • Lighting:
    No
  • Tray Levels:
    2
  • Rotisserie:
    No
  • Safety Hook:
    No

The 31401 has 2 quartz heating elements that cook food using infrared light. To avoid direct contact with baking pans and trays, each one has its own safety guard.

Compared to the more common nichrome heating elements, they produce more heat and cool down faster. In addition, they’re easier to clean and more energy-efficient but not as durable. However, if grease splashes onto the heating elements while cooking, it’ll leave permanent stains.

Nonetheless, the oven suffers from a lack of internal lighting and a convection system, similar to most small units like the Mueller MT-175. Moreover, having only two heating elements may not distribute heat evenly as having four.

Breville Smart Oven Pro Toaster Oven InteriorBreville BOV845BSSUSC has 4 quartz heating elements with guards, 3 guide rails with safety hooks, a light, and a fan cavity.
Breville Smart Oven Pro Toaster Oven InteriorBreville BOV845BSSUSC has 4 quartz heating elements with guards, 3 guide rails with safety hooks, a light, and a fan cavity.
The Breville BOV845BSSUSC has 2 upper heating elements, a shining light, and 3 guide rails on its left cooking chamber wall.
The Breville BOV845BSSUSC has 4 quartz heating elements, a fan cavity, and 3 guide rails on its right cooking chamber wall.
  • Heating Elements:
    5 quartz
  • Convection Fan:
    Yes
  • Lighting:
    Yes
  • Tray Levels:
    3
  • Rotisserie:
    No
  • Safety Hook:
    All three levels

The BOV845BSS has a non-stick interior coating which explains the black color. The black interior isn’t a problem though thanks to the oven’s interior light. When necessary, you can remove the glass cover to change the interior light bulb which is a G9 type, 25 W, 120 V.

Each of the three tray levels has a safety hook to prevent the oven rack from accidently sliding all the way out. However, only the bottom one is positioned further in, specifically for this purpose. The convection system, while quite powerful, is pleasantly quiet.

The Breville has five quartz heating elements that use infrared light to cook. Compared to the more common nichrome heating elements, these heat up and cool down faster while also being easier to clean and more energy-efficient but don’t last as long in terms of durability.

For this unit, each heating element has a safety guard to prevent direct contact with baking pans and trays. However, if grease splashes onto the heating elements while cooking, it’ll leave permanent stains.

Capacity

Capacity of the Breville BOV845BSS Smart Oven Pro Convection Toaster Oven
An opened front of the Hamilton Beach 31401 4-Slice Countertop Toaster Oven with interior measurements on a white background.
  • Length:
    10.9" (27.8 cm)
  • Width:
    9.4" (24.0 cm)
  • Height:
    7.1" (18.0 cm)

The Hamilton Beach, with only two tray levels, can accommodate 4 slices of toast, a 9-inch pizza, or barely a 3 lb chicken. We measured the cooking chamber’s volume to be roughly 12 liters which coincided with the manufacturer’s stated capacity.

An opened front of the Breville BOV845BSSUSC Smart Oven Pro Toaster Oven with interior measurements on a white background.
  • Length:
    14.2" (36.0 cm)
  • Width:
    13.0" (33.0 cm)
  • Height:
    8.3" (21.0 cm)

The Breville’s cooking chamber has a capacity of 25 liters which is quite common among large toaster ovens. This was one of the rare occasions where the cooking chamber’s volume that we measured matched the manufacturer’s stated capacity.

Many large units can also fit 6 slices of toast but not all can fit a 13-inch pizza like the Breville. This oven can also fit a 9-cup muffin tray or a 4.16-liter Dutch oven.

Power Cord of the Hamilton Beach 31401 Countertop Toaster Oven

Power Cord
A two-pronged plug power cord. In the background is the Hamilton Beach 31401 4-Slice Capacity Countertop Toaster Oven.
  • Length:
    29.9" (76.0 cm)
  • Type:
    2-prong plug
  • Power:
    1200 W
  • Rated Output:
    120 V ~ 60 Hz

The power cord is long enough for household use.

A three-pronged plug power cord. In the background is the Breville BOV845BSSUSC Smart Oven Pro Convection Toaster Oven.
  • Length:
    3.3 ft (1.0 m)
  • Type:
    3-prong plug
  • Power:
    1800 W
  • Rated Output:
    110 V - 120 V ~ 60 Hz

The power cord is roughly 39.37"—plenty of length for household use. It does protrude from the bottom of the oven though, which may create inconvenient bends.

Baking Rack

Accessories

Baking Rack
A stainless steel baking rack of the Hamilton Beach 31401 4-Slice Capacity Countertop Toaster Oven on a grey background.
A stainless steel baking rack of the Hamilton Beach 31401 4-Slice Capacity Countertop Toaster Oven on a grey background.
Some burnt bits on the stainless steel baking rack of the Hamilton Beach 31401 4-Slice Toaster Oven on a grey background.
  • Length:
    10.9" (27.8 cm)
  • Width:
    8.8" (22.3 cm)
  • Height:
    0.9" (2.3 cm)
  • Material:
    Stainless steel
  • Dishwasher Safe:
    Yes

The rack fits perfectly with the guide, which helps prevent accidents when placing your food in the oven. Unfortunately, by burning a batch of toast, we left some extremely stubborn burnt bits on some rods.

A stainless steel baking rack of the Breville BOV845BSSUSC Smart Oven Pro Convection Toaster Oven on a white background.
  • Length:
    14.1" (35.8 cm)
  • Width:
    11.6" (29.5 cm)
  • Height:
    0.3" (0.7 cm)
  • Material:
    Stainless steel
  • Dishwasher Safe:
    Yes

The baking rack fits perfectly with the guide to prevent accidents when placing food in the oven and has a pattern to keep the baking pan on top of it in place.

Baking Pan

Accessories

Baking Pan
A silver baking pan of the stainless steel Hamilton Beach 31401 4-Slice Countertop Toaster Oven on a grey background.
A silver baking pan of the stainless steel Hamilton Beach 31401 4-Slice Countertop Toaster Oven on a grey background.
Permanent stains on the silver baking pan of the Hamilton Beach 31401 4-Slice Countertop Toaster Oven on a grey background.Permanent stains on the silver baking pan of the Hamilton Beach 31401 4-Slice Countertop Toaster Oven on a grey background.
  • Length:
    9.3" (23.5 cm)
  • Width:
    8.1" (20.5 cm)
  • Height:
    0.7" (1.8 cm)
  • Material:
    Stainless steel
  • Dishwasher Safe:
    Yes

The baking pan rests on the supports of the baking rack to catch any drippings and meat juice, preventing any mess and the risk of fire from dirty heating elements. However, it doesn’t have a good coating and sustained permanent stains after our Baked French Fries and Whole Roasted Chicken test.

A square enamel baking pan of the Breville BOV845BSSUSC Smart Oven Pro Convection Toaster Oven on a white background.
  • Length:
    11.8" (30.0 cm)
  • Width:
    11.8" (30.0 cm)
  • Height:
    1.2" (3.0 cm)
  • Material:
    Stainless steel
  • Dishwasher Safe:
    Not advisable

The baking pan has a non-stick enamel coating. However, it’s not big enough to fit into the guide rails which means it can’t fully utilize the capacity of the cooking chamber.

Removable Crumb Tray

Accessories

Broiling Rack
A removable crumb tray of the stainless steel Hamilton Beach 31401 4-Slice Countertop Toaster Oven on a grey background.
  • Length:
    10.9" (27.8 cm)
  • Width:
    8.1" (20.5 cm)
  • Height:
    0.8" (2.0 cm)
  • Material:
    Stainless steel
  • Dishwasher Safe:
    Not advisable

Without a tray, falling crumbs are quite a hassle to clean up. However, some can still fall to the bottom of the oven as you remove the tray.

A square enamel broiling rack of the Breville BOV845BSSUSC Smart Oven Pro Convection Toaster Oven on a white background.
  • Length:
    11.8" (30.0 cm)
  • Width:
    11.8" (30.0 cm)
  • Height:
    0.9" (2.4 cm)
  • Material:
    Stainless steel
  • Dishwasher Safe:
    Not advisable

The broiling rack fits perfectly on top of the baking pan and shares the same enamel coating. It has grooves and ridges to allow for air circulation around the food as well as holes to allow the grease from the food to drip onto the pan below.

5.0

Build Quality

9.0
The front of an opened Hamilton Beach 31401 4-Slice Toaster Oven with a silver baking pan and a stainless steel oven rack.

The Hamilton uses durable material but its construction isn’t very sturdy. Even though the control knobs turned smoothly, they felt a bit loose.

The front of an opened Breville BOV845BSSUSC Toaster Oven with a pizza pan, oven rack, enamel baking pan, and broiling rack.

The Breville has a sturdy build and is made from durable stainless steel. The oven has good heat insulation and a good convection system so the casing rarely gets hot to the touch—only after a long cooking time at a high temperature (>400°F).

Its LCD has a good color contrast, the control dials turn smoothly, and the buttons have good responsiveness. On another note, this unit doesn’t provide enough oven racks to make full use of the three tray levels and additional accessories.

Note: This product adheres to the California Proposition 65.

Not Much Offered

Hamilton Beach 31401 4-Slice Toaster Oven Usability Review

Breville Smart Oven Pro Usability Review: A Few Things to Be Desired
4.6
usability Scores
  • User Control (30%)7.0/10
  • Ease of Use (50%)3.0/10
  • Cleanability (20%)5.0/10
8.0
usability Scores
  • User Control (30%)9.5/10
  • Ease of Use (50%)7.0/10
  • Cleanability (20%)8.0/10
7.0

User Control

9.5

Even though the Hamilton Beach only has three simple control knobs, there are a few things to keep in mind. For the timer knob, when setting it to less than 10 minutes, always rotate past 10 minutes and then rotate back to the desired time.

It’s also tricky to precisely adjust time and temperature but we didn’t find this to be an issue. You can use an oven thermometer and an external timer to get familiar before eye-balling it.

The timer of the Breville is specified by the minute. The temperature can be adjusted in 5°F/5°C increments by turning the knob slowly and in 10°F/10°C increments by turning the knob fast.

You can freely adjust the time and temperature while the oven is running but will need to press Cancel to change the cooking function. Keep in mind that this may repeat the automatic preheat phase if the temperature is lower than the manufacturer’s set point.

Regarding the extra unique features, the Temperature Conversion button is a nice touch for international users. The convection setting can be applied to almost all cooking functions except for Toast, Bagel, and Broil.

The Frozen Foods button adds a predetermined amount of time but only to the Toast, Bagel, Pizza, and Cookies functions. However, we didn’t find it very helpful since cooking time depends heavily on the food quantity and personal preference.

As for the extra cooking functions, the Pizza presets, with predetermined timers, aren’t very useful as they allow for temperature adjustment but don’t take the current temperature into account. The same goes for the Slow Cook function which has a predetermined temperature that isn’t stated in the manual.

According to our observation, the oven reaches and maintains at 325°F on both Low and High so we didn’t get the point of having two settings. In addition, these temperatures are quite high compared to more common slow cookers’ which are around 200°F on low and 300°F on high.

If you want to adjust the temperature for slow cooking in this oven, you can choose the Bake function for which the timer also reaches ten hours.

3.0

Ease of Use

7.0

With three control knobs, it’s very simple to readjust cooking settings. The cooking cycle finishes when the timer reaches Off. When this happens, the oven will ding once and shut off. As it has no digital display, you can freely leave this oven plugged in without worrying about power consumption.

It’s easy to keep the door partially open to let food cool down but be careful as the oven’s exterior gets hot to the touch quite quickly. However, opening the door doesn’t stop the oven, unlike some others.

The Breville has an automatic preheat phase for functions that allow for temperature adjustment as mentioned above. According to the manufacturer, this feature will preheat the oven to 75% of the input temperature before sounding an alert. However, our observation showed that it would always preheat to around 300°F taking about 4m 55s regardless of the input temperature.

Due to the eject feature mentioned above, keep in mind to open the door slowly to prevent the rack from sliding too far outward. The door can be kept partially open at an 80° angle to let food cool inside the oven. Doing this doesn’t stop the oven, unlike some others. Be careful as the door can slam shut if you slip while closing.

When the automatic preheat phase or the cooking cycle ends, the interior light will turn on and then turn off after 30 seconds, similar to when you press the light switch. Unfortunately, there’s no way to keep the light on indefinitely.

If not used for 10 minutes, the oven goes into standby mode until you press Start again. Nonetheless, it’s still advised to unplug the oven after use. Your customized setting will remain in the memory of the oven until changed or the oven is unplugged from the power outlet.

5.0

Cleanability

8.0
Caramelized bits on the upper heating element’s guard and stains on the cooking chamber ceiling of the Hamilton Beach 31401.
Caramelized bits on the upper heating element’s guard and stains on the cooking chamber ceiling of the Hamilton Beach 31401.
Washing the cooking chamber of the stainless steel Hamilton Beach 31401 4-Slice Countertop Toaster Oven with dish soap.
Grease and chicken skin stuck to the silver baking pan of the Hamilton Beach 31401 4-Slice Capacity Countertop Toaster Oven.
Brushing the stained silver baking pan of the Hamilton Beach 31401 4-Slice Toaster Oven with a bowl of baking soda and water.

The Hamilton Beach oven’s exterior and interior were easy to clean following the steps of our toaster oven cleaning guide. Due to the chicken touching the upper safeguard during cooking, there were some caramelized bits stuck to it. Nonetheless, they were easy to remove with just dish soap and a sponge.

We accidentally burnt a batch of toast during our test and it caught fire which led to some discoloration on the oven’s exterior. Luckily, we were able to remove most of it with an all-purpose cleaner.

What surprised us the most, however, were the permanent stains left on the baking pan. Even after we applied a paste of baking soda and water and then scrubbed it with diluted vinegar, the stains didn’t budge at all.

The cleaned enamel broiling rack of the stainless steel Breville BOV845BSS Smart Oven Pro Convection Toaster Oven.
The cleaned enamel broiling rack of the stainless steel Breville BOV845BSS Smart Oven Pro Convection Toaster Oven.
The cleaned enamel baking pan of the stainless steel Breville BOV845BSS Smart Oven Pro Convection Toaster Oven.

Cleaning the Breville was extremely easy thanks to its stainless steel exterior and non-stick interior. There were some tricky nooks and crannies in the cooking chamber but luckily, there was minimal grease splashing after all of our tests.

The enamel baking pan and broiling rack sported some stubborn stains from the roasted chicken even after we washed them with dish soap. Nonetheless, we took care of them quite easily by brushing them with a paste of baking soda and water. 

The slide-out crumb tray was also helpful for cleaning up the crumbs but we still had to tilt the oven to get all of the crumbs out.