Welcome to the future, where we fry things with air. Breville’s new Joule Oven Air-Fryer Pro is the latest iteration of a countertop oven line celebrated for its reliability and power. It takes its name from the popular sous vide device Joule, and looks to mimic the same precision cookery immersion circulators are known for. The oven works in conjunction with a new smartphone app (available on App Store and Google Play) to automate entire recipes once it comes time to put your food in the oven. Are these glitzy new features worth shelling out the clams for, or is it mostly hot air? In short: yes. Hot air, after all, is sort of a given when you’re talking about ovens. Here’s my review of the Breville Joule Oven Air-Fryer Pro and its features.

What is the Breville Joule Oven Air-Fryer Pro?

Specs:
Dimensions: 21.5 inches W x 17.3 inches L x 12.8 inches D
Weight: 23 pounds
Power: 1800 watts
Voltage: 120 volts
Temperature Range: 80-480 degrees Fahrenheit
Settings: Toast, Bagel, Bake, Air Fry, Broil, Roast, Pizza, Cookies, Proof, Reheat, Slow Cook, Keep Warm, Dehydrate
Accessories: 13-inch non-stick pizza pan, 2 wire racks, 9 x 13-inch broiling rack, 9 x 13-inch enamel roasting pan, air fry/dehydrate basket

Design

The outside shell of the Breville Joule Oven Air-Fryer Pro is made of brushed stainless steel, and the inside of the oven is lined with a non-stick coating. More on that later. Each oven comes with three wire racks, two regular ones, and an air-fryer basket that doubles as a rack. The regular wire racks can be inserted one of two ways in four different slots, providing up to eight different oven positions to suit whatever recipe you’re making. On the right side of the oven, a large fan helps circulate the air to where it needs to go. Across from the fan is a big, bright light which can be turned on via a small button on the device’s control panel. Speaking of which, you can control many of the cooking functions via a gorgeous LCD screen. Like any solid device that’s going to be used to make a lot of toast, there’s also a removable crumb tray.

Thirteen endlessly customizable cooking settings on a bright LCD screen. Jaime Carrillo/Futurism

The outside shell of the Breville Joule Oven Air-Fryer Pro is made of brushed stainless steel, and the inside of the oven is lined with a non-stick coating. More on that later. Each oven comes with three wire racks, two regular ones, and an air-fryer basket that doubles as a rack. The regular wire racks can be inserted one of two ways in four different slots, providing up to eight different oven positions to suit whatever recipe you’re making. On the right side of the oven, a large fan helps circulate the air to where it needs to go. Across from the fan is a big, bright light which can be turned on via a small button on the device’s control panel. Speaking of which, you can control many of the cooking functions via a gorgeous LCD screen. Like any solid device that’s going to be used to make a lot of toast, there’s also a removable crumb tray.

Tech and Power

If you start it up, if you start it up, it never stops (until you tell it to). Jaime Carrillo/Futurism

The Breville Joule Oven Air-Fryer Pro comes with thirteen different cooking modes, it also works in tandem with a companion app, Joule Oven. Like the Joule Sous Vide app, it’s filled with guided recipes for everything from buttery croissant-style crescent rolls to air-fried buffalo cauliflower wings. Each recipe includes a detailed parts list, prep and cooking time, difficulty, and even serving size. Step-by-step instructions even come with detailed video components so there’s little to no guesswork. When making a recipe, the oven will even help begin the preheating process, an often overlooked step by many home cooks (including myself). Certain recipes take advantage of Joule Autopilot, which cycles any given recipe through different temperatures and modes totally hands off, so you don’t have to futz with the oven until the cooking’s done. Once food is finished, the oven will send an alert to your phone, so you can rush over and pluck your perfectly cooked creations out. Like other countertop ovens in the Breville line, it’s powered by the Element IQ system, which distributes heat around the oven, eliminating cold spots and cooking food a little more precisely than a typical oven.

Breville Joule Oven Air-Fryer Pro Review: Is it Worth It?

First Impressions

This oven is big, a real heckin’ chonker. With a device this flashy, I always make sure to actually read the instruction manual, as there’s usually a recommended list of things to do when first firing it up. And considering this is a massive countertop oven with its own smartphone app, there was in fact a setup waiting for me, all of it done through the Joule Oven app. After starting an account, I connected my oven to my home’s WiFi and performed the recommended first firing. After heating the oven empty for a little more than 15 minutes as Breville recommends, the oven was ready to use. 

Breville Joule Oven Air-Fryer Pro boasts many capabilities, but I figured I’d gauge the simple stuff before I dove deep into the fancier features. After letting the oven cool down completely, I timed how long it took to go from zero to 480 degrees Fahrenheit, which is as high as the oven goes. Using the “Bake” function, the oven took almost exactly five minutes to preheat. Not too shabby. But the oven sports multiple functions, so it’s only fair to try out another one. “Air Fry” was next, complete with its convection setting. Once again, it took five minutes to preheat. This oven is consistent and quick when it comes heating up, at the very least.

Truly “Super” Convection

“Super Convection” provides an onslaught of hot air to make air-fried food as crispy as possible, without the added fat. Jaime Carrillo/Futurism

On the right side of the oven is a massive fan which offers two different convection settings, regular convection and “Super Convection.” The latter makes the oven operate a little louder than usual, with a whirring noise that echoed throughout the kitchen as I heated the oven for the frozen french fries to come. “Air frying” is the most clever marketing term since “blast processing.” These devices are little more than small ovens with big fans. And while air frying isn’t nearly as delicious as anything deep fat fried, it’s still something I do at least a few times a week. It’s easy, it’s quick, and when done right, incredibly satisfying. Breville Joule Oven Air-Fryer Pro comes with a fryer basket, which is a must for any device with “air fryer” in its name. These baskets allow for hot air to come at food from all sides, which is essential if crunchy food is your aim. After laying out some frozen french fries in a single layer, I slid the basket into the center of the oven, which was on full blast, 480 degrees.

Most countertop air fryers are enclosed, so you can’t watch your food cooking and check on the progress of it becoming golden brown and delicious. But that’s not the case with the Joule Oven. Watching french fries through the big glass screen on the Joule oven was mesmerizing. The “Super Convection” fan made the small amount of fat on the fries bubble up, like it was actually being fried. After eight minutes and a quick shake of fry seasoning, I scarfed down the best batch of air-fried potatoes I’d ever eaten. Later on that evening, I tried to see if other frozen favorites like mozzarella sticks and chicky nuggies would render similarly tasty results. Luckily, they did. “Super Convection” is no joke. Because the air circulates quicker with “Super Convection” I can’t imagine never not using it whenever a convection setting is called for in a recipe, especially in air frying.

Highs and Lows

Heat low enough to dehydrate fruit, and high enough to make a solid weeknight pie. Jaime Carrillo/Futurism

Countertop ovens are great at dishing out energy a little more efficiently. After all, whenever you make a batch of cookies, how much of your oven is actually used? I’d bet less than 30 percent of the given space. That’s a lot of wasted energy, not to mention time. That said, on the whole, the oven on your stove can get as hot as 500 degrees, sometimes as high as 550 degrees Fahrenheit. And while the Breville Joule Oven Air-Fryer Pro doesn’t reach these high temps, it does go very, very low. As low as 85 degrees Fahrenheit, in fact.

If you try to dehydrate meat or fruit inside a regular oven, there’s a good chance you’re cooking it, not drying it out. When buying groceries, I tend to overbuy fresh fruit, with every intention to start a habit of health-conscious snacking. While bananas haven’t spoiled in my kitchen in months, there’s always a stray pineapple or mango that goes ignored until it’s within a day of spoiling. Using the air-fryer basket, thin slices of almost rotten fruit become properly dehydrated within a few hours. The “Dehydrating” function on the oven runs a little hot for my taste, but The Breville Joule allows you to adjust the heat on any setting. The “Super Convection” function helps circulate the air, turning fruit into delicious leather in as little as three hours. 

The oven also comes with a non-stick pizza pan, which is a fantastic accessory. It makes perfect Toll House cookies straight from the fridge, and because it’s non-stick, also works as a surface for nachos, disco fries, croque monsieurs, or anything smothered in cheese, without the need to waste aluminum foil. What it’s not good for is actually making pizza, that is, unless you like your pizza on the blonde and saggy side. Non-stick surfaces just don’t dish out heat very well. Sadly, my 14-inch cooking steel (my go-to must-have pizza pal) didn’t fit in the oven. Luckily, my versatile cast-iron griddle did. Breville Joule Oven Air-Fryer Pro made pizzas as good as my big oven, granted, a little smaller. The cast-iron griddle in conjunction with the “Pizza” function on 480 degrees Fahrenheit dished out enough heat for a nice charred crust with a satisfying crunch. And without heating up the entire kitchen, no less. 

Joule App Capabilities and Pratfalls

Surf through countless recipes when dinner time rolls around. Jaime Carrillo/Futurism

Many kitchen appliance smartphone apps are afterthoughts, a cynical selling point which usually don't amount to much more than heartache. I went in with hope, considering this is the second device bearing the name Joule. The Joule Sous Vide app is what makes that immersion cooker so perfect, with built-in recipes, guided videos, and alerts to keep you connected with your food every step of the cooking process. The Joule Oven app works similarly, complete with a bounty of recipes. Every recipe listed includes cooking time, serving size, and a visual parts list, which automatically makes it one of the best cooking apps available. After surfing through the available recipes, I had to try one that took advantage of Breville Joule Oven Air-Fryer Pro’s smart capabilities: Set-It-and-Forget-It Rotisserie-Style Chicken.

The app promises a chicken with a juicy interior and golden skin, much like the kind that gets folks to splurge on a Costco membership. After gathering the ingredients, I got to work, following the guided recipe to the tee. I was immediately annoyed that I had to truss the bird. Handling raw poultry is one thing, but wrestling with string is a whole other one. I can’t truss to save my life, which is why I typically take the “Mortal Kombat” approach with birds and rip out the spine, which in my opinion, is much easier than fumbling around with knots. Was it impossible? Of course not. What was annoying was something I didn’t account for: time. The bird would take five hours to cook. However, it truly was a set-it-and-forget-it experience. After seasoning it, I shoved it in the oven and using the patented “Autopilot” mode, let the oven do the rest. 

It was interesting watching the Joule Oven cook. Harnessing highs and lows of temperature, it more or less mimicked the way a rotisserie works. Yes, it took five hours, but the results spoke for themselves. After a quick temping of the dark meat, I let the bird rest for fifteen minutes. Then, despite having already eaten dinner, my partner and I devoured half the bird over the counter it was resting on. It was perfectly cooked, even though it required cumbersome string and the equivalent run time of one-and-a-half “The Godfather” films to cook. 

There’s one thing about the app that I do find a bit annoying. You can turn the oven off using the app, but you can’t turn it on. And unless you’re using a recipe, you can’t even set a temperature for the oven to preheat to. Turning on the oven must be done manually. A safety issue, I imagine, but similar “smart” ovens let you turn the oven on via app. I’d love to place sliced milk bread slices in at night, and set the oven to toast as I slink out of bed and brush my teeth, so breakfast is waiting for me by the time I trudge into the kitchen. Despite these minor gripes, I’m excited to see more recipes roll out from the app and try them out. 

A Few Other Fabulous Features

Keeping Joule Oven squeaky clean is so easy you’ll actually do it. Jaime Carrillo/Futurism

I’ve used a handful of other countertop ovens and as flashy as they are, there are some things that are often overlooked. No appliance, no matter how smart, is worth using if it’s difficult to clean and maintain. Anytime I cook chicken thighs, bacon, or other splattery foods, I let the oven cool down completely, and wipe it down with a towel barely wet with all-purpose surface cleaner. The non-stick interior is a godsend, and there’s a good chance I won’t ever have to break out the Easy Off to keep the Breville Joule Oven Air-Fryer Pro pristine. Unlike similarly-sized ovens, the door is incredibly easy to clean as well. I took a lot of joy watching food as it cooked to perfection. And the incredibly bright oven light makes everything made in the oven camera-ready, in case you want to flex on the haters for your Instagram.

Other ovens in Joule’s class cynically make you buy extra accessories to take advantage of all features. Breville Joule Oven Air-Fryer Pro comes with two oven racks, an air-fryer basket, a non-stick pizza pan, and even a broiler pan complete with rack, everything you need to put this machine through the ringer. And because the inside of the oven is so spacious, it can fit oven-ready cookware you already own. My four-quart Staub enamel dutch oven fits with room to spare on all sides, even with its lid.

Final Thoughts on the Breville Joule Oven Air-Fryer Pro

The second, in what I hope eventually becomes a long line of kitchen appliances bearing the name “Joule,” is a resounding success. This oven is large enough to compete with your main oven, and is a good bit smarter too. After almost three weeks of intense use, I’ve started using my main oven to store extra pots and pans. Its lows are gentle enough to proof bread and dehydrate fruit, and its highs are enough to dish out surprisingly good pizza. While it’s great alone, pairing it with the Joule Oven App unlocks serious precision potential, and with guided video instructions, you may even pick up a few skills along the way. Those looking for a countertop oven with serious potential, look no further than Breville Joule Oven Air-Fryer Pro.

Related: Breville Control Freak Review

This post was created by a non-news editorial team at Recurrent Media, Futurism’s owner. Futurism may receive a portion of sales on products linked within this post.


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