Most Useful Gadgets –
Anyone who has shopped at a bigger-box store knows it can be hard to figure out where to begin. There are dozens upon dozens of options that all seem as worthy as the next, but the reality is that products from any given brand are not all created equal. When you shop as regularly as we do, you learn that many brands just do some things better than they do other things. Breville, we’ve found, is one of those brands. The 88-year-old Sydney-based company makes some of our favorite kitchen appliances, from coffee grinders and espresso machines to toaster ovens and juicers. Here, we’ve corralled every single appliance from Breville that our writers and editors — as well as restaurant owners, chefs, executives, and tens of thousands of Amazon reviewers — have recommended on the Strategist.
Food writer Ashley Mason first put us on the Breville Smart Grinder Pro back in 2017, writing that it “lets me adjust the fineness based on popular brew methods like French press, espresso, stove-top percolator, and drip.” And because it’s a conical burr grinder — favored by baristas everywhere — it also gives you a uniform grind every single time. Another fan of the gadget is Mike Jones, formerly director of retail at Variety Coffee Roasters, who told us, “It’s easy to use, easy to clean, and is a worthwhile investment if you want to dramatically improve the quality of your coffee at home. Just get a simple pour-over (Chemex, V60, whatever), use filtered water, buy this grinder, and some high-quality beans, and you’ll already be making better coffee than the majority of coffee shops out there. No joke.”
Breville’s line of espresso machines are consistently rated as the best for at-home coffee-making. New York City chef Missy Robbins calls the company’s Barista Pro “the perfect balance of automation and manual abilities” for beginners like herself while Amazon reviewers rank the Barista Express and the Infuser as the best all-around espresso machine and the best espresso machine with a pressure gauge, respectively. And if you really want to spend some serious cash, there’s the $2,000 Oracle, which Lyft VP Taggart Matthiesen calls “just phenomenal” and the closest he’s ever gotten to making professional-level espresso at home.
If you’re a pod loyalist, you’ll be happy to know that since 2016 Breville has had an incredibly fruitful partnership with Nespresso that’s resulted in the Creatista Plus, the best customizable single-serve pod espresso machine, according to Amazon reviewers. It’s “wonderfully easy to use” with step-by-step instructions built in and also has an easy-to-clean steam wand if you like foam on your coffee. The Vertuo, meanwhile, is a perennial favorite with nearly 3,600 four- and five-star reviews on Amazon, and it’s about a third of the price. “It brews such delicious cups of coffee and espresso in seconds,” writes one reviewer. “Not only is this machine super easy to set up and operate, but it takes up less room on my counter than my Keurig machine.”
Say you’ve already got your coffee-making situation figured out and you’re not about to buy a new machine. Why not treat yourself to Breville’s top-rated milk frother? Amazon reviewers rank it as the best multifunctional milk frother, giving users the ability to set temperatures and featuring discs specifically for lattes (smooth and silky) and cappuccinos (thick and creamy). “I truly had no idea what I had been missing out on with my other milk frother just on temperature alone,” one reviewer writes. It’s also excellent for other things, including making hot chocolate and warming breast milk.
And if you’re not a coffee drinker, Breville also makes an excellent tea-maker, according to Strategist contributor David Schwartz. Rather than invest in an electric kettle, which, as Schwartz says, “don’t do much else besides boil water better,” he invested in Breville’s all-in-one tea-maker. “Breville’s Tea Maker is perhaps the most artificially intelligent machine a tea enthusiast can buy to brew at home, a conclusion I reached after researching top-of-the-line models for weeks,” he writes. “It brews automatically, at any time of day, without you having to do anything but pour in the tea.” But the pièce de résistance? A metal-mesh basket that automatically steeps and removes loose tea leaves. “Shockingly, this is groundbreaking — I’ve yet to see a product take over this manual step,” Schwartz says. “You neither have to be present nor sentient for tea to happen.”
While Breville is strong in the coffee and tea category, it also happens to make the best-rated juicer on the market. The relatively inexpensive Juice Fountain Plus has more than 8,000 positive reviews on Amazon, with reviewers highlighting the dual settings, which allow you to juice softer fruits and vegetables like celery and spinach, as well as hardy produce like apples and carrots. Best of all, unlike many small appliances, it’s simple to wash. “[It] cleans up easier than any juicer I’ve owned,” reads one glowing review. “I’ve had other juicers where it took two people to get it apart to clean it.”
If your interest in juice begins and ends with orange, grapefruit, and other tangy juices, Spanx founder Sara Blakely says she can’t live without her sleek, motorized citrus press from Breville, which she even uses to make her own margaritas. “I squeeze fresh pink grapefruit with my Breville juicer, then muddle jalapeño in it for maybe about 30 seconds, and then I strain that grapefruit juice and put the Casa Dragones in it,” she says. “It’s become a favorite of my friends.” The best part: It’s dishwasher-safe and easy to clean.
The toaster oven is often treated like a one-note appliance, good for heating things up and not much else, but as thousands of Amazon reviewers have pointed out, Breville’s Smart Oven — the best-rated toaster oven — does that and much, much more. One reviewer says it has “virtually replaced our traditional oven,” saying it makes quick work of sheet cakes, homemade biscuits, chicken, brats, cookies, brownies, casseroles, and even a whole Christmas chicken. If you don’t have much counter space or don’t need much firepower, Breville also makes the highest-rated small toaster ovens, including a compact version and 16-inch mini-version of the original Smart Oven, the latter of which can still comfortably fit four slices of toast.
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Health-conscious folks (or people who just don’t want to deal with a fryer) will be happy to learn that Breville also makes an air-convection version of its beloved Smart Oven. Hannah and Marian Cheng, co-founders of dumpling spot Mimi Cheng’s told us, “We make everything from sweet-potato fries to crispy Brussels sprouts for a salad to fried bananas for an ice-cream sundae in this thing.” But it’s good for food that’s not fried, too. The Cheng sisters also said, “It’s the perfect size when you want to heat up a slice of pizza without having to wait for your oven to get to 350, which takes forever in our apartment.”
Here at the Strategist, we’re always looking for new ways to bring the outside world inside, including grilling in our tiny apartments. If you’re interested in doing the same or just really, really love making panini, people love Breville’s Smart Grill, featuring embedded heating elements, a slick LCD screen, and a temperature-sensitive griddle. It can handle everything from the aforementioned panini to thick chicken breasts and delicate vegetables. Though it’s small, it’s “not a toy,” promises one reviewer, while another says it’s the best grill they’ve found after trying similar products from competitors.
It may seem like Instant Pot has completely cornered the automatic-cooker market, but for anyone who had quality and versatility at the top of their list, Breville delivers in the form of its Fast Slow Pro Multi Function Cooker, one of the best-rated cookers out there. Reviewers highlight the ease of use (“It is very intuitive and does not require a seminar on how to operate it,” says one fan), the set-and-forget reliability, and the sturdy construction.
Breville also rules in the food-processor space and is our best-rated professional-grade food processor. One reviewer says, “This has been to date only surpassed by the $1,900 commercial restaurant processor,” while another says, “It shreds Parmesan as if it were butter. It does a beautiful job of thin slicing vegetables — very thin — if that is what one wants.” And the 16-cup bowl is perfect for making big batches of your favorite vegetable soup or frosting for a massive birthday cake.
Breville appliances are often pricey — in this case, a testament to the quality of its products — but the company actually makes one of the best and more affordable blenders out there. Marco Canora, the James Beard Award–winning chef of Hearth and Brodo, co-signed its Hemisphere Control blender, which has since been discontinued. But the Fresh & Furious, which has more task settings than its predecessor and two automatic smoothie settings, is a winning substitute.
Not everyone owns an immersion blender, but everyone who does own an immersion blender knows how great they are. Particularly great is Breville’s souped-up version, which happens to be our best-reviewed immersion blender with attachments. It comes with a whisk and a mini-processor for when you need to keep your immersion blending self-contained. “If I’m shelling out this kind of money on a kitchen appliance, I expect it to do the job assigned in a way that makes my day easier or more efficient,” one reviewer writes. “This is that blender.”
In addition to its longtime collaboration with Nespresso, Breville has successfully teamed up with ChefSteps on this top-selling Joule Sous Vide. The stainless-steel gadget connects to Apple and Android phones over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, maintaining the perfect temperature for hearty steaks and delicate fish. It’s one of our recommendations for a great gift for dads and Grub Street editor Alan Sytsma says it’s one of the only “real contenders in the at-home sous-vide game.”
As all of the above demonstrate, Breville has done a fantastic job marrying technology with everyday appliances. That includes its entrant into the hand-mixer category. Breville’s take not only features a timer, but also has sensors in the mixer that allow it to adjust to the viscosity of whatever you’re stirring, whether that’s whipped cream or a tough bread dough. But the most ingenious feature is the pause button. “I can add more sugar to my egg whites and then just press the pause button again to start at the speed I was at,” writes one reviewer. Why didn’t anyone else think of that?
The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.
The Strategist Guide to Shopping for Breville
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