One of the core discussions around the smart kitchen at SKS over the past three years has been the function and usability of smart devices in the kitchen. What devices will actually help us cook better food more easily and what are just silly attempts at connectivity for connectivity’s sake?

Breville has a different take on what makes an appliance smart, and it goes well beyond the ability to connect to its devices via a smart app. The new Breville Smart Oven Air has unique technology that allows for incredibly precise temperature control and can actually change how the heat is distributed. In other words, depending on the requirements of the specific dish you’re cooking, you can make the oven hotter at the front, top, bottom, or back of the chamber.

Allen Weiner of The Spoon sat down with Scott Brady, General Manager of Global Marketing at Breville at the 2017 Smart Kitchen Summit to talk about how Breville’s smart oven makes life easier in the kitchen. According to Brady, “this precise heat distribution lets you complete a lot of simple cooking tasks a lot better.”

For example, if you’re baking a cake, you’ll want the heat focused on the bottom of the oven to prevent it from cracking; whereas, for a pizza, you’ll want the heat evenly distributed throughout. Both are possibilities with the Breville oven, so that you can get the perfect finish no matter what you’re cooking. And the guesswork of how to heat and at what temperature isn’t left up to the user – the oven will course correct and heat to perfection no matter what the dish.

Another trend in kitchen appliances seems to be more all-in-one functionality. The future kitchen will likely not have a slow cooker, an oven, a toaster, a microwave and a sous vide machine but rather one or two devices that does most of that with ease. Breville is trying to pull that off with the Smart Oven Air. For one, it’s bringing in air-frying, which is a much healthier way to prepare your favorite fried foods. Instead of using hot oil, the oven uses fast-moving convection heat to mimic the effect of a traditional deep-fryer. Precise temperature control and regulated air movement mean that this oven can also dehydrate fruit, as well as act as a slow-cooker.

The question is: The Breville oven may be smart, but where does the company stand on connectivity?

For Breville, Brady says, “We don’t want to be connected for connected’s sake.” Instead, their goal is to create products that offer unique, new technology that’s truly helpful—not cumbersome. The future of smart kitchen devices is creative technology that actually makes culinary tasks easier for the user when combined with the convenience of an app, a built-in recipe database and intelligence baked into the device itself.

Brady says Breville is working on products that meet this promise, and you can expect them in 2018.

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