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Joule Oven Air Fryer Pro


btbyrd
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Breville and ChefSteps (which was acquired by Breville a couple years ago) recently released the Joule Oven, which is a Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro with integrated software control via a smartphone app. There's not a ton of information on what exactly it can do online, but the app is a free download and you can browse the recipes on there even if you don't have an oven. This is very interesting, but it seems that the oven isn't programmable by the end user and that you're locked into using the ChefSteps recipes if you want to do put a cook on "autopilot" (where there are several programmable stages). This is in contrast to something like the APO which allows users to program their own recipes. The Joule Oven is $499 (or $549 for their black stainless version, which looks cool but would probably be less easy to clean in the long run). This is a $100 premium over the normal price of the SOAFP, which happens to be $50 off right now at $349. I wonder if having a smartphone controllable version of the SOAFP is worth a $150 premium. If it's not programmable, I'm sort of dubious. If it is worth the premium, I hope they make some more in-depth marketing videos that explain what it's capable of.

 

The CS promo video:

 

I've wanted a new countertop oven for many years but have held off. I am attracted to the APO, but it is huge and doesn't make decent toast. I've thought about getting the APO and a Breville Bitmore toaster (well reviewed online) but having one giant thing and a toaster on my counter would cramp things. The combo would also cost $700. The normal SOAFP, by contrast, is smaller and makes decent toast -- at least in the middle. It seems there are some colder zones on the sides of the oven that don't toast as evenly. It does lack steam, which kind of bums me out. Actually, what bums me out is that the Joule Oven lacks steam. In my imagination, a Joule Oven is a countertop combi. (Your imagination may vary.) But I already have a few circulators, so the sous vide mode wouldn't be that interesting... and I don't bake bread, so getting improved oven spring isn't a top priority for my usage. Which makes me wonder if paying twice as much for the giant APO and a toaster is worth it when I can just get a non-smartphone-ified SOAFP for $350 and (probably) be very happy with it.

Edited by btbyrd (log)
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I'm very happy with my BSOA.  It cooks great.

 

I would have no need for preprogrammed stuff, and am suspicious of too much technology in a unit that gets HOT.

 

 

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30 minutes ago, btbyrd said:

The Joule Oven is $499 (or $549 for their black stainless version, which looks cool but would probably be less easy to clean in the long run). This is a $100 premium over the normal price of the SOAFP, which happens to be $50 off right now at $349. I wonder if having a smartphone controllable version of the SOAFP is worth a $150 premium. If it's not programmable, I'm sort of dubious. If it is worth the premium, I hope they make some more in-depth marketing videos that explain what it's capable of.

I bought the SS Joule Oven (to replace this nearly-new Cuisinart oven) and it arrived yesterday. I haven’t cooked in it yet, but I have tried all the basic functions to become familiar with it. I have the app installed and I like that you get notifications, similar to a controller on a pellet grill. I’m a ChefSteps member and I got a 6 month membership extension, so that amounted to a $30 discount.

 

I don’t think I would use the pre-programmed recipes in the Joule app now, but I wanted this model as I expect there will be a lot of features added in the future, including (hopefully) programming one’s own recipes. ChefSteps has more info on the oven, including videos, on their site, but I can’t tell you if you need to be a CS member to see it. ChefSteps

 

In case anyone is wondering, I’m replacing the Cuisinart because of it’s lacking capacity. If they would have made the width 1/2” wider, it would be able to use 1/4 sheet pans. It’s otherwise a fine oven. I experienced a similar issue with a Cuisinart immersion blender. It was an extremely well designed, from a feature perspective, blender but it’s head was about 1/8” in diameter too big to fit inside a wide-mouth mason jar. 
 

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6 minutes ago, btbyrd said:

No, there’s just a wifi (or Bluetooth, I can’t remember) version of the SOAFP called the Joule Oven.

It’s both WiFi and Bluetooth capable, as well as voice activated with either Google Assistant or Alexa. Not compatible with Siri. 

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At this point, I'm not sure who's actually selling this thing: ChefSteps, Joule or Breville. I got an email from ChefSteps (they developed the Joule, right?), but the looks of it are almost 100% Breville (which now owns ChefSteps and Joule, right?)

 

They've added an air-fryer function and two phone apps to the SmartOven Air. If I'm reading correctly, one (the Joule Oven App) can control oven functions, though it doesn't appear to be required to operate the oven. The other app is called Autopilot, and appears to include step-by-step instructions coordinated with oven control. There's also video on one of the apps. At this point, I get confused about what's where. It appears that the apps are free.   

 

The Breville Smart Oven Pro (the deluxe version of what's known hereabouts as the BSO) is $230. Right now, you can even get a BSO Air Pro for $350. The JOAFB (to coin an abbreviation) is 500 bucks, Is it worth it for two apps? Am I missing some really cool function of the JOAFB?

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Dave Scantland
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I got some email the other day that said that Joule is making a modified BSO.

 

I think you are right @Dave the Cook. Its not worth the money. And might even be a bug-plagued thing with the app controller retrofitted into a BSOA.

 

From what I read (and infer) the Joule oven doesn't approach the Anova one.

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17 minutes ago, gfweb said:

I got some email the other day that said that Joule is making a modified BSO.

 

I think you are right @Dave the Cook. Its not worth the money. And might even be a bug-plagued thing with the app controller retrofitted into a BSOA.

 

From what I read (and infer) the Joule oven doesn't approach the Anova one.

 

What modifications are they making to the BSO, did they say?

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The Joule Oven the exact same product as the Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro but it has wifi and an app with recipes. You can download the app yourself and see what's on offer. The app can "run" recipes that have multiple cooking stages, but as of right now you cannot program your own recipes and have them run "on autopilot." I assume they'll add this functionality sometime, but maybe not.

 

The SOAFP is on sale right now for $350. The Joule Oven is $500. That's a 43% premium for added wifi and an app with little content as of yet. I have faith that there's going to be a lot more recipes added in the coming years, but I don't think the value proposition right now is worth the very significant expense. I also think it's stupid to introduce a new flagship model at full price and put an otherwise identical model on sale at the same time. The Joule Oven is available exclusively through Breville and Williams-Sonoma. I have tried in vain to find discount codes that would help make the oven cheaper.

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1 hour ago, Dave the Cook said:

100% Breville (which now owns ChefSteps and Joule, right?)

 

Yes. And Baratza. And some of Poly Sci, I think. And who knows what else? Lots of cash down there.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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1 hour ago, Dave the Cook said:

 

They've added an air-fryer function and two phone apps to the SmartOven Air. If I'm reading correctly, one (the Joule Oven App) can control oven functions, though it doesn't appear to be required to operate the oven. The other app is called Autopilot, and appears to include step-by-step instructions coordinated with oven control. There's also video on one of the apps. At this point, I get confused about what's where. It appears that the apps are free.   

There is only one app, but some of the recipes in the app require multiple stages (times, temps, etc.)  and those are controlled with Autopilot. The balance of the recipes are straightforward time, temp, duration. I suspect there will be a lot of additional technology incorporated with the oven and app. As one example, I would expect that Chris Young’s forthcoming Combustion, Inc. wireless thermometer will be integrated with the oven. Just my opinion given the prior relationships involved here-I have no inside info on this. 

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You can also get the Joule Oven in a black and red color scheme for an added $50, but that black finish is going to be harder to maintain than shiny stainless over time. And if you're spending $550 and want a black smart oven, you might as well spend the extra $50 and get the APO. It's got steam, it's got a probe, and it's capable of true low temperature cooking. The PID on the Breville seems to be accurate to +/- 5 degrees F, which might not be a big deal if it spends roughly the same amount of time over and under... but you're still working with dry bulb temperatures and any protein cooked in there will be meat-sweating itself to cooler temps... so it's not really going to be safe to try to do sous-vide-esque low temp cooks in the Breville. But that's not really the point of the unit anyway.

 

I for one would not expect the Combustion Inc. thermometer to work with the Joule Oven at any point. I guess that'd be cool, but I don't see Breville taking the time to integrate a niche third party accessory into their product. Now if Breville came out with their own cheap wireless probe thermometer, that'd be something. I think they missed an opportunity by not integrating a probe. Or adding steam. Oh well.

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35 minutes ago, weinoo said:

And who knows what else?

 

Quote

North America In North America, the Group distributes its range of internally designed and developed kitchen products under the Breville and Baratza brands through premium channels and its own direct-to-consumer e-commerce platform. From the second half of the 2018 financial year, the Breville brand included a range of Breville co-branded Nespresso coffee machines as one of Nespresso’s machine partners in North America. North American revenues also include a USA based culinary division –PolyScience, one of the world’s market leaders in premier sous vide cooking in both the commercial and professional markets.

 

Quote

In July 2019, the Group completed the acquisition of ChefSteps, incorporating both the connected IoT Joule sous vide immersion circulator, as well as taking over the ChefSteps.com web property. The Joule immersion circulator has been fully incorporated into the Breville brand through the introduction of a new version of the product, and the website property has been re-invogorated, and a new editorial product placed behind a paywall, Studio Pass, was successfully introduced by the team in 2020.

 

Annual Report 2021  ( $91mm net profit after tax)

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

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56 minutes ago, btbyrd said:

I for one would not expect the Combustion Inc. thermometer to work with the Joule Oven at any point. I guess that'd be cool, but I don't see Breville taking the time to integrate a niche third party accessory into their product. Now if Breville came out with their own cheap wireless probe thermometer, that'd be something. I think they missed an opportunity by not integrating a probe. Or adding steam. Oh well.

 

I wouldn't expect it, either. Don't they have probe technology (such as it is) in-house, with the Control Freak?

Dave Scantland
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The Control Freak probe is, for lack of a better term, a dumb technology probe. Who would prefer a wire probe for use inside their home oven? The wireless probs from MEATER and soon from Combustion are next level in how they monitor ambient and food temps. Combustion has already said they are working with oven appliance manufacturers to pair their thermometer technology, so time will tell what that looks like. 

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I don't really see the need for a probe that monitors ambient temperatures in tightly thermostatically regulated environments like a PID controlled oven, water bath, or induction burner. And while the Combustion Inc thing seems cool with its many sensors and predictive timer/app, it's also $200 and I'm passing on that. (It's also still kinda vaporware, but global supply chains are screwed and I'm not blaming Chris Young for that.) I don't know that anyone is going to shell out $700 so their $350 toaster oven can have a probe and an app. Or maybe they would. I can't say. Speaking for myself, I guess it'd be cool to have, but as with the $150 premium on the Joule Oven over the non-Joule version of the same oven, I don't know that the unique value proposition of that setup is especially high.

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1 hour ago, btbyrd said:

I don't really see the need for a probe that monitors ambient temperatures in tightly thermostatically regulated environments like a PID controlled oven, water bath, or induction burner. And while the Combustion Inc thing seems cool with its many sensors and predictive timer/app, it's also $200 and I'm passing on that. (It's also still kinda vaporware, but global supply chains are screwed and I'm not blaming Chris Young for that.) I don't know that anyone is going to shell out $700 so their $350 toaster oven can have a probe and an app. Or maybe they would. I can't say. Speaking for myself, I guess it'd be cool to have, but as with the $150 premium on the Joule Oven over the non-Joule version of the same oven, I don't know that the unique value proposition of that setup is especially high.

You don’t think that there are already people today buying the wireless MEATER probe for use in a PID controlled pellet grill that comes standard with wired temp probes? And I assure you there are people in this thread who have, or will be, buying the Joule oven and Combustion probe. Just because you are not their market doesn’t mean there is no market for this technology. 

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Posted (edited)

I'm sure there are. I'm just saying that if you have a well regulated environment controlled by a PID, having an additional widget measure ambient temperature isn't going to tell you anything new. It'd be like having an extra thermometer reading the temperature of a sous vide bath when there's already a thermometer measuring that temperature in the circulator.

The Breville ovens have excellent temperature control. If I set them to 350F, I don't know that I'd want or need an additional gizmo to tell me that the oven is set to 350F. Maybe some people would find that information worth paying for, but a smart thermometer is of diminished utility in a smart oven (or on a Control Freak, or for use with a circulator).

Pellet grills are larger and more prone to having hotter and colder zones, so that's kind of a different ballgame. But I take your point... different strokes for different folks. If people have the Joule Oven and also have a Combustion probe, it'd be cool to use them together. But I think the number of people who would buy Chris Young's thermometer just to use with the Joule Oven is quite small. 

Edited by btbyrd (log)
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