Guide to Breville Element IQ

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Since I am a big fan of Breville (for one reason mainly – and that is their outstanding customer service), I figured that I didn’t want to spend several paragraphs to cover something that they market as a feature™ in every review of a Breville appliance that I have, so here goes. Element IQ.

What is Element IQ?

In essence, it is a way for the toaster oven to remember a specific set of settings on how to cook something. There is a lot a Breville toaster oven can do, depending on the model: 

  • Heat up the heating elements above, or below, or both,
  • Time the heat,
  • Monitor the heat,
  • Whether to use convection or not,
  • Whether to use air frying or not,
  • Etc.

So, the toaster oven has several presets that stores all these different variables. For example, to broil a turkey, you need super high heat only from the top, for toast, short-timed heat both from above and below, but for baking, say, a cake, you need constant heat without the air flow. 

The Element IQ takes care of all that, but what it also does is remember the changes you make to the preset. For example, say you pop in a pizza, and you choose the Pizza preset. Usually the oven would bake it for 15 minutes because that includes defrosting it, but you know you need to bake it – not defrost – so you dial it down to 10 minutes, and next time the oven will remember that. So that’s neat.

Should I care about Element IQ?

It depends. I would say that it just makes everything simpler. And since I am a efficiency nut, I welcome that. You will never need to check the color of the chicken roast every few minutes just to make sure that you don’t burn it. You will never need to open and close the oven during cooking. And you can forget about turning the dish upside down.

Plus, your cooking will be more consistent and many times quicker.

So, if you’re choosing between a toaster oven with Element IQ and one without, I would try and save up for the former. If you can’t – I wouldn’t worry about it too much, as the main part of the appliance is always the operator (you).

What ovens have Element IQ?

All the current Brevilles have it:

  • Mini
  • Compact
  • Pro
  • Air

What else should I keep in mind about Element IQ?

Two things:

  • When I read reviews bashing a Breville toaster oven because of how bad it cooked X, Y or Z, I am sure that 99% of the time it was because they chose the wrong preset. I know that because I’ve done that, too – choose “bake” for the chicken and then complain it takes so long. When I switched to “roast”, it magically cooked the thing twice as fast – duh. I just needed to learn the ropes.
  • Don’t worry about the quartz heating elements flickering. That is how they heat up.

That’s it for Element IQ.

See you soon,


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