For some people, cooking a delicious supper is a therapeutic pastime to enjoy at the end of a busy day. For others, it is nothing better than a fallen tree on the road to sating hunger. Microwave cooking often appears to be a happy medium, but ready-meals are usually both unhealthy and incredibly unappetizing. Tovala could be the solution. This smart oven is designed to remove virtually all human input from the cooking process.
The laziest chefs can subscribe to the food delivery service provided by the same startup that makes the oven. To cook the chef-made dishes it provides, you simply scan the barcode on the packaging of each meal with a free smartphone app. This sends comprehensive cooking instructions to the oven, which takes between 10 and 30 minutes to cook the dish.
Alternatively, you can use the Tovala to cook any other food, subject to the tiniest increase in effort. Although the device is described as an oven, it can actually broil, steam and convection heat, just like the combination ovens installed in professional kitchens. You simply tell the oven what’s cookin’, and leave it to work. The app also lets you order pre-prepared meals and share recipes with other Tovala users.
The makers of the oven recognize it is slower than using a microwave. For instance, instead of reheating your slice of pizza in 1 minute, you will be waiting 3½ minutes with Tovala. The claim is, however, that the outcome is significantly better — crispy crust, fresh taste, and so on. Anecdotal comparisons between the two cooking styles tell this food-loving author that this is probably true.
The smart oven already has the necessary funds to go into production, thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign. At the time of writing, backers can still pre-order the smart oven for $239, ahead of an expected retail price of $329. The first units will ship by the end of this year, by which time there may be additions to the current selection of five on-demand meals.
Can you see yourself using the Tovala oven? Let Us know in the comments!