Smart ovens, connected ovens – whatever you call them – are growing in popularity. Half a dozen models are equipped with Wi-Fi and accompanying smartphone apps. The Brava is a little different; Instead of using conventional heating elements, it cooks with light ̵
In fact if you visit Brava by clicking the link you can, including Bake & Breakfast ($ 1,045) and Chef’s Choice ($ 1,245). Either way, you get the Brava oven, temperature sensor, and two-year Brava Plus membership that contain regularly updated recipes that are sent straight to the oven (and your mobile app). The difference between the bundles is in the different accessory trays and pans.
Even on the lower end, the Brava Starter Set costs $ 845, which is a lot of money for a countertop stove. So that’s why I’ve spent some time putting it through its paces. It is important to get an idea of the Brava as it doesn’t work like a typical toaster where you just throw some food on the tray and turn it on.
Instead, you search for recipes using the touchscreen display on the Brava itself or the mobile app on your phone. This interface is especially cool; When you find a recipe you want to make while lying on the sofa, with a single tap you can send it to the oven so it’s ready for you for dinner.
The app contains recipes for individual ingredients like chicken, fish or pizza, as well as complete meals with protein and vegetables – around 650 in total, and new ones are added every month. When you’re ready to cook, arrange the items on the tray as instructed, then slide them into the oven and let the brava take them from there.
Each tray has clearly marked cooking zones: you can, for example, arrange fish in one zone and vegetables in another zone, as the Brava can precisely cook each zone individually thanks to the high-tech light wave cooking. Some recipes urge you to insert the included temperature probe into your protein, while others just cook according to the time. Regardless, thanks to the cameras in the oven, you can check the progress without opening the door.
I admit: I love to cook and I love kitchen toys. My sous vide cooker is a valuable possession and I subscribe to various meal delivery services so I can easily prepare fairly elaborate meals every night of the week. With that in mind, I’ll say I really enjoyed the brava. There is a good selection of recipes in the Brava database, including some really tasty desserts. In addition to making traditional dinners like chicken and sweet potatoes, I’ve made my own homemade chicken tenders, homemade pizza (an easy starter recipe for those new to Brava), and different types of apple turnovers, to name a few things that came out of the oven. Everything was great and the included trays and pans are easy to clean up in the dishwasher.
There are some notable caveats. The Brava takes up a lot of counter space – a serious limitation in my current kitchen – and at the same time, the actual interior space is quite limited so you won’t be making large meals on this one. And while you can take the stick and fly manually, the best Brava experience happens when you choose a recipe, follow the instructions, and create something from the Brava database. You can.
This article was first published last week.
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