Tovala Smart Oven Review
The Tovala Oven is a countertop convection oven that allows users to cook perfectly delicious meals with the push of a button. Meals are cook-ready in as little as 12 minutes, so the oven is ideal for busy families or those who want to enjoy home-cooked meals without all the hassle. The Tovala Oven also features WiFi connectivity, allowing owners to order and reorder meal kits directly from the Tovala website or app.
Ease of Use
- Clean ingredients conveniently delivered to your doorstep
- Meals are free from antibiotics, hormones, and artificial preservatives
- A wide variety of nutritious meals to choose from
- Dietary needs are available
- Just needs to be scanned and cooked
- Easy to manage subscription plan you can cancel anytime
- Quick cook time for many meals
- Eco-friendly recyclable packaging for meals
- 100-day trial
- Free shipping on any subscription plan of 6 or more meals
- This is only for the 48 contiguous states
Meal prep kits have been all the rage lately. All it takes is a credit card or PayPal-like account for you and your family to receive pre-made meals right to your home that only require a bit of cooking as long as you closely follow the meal recipe.
That sounds great in concept, but many families do not have the time for even a quick meal cooking situation. That is where the Tovala Smart Countertop Oven comes into play. This is an oven that compliments a meal service prep kit, mostly for those among us that are insanely busy.
As a brand review company, we had no problem testing out the Tovala Smart Oven and associated meal kits. Most of our review team frequently has other obligations like family, friends, side hustles, and social appointments. These are the busy people that find getting a home-cooked meal for the family to never be an easy thing.
Let’s get into the must-know features and process of using the Tovala Smart Oven and see if this cooking revolution is right for your home and life situation in this review.
Tovala was built in 2015, with the Tovala Smart Oven being the lead product brainchild of David Rabie and Bryan Wilcox. The Tovala oven idea was they were tired of trying to reinvent the wheel every week by coming up with new recipes to cook meals at home. The frustration bled over into innovation, and the Tovala Smart Oven was born.
This Tovala oven company is headquartered in Chicago and used Kickstarter to launch its meals brand, raising nearly $250,000 for the first distribution of Tovala Smart Ovens. The marketing and value proposition is to bring highly efficient home cooking to everyone through pre-made meals and an advanced Tovala smart oven.
Everything used with Tovala ovens are sourced to be fresh, with all oven-ready meals being delivered to the doorstep of members. We tried to cover all the benefits and considerations of the Tovala Smart Oven in our review because this does solve the problem of those people without a lot of time for balanced and nutritious home meals.
Tovala Smart Oven Review
The idea behind the Tovala Smart Oven is that when you have a free 5-10 minutes after work or between appointments, you cannot simply run to the grocery store and cook delicious home meals. Instead, the toaster oven like Tovala Smart Oven is designed to take pre-made healthy meals that you can toss in at a moment’s notice and get a taste, fast, and nutritious meal.
To use tovala’s meals subscription plan, you will need:
- Tovala Oven Starter kit
- Choose a meal plan that delivers between 3-16 meals per week to your home
- Have about 5 minutes for cooking and eating
- Scan your item into your Tovala Smart Oven, and it does the cooking in less than twenty minutes
Many features of the Tovala Smart Oven are worth bringing up in this review. Our review team was surprised at the efficiency of the entire Tovala Smart Oven process. This is a home brand that has taken the time to remove many of the barriers we have when thinking about home-cooked meals.
One of the first things you’ll notice about the Tovala Smart Oven is that you do not need to memorize many different settings. A scanning feature on the Tovala Smart Oven allows you to quickly scan the meal prep kit you are using, and the oven will do the rest. You unpack the Tovala oven meals, place them inside, and wait for your food to cook.
Heat & Steam
The technology behind the Tovala Smart Oven is controlled steam. This means you no longer have to worry about burning your home-cooked meals or asking if you left the Tovala oven on. Everything is based on the meals you put inside the Tovala oven. Once the timer is done, the meals are cooked to perfection based on Tovala steam oven technology, making them juicy and delicious.
Great Form Factor
The Tovala Smart Oven does not take up a bunch of counter space like other similar devices without the smart technology. The Tovala oven measures around 18.5 x 12.32 x 11.75 inches and is compact enough to be out of the way in your home kitchen but big enough to cook a pizza meal. This was a smart move by the Tovala brand because it means many people who live in urban apartments that have galley kitchens in their homes can still utilize the Tovala Smart Oven.
Integrative Mobile Application
Tovala’s brand also created a smart Tovala app to track your different meals in your subscription plan in case you want to swap out a pasta meal for steak. It also allows you to have complete control over the Tovala Smart Oven, and you can change your shipping preferences for meals in case you are out of town for a week or so.
Various Meal & Diet Plans
Another smart feature of the Tovala brand is that they include different diet plans in the meal subscriptions. You can choose from Calorie Smart, Carb Conscious, Gluten-Free, and Vegetarian meal options for your Tovala oven. That makes dieting a lot easier for those that have so little time to cook on their own.
Tovala Smart Ovens engage in circular economic values like using recycled packaging. This helps those who do not like all of the plastic in food delivery. You’ll find Tovala oven meals in aluminum cans using 100% recycled cardboard that can easily be broken down into your trash and recycling pick up.
Why is this a Smart Oven?
There are a couple of reasons why the Tovala Smart Oven brand decided on the “smart” designation. The first is the scan and cook meal option. Every pre-packaged meal comes with a card that has a QR code on it. There is a digital reader/eye at the top of the right side of the Tovala Smart Oven that can read the QR code and then set the controls to the appropriate levels for the meals you are about to cook.
The second reason the Tovala Smart Oven is “smart” is because of the integrated mobile app. The entire machine can be controlled and monitored by a mobile application. This makes it really easy to set your Tovala oven meals inside for cooking and then go grab a shower or catch up on emails. You’ll see a notification on your app when the Tovala meals are done cooking.
This Tovala oven feature alone was why our review team fell in love with the Tovala brand so much. The amount of time we have the Tovala Smart Oven running in the background means we have an excellent idea of its durability after so much use.
Tovala Meal Plans
It is worth talking a bit about the Tovala meal kits available through the member subscription process. There are tons of mouth-watering Tovala oven meal recipes to choose from, and the mobile app makes it very easy to swap out new meal ideas for others whenever you could want.
We should note that the Tovala brand is running a deal where the cost of the Tovala Smart Oven is drastically reduced if you purchase a subscription plan as well. This is called the Tovala Oven Starter Kit and includes the oven and anything else you may want for home cooking.
Tovala oven meals run at various prices, with an average of about $12 per portion. We find the prices for different subscription levels in our review to be:
- 3 meals for $35
- 4 meals for $47
- 6 meals for $71
- 8 meals for $95
- 10 meals for $119
- 12 meals for $143
- 16 meals for $191
Basically, you are paying $10-$12 per Tovala oven meal per person. So a family of 4 ordering four dinners for the week would end up paying $143 for their Tovala oven meals. That is not bad at all, considering the high cost of groceries lately and the prep time it takes to cook traditional home meals.
All the Tovala oven meals are balanced in portions appropriate for an adult male. There is plenty of nutritional value, and the Tovala oven ingredients are freshly packaged.
The Tovala brand likes to call everything “clean ingredients” because they are fresh and raw but already prepped. The Tovala oven meats are free from any antibiotics or growth hormones. Any allergens are listed on the packaging and in the app if you have a peanut issue or prefer to avoid gluten.
This is a guaranteed feature of the Tovala brand. All of your Tovala oven meals arrive in stay-cool packaging and will remain cold up to midnight on the day of delivery. Ingredients should remain fresh for up to five days when placed into your refrigerator.
We did not have a problem with any of the Tovala meal delivery service and can easily see this meal delivery system working well for anyone except maybe those living in the extreme heat of Las Vegas or Phoenix, AZ.
Pros and Cons of Tovala Smart Oven & Meal Services
Tovala Smart Oven vs. Traditional Ovens?
Yes, the Tovala Smart Oven is a gimmick, but in a good way. The Tovala oven gimmick is fast and easy meals cooking in your home from a trusted brand that does not require shopping at the grocery store or in-depth meal preparation. That is a gimmick our review team can get behind!
The Tovala Smart Oven is not a traditional oven. Instead, the Tovala oven uses steam cooking process to prepare your meals. That means if you decide to use the Tovala Smart Oven to cook cookies at home, you may have to make some adjustments. This smart oven is mostly meant to handle the brand meals sent to your home, not for cooking Thanksgiving dinner.
A traditional oven cooks using metal coils or fire. Steam from the Tovala oven allows food to retain most of the moist and juicy flavor, while traditional heat often makes it harder for even cooking in your meals.
What do Customers Think?
Our review team found the Tovala brand extremely popular with most customers on major review sites like Amazon. You should expect a review rating of around 4.6-4.8 out of 5 stars for the Tovala oven, depending on the platform you are looking at. The most significant reason people lowered their review rank for the Tovala oven had to do with the cost of the Tovala Smart Oven by itself. That can be upwards of $299+.
The most significant reason people ranked the Tovala brand high in their reviews was due to the taste of the Tovala oven meals and the convenience of the cooking model for at-home use.
As an example of what people think from a verified customer reviews of the Tovala Smart Oven:
This oven is awesome! I got it to replace my microwave. I wanted a countertop convection oven that I could cook meals in, and this oven works very well for just about everything. It steams as well, so you can cook veggies. I’m very impressed with how it cooks chicken and fish. The meat turns out tender and juicy.
I’ve tried some of Tovala’s recipes with success. I’m also on the meal delivery plan. These meals are so much better than microwave frozen meals. You get a full portion of meat, and the sides are good as well. The rice cooks to perfection. This is much better than my Blue Apron subscription.
I’m also impressed with the quality and look of the oven. The materials used are obviously durable. The smart features are very convenient and user-friendly. I use my smartphone as a hotspot to connect the oven to Wi-Fi. I haven’t had any connectivity or other troubleshooting issues. Overall I’m very impressed with this product!
Is the Tovala Smart Oven Worth It?
Yes and no. As most of our review team put it, if you have little to no time for shopping, preparing, cooking, and enjoying your meals, then Tovala is the brand for you. You get an incredibly efficient cooking model in the Tovala Smart Oven and all the variety of meals you could ever want from the available meal kit service.
If you are someone that prefers a more home-cooked meal that has carefully selected ingredients from your local farmers market, you probably do not want to invest in this smart oven.
We had three people sign up for the Tovala Smart Oven and meal subscription plan on our review team, and they are still using it a few weeks later.
It comes down to the convenience feature. This Tovala oven is a highly efficient machine for use with a family or individuals too cook meals. All of the meals are portion-controlled to help with your health and nutrition, and the Tovala Smart Oven cooks everything quickly and evenly.
The best way to take advantage of the Tovala Smart Oven is to sign up for a meal plan that will lower the price of the actual equipment. This way, you are getting your money’s worth from the beginning. When we ran the numbers on our review team, as long as we could cover at least 4 dinners with the Tovala Smart Oven, it saved us money. Keep in mind there is free shipping for 6+ meals.
Wrapping it Up
The Tovala Smart Oven is a revolutionary method to quickly and easily have home-cooked meals prepared for you at a moment’s notice. It includes a comprehensive and delicious variety of meal options available from the Tovala brand that can be delivered to your doorstep.
For our money, we think this is an excellent way to improve the home prepackaged meals of your family and gives you the convenience that many of us with full-time jobs, family, social lives, and hobbies need to balance out the rest of the day. If you’re in the market for a new oven, consider skipping the regular oven and get a Tovala. We think Tovala is an excellent choice for your home!
We hope you enjoyed this Tovala review. We want to hear what you think. Give a comment below!
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