1. Brava Smart Countertop OvenGet it now on Amazon.com
Brava Oven Review
What We Like
- Requires No Supervision While Cooking
- A quick and helpful response to client inquiries
- Very adaptable to individual needs
What We Don’t Like
- A separate wire is required
- Long and winding road to mastery
- Extremely costly
- While they may save time, predetermined recipes are not always effective
So that our reviewer could put the Brava Smart Countertop Oven through its paces in her own kitchen, we went out and bought one. To learn more about this product, please continue reading.
The Brava Smart Countertop Oven is just one item that exemplifies how Internet of Things (IoT) has revolutionized the kitchen and how people utilize their equipment. These Internet of Things enabled home appliances may be managed and interacted with remotely using our mobile devices and/or cloud-based platforms. With the help of recent developments in machine learning and artificial intelligence, these appliances are quickly moving from “smart” to “intelligent,” where they can really perform the job for you while also adjusting to and learning from your preferences.
Smart ovens offer the potential for home-cooked meals for individuals who don’t have the time to cook or simply are not culinarily inclined and even for those who love to cook but also enjoy utilizing technology. Cooking salmon with a crisp exterior, but a delicate core is an artform chefs pride themselves on. Can an oven mimic that? Is it feasible to bake a meal with many components all on the same plate without any of them being undercooked? The Brava oven markets itself as a cutting-edge appliance that can cook numerous dishes at once using its proprietary Pure Light Cooking TM technology and recognize how each dish should be prepared.
In order to shed some insight on the functionality of the Brava Oven, I put the beginning set to the test. Keep reading for my thoughts on this stovetop.
Hookup process requires a separate 20-amp circuit.
The oven can’t be used without a separate AFCI circuit breaker rated for 20 amps. I double-checked the wiring to make sure it was a 12-gauge wire and that the circuit breaker was likewise rated at 20-amps. When I was using the Brava, I made sure it was the only thing plugged into that outlet.
The oven generates a little of hot air when cooking, so I had to make sure it was situated at least 4 inches away on both sides from any wall. Once connected in, I followed the on-screen directions to connect the Brava to my home Wi-Fi. The remainder of the setup is very standard—I logged in, downloaded the app on my phone, and followed the steps on the display panel. New users may join up for a free live lesson, and Brava also provides a full video tutorial that covers the setup and answers many questions.
Sleek, cutting-edge design
The smooth lines and cube form make the oven seem rather beautiful. The intelligently designed display screen is on top, which makes it simple to interact with the oven and read instructions. The oven’s supplied cooking trays have dimensions of around 8.5 by 11.5 inches. While I was able to roast a duck and two entire big chickens with a dry rub and a spatchcock, respectively, in this oven, neither the turkey nor a dozen large cookies would fit. I could probably only eat around six of the double chocolate chip cookies at once. That’s not a problem if you only have a cookie desire around midnight, but it’s not very useful if you want to make a bunch. The area is little.
These six unique lights illuminate certain areas of the oven. This is how the Brava prepares food: using light. There are two lights in each section, one at the ceiling and one at the floor. The cooking modes set the maximum and minimum temperatures for the lights. The Brava can cook a variety of foods at once because of this. It has the ability to create a sear in one area while slowly cooking in another. My favorite part of this oven was the clever multi-zone cooking options.
When the remainder of the counter is in use, you may use the silicon mat on top as a landing cushion for hot trays and pans. Although the inside of the oven becomes hot, the outside may be touched without risk of burning.
Performance in the kitchen with special orders
The oven and I got off to a rocky start. At first, I was just kind of indifferent about it all. After a few days of trying out several “getting started” recipes, I was left unimpressed by the results. True, they were already prepared, but I could have made the same meal in a fraction of the time with no effort using my air fryer or convection oven. The sourdough bread was too toasted in some places and underdone in others, and it was dry. Even though I cooked the bacon until it was supposed to be crispy, it was still chewy. Some trial and error was required to get the bacon nice and crispy.
My attitude changed once I prepared salmon with the skin still on and grilled it. I couldn’t believe how precisely cooked it was without any intervention on my part. The skin was crisp and the meat was flaky and delicate. The combination cookers, which allowed me to prepare two different items at once, were also very much to my liking. On two-tray cooking, I prepared shrimp and reheated tortillas that had already been cooked; on three-zone cooks, the salmon with asparagus and cherry tomatoes was the cherry on top.
The oven’s personalized cook feature is what sold me on it. I was able to input my own recipes, pick the cook times and the power settings for each zone, and continue from there. That, with the pro-cook mode, makes the oven a lot more configurable. Another impressive feature was the ability to modify just a single area while leaving the rest unchanged. The chicken and broccoli I made were delicious, however I wished the broccoli had been seared more. I didn’t have to worry about the chicken becoming overcooked by leaving the tray in the oven since I set the touch-up just for the zone where broccoli was.
When operating an oven, there is a learning curve involved in understanding how to cook by zones and properly positioning food in each zone. After many weeks of use, I concluded that the preprogrammed recipes, rather than the oven itself, were the source of my dissatisfaction. Although Brava no longer sells its meal kits, the system still has the recipes that were created for the service. The recipes themselves are another disappointment, since they tend to be somewhat tasteless. There are some attempts to include international flavors, such as sesame chicken, orange chicken, Korean chicken wings, bulgogi, tikka masala, tacos, fajitas, enchiladas, and a few others; nevertheless, the majority of the recipes are somewhat uninspired and tasteless. If you tried to add more flavor to your meal by using a herb or spice that wasn’t included in the recipe, the dish would taste burnt.
Some of the recipes I wanted to attempt for the first time required some adjusting. Obviously, there are pros and cons to this. Because the machine adapts to your cooking preferences, you can get your food just the way you want it every time. This is unfortunate given that a good outcome is expected from the oven in the first place. The first time I attempted making this sesame chicken dish, the chicken turned out quite tough and dry. The second time around, I paused the oven halfway through cooking, flipped the chicken over, and cut the entire cooking time in half. The final product, chicken in sesame sauce, was excellent. A temperature sensor embedded in the chicken protein greatly improved the results of any chicken preparation.
Brava employs hot air circulation for air frying and dehydration. In the dehydration mode, I was able to lower the temperature to 135 degrees Fahrenheit, allowing me to dry some apples to a satisfying crunch. Although I used it to cook seasoned chicken tikka drumsticks, the air fryer would have benefited from a perforated base to allow for more airflow.
Safety and the App: Looking Good
Since this is an internet-connected oven, network security is very crucial, since compromised appliances might have disastrous results. The program seemed to be quite safe and did not have any exploitable exposed services.
The software may be used on both iOS and Android. The Brava oven requires an active internet connection in order to use the accompanying app. The app’s main feed is loaded with helpful resources including how-to articles and videos, step-by-step cooking instructions, helpful hints, and, of course, recipes. The majority of my meals in the Brava were prepared by searching for a recipe on the app, sending it to the oven, and then simply following the on-screen directions to fill the tray and push start. Once cooking has begun, the app shows the current cooking time, the name of the meal being prepared, and a live video feed of the food as it cooks. You may save recipes as favorites to avoid having to look for them again, and you can also post your own recipes or share existing ones with friends using the app’s integrated social sharing and messaging features. You may choose whether or not to share each of your individual recipes. A secret key is generated for each recipe, allowing you to easily share them with others.
I really liked how the app could forewarn when a cook was finished. While getting ready to go, I could check the meal to see whether it was done to my taste or if it required a little more time in the oven or on the stovetop.
The recipes may be easily found using the search bar, and you can sort them by kind, diet, ingredient, and even tray. Moreover, you may add the custom chefs of other Brava users to your oven using the download feature.
Includes a Modifiable Layout and Color Schemes
The Brava oven conceals its many features under a tiled exterior. These capabilities may stand on their own or be used in tandem with others. The oven contains both standard and advanced cooking modes, such as bake, broil, toast, and keep warm, as well as cook, pro cook, air fry, dehydrate, slow cook, and reheat. Some of the preprogrammed recipes found under the cook tile were developed by Brava chefs who used many Brava features to reach the desired outcome. You can change just about everything in the interface. The temperature could be shown in either Fahrenheit or Celsius, and I could choose which tiles to show. The button’s default tone and color may be customized as well.
As soon as I figured out how to operate the Brava, I became obsessed with the ability to create bespoke meals. I was able to preserve my modified cooking methods, such as adding a little more searing or lessening the doneness, as “custom cooks.” It’s a handy addition for those who have favorite family recipes that aren’t yet included in the Brava. You may put them in there so your family or significant other can prepare them with the push of a button. I liked that there was flexibility for experimentation and personalization between the pro-cook and custom-cook modes. However, there is space for development because of the steep learning curve involved in teaching the oven to “learn” your tastes and preferences.
The oven instructs you to insert the temperature probe if you’re preparing a protein that has to be cooked to a certain internal temperature. For precise measurements, you may use the probe as a ruler. Inches are marked off first, followed by half-inch divisions. The oven interface contains a slider that asks to enter the thickness of the protein you are going to cook. The temperature sensor, however, cannot be utilized on proteins thinner than 1 inch. Thinner protein may be cooked more quickly using the pre-set options.
There was a rapid response time when I contacted customer service, and they were really helpful. For more assistance and communication with other cooks, there is also a Facebook group.
Plenty of extra features
A temperature sensor, a metal tray, and a glass tray are all included in the basic set. A chef’s pan and baking set, for example, may be purchased separately from the main set or as an upgrade. Brava provides a list of cookware that may be used in the oven besides Brava cookware while you are getting used to the new oven. My chocolate zucchini bread and focaccia both baked beautifully in my aluminum loaf pans.
Extremely high in cost
About $1,300 will get you the basic oven setup, while $1,700 will get you the chef’s version with all the bells and whistles. Though we have come to expect higher prices for technological advancements, and this oven is in no way comparable to a regular oven, it is still rather pricey, particularly considering its limited capacity for feeding a large group. The starting kit doesn’t include the necessary attachments to use it for both breakfast and slow cooking, however. After the first two years are over, premium membership costs roughly $10 each month.
While wiping, take special care with the bulbs
After each meal, Brava says you should conduct a quick cleaning. To prevent a greasy buildup that will be more difficult to remove afterwards. Using dish soap and a moist cloth as instructed, I was able to clean the oven. As an adjunct to the wipes, Brava suggests using Astonish oven cleaner or Bar Keeper’s Friend liquid for a more thorough cleaning. The camera might have been cleaned with a soft cloth or paper towel.
The lights are automatically disinfecting, so no maintenance is required. Please refrain from physical contact. Furthermore, no cleaning solutions should be sprayed on them. However, if anything gets on the lights and you need to burn it off, you may utilize the “clean lamp” function in the settings.
Except for the temperature sensor and chef’s pan, all Brava attachments are dishwasher safe and can be cleaned quickly. After cooking, I placed the trays on the silicon mat on top of the oven and filled them with water to prevent thermal shock. They were quite simple to clean by hand or in the dishwasher after a quick soak.
Brava Oven vs. June Oven
June Oven, also evaluated which includes all the features found on the Brava, plus the ability to recognize your food, do remote preheating, and set the time and temperature from your smartphone.
When you put food in the Brava, it immediately begins to cook. Except for when you’re using it for baking, you won’t need to warm it before using it. It is unrivaled in its ability to cook many zones on a single platter. It’s worth considering which features are most important to you since it’s more costly than the June Oven.
Quite a bit of development could be done with it. Not everyone can afford this oven, since the basic setup costs about $1,300. The effort and money spent learning to operate an oven are well worth it, though, if you want to save time and enjoy more home-cooked meals.