I like cooking. I love making something delicious, yes, but maybe more than that, I love the process: slowly simmering a sauce while adding herbs to taste, searing a piece of steak at the perfect temperature. So I’ve long avoided jumping on the bandwagon of devices that claim to eliminate this process – sautéing ingredients in an InstantPot and skipping recipe steps 2-12 has never been a temptation for me. But, I will never refuse to test a new gadget, so when our team needed someone to try the Brava Smart Oven, I jumped at the chance, or rather my boyfriend did. You see, while I’m all for experimental cooking (forget a recipe – add what’s in your fridge!), my boyfriend, a newcomer to the culinary world, was won over by the idea of an oven – and the application that accompanies it – which would relate each of its culinary actions. So we tried…and we have a lot to say. Read on for the full review.
Price, size and details of the Brava oven
The first thing to note about the Brava is that it doesn’t come cheap. With plans starting at $1,295, it’s an investment (as any kitchen appliance worth its salt should be!). But, If you’re committed to investing in a smart oven and can’t spare the cash right now, Brava offers financing through Affirm, accepting monthly payments starting at $54.
That said, the oven is much more than a typical appliance: think of it as a combination oven, convection oven, microwave, toaster, and air fryer. When you combine all that, the price becomes more reasonable.
In terms of size, the oven sits somewhere between your microwave and wall oven, measuring 11.3″ H x 16.4″ W. x 17.3″ L. and weighing 34 lbs. was pleasantly surprised that the box it arrived in was “It’s not bigger and was able to easily unbox it and set it on the counter. The Brava takes up a lot of counter space, but when you consider all it can do, you’ll probably want to keep it out of the way. Plus, a sleek design means it’s not an eyesore and, as it won’t overheat (the oven is equipped with a convection fan, high-efficiency cooling fan and an exhaust fan) extraction and will automatically shut off if it begins to overheat), you can place directly against a counter or under a cabinet.
Once the Brava was unboxed, setup was simple: we connected it to our Wi-Fi network. My boyfriend downloaded the app to his phone, which took less than 5 minutes. After that we spent a too long time spent browsing the recipes available – there are over 7,000! – and cooking modes (which include air fry, slow cook, sear, toast and bake).
As for the device itself, just plug in the oven and its heating system, smart touchscreen and internal camera are all ready to go. Plus, the Brava updates automatically if it’s on Wi-Fi, so you can always be sure you have the latest software and recipes.
How it works
The Brava works by cooking with light (as opposed to gas, electricity or radio frequency). His precise technology allows him to alternate techniques between searing, frying, baking, etc. The connected app syncs with your phone and takes you step-by-step through the cooking process, setting reminders and timers and even showing a live feed of your food from the oven’s internal camera. The Brava plugs into a normal outlet and operates on 120 volts.
Cooking with the Brava
With the setup complete, it was time to test a recipe on the Brava. Given my opposite personality, I chose a meal that I was convinced no “smart” device could do better than a good old pot of bubbling oil, but also has a notoriously laborious cleanup: the fried chicken. Le Brava had a recipe listed as its most popular chicken dishes, and I was convinced the crispy brown edges in the photo could only be the result of frying, so we gave it a try.
La Brava does it Great easy to buy and prepare the ingredients. Once everything was assembled, we prepped our chicken following the directions (brine, wet dredge, dry dredge, just like you would if frying). Then came the time to test the Brava. I thought we were doomed for sure when I realized we hadn’t bought the square pan recommended in the recipe (the Brava comes with a metal pan and a glass one in its starter kit, but in proposes five others in addition). But, we persevered, adding the required oil to the flat metal skillet (“Surely that can’t be enough,” I remarked when she fit into the flat skillet without overflowing) and placing the chicken on top.
We put the pan in the oven and clicked start (the only button on the machine!). The Brava fired up immediately (no warm-up required) and – my favorite part! – the internal camera flashed on the screen, so we could see a live feed of our chicken. I had set an Alexa timer for halfway flipping, but it turns out I didn’t need it, as the Brava reminded my boyfriend in the app. We flipped the chicken and put it back in the machine until the time was up. We used a little more chicken than the recipe called for, so we were particularly pleased with the “touch up” option at the end of the recipe, which lets you cook your food for an extra minute. After that came the moment of truth: I took the chicken out and, to be honest, I was shocked by what I saw: four golden, crispy thighs that would make even the colonel quiver in his boots. . But was the taste up to par?
In short: Yes. The thighs were crispy on the outside and juicy and tender on the inside, with the meat cooked more perfectly than, I confess, I’ve ever reached analog.
Conclusion: So, is it worth it?
We both agreed that Ami Brava’s chicken was outstanding and quickly started planning the next meal we’ll try (chicken fajitas? French fries? Roasted Brussels sprouts?). But of course, no product is perfect (even if fried chicken is!). Here are the main takeaways.
Benefits: Extremely precise cooking, easy setup, user-friendly interface, attractive design, large recipe catalog, clearly guided cooking, internal camera, no heat.
The inconvenients : A little big for small spaces, high price.
Overall, I admit, the Brava won me over. My favorite thing about it is that, despite my hesitation in removing the cooking process, the Brava allows for more engagement than other smart devices – the clear steps guide you through the process of making something new , and the internal camera lets you check on progress. It’s definitely a commitment (both price and counter space), but if you’re on a mission to become a better chef, help your partner become a better chef, or excite your kids to cook, this could well be the solution.
At the end of the line : It’s a device that saves time and makes cooking more efficient, but it’s almost guaranteed to inspire you to try new recipes. And what’s more fun than that?
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Hadley Keller is Beautiful housedigital director of. She oversees all of the brand’s digital content and works on the print magazine. She covered design, interiors and culture for 10 years in New York. She served as Associate Market Editor, Design Journalist, and Managing Editor for Architectural Summary and AD PRO before joining Beautiful house. Hadley is an ardent maximalist and a vocal opponent of the open floor plan.