Welcome to our food series called Eat It Up, where we share the kitchen gadgets and foods that we can’t cook without.
At first glance, the countertop Brava Oven ($995) seems less like a kitchen appliance and more like if Pixar’s Wall-E and EVA had a baby. Exceptionally sleek and about the size of a breadbox, Brava is poised to replace conventional ovens one pristine meal at a time. We were given an early look at the oven to see how it works and determine if the gadget merits the hefty price tag.
What differentiates Brava from other ovens on the market is its use of what the company calls Pure Light Cooking technology. Six bright infrared lights zap heat directly onto the food to cook it quicker than traditional methods. These lamps can target three separate foods that require different cooking temperatures simultaneously. In other words, Brava can roast a steak, potato, and broccoli dinner on one sheet tray in 12 minutes (versus 45 minutes in a conventional oven).
Dinners like these can be programmed with a few taps on the touchscreen interface (located on the top of the oven). Click on what you want to cook and how well done you like your food, and Brava takes it from there. Start with roasting basic ingredients, then follow Brava’s recipes, and finally work your way up to Chef Mode, where you can control the time and the lights for your original dishes. And when you’re busy AF and just want to toast bread or reheat leftovers or a frozen dish, Brava has a slew of standard settings that take the finagling out of those tasks.
Download the Brava app to further unlock recipes and settings, and sync the recipe from your phone to the oven. Everything has been vetted at Brava’s test kitchen, and you can bank on getting good results every time.
Another noteworthy feature: The Brava relies on its camera for precise results. Coined Camera Vision, it’s positioned inside the oven to let you monitor your food via the screen as it’s roasting (since there’s no glass window). Plus the camera is programmed to watch your food constantly, adjust the expected cook time, and shut the oven off automatically when the camera detects the food is perfectly done.
Brava has created a line of cooking accessories designed specifically for the oven. The Core Accessories, which come with the oven, include two sheet trays, one that’s rimmed glass and another nonstick, ceramic-coated aluminum pan. Each has subtle notches that divide the trays into three horizontal zones so you can cook three different foods simultaneously. Also part of the package is a prong thermometer called a TempSensor, which monitors the internal temperature of meats and fish. Other handy add-ons are the Egg Tray (like a muffin tin but designed for cooking eggs) and a Chef’s Pan (an enameled cast-iron pot for casseroles, braises, and stews).
Shop the Marketplace, where you can purchase pre-portioned and cut ingredients (veggies, meats, and so on) or PeachDish meal kits specifically for Brava. Consider those options for the hectic days when you don’t want to do much more than swipe and tap, rather than baste and chop. The ingredients and meal kits are delivered right to your door.
If you’re a single person, part of a couple on a frantic work schedule, or a small family, the Brava can open up the possibility of eating home-cooked meals in roughly 15 minutes. It’s really for anyone, especially those who like to eat healthy as the Brava excels at roasting veggies and proteins. However, the oven, designed to fit a six-pound chicken, doesn’t cook more than four portions at a time, so it may not be the right fit for larger families.
Brava will begin sending out orders just in time for Thanksgiving, when we all need a little powerhouse.
What would you use a Brava for this Thanksgiving? Give us a holler @BritandCo on Twitter!
(Photos via Brava)