Earlier this year, Tovala made ripples when it “accidentally” announced an air fryer. It isn’t actually an air fryer, but a new air frying wire basket that claims to cook foods better than a standard air fryer.
In today’s post, we’ll be comparing the Tovala Smart Oven and the Ninja Air Fryer, which is the standard air fryer we’ve used for the past couple of years. Both of these devices are popular among consumers, so we’ll be taking a close look at their features, advantages, and disadvantages.
We’ll also be testing out each device to see which one produces better chicken nuggets (the main thing we cook in our air fryer. So, if you’re in the market for a new air fryer, be sure to read this post before making your purchase.
Tovala Smart Oven Vs Ninja Air Fryer: Which Is Better?
Which is better? The Tovala Smart Oven or the Ninja Air Fryer? We’ve had both a Tovala (sans the air fry basket, which has only been available for a month or so) and a Ninja Air Fryer for several years.
Once we got our hands on the Tovala Air Fryer, we had to put them to the test.
What exactly is the Tovala Smart Oven Air Fryer?
This is where it can get a little confusing. When Tovala announced it was going to have air-frying technology, everyone thought it was a new oven.
However, it’s just a simple accessory and software update on the Oven itself. That’s why we love the Tovala Smart Oven so much: it is always getting better without the need to constantly upgrade by buying a new Oven. We had the first Generation Tovala and loved it, but love the second Generation Often even more (although, we were partial to the futuristic look of the previous oven).
Once again, it isn’t a new oven, it’s just a new accessory.
To use the feature, simply use the new wire rack accessory and use the bake function on the Tovala.
Wait… what is an air fryer?
An air fryer is a kitchen appliance that uses hot air to cook foods like french fries, chicken wings and more. Air fryers make food crispier and healthier than their deep-fried counterparts.
How it came to be
Fred van der Weij was just looking for a way to crisp a French fry without deep-frying when he started developing the air fryer in 2005.
The problem with a toaster oven
Before his invention, alternative methods for making fries at home took too long, with disappointing results. A convection oven, for instance, dried them out. It took Mr. van der Weij three years to develop a prototype, and his egg-shaped fryer, was introduced in 2010 at the Internationale Funkausstellung, a major consumer electronics fair in Berlin.
It combined close-range radiation and increased air flow to better heat the food’s surface. Philips now owns the patents for Mr. van der Weij’s air-frying technology.
Air frying is now a popular way to make healthier versions of fried foods. Air fried foods are cooked with hot air instead of oil, so they tend to be lower in fat and calories than traditional fried foods. When cooked properly, air fried foods can be just as crispy and delicious as their deep-fried counterparts. Air frying also has the advantage of being quicker and less messy than deep frying.
So next time you’re craving some comfort food, try grabbing something to air fry and whip up a batch of air fried chicken or french fries. Your taste buds will thank you!
Tovala Air Fryer: Our First Test
Once got our hands on the new air fryer, we had to put the Tovala’s new air-frying capabilities to the test.
Here’s what we found:
1) Just like with other functions of the oven, you can set the desired cooking temperature on the phone app or on the oven itself. Simply follow the baking instructions included on whatever you’re cooking.
We cooked Real Good Food Chicken Nuggets (something that we typically use the Ninja Air Fryer for) and followed the instructions on the package.
One quick downside to the Tovala oven (and really the only downside we could fine): You have to pre-heat the oven before inserting the food. That’s what Tovala recommends and that’s what we recommend, too. The good news is that usually takes about 5 minutes to preheat.
Where the rack goes
2) The air fryer basket goes inside of the oven in the middle rack; it’s just a wire rack and put a baking sheet tray beneath it. This helps any catch anything that may drip or spill during the air frying process.
3) The results were incredible! The chicken nuggets came out golden, crispy, delicious, and I hate to use the word: moist.
That’s because the Tovala Oven isn’t just an Oven. It’s a steam Oven.
It uses both traditional baking methods and steam to create those incredible results. It’s unlike anything we’ve seen before, and it’s the closest thing to an air fryer that you’ll get outside of an actual air fryer.
4) Clean up was super-easy with both the Tovala Smart Oven and the Ninja Air Fryer; no greasy messes to deal with either time!
I will say that the Ninja Air Fryer is a bit easier to clean as a whole, because the Tovala Oven can be a bit messy inside – but not just because of the air fryer.
Which made the best Nuggets?
Both the Tovala Oven and the Ninja Air Fryer did the job with ease. However, the Tovala oven produced a juicer nugget.
That’s because the Tovala Oven uses conventional baking methods, with the addition of steam to make sure your food stays moist while cooking.
Traditional air fryers use only hot hair to circulate heat around your food. As with many cooking products, you may have to experiment a bit with them for the best results.
The Tovala Smart Oven Vs. The Ninja Air Fryer – Which Is Better?
We have to give it to the Tovala Smart Oven here; while both are great at air frying, we found ourselves consistently choosing the Tovala over our old Ninja Air Fryer.
The only thing that really made the Ninja Fryer any better was the amount of time it took.
I typically only pre-heat my air fryer for about 1 minute. But I pre-heat the Tovala oven all the way to the desired temperature (that’s what Tovala Recommends, too).
It’s also nice that you can put the whole air fryer basket from the Ninja in the dishwasher. While you can do that for the cooking sheet tray, Tovala says the wire Fry Basket is not dishwasher safe.
But if you’re looking for the best, juiciest nuggets – then look at the Tovala Smart Oven + Tovala Air Fryer Basket.
FAQs about how to Air Fry with the Tovala Steam Oven
How do you clean the Tovala Air Fryer?
The Tovala Air Fryer Basket is easy to clean! Just wipe it down with a soft, damp cloth (using a solution of mild soap and water to dampen it).
You can also soak the basket in a solution of warm, soapy water. We don’t recommend using harsh, abrasive cleaners or sharp objects (such as knives or hard brushes) to clean the basket. This basket is not dishwasher safe. And that’s it! Your Tovala Air Fryer Basket will be good as new.