Tovala Oven Review: How long do you think this recipe took to create? What if we told you this recipe took literally less than 30 seconds of prep and less than 30 seconds of clean up? Don't believe us? Read on to learn more in our honest Tovala review.
;tldr Tovala Oven review
The most amazing device we’ve tested. The Smart Oven + meal delivery service is just as good as Hello Fresh, roughly the same cost but is easier and faster.
His Tovala Review
I was skeptical, but after testing for a month, the Tovala Smart Oven one of the few must-haves that we’ve reviewed.
Her Tovala Review
Frankly, I got tired of the Hello Fresh meal prep (and cleanup!). With the Tovala, there’s no mess, no prep and you get an amazing meal, too!
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What is Tovala?
Tovala is a meal-delivery service (like Hello Fresh) combined with a smart, wifi steam oven. Before you think you don't need another smart device - this will change your mind.
The Tovala Smart oven makes it super simple to create the recipes they send you every week. Simply scan the barcode on the food box and Tovala does the rest. It's, literally, that simple.
Tovala Review - How does the smart oven work?
Setting up the Tovala is a breeze. You simply plug in the Tovala Smart Oven, fill it with water and use the Tovala app to set up the rest (you'll need to know your wifi name and password). Setup took about 5 minutes, including time to get the Tovala Oven out of the box.
Much like other food delivery services, you select what meals you would like delivered before they arrive (one small downfall with Tovala, you have to select the meals 2 weeks beforehand - as opposed to other services, where you select the food the week before).
You select three meals from about 7 different choices. Two weeks later, you get a box with your three meals. Here's the box with the three meals delieved to our home.
Inside the Tovala box are the three Tovala meals that you selected. It's a bit different how they are packaged.
Each Tovala meal has three main parts:
- The Protein tin (chicken, beef, salmon, meatballs, etc.)
- The Rice/Veggie tin
- The prep/finishing ingredients (the photo below).
On the side of the box, you'll find the instructions for the prep and finishing of each meal. It's super-simple. There's no chopping, cutting or mincing. Here's the example from the meatball dish:
In this Tovala Meatball recipe, simply take off the plastic covers, pour one glaze over the meatballs and lime juice over the broccoli.
Put the two tins in the oven and scan the barcode. That's it!
No mincing garlic or pickling onions (seemed like every recipe in Hello Fresh or Blue Apron had some ridiculous step in it).
The Tovala Smart Oven gets the information from the barcode about how to cook the recipe. The Tovala Oven can Bake, Steam, and Broil. This is where the Tovala App is handy. If you want to check on what the Oven is doing, and how long is left in your recipe, just check the app while the food is cooking:
You don't actually need to use the app to scan a recipe and have the Tovala Oven cook your food. But the Tovala app does give you a notification when your meal is done. It even shows up on your Apple Watch (if you have one).
Here's the finished product of the Meatballs (before you ask, yes, we made that and yes it's our photograph - that's how good the food from Tovala looks!):
We're not kidding: this literally took us about 30 seconds to prep and 30 seconds to finish and clean up. The first time we tried a recipe, we thought, "Maybe this is the easiest recipe, others will be more difficult!" Nope - they are all this easy.
It was such a relief to be able to make dinner with just a minute of work. The actual recipe cooks for anywhere from 11 - 20 minutes (depending upon what the recipe/food is).
How much is Tovala?
Things get a little complicated here, but hold on: it's worth it!
How much is the Tovala Smart Oven?
The oven, bought by itself (which we wouldn't recommend) is $399. That's steep - but you can get the oven for as low as $199 if you pair it with a meal plan.
There's no reason to pay full price for the oven. If you are, at all, on the fence, buy the oven with the meal plan for $199. Why are we so sure?
The Tovala Oven has a no-questions-asked 180 return policy. We were on the fence, too. But we read all the fine print so you don't have to.
If you decide, before day 180, you don't like the Tovala Oven or the Tovala meal delivery service, you can get whatever you paid for the oven back - it doesn't matter if you spent $199 or $399.
How much are the Tovala Meal Plans?
This is much easier - it's $33 for 3 meals shipped to your house. It's $66 for 6 meals (2 x 3 different meals). We actually have two accounts, because we eat a bit differently. It's the same price as buying 2 of the same recipes - and we can both get what we want.
Is Tovala Worth it?
If you like to cook: no.
If you like the IDEA of cooking: yes.
If you like great food without cooking: yes.
If you've tried meal deliver services, but hate the prep and clean-up: yes.
If you get pleasure from oil burns: no.
If you want the cheapest way to eat: no.
If you want a simple way to eat great, fresh food: yes.
We think it's well worth it. We're trying to get the most from doing the least.
There is no risk in trying it - and we've recommended this to everyone that has come over to our house or everyone that has mentioned Hello Fresh or Blue Apron. It's a much better solution.
To get $30 your order, simply use this link to try Tovala.
What don't we love about Tovala?
Nothing is perfect. Tovala is close! A couple of VERY small things that we would change about Tovala:
- Right now, we get our meals delivered on Wednesday (it's the only option). Ideally, Tovala would arrive on Monday. There is obviously some supply chain issues they are working on to make this happen.
- Mr. We Tried It would like a full-keto diet friendly option. The meals are 90% compatible. There was a chili this week, for example, that included mini potatoes. He just didn't eat it. Sometimes there is too much rice and he'd prefer just more veggies.
- More recipes you can make on your own. There is the Tovala Community site, where there are a couple recipes, but not the number you would hope.
- It does take some experimentation to make your own recipes. Mr We Tried It attempted to make some melted mozzarella and it took several tries to get the Bake/Broil timing right.
Tovala: We test the claims
"Good home cooking takes too much effort. That's where we come in."
Yes. Yes. And Yes. We’d never probably cook some of the recipes, but the food is amazing!
The Tovala "can also steam, making your proteins juicier and more tender, your veggies tastier, and your cooking more dynamic."
Big, big yes! In the app, there is a pre-made setting for chicken breast in the oven. The chicken came out perfect the first try. Juicy and well-cooked.
Cook your own ingredients with one touch.
The Tovala has a small handful of recipes built in. However, creating your own recipes takes a lot of trial and error.
Eating a healthy, freshly-cooked meal is as easy as scanning a barcode.
Tovala Review: The Verdict
This is one of our few must-haves. It's changed our dinner routine for the better. Having a little guy run around the house AND cook a full dinner from Hello Fresh or Blue Apron just wasn't worth the hassle.
If you want a simple solution to get quick, healthy meals - look no further than the Tovala Smart Oven and the Tovala Meal Service.