Tovala Smart Oven Air Fryer Review

The Tovala Smart Oven Air Fryer is a Wi-Fi-connected app-forwarding countertop oven that, paired with an expensive meal-plan subscription, can cook fresh, individual dishes for one person in about 20 minutes or less.

The perfect companion for small kitchens and busy schedules, the Smart Oven Air Fryer lets you pick your food online, scan the barcode on the package, and get started. But if you’re interested in creating your own recipes or cooking for a group of people (you can order doubles, though that adds to the price tag of an already pricey meal), you probably don’t need this purposeful smart device. And, if you don’t want to spend the extra cash on six weeks of meal delivery, the affordable $70 oven soars to a not-so-economical $250 — not a budget option anymore, especially with other countertop ovens and air The air fryer compares like our favorite $300 Cuisinart Chef’s Convection Toaster Oven.

To help you decide if this smart oven is right for you, I prepared a week’s worth of Tovala meals using the smart oven air fryer. Here’s what you need to know before cooking.


The Tovala Smart Oven Air Fryer provides easy, fresh meal delivery for one person, and connects to Wi-Fi for one-touch cooking. If you order it, it’s an affordable oven, and if you’re more interested in cooking from scratch, it jumps to pricier, less useful purchases. But if you’re looking to save time and energy, this countertop oven beats supermarket frozen meals and takeout.

The Tovala app (available for iOS and Android) is non-negotiable with the Smart Oven Air Fryer as it is where you register, pay and order your meals. It also walks you through setting up your oven, and even gives you access to a library of recipes if you do decide to cook from scratch. If you need a recipe for air frying hot dogs (see below), this is the oven for you.


Once you download and log into the app, it also takes full control of the Smart Oven Air Fryer, though you can still access the OG using the device’s simple buttons (more on that below) or using its more convenient barcode scanner. And, to keep you organized, the app also sends notifications to your phone about food deliveries and reminds you when your food is done cooking.

Since I live with my husband and two kids, I know I won’t necessarily be using this oven the way it’s supposed to be—serving a tastier 21st century version of a lonely TV dinner. And, since I love cooking for my family, I was skeptical of the simple premise of a smart oven. But I was pleasantly surprised how easy and quick it is to use when paired with a food delivery service.

The point is to take out most of the prep work of preparing fresh food while making it tastier and healthier than the prepared meals you can buy at the supermarket. Not only do you not have to follow complicated recipes, but you also don’t have to adjust temperatures, determine cooking modes or worry about cooking times. In short, it’s dinner for dummies.


Introduced this year, the new Smart Oven Fryer is a neutral putty gray that contrasts nicely with the Smart Oven Pro’s soft gray finish. It has a glass window to watch your food cook, a touch control panel on one side, and a barcode scanner in the upper right corner.

Super easy ordering and prep

Since meal ordering is such an integral part of the company’s philosophy, it doesn’t make much sense to buy this oven without ordering at least some meals. And, as mentioned above, in order to buy the oven for $70, you have to commit to ordering six meals. I ordered eight to start.

While you can get a meal for as little as $10, the average price is $13 a serving (prices vary depending on ingredients). This is what you will pay if you order. You can start with four meals a week for $52, with shipping flat at $10. Once subscribed, you can easily go back and change the frequency, and even skip or pause meals according to your schedule.

I chose a range of meals to try, including four chicken dishes, a filet mignon (which added a few dollars to my takeout price), some meatballs, a beef rice bowl, and a vegetarian option. Each meal comes in a neat cardboard box with a set of instructions and a barcode, though the corresponding proteins are individually vacuum-packed.


Cooking is easy. Everything is cut and portioned, and any sauces or condiments you need are individually wrapped and within easy reach. I let my teens try making their own, and my 16-year-old was intrigued by how easy it was to assemble a meal and toss it in the oven—then just scan a barcode and wait for his dinner. As mentioned, you can start the oven with the app, but there’s an odd sense of satisfaction in placing a barcode under the scanner and watching it go to work.

Food is good. It’s not restaurant quality, but more appealing than a frozen dinner. Although if you’re watching calories or salt, you might want to check nutrition lists online before ordering – my Italian Meatballs with Roasted Red Peppers and Potato Chunks has a whopping 720 calories, 45g of fat, and nearly 2,000g Salt (compared to a Big Mac with 540 calories, 25 grams of fat and just over 1,000 grams of salt).


If you’re looking for a more well-rounded oven for a variety of foods and cooking types, the Tovala isn’t the best choice. No, you can’t go to the supermarket and pick up tovala meals. If you want to buy something from a brand like Amy’s, DiGiorno, or Trader Joe’s, the app has a food list under the “grocery” tab, but at this point, you can also use the microwave.


The oven itself is smaller than the $449 GE Cafe Couture oven and the air fryer I usually keep on the countertop, and it has far fewer bells and whistles. While this crunch might work better for prepared meal subscribers, it’s not as helpful if you’re making food from scratch or cooking for a larger group.

Although this new oven is advertised as an air fryer, I only found out after I received my meal that none of them used this feature. At least I don’t think they have, since it doesn’t tell you what it’s doing while it’s cooking. That’s it.

Tovala addressed the issue by responding. “The air fryer wasn’t actually compatible with Tovala meals at the time, it was only for other items you might want to air fry.” Obviously like hot dogs.

Before I signed off on my meal plan, I failed to consider the following: Where exactly should I store eight individual boxes of food in the freezer? I ended up having to rearrange things completely to stack them, then put the protein in the freezer. If you have a small kitchen and an even smaller refrigerator, you may want to consider this before ordering more than four meals at once.

Of course, if your fridge is empty because you don’t cook for yourself, a smart oven air fryer is a perfect fit.


The Tovala Smart Oven Air Fryer and accompanying meal planner are a time-saving way to enjoy fresh food at home. Meal prep is simple, with the option of using the app or the oddly satisfying bar scanner to cook it without any further instructions.

Of course, if you don’t want to pay at least $52 a week for four meals a week, a cheap $69 oven can run you up to $250, and you’re better off with a basic toaster oven/air fryer like the Hamilton Beach Sure- Crisp is only $100, no strings attached. If you’re a more adventurous home cook, you might want something bigger and more versatile, like our pick, the KitchenAid Digital Countertop Oven with Air Fryer ($200).

But if you just want to cook your own meals with little to no effort, prep, or cleanup, the Smart Oven Air Fryer is a smart choice. Even my 16-year-old, who spends more time waiting in line at Chipotle than cooking for himself, appreciates Tovala’s ease of use and minimal mess.

So, how about the food? “That’s fine, Mom, but I’d rather eat your cooking.” The music blares in my ears, but for him, it’s definitely a step up from takeout.

Source link