Source: Author: Date:2020-02-05
Smart ovens for your countertop are a thing now, and there are actually good ones out there. Here's who makes the cut.
If you're looking for a smart kitchen assistant, you've got plenty of options. There are smart displays to guide you through recipes or show instructional videos. You can use Bluetooth thermometers to monitor cooking temps or employ a smart large appliance like Samsung's Family Hub refrigerator that be the smart command center of your kitchen or even home.
But just when we thought smart kitchen stuff had peaked, smart countertop ovens hit their stride. These microwave-size cookers perform dozens tasks like baking, roasting, dehydrating and even proofing dough. Some work with voice assistants, others recognize food with AI or scan packaged food from your local grocery store. Here are the standout smart ovens Kitchen appliance expo has suggested.
Best overall: Amazon Smart Oven
Other ovens on this list are much more expensive. It comes with a free third-generation Echo Dot, which you'll need to connect it to Alexa for voice commands like "Alexa, preheat the oven to 350 degrees".
The Amazon Smart Oven will fit on most countertops. It measures 21.8 inches wide, 21.4 inches deep and 13 inches tall. Weighing in at 45 pounds, it's not something you'll move about your kitchen on a regular basis. The 1.5 cubic foot interior is large enough to cook up to a five-pound chicken. It's not intended to be installed over a range cooktop or other heating appliance, but there is an optional trim kit for a built-in look if you want to install it among your cabinets.
The oven is rated for 1,000-watt microwaving, 1,400-watt convection cooking, 1,300-watt food warming. It comes with the standard 10-level adjustment and buttons on the front for each cooking mode. There's a number pad for setting times, as well as stop and start buttons.
The Amazon Smart Oven doesn't have smart food recognition, but it does have great Alexa voice controls, scan-to-cook for packaged foods (mostly from Amazon-owned Whole Foods).
This is the only smart oven we tested that can also microwave, which means you won't have to clog up more counter space a second device. You could easily throw out your old microwave and replace it with this multifunctional smart oven.
Kitchen appliance expo learns, the Amazon Smart Oven delivered great whole chickens, tasty air-fried fries and solid 1,000W microwaving power. For all those reasons, this smart oven is the most capable we tested and our top recommendation.
Best for scan-to-cook: Tovala Smart Oven
That's because the Tovala Smart Oven can scan more than 650 different grocery items from your local store and use steam, bake, broil and toast functions to cook your dish. There's no voice assistant compatibility, but there is a Tovala app where you can control the oven, see recipes and more.
Amazon's Smart Oven also scans foods, but only a handful and most coming from the Whole Foods inventory. If you're interested in Tovala, I'd recommend giving the meal kits a try, because they are easy to make, delicious and interesting.
Best for food recognition: June Oven (2nd gen)
The June Oven in its second generation is the best oven we've tested when it comes to recognizing food. There are plenty of cooking modes, onscreen recommendations for how to cook different foods and several handy accessories.
The June Oven works with Alexa for voice commands, and The June app lets you control the oven from anywhere and view live video of your food as it cooks.
You can buy the oven in a "Standard" package that includes a food thermometer, roasting rack, baking pan, wire shelf and crumb tray for $499 or in a "Gourmet" package for $699 that adds baking pans, air fry baskets, a recipe subscription and extended warranty.
We've only just begun
This category is only a few years old, and we've seen plenty of growth. Kitchen appliance expo recently understanding a limited-release smart oven from Whirlpool's WLabs. The Suvie kitchen robot launched on Kickstarter last year, and uses water to refrigerate and cook your entire meal. Then, there's Anova, whose CEO Stephen Svajian announced plans for a new smart oven from the kitchen accessory brand in September.
These ovens might be the best out there right now, but they certainly won't be the last. More and more companies are expressing interest in this category.
Source: Megan Wollerton
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