The So-Called Smart Oven

Tovala Smart Oven

A few months ago I bought one of those table-top so-called smart ovens. My main goal was to be able to use the oven during the hot months without putting a strain on the AC. I think I achieved that goal.

Now in order to make room for the Tovala Smart Oven, I had to relegate my toaster to the basement. I didn’t mind this, because my toaster was wildly inconsistent in its toasting abilities; when I put bread in, I never knew what might might pop out, except it probably wasn’t toasted anywhere near what I wanted it to be. As this new smart oven had its own toasting setting, it couldn’t be any worse, could it?

And no, it hasn’t been any worse. It’s not too much better either. Oh, well. At least I don’t regret the loss of the toaster.

Anyway as far as the basic day in day out oven capabilities, I mostly don’t have any complaints. I’ve roasted potatoes, baked bread, heated fish sticks, baked peanut butter cookies—in short, as a replacement for the big oven it’s been working pretty well.

But I haven’t found the broiler to be nearly so useful. In fact, as it has a tendency to splatter even more than the regular oven’s broiler and cleanup is a bit of a problem, I’ve found that when I need to broil something, I’d rather use the big oven’s broiler. This has actually worked out fine, as usually I only need to broil for a short time, so it doesn’t overheat the kitchen, plus I can broil and bake at the same time by making use of the big oven and the smart oven.

But is the smart oven really so smart?

I haven’t found it to be so.

It comes with its own set of programs. For example, there’s one where you can can pop a salmon filet into the oven and turn on the salmon program and it will cook the salmon to “perfection”. Except it cooks the salmon extra crispy, which is not the way I like it.

Also, you can order prepackaged dishes delivered to your home for a reasonable price and tell the oven to cook them, but I turned the feature off right away. To its credit, after turning it off, it has not nagged me even once to turn it back on.

So overall, I’d say I’m pleased with the Tovala Smart Oven, even if I don’t find it all that smart.


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