Brava Oven review: This oven sheds new light on alternative cooking technology

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MSRP: $1,295.00

The Good Brava cooks quickly and accurately, and the interior camera makes monitoring your food easy.

The Bad Brava's meal kits are expensive and the oven's capacity is on the small side at just 0.6 cubic feet.

The Bottom Line If you're looking for a larger, smarter oven and don't need fancy meal kits, I'd recommend the June Intelligent Oven.

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7.1 Overall
  • Performance 7
  • Usability 7
  • Design 8
  • Features 7

Review Sections

Connected, smart ovens are on the rise. We've reviewed models from June and Tovala, and now Brava puts its name in the smart oven hat with the Brava oven. 

Starting at $1,095, the Brava oven is expensive. It's also small, with just 0.6-cubic foot of interior cooking chamber space. I'd recommend the food-recognizing smarts of June or the simple meal kits of Tovala before spending a grand on Brava's oven. 

The basics

Brava is a smart oven with a new approach to countertop cooking. Like other smart ovens, Brava is Wi-Fi connected and controllable through its companion app. It also cooks your food based on what type of ingredient or meal kit you select. What makes Brava different is its cooking method. Brava uses light instead of traditional convection heating to cook your food.

How does it work

Brava cooks with what the company calls "Pure Light Cooking." Six lamps -- three on the bottom three on the top -- use a mix of visible and nonvisible light. This infrared energy cooks food directly and removes the need for preheating when you're cooking with Brava's recipes or index of ingredients. 


Brava uses three lamps on the bottom and three on the top to cook food with light. 

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

What you get

Brava comes with an egg tray, glass tray and metal tray. It also includes a temperature probe with five detection zones to tell the oven when your meats and proteins have hit their optimal temperature. That same thermometer is also what you use to measure protein and let the Brava oven know how thick your serving is.

If you opt for the Chef's Choice package, you'll get benefits like a cookware set and three free months of Brava Plus, a membership that gives you discounts on food items, free shipping and Chef Concierge a real-time support service from Brava's in-house chefs.

Cooking modes

Brava comes with presets for the standard cooking modes you'd expect from a countertop oven. There are buttons for bake, toast, reheat and sear in addition to Brava's meal kit, combo and ingredient functions.  

Although Brava touts its ability to cook without preheat, selecting the bake mode to cook ingredients not listed in Brava's index will require a preheat time. I tried this out with chocolate chip cookies (cookies aren't an option in the ingredient index) that required cooking for 11 minutes at 350 degrees. Preheating to that temperature took about 4 minutes. That's quite a bit faster than a conventional oven, but it's also a smaller space to heat up.  


The Brava touchscreen includes menus for multiple types of foods. 

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Brava does include a Pro Cook beta mode, in which you can create your own presets by adjusting the power level of lamps in each zone of the oven. A helpful onscreen guide walks you through your options and displays parameters and limits for operating the oven safely.