Connected, smart ovens are on the rise. We've reviewed models from and , and now Brava puts its name in the smart oven hat with the Brava oven.
At $995, the Brava oven is expensive. It's also small, with just 0.6-cubic foot of interior cooking chamber space. Meal kits are expensive and require not a small amount of prepwork on the consumer's end. With a high price tag and expensive meal kits, I'd recommend the food-recognizing smarts of June or the simple meal kits of Tovala before spending a grand on Brava's oven.
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.
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.
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.
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.