The Best Smart OvensSmart Ovens
When it comes to kitchen appliances, a smart oven could be one of your biggest workhorses — and a time saver. What makes a smart oven different from a regular one? First, most smart ovens can pair up with your smartphone via a companion app, typically over Wifi or Bluetooth. You can control your oven using their app or its manual display. Secondly, smart ovens are often designed to work in more ways than a conventional oven. For example, in addition to regular baking and broiling, a smart oven could have functions to steam, fry, toast, warm, or sear. This, plus their typically compact size, makes them excellent space savers.
Additionally, smart ovens are designed to come with pre-sets, meaning pre-programmed recipes for simple foods, like baked chicken thighs or roasted Brussel sprouts. Instead of searching for the proper temperature and time to bake a lasagna, you can simply hit a few buttons and voila!
What should you care about when shopping for smart ovens?
There are several major factors you need to be paying attention to when it comes to shopping for a smart oven. We believe the most important are:
- Types of functions
- Availability and quality of cooking pre-sets
- Ability to cook on your own
- Ease of use
- Dual app and oven controls
- Meal kit offerings and quality
The first is size. Most smart ovens look more like toaster ovens than the traditional behemoth you may be thinking of. For a smart oven to fit your lifestyle, it needs to be able to fit a standard 9x13 fit tray and roast a whole, average-size chicken. Assuming you've got the right size, what do you need the oven to do? It should cover at least convection baking (30% faster than regular baking), broiling, warming, and toasting. Ideally, it should be able to switch between these modes to cook a single dish. Other functions like steaming and slow cooking are nice to have.
Also important are its cooking presets. Can you simply select chicken thighs from the menu and have the oven set to the right temperature, mode, and time? If you're buying a smart oven because you're a novice in the kitchen, manual only settings won't really do the job. Conversely, the ideal smart oven would also let you take the reigns and cook manually, using recipes outside of the ones programmed in. For those more adventurous or advanced, this feature is key.
When it comes to using the oven itself, is it simple and straightforward? The controls should be intuitive and straightforward, and the accompanying app should be easy for even the less-than-technologically gifted to use. You should also be able to control your oven completely from your phone, but also have the option to control it manually if you don't have access to your phone (or just don't want to rub raw chicken juice on the screen.)
If you're in the market for convenience, smart ovens that come with meal prep kits could be the right fit for you. Some meal kit brands offer pre-made meals that just need a few minutes in the oven. This could be a major selling point for those short on time or unsure about cooking. But just because they offer meal kits doesn't mean they're good — the quality is another issue.
Best smart ovens: our top 5 picks
- Best all around: June
- Best budget option: Breville
- Best for meal kit enthusiasts: Suvie
- Best for speedy cooking: Brava
- Best for a wide variety of cooking methods: Tovala
Best all around smart oven: June
We chose the June smart oven as our top pick. Here's why:
How it measured up to our criteria:
June ticks off almost all the boxes you're looking for in a smart oven. The June smart oven can actually function as 7 different appliances: convection oven, air-fryer, dehydrator, slow-cooker, broiler, toaster, and warming drawer — all of which can work in tandem. If you're making a steak, June will automatically toggle between roasting, broiling, and baking.
The June Oven has one of the largest capacities of the ovens we looked at. At 1.0 ft³, it's larger than Tovala, Breville, and Brava. Reviews say that June can easily handle a 4 pound chicken with veggies or 13x9 inch casserole or 12 inch pizza.
This smart oven offers over 100 cooking programs, beating Tovala and Brava's offerings by an impressive margin. You're also able to cook outside these pre-sets with your own recipes. The majority of reviewers praised the tasty results from both pre-sets and outside recipes. While June doesn't offer meal kits, considering how easy it makes cooking, it simply doesn't need to.
June's Android & iOS-friendly app is slick and pretty, and actually integrates seamlessly with the oven. You can use the Alexa-compatible app to start cooking, watch live video of your food, and check ETA. Most reviews praise the oven's touchscreen interface. Not only does it look sleek, it's also easy to use. Navigating the cooking programs is intuitive, and it reacts easily to light touch. You can use the oven on its own without connecting to the internet at all (although you'll need wifi to connect your oven to the app.)
- June smart ovens have a camera inside the oven — which not only lets you watch your food as it cooks, it recognizes foods and automatically cooks them. Currently, it can identify 65 foods. It's even able to tell the difference between toast, bagels, and toaster waffles.
- You can watch a live stream of your food cooking (which you can share with friends) and even time lapse videos after
- An included probe thermometer helps to monitor the exact progress of meat cooking, useful for getting the perfect medium rare.
- The “leftovers” program only gives the option to reheat pizza, but no other types of food
- While there are 100 pre-sets, some are very similar. For example, 7 of them are for toasting nuts.
- Cook time can only be increased in increments of 3 or 5 minutes, troublesome for time-sensitive baked goods like cookies
- You need a subscription to access all of the in-app recipes
Best budget option: Breville Smart Oven Pro
How it measured up to our criteria
Breville has the most available functions at 10 (toast, bagel, bake, roast, broil, pizza, cookies, reheat, warm, and slow cook), but we found this was more than we needed. The “smart” in Breville's Smart Oven Pro doesn't come from its ability to pair up to your phone, but rather refers to its learning pre-sets, which remember your modifications every time you cook, and Element IQ, a heating system that automatically adjusts to what's in the oven.
Like June, Breville has a sleek, intuitive LCD display, but lacks June's smart connection. Brava also has a comparable number of pre-set recipes, about 100, almost all of which were roundly praised for satisfying results. You can easily switch between cooking with the pre-sets or your own recipes. However, its smaller size was a drawback. It can't fit a 9” x 13″ pan (used for many standard recipes) inside. However, there is a slight bubble in the back, so it can accommodate a 13” pizza. Reviewers were able to fit 6 slices of toast, a standard chicken, and a 9 cup muffin tray.
- We loved that Breville has a self-ejecting oven rack. This means that when you open the oven door, the rack pops out a few inches, so you can more easily access your food, so no more burnt hands!
- The 10 main preset functions are permanent text on the oven screen. Many ovens use icons, which are hidden until selected, and more confusing than clear text (i.e having to toggle to a picture of a chicken.)
- The numerous pre-sets can be confusing. If you're making cupcakes, would you use the bake or cookies pre-set? Would you cook an English muffin using the toast or bagel option?
- The pizza setting yielded mixed results, with some reviewers saying it undercooked and others saying it overcooked their pie.
- You can't connect the oven with your phone, so you can't use an app to turn the oven on or monitor a bake.
If you're new to cooking and looking for a smart oven to do the work for you, June and its sensing camera or Suvie with its meal-kits may be more your style. But a home cook could find the Breville to be a dependable kitchen workhorse.
Best for meal kit enthusiasts: Suvie
How it measured up to our criteria
The Suvie smart oven has yet to officially hit the market, but when it does, it will be the first sous-vide oven, meaning food is cooked in a steady, temperature controlled water bath. Unlike June, you can use it to boil starches like pasta or rice, but it lacks June's breadth of cooking possibilities. The Suvie smart oven is larger than Breville and Brava, but still smaller than June. It's divided into four drawer-like zones; protein, vegetable, starch, and sauce. The stated cooking capacity is up to four adults or two adults and three children, but time will tell.
The specifically designed meal kits (price yet to be announced) are Suvie's main focus, in contract to June's more home-cooking forward approach. Each meal comes with an NFC tag, which the oven scans before adjusting its cooking settings.
Like fellow meal-kit geared oven Tovala, you can cook with recipes outside of the meal kits, but the quality of these has yet to be tested. There are only 26 outside recipes currently available, almost a quarter of what June has. If you are to use outside recipes, they would have to be compatible with the designated cooking zones, which would be much more limiting that June's capabilities.
You're able to operate a Suvie oven either using its control panel or the app, like June, Tovala, and Breville ovens. Unlike June and Breville, the LCD display uses icons (versus text), which can be confusing. The app lets you check cooking status, as well as start or cancel the cooking process. Suvie uniquely allows you to schedule cooking ahead of time, although only with the functions at a boiling point or lower.
- Suvie's refrigerating feature means that your food can be kept cold until you schedule it to be cooked. You could load your ingredients in the morning and set them to finish cooking in the evening when you arrive home.
- You're able to cook a protein, vegetable, starch, and sauce all at the same time.
- Given the water-based cooking methods and recyclable packing for meal kits, clean up is a breeze.
- Unlike Brava or Tovala, you don't need to prep the meal kits at all (no mixing, pouring sauces, etc)
- You're limited to the formula of protein-grain-vegetable, so whipping up a batch of cookies or a pizza would not be possible.
- The types of food you can cook have specific requirements. Meats must be compatible with a sous-vide style of cooking, vegetable should be able to be cooked in 20 minutes or less, and long pastas aren't welcome.
- Sauces need to be applied after cooking, not before
Suvie is perfect for people who are actively interested in a meal kit service, as well as convenience. While it's more expensive than Tovala, which also offers meal kits, the refrigeration feature and ability to schedule meals make it far more useful tool. Brava also offers meal kits, but is $200 pricier and lacks the scheduling component.
Best for speedy cooking: Brava
How it measured up to our criteria
A Brava smart oven has five functions, the same number as Tovala, but fewer than June; bake, sear, reheat, toast, and warm. However, it's uniquely capable of heating up to 500° F in under a second, thanks to Pure Light technology. This is much faster than June, but this does come with certain trade-offs.
Brava has about 75 single ingredients (i.e vegetables, meat, fish, frozen foods) pre-programmed, so less than June but more than Tovala or Suvie. Reviews of the pre-set cooking ability are positive. The inside cavity is 0.6 ft.³, making it the smallest on our list. This is compounded by the oven's layout, which is divided into 3 independently heated areas. This works perfectly with their meals kits, which reviewers found to be tasty and generously portioned. Cooking on your own though, is much more difficult than it is with June. You can only cook manually with pro-mode available in beta, but you'll need to individually adjust each lamp and hope it will cook your food well.
Brava has a touchscreen like June, and in fact, theirs is more helpful. The touchscreen will actually show the instructions for a recipe, so you won't need to keep checking your phone or laptop. The app lets you access recipes, order meal kits, and monitor the timer and camera. Unlike Tovala and June, you can't pick pre-sets or start cooking with the app — you'll only have access to a “pause cooking” button.
- The almost instant pre-heat ability means cooking time is cut down to a minimum.
- An automatic shut-off feature can give peace of mind to forgetful cooks.
- Cooking the meal kits is incredibly easy. When you purchase one, it's automatically synced with your oven and appears on the oven's touchscreen.
- The three different areas of a Brava smart oven can cook different foods simultaneously at various power levels and intervals (i.e fish and vegetables)
- The Brava oven has a camera to let you watch your meals cook, although it can't identify foods like June can.
- You can't let ingredients overlap or cross into the wrong zone (i.e no broccoli in the fish area), lest they over or under cook.
- Meal kits are rather expensive, clocking in at $28-$45 for two servings.
- You can't make easy substitutes in the pre-set recipes, say swapping broccoli for cauliflower. Since the Brava oven uses light to cook, wavelengths, meaning color and structure, must be similar. So, carrots could be replaced by sweet potatoes, but not green beans.
- While there are settings for wheat, sourdough, and whole wheat toast, there are none for bagels or English muffins
Overall, it's a sleek, advanced device with a fairly specific audience. Those who are willing to pay a hefty amount for home-cooked meals ready in the blink of an eye would likely enjoy Brava and its a-la-carte food delivery service.
Best for a wide variety of cooking methods: Tovala
How it measured up to our criteria
Like Souvie, the Tovala smart oven clocks in at five cooking modes: steam, bake, broil, reheat, and toast. Similar to June, they work in tandem, so a dish like “Miso-Glazed Salmon with Charred Citrus Broccoli” is first steamed, then baked, then broiled. Cooking with Tovala largely revolves around their meal kits. Cooking these pre-made meals, each portioned for one, is easy — all you'll have to do is scan the barcode on the meal's packaging, pop the food in your oven, and hit start. Reviewers thoroughly enjoyed the meal kit offerings, praising fresh flavors and interesting recipes.
You're able to start cooking either from the app or using the oven's manual controls, like June. However, Tovala's manual controls are clunkier and less advanced. The app is straight-forward and used to control and monitor the cooking process. To enable app control, you need to connect it to the internet. The app will send you notifications when your food is finished cooking, but the All Home Robotics review notes that it doesn't have a visible timer to help you track the process.
In terms of capacity, a Tovala smart oven, at 0.6 cubic feet is markedly smaller than June. The oven can hold a 4 lb chicken or a 10” inch pizza. If you're cooking with the meal kits, you fit 2-4 of the same meal at once. Most reviews concluded that the oven can comfortably cook meals for 2 people, but feeding a family might multiple cooking rounds. The Tovala smart oven still lets you cook food that isn't from their meal kits. However, there are only 60 pre-set recipes, compared to June's 100, and 15 are for chicken. Feedback on the in-app recipes was mixed and often lackluster.
- This is the only oven with steaming capabilities. Steam is used in all of the oven's functions to lock in moisture with wet heat.
- Scannable QR codes on meals mean no fiddling with the dials or app.
- Of the meal-kit offering ovens, Tovala's are the most reasonably priced at $12 per meal.
- The toast function can take a long time, with some reviewers saying up to 10 minutes.
- The cooking performance for the pre-set recipes can be unpredictable
- Cooking outside of the pre-sets requires making your own recipe within the app
This steam oven is far more affordable than the other four options we reviewed. For a single person who prioritizes convenience and well-cooked food, the combined oven and meal plan may be a good choice.