It’s an air fryer! It’s a slow cooker! It’s a super oven that heats up to 500 degrees in under a second! It’s… super oven!
Its actual name is “Brava,” but “Super Oven” also feels fitting. Or the Tesla of ovens, as I like to call it. Imagine if the Brave Little Toaster, Easy Bake Oven, and Richard Branson’s spaceship had a baby (in appliance form) — Have I lost you yet? Still there?
I’m going to slap the top of
this bad boy my Brava smart oven like a car salesman and tell you all about how this machine has changed how I feed myself and how it’s taken the top spot of my ‘favorite kitchen appliance’ list (don’t tell the Vitamix PR people). The future is now, and it fits on your kitchen countertop.
Where to begin . . . with the seven-minute perfectly-cooked mahi mahi? Or do we circle back to the air fryer thing?
It’s hard to describe what the Brava is in just a few words, which is why we’re now roughly three paragraphs in and no closer to a definition. Let’s make a list of all the things it is…
For starters… this is the ‘big deal’ item, I think: it can cook multiple ingredients in different zones at different temperatures and speeds.
Enter: easy bake oven concept. Did you ever have those Kid Cuisine things growing up when your parents loved you enough to neglect your nutrition? You put those in the microwave or oven (unclear because I’m not a parent and did not feed those things to myself) and the center of the mac and cheese would be ice, the pudding is lava, and the chicken tendies were lukewarm? This is the opposite of the Brava experience. You literally throw your shit in there on one single pan and press go. The rest is a mystery only God can explain. So anyway here’s a meal I made on one pan:
Seriously, it’ll sear a steak and cook it medium rare without burning your asparagus. Different textures, consistencies, densities… it’s actually pretty insane.
The Brava is many machines in one
- It’s an oven. Both traditional (hot air, not gas, hell yeah) and futuristic (infrared light) to make anything from the aforementioned seven-minute-mahi (on a single pan, with a side of fennel and asparagus on the same pan) to chocolate chip banana bread (see above) to a giant sheet pancake (see tiktok) (or don’t, actually pls don’t).
- It’s a toaster oven. How many bagels have I toasted in this thing during quarantine? The limit does not exist. Health is wealth!
- It’s a slow cooker. You can make soups, stews, and braises if you have the chef’s pan.
- It’s a steamer. I made seriously good artichokes in this thing.
- It’s an air fryer. There is literally an air fry mode, and you can air fry anything your air frying heart desires. The world is your air fried oyster.
- It’s a dehydrator. If you have a lot of time on your hands you can dehydrate watermelon for sport.
- It’s a pizza oven. A PIZZA OVEN! Luxury. I always thought I’d have one of those in my custom home of the future. Now I have one in my not-custom tiny beach cottage of the present.
- It’s a frying pan. And you don’t have to watch the stove! and it’ll stop if your food is burning! SCIENCE!
- It’s a sous vide. No bag necessary.
- It’s a grill. Without smoke and coals and spiders building homes in your rusty BBQ. Thank God, because I dragged that spider fortress to the alley behind my house months ago.
A few more highlights…
- It can sear. Crispy-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi can be yours to consume by the bagful thanks to Brava technology. 2020 isn’t a complete bust!
- It uses infrared light to cook quickly, without microwaves. Basically, it’s an infrared sauna for your food. Health! This is also how it gets so freaking hot so quickly. Like I said, 500º in under a second!
- It’s got recipes programmed in, and you can create custom recipes. They’re always updating to add in new recipes and features (even things like Trader Joe’s frozen food). This really allows you to just press go and let the oven handle the rest. This machine anticipates my needs more than any of my boyfriends.
- Allow me to elaborate further on this little bit here, because I just read that paragraph back, and well . . . anyway. When I say “recipes” I really mean “programs.” Like, it’s programmed to cook chicken and broccoli to the perfect temp, so if you place your ingredients in the proper zones of the pan, put the pan in, and push go, that’s it: it cooks without you having to adjust temperatures, preheat, or set a timer.
- There’s a camera inside so you can watch it all go down, and you can control the functions and watch the food cook from the app on your phone to make sure you don’t burn it/set your house on fire. If you have OCD like me, this is a major plus.
Why I love it
I thought I just listed out all the reasons why I love it, but realized that those are facts and I’ve yet to share insights. Ah, nuance. I feel like a lot of people don’t know the difference between those two ANYWAY I’ll try to keep somewhat short:
- Time 👏 is 👏 MONEY! 👏 — and in COVID times, energy is precious. It seems like normal tasks take double the energy. If I can keep cooking short and sweet, I reserve some of that time and energy so I’m not totally depleted. Also, the pans clean up SO easily. Idk what the hell they coat this stuff with, but cleanup is a breeze, which is a miracle for me because I don’t have a dishwasher.
- It’s easier to cook healthier meals more quickly — it only takes a few minutes more to make fish and vegetables than it does to make angel hair pasta. Still a major pasta stan, but I mean look at this meal!!!
- I’m trying new recipes — thanks to its versatility and capabilities, the Brava has me experimenting with what I have in my fridge and pantry; it has restored a lot of joy to the kitchen and reinvigorated my love for cooking. Before the pandemic, I made a resolution to take cooking classes. Obviously that got derailed (and my local Sur La Table went out of business, tight), but this has me all in my love-of-cooking feels again.
- It is so multifunctional — as a Virgo sun and rising (yikes for my friends and fam, amirite), optimization is my love language. The Brava replaced my toaster, microwave, my slow cooker, and in many ways, my oven. It also added an air fryer and dehydrator to the mix, so yay for me. AND YOU! Yay for you because you also are getting one. Cool.
There are a lot of other things I could say about this extremely advanced culinary tech creation (arguably one of the only good things to happen this year), but this is already quite long so I’m gonna ✨ not ✨ — but just trust me, this thing is LEGIIIIT. It’s about the price you’d probably expect… cheaper than a spaceship (just gonna leave this link here*) and they have the option to pay in chunks to make it more accessible.
S’mores! Mahi mahi! Giant pancakes! Roasted veggies! YAY!
PS. jalapeño poppers okay bye
*if you shop using my link, I make a commission off the sale. thank you for supporting my independent business!
unnecessary disclaimer: a microdose of THC may or may not have been involved in the creation of the original draft of this post.