clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

You Need a $400 Oven to Cook These Idiot-Proof Meal Kits

This fancy microwave connects to your smartphone

If you buy something from an Eater link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy.


The newest entrant into the choppy waters of the vast meal delivery kit sea is Tovala, a company that peddles healthy pre-prepped dinners that you cook using a $400 “smart oven.” This new product bears some resemblance to Juicero, the juice company with the smart juicing machine, except you can’t prepare the Tovala food by simply squeezing it with your hands.

The Tovala ovens are equipped with scanners that read barcodes on the sides of the meal packages. Once the code is registered, the oven will steam, broil, or bake the food according to pre-determined specifications. It’s kind of like a fancy microwave for people who absolutely hate punching in the cooking time on the side of the machine. This device will also send your phone a message once the meal is sufficiently prepared. With Tovala in your kitchen, you will never have to hear that annoying microwave beeping sound ever again.

A package of three single-serving dinners costs $36 — so after dropping four Benjamins on that fancy microwave, you pay about $12 per meal for things like sweet chili salmon with chana masala, and turkey meatballs with sweet potato farro. After taking Tovala for a spin, Wall Street Journal reporter Geoffrey Fowler declared that all the dishes were “at least diner-quality and most better than that.”

Tovala [Official]
Don’t Call the Tovala a Microwave [Circuit Breaker]
Trendy New Meal-Kit Service Requires Buying $400 ‘Smart Oven’ [Grub Street]
Taste Test: The Oven That Makes Dinner With You [WSJ]

Sign up for the Sign up for the Eater newsletter

The freshest news from the food world every day