SHOP $269.99,

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I don’t like to cook, but I like having a fresh, hearty, home-cooked meal. Do you see the dilemma? If I ever want to have something delicious and fresh, but I don’t want to spend a long time preparing it in the kitchen after a long day of work, it seems that my only option is UberEats, where I’ll pay as much as the meal itself in delivery fees. But it’s a new year, and there’s a new me—not one that cooks, per se, but one that uses the hell out of my Tovala Smart Oven Pro.

Over the years, I’ve tried all the various meal-subscription services out there. You know, the ones that send packaged ingredients to your home on a weekly or monthly basis in a refrigerated box. I haven’t liked any of the ones I’ve tried; the ones that claim to be fresh taste anything but, the ones that claim to be easy to prep are usually not, and the ones that claim to be affordable and delicious really just aren’t.

The Tovala, however, is a miracle product—and I never thought I’d call any kitchenware “miraculous,” given that I like to stay out of the kitchen as much as possible. Not only is it a machine that I can use on everything, but the brand also offer delicious meals that are easy to make. The high-tech oven and pairing app does all the work for you and then some. I absolutely swear by my Tovala, and if you’re even remotely interested in having restaurant-quality meals—including breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and snacks—in under 30 minutes at home, you need one, too.

SHOP $269.99,

a red oven with a rack of food in it


You get fresh, delicious meals at a great price.

The Smart Oven Pro comes with every feature you need for day-to-day cooking as well as preparing Tovala meals. When you get the oven, you can pair it with the Tovala app and start ordering meals—and I can assure you, whether you’re a picky eater or have an expansive palate, there are plenty of options for you.

Tovala meals start at $9.99, and are generally around $12.99, but can sometimes be a little more if they come with extra add-ons, like a salmon filet instead of a chicken breast, or a serving of rocky road cookies for dessert. In the world of UberEats and inflation, getting a good, healthy meal for under 15 bucks these days is unrealistic—and getting one as fresh and easy as a Tovala meal is straight up impossible.

On the Tovala app, you can pick your meal plan. The lowest plan is four meals a week, which is $51.96 plus tax and $10.99 for delivery. Every week, you pick from Tovala’s newly curated, rotating menu to add the meals you want to your cart; almost all of them consist of a protein, vegetable, and carb, with just the right portions to not leave you with unwanted leftovers. If you’re out of town or just don’t want Tovalas one week, you can skip or adjust your meal plan, free of charge.

Just this week, for example, I ate like a king while spending less money than I would on getting these meals elsewhere: my four delivered meals were a blackened chicken breast with sweet corn risotto, a lemon panko-crusted pork chop with potato wedges and dipping sauce, smoky coffee-rubbed salmon with Southwestern salad, and cheesy egg biscuit sandwiches with honey and hot sauce. Every dish in every meal tastes so fresh, so rich and flavorful and not pre-frozen or packaged that it’s hard to comprehend why other food-delivery services aren’t operating on this level of ease and deliciousness. I’m no chef, and I could have spent hours in the kitchen trying to make all those meals one by one, step by step, dish by dish, but instead, I just unpacked them from my Tovala box, popped ‘em in the oven, and waited about 25 minutes for each meal to be completely, perfectly cooked. (Seriously, my chicken has never even been remotely pink.)

SHOP $269.99,

a silver and black machine


The process couldn’t be easier.

See, the reason I don’t like to cook is not because I’m lazy, but because whenever I do try to cook something, it doesn’t turn out as edible as I’d hoped. Tovala takes all the guesswork out of making delicious, healthy meals, though—it’s as easy as scanning a QR code.

Tovala is the first meal-subscription service to streamline the prep and cooking process by adding smart features to the oven, so in the time it would take you to prep a meal from a different service, your Tovala will already be done.

It works like this: each individual meal you order from Tovala is packaged with all its ingredients in a single box, plus aluminum cooking trays, seasonings, dips, and whatever else you may need. There’s an instruction sheet for each meal listing out what to do step by step; usually, it’s as easy as removing the meat from its vacuum-sealed packaging and putting it in an aluminum tray, adding the seasoning or spread, and popping it into the oven with the side.

The prep is hardly even prep at all; you deal more with the containers than you do with the ingredients. Once your meal is in the oven, you scan the QR code on the instruction list, and the oven reads the meal for you, sets it to the perfect cooking settings and time, and starts preparing it. I wish I could say you could spend the time that your food is cooking to clean up the kitchen, but really, when clean-up is as easy as throwing away empty boxes and plastic packaging, you’ll be done in under a minute. Feel free to go watch TV or something while your meal cooks, though; the Tovala app automatically pairs with the oven and puts the countdown timer directly on your phone, so you can see exactly when your meal is done. It really can’t get any easier than this.

SHOP $269.99,

a box of food on a table


It’s not just about meals.

Even when I’m not making Tovala meals, I’m using my Tovala oven. Before I got the Tovala, I had a toaster oven, but it was discarded pretty soon after I realized that the Tovala Smart Oven Pro is a fantastic kitchen gadget to have around. It has settings for baking, air frying, toasting, steaming, broiling, and reheating, so whatever you need to do in the kitchen to any other food, you can do with the Tovala. I make toast in there every morning, air fry things like fries, and even bake cookies. You’d pay a similar price for a toaster oven without all the Tovala features anyway, so why not get one that will make your day-to-day eating habits so much better?

Aside from the meals you purchase every week, the Tovala app is loaded with all kinds of extra features, like a marketplace where you can gather cooking inspiration from small business and high-quality brands, a Chef’s Recipes page where you can go rogue from your pre-packaged meals and cook easy recipes from scratch, and a Cooking tab that lets you take full advantage of all the functions of your oven, with tips on how to best maximize and utilize each setting.

Tovala gives you 100 days after purchasing an oven to decide if you like it or not, and they offer free returns if you don’t, but if you ask me, that’s just a formality. After using my Tovala for a few months and seeing how seamless and simple it makes cooking, I can’t imagine why or how anyone—especially people who have busy schedules or aren’t keen on cooking—could live without one.

SHOP $269.99,

Photography by Joe Lingeman. Prop styling by Heather Greene.

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