Do you love meal kits but hate to cook? If so, the Tovala might just be the product for you!
Oh, but there's just one tiny catch: You'll need to spend $399 on the not-a-microwave, not-an-oven eponymous cooking device first (video below).
It's a bit of a commitment, but if you're a lazy cook and just want quick, healthy instant meals, it could be worth spending the $36 for three meals per week for one person or $72 for two people, notes The Washington Post. That includes shipping and is a bit pricier than services like Blue Apron, for which a two-person, three-meal plan will cost you $59.94.
Tovala faces an uphill battle, especially since almost all customers who use meal kit delivery services like Blue Apron bounce after six months, according to Grub Street. But the folks behind Tovala say that their offering is a little different.
"Anyone who has tried Blue Apron and stopped using it is our target customer," chief executive David Rabie told The Post. "The meal kits, they pitch themselves as convenient, but at the end of the day, a lot of people don't want to spend 45 minutes cooking."
How does it work? The Tovala is a type of steam convection oven, which sort of resembles a toaster oven and has a bunch of different settings, like "bake," "broil" and "steam." Just scan a barcode for your meal, and it will automatically know how to cook your food so that it comes out tender, juicy, crispy or however your dish is supposed to taste. You can even gravely overcook your chicken, and it will still come out juicy, said Rabie.
The Kickstarter-launched project has already sold 700 of the oven devices and will likely ship out more than 10,000 meals by mid-July, said Rabie. There are a few special diet plans available, like vegetarian and paleo.
The Post tried cooking a bunch of Tovala food and found that it comes out pretty good, although the device "unsurprisingly works best with the delivered meals," they said. The cooking process for the meal service food usually takes around 15 minutes and often comes in multiple trays, but the cool thing is that you can put them in together, and they'll both be done cooking at the same time.
So what do you think? Would you buy one of these gadgets?