Tue. Mar 5th, 2024


Key Takeaways

  • The addition of a see-through glass door to the Brava Glass countertop oven is an interesting design update that allows users to peek inside while cooking.
  • The oven’s smart technology and integrated screen remain unchanged, but users may still need to rely on the screen to see the cooking process due to some reflections and obscured views through the glass door.
  • The Brava Glass oven offers a strict cooking process, guiding users through recipes and requiring specific instructions for cooking various dishes, which may not appeal to those who prefer a more flexible and intuitive cooking experience.

It might not seem like a huge deal that Brava Glass added a see-through door to an otherwise unchanged countertop oven, but it is, kind of. The high-tech oven has a camera inside to view the food on an integrated screen, but there’s something instinctual about wanting to glance over and see the cooking process happening. Now that’s mostly a possibility with this smart appliance update.


brava glass

Brava Glass

Brava Glass features a specially formulated, double-layered, high heat-resistant glass door. Engineered to withstand the hottest temperatures, it provides a front row seat to witness the magic of Brava’s revolutionary cooking technology.

Size

11.3 x 16.4 x 17.3in (28.8 x 41.6 x 44.0cm)

Weight

34.4lbs

Power

1,800 Watts

Camera

5MP, ultra-wide angle

Processor

Quad-core ARM Cortex A53 processor with Mali T400-MP2 GPU

Pros

  • Excellent tasting results
  • Wide range of cooking capabilities
  • Technologically advanced
Cons

  • Small internal size means smaller portions
  • Visibility is hit or miss
  • Need to use specific, numbered, cookware

An Easy-To-Understand Design Update


front view of Brava Glass
Tyler Hayes / How-To Geek

When the oven isn’t in use the front glass door sure is shiny and reflective.

The Brava countertop oven has been around, using its pure light cooking, since 2018. In addition to its heating method, it applies a fair amount of intelligence to help people cook nearly anything, including meals with multiple ingredients on multiple trays, all at once.

All that remains true and intact with the Brava Glass oven. It looks the same as it has since its debut, except that this new version uses a glass door, instead of a solid metal one. The oven still has a screen on top for everything, from selecting recipes to using a full QWERTY keyboard to search for items. The screen even displays a moving screensaver when the oven is unused.

Originally, the only way to view the food cooking was to see it from the interior camera on the top screen. That still works on the Glass version, too, and thankfully it’s still there.

I assumed that the see-through door on the Brava Glass would negate any need for viewing food on the screen. But that wasn’t true. Even with the glass door, it was still hard to see what was cooking inside a lot of the time.


Brava Glass with reflective view on door while cooking
Tyler Hayes / How-To Geek

This photo is an example of the infinite reflection oddity that is seen regularly. (There’s food inside, but it’s impossible to see.)

The glass door is a bit of a riddle. With a light on, I could see inside through the front door. When the food was cooking, and the heat source was pulsing, the door showed mirrored reflections in such a way that hid what was inside from view. I’m not quite sure how that was possible, but I assume it had to do with the “specially formulated, double-layered, high heat-resistant” glass door in use. It looked like a fun house mirror reflecting the front part back, indefinitely.

So when food was cooking, I could glance over and see it roughly 40% of the time, but not always. Other times, it was obscured by a reflection.

Cooking With Brava Glass Oven Is a Strict Process


Brava Glass with open door
Tyler Hayes / How-To Geek

In theory, it feels important to be able to glance at a countertop oven and see in. In practice, it wasn’t really necessary. Because I couldn’t see in, at least half the time, I got used to relying on the top display to view the cooking food through the lens of the internal camera.

More important than watching the food cook was getting it to taste good. Some might argue that sight and appearance are critical parts of cooking—to get a good taste. In this case, Brava is trying to own the cooking process from start to finish, so you should have to worry about monitoring it closely.

I wouldn’t describe myself as a cook or chef, but even I felt some hesitation in giving in to the “Brava way.” Something simple like cooking bacon requires the use of a Brava pan with numbered marks and putting the food within certain areas of the tray. In general, I like to cook more freely, usually adding portions by feel, rather than strict amounts. So this took a little time to come to terms with.

Once I did give in and resign myself to doing what the screen or app told me to do, I usually found I liked the results. I tried a lot of different options in the oven, some with great success and others with varying results.


Top screen of Brava Glass showing eggs cooking
Tyler Hayes / How-To Geek

A look at eggs cooking in their special tray on the oven’s top screen.

I started simple, making things like fried eggs in the egg tray. Two of the three eggs turned out great, but one was much runnier than the others. Bacon experienced this a little, with the front pieces less done than the ones in the back.

Bagels and toast always worked well. For toasting, you select a level of brownness, from 1 to 10, and let the oven decide when it’s time to stop. I really noticed the oven’s smaller size when cooking bacon. Only a few pieces fit on the smaller trays, so the amount of meat that comes in a typical package size required more turns through the oven to finish cooking it all. Searing steaks worked beautifully. I was able to cook a small roast that tasted great.

One of the greatest successes was reheating pizza. The bottom was crispy, while the top was perfectly melted. The results were unbelievable. Of course, it’s hard to justify the nearly $2,000 Brava Glass as a really good pizza reheater.

This oven will attempt to cook anything, however. Burgers? Yup. There are recipes for those. Stew? Why not. It dehydrates, slow cooks, air fries, bakes, toasts, is a rice cooker, and more. As strict as this product can be, it is also highly versatile in what it can do.

Brava App Doesn’t Assert Authority

The Brava mobile app, available for iPhone and Android, is polished and helpful. It didn’t do everything I wanted it to do, however. For one, it wouldn’t let me start baking from the app like June’s app does. Instead, you can favorite items for easy findability or send a recipe to the oven so it’s ready to start when you make your way over to it.

While helpful, the app just didn’t feel completely necessary in the big picture. Everything, or nearly everything, was available from the device’s touchscreen. That’s probably by design, and smart. If you have a countertop oven that everyone in the family is expected to use, it doesn’t make sense to require kids or visitors to need a mobile app. Instead, the Brava app mostly serves as a way to browse recipes and decide on a dinner option. Some recipes have images of the different steps, while others are much more simplified.

Smart Cooking in Different Forms


top view of Brava Glass
Tyler Hayes / How-To Geek

Smart cooking is here—both connected and guided cooking experiences. While those two things may seem similar—connected and guided—they are slightly different paths appliances are taking to help people make meals.

The connected cooking future looks more like the June oven, letting the chef prepare the food in the most convenient way possible. With June, I could use its app to start pre-heating the oven from anywhere. I could also remotely check in on the food while it cooked. I would get alerted a minute before it finished so I could be ready for it as well. Traeger’s connected “Wi-Fire” app experience isn’t quite as fancy as June’s, but with its app, I could monitor pellets, overall temperature, and internal probe temperature while away from the unit.

Brava has some connected app features, but it wants to use its “smarts” to guide people through the cooking process. New food items and recipes are downloaded weekly, for example. Its connection is used so the oven has the best cooking knowledge available. Breville is heading down this same path, less interested in starting its oven over a Wi-Fi connection than using it to pull in new information. Brisk It falls somewhere in the middle, offering a guided element but having its most useful feature being a way to connect remotely.

I don’t think there’s a best way of approaching smart cooking for all people. More important is figuring out what would make cooking easier for you.

Price and Availability

The Brava Glass has a retail price of $1,995. That does include a wireless temp sensor, wired temp sensor, and nine cooking trays. The same package for the oven without the glass door retails for $1,695. The regular Brava oven with only two trays costs $1,295.

Should You Buy the Brava Glass Oven?


side view of Brava Glass while cooking
Tyler Hayes / How-To Geek

I liked using the Brava Glass oven a lot. It had an opinionated way of working, but that way almost always worked well. Interestingly, nothing about how it worked really led me to believe the glass door was necessary. It’s a big deal in theory, but less so in practice. I would personally opt for the less expensive regular Brava oven to save the cash.

As for whether the regular oven is worth its $1,295 starting price is heavily dependent on you and your family. It’s probably best suited for couples or those with smaller portion needs. The oven’s physical size won’t be ideal for large or growing families.

Additionally, the Brava oven is really great for providing meal ideas and then guiding you through them, from start to finish. If you can follow instructions, then you’re at least a candidate for one. On the other hand, anyone who already has their own way of doing specific meals might be disappointed with Brava’s heavy-handed approach.


brava glass

Brava Glass

Brava Glass features a specially formulated, double-layered, high heat-resistant glass door. Engineered to withstand the hottest temperatures, it provides a front row seat to witness the magic of Brava’s revolutionary cooking technology.



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By John P.

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