Tovala, a Chicago-based smart oven & food delivery startup, will roll out a new oven this fall called the Tovala Steam + Air Fry smart oven.
Technically, Tovala’s second-generation oven, unveiled in 2018, has convection built in (which acts essentially the same as air frying). Even so, the company hasn’t pushed the air fryer functionality in promotions or via specifically designed air fryer recipes up to this point.
Above: The email sent to select Tovala subscribers who received test units of the third-generation Tovala oven.
But that looks like it will soon change. According to an email sent out to a limited number of selected beta testers, Tovala has sent out a beta test version of a new model with an enhanced emphasis on air frying. The email says that “a lot of chef brains and engineering talent went behind this latest model,” which potentially hints at some interesting new recipes and features for users of the new Tovala hardware. According to the email, the latest generation of the smart oven will begin shipping to customers this fall.
At this point, it’s unclear if the company intended for word of its third-generation smart oven to get out. After Tovala sent out the test units to backers, they then sent an email calling delivery of the units a “happy accident.” Some Tovala customers were told by the company’s customer support that the new oven is the same as the old one, only that they will be sending out “air fry baskets” for an additional fee.
Update: Tovala responded to our request and confirmed they are unlocking air frying capabilities through a software update and a new accessory in the air fry basket. According to Tovala, it will be the same model oven, but after the software update and the air fry basket is made available they will rename the model the Tovala Steam + Air Fry Smart Oven. The company also confirmed they are updating their scan-to-cook feature and plan to have 100 grocery items optimized for cooking with the basket.