Imagine this: you’re living in a dorm or your first apartment or even a new apartment on your own for the first time. You don’t have the time or knowledge to cook or the patience to learn. You’re eating out all the time, but money is starting to run short and trying a new restaurant every other day is losing it’s excitement. Enter the Tovala oven.

Tovala is both a meal delivery service and a countertop smart oven company. I’ve had the pleasure to test out both, as well as the Tovala app, which allows you to cook an almost limitless amount of foods outside the realm of the branded meals that you can have delivered.

Here’s why I was so blown away by the Tovala concept and why I’ll be using it for the remainder of my college career and beyond.

The Oven

These ovens are not only beautiful and relatively small to fit perfectly in your small apartment or dorm, but they're also so functional. They can do everything that you'd usually do in a microwave, oven, or toaster. The oven has settings for bake, broil, steam and roast. It heats up extremely quickly and you can set the time by hand or leave it up to the oven itself. If you order a Tovala meal, you can scan it and the oven will know what temperature to cook at and for how long. You can also use the app for preprogrammed cook times and methods. Essentially, the oven knows how to cook things for you, making cooking easier than ever.

The Meals

You can order them online. You can order them on the app. And they're not your typical frozen meal or even your typical meal delivery service. They're preportioned meals that are ready to be cooked automatically by your Tovala oven. All you have to do is scan the barcode that comes with your meal and then follow the directions. No real cooking involved, but you get an almost home-cooked meal.

Another great thing about the Tovala meal delivery service is that you get to pick which meals you want and bump up or down the number of meals you want week by week. You get exactly the number of meals you want and the type. And these aren't random recipes. They're created, tasted, and tested by professional chefs.

The App

Who knew that in buying an oven, you were also getting a fully functional app for ordering meals, finding recipes, and telling your oven exactly how to cook your favorite meals and ingredients? Well, with Tovala, you are. The app has options for selecting your meals for the week that makes ordering easy as pie. You can also search for recipes to cook yourself. Finally, there are options to search by ingredient so your chicken breast, broccoli, or even egg will be cooked perfectly. You just select the ingredient or recipe you want to cook and, because your oven is connected to your phone, the oven will automatically turn on and know the temperature and timing of your cook.

The Endless Possibilities  

I saved the best for last. The combination of meal delivery and the app means that Tovala is really the only cooking appliance you need. If ordering meal delivery kits isn't your thing and neither is buying your own ingredients, you can try out the scan feature on the app. Try scanning your favorite Trader Joe's Frozen meals or various frozen pizza brands and the oven will know exactly how and for how long to cook them to perfection.

I've enjoyed cooking spaghetti squash in the oven, which is made easy by the ingredient section of the app. I've also tried cooking a frozen meal from Trader Joe's. If possible, I think it actually tasted better than the microwave instructions. It cuts down drastically on the cooking time of anything that would usually be cooked in a normal oven. It made it easy for me to free up counter space when I could get rid of my toaster.

This is the oven of the future, so hop on board and try it out for yourself. It's the perfect Christmas present to ask for. Both functional and affordable. It's something that you'll use in your dorm, in your first apartment, and for the rest of your life. The library of meal possibilities on the app is ever-growing. This Christmas is your change to get in on the Tovala phenomenon.