The Product: NuWave Oven Pro
The Price: $119.97, plus $29.95 shipping and handling
The Claims: Cooks up to 50% faster than a regular oven, and cooks from frozen without defrosting
Buy-O-Meter Rating: 4 out of 5
The NuWave Oven Pro is a multipurpose countertop appliance that does almost everything my wall and microwave ovens do -- and a few things they don't.
My wall oven doesn't take a 13-pound turkey from freezer to serving platter in less than 5 hours: the portable NuWave does.
My microwave can't crisp up the crust of reheated pizza: NuWave can.
My wall and microwave ovens won't cook-up a 4-minute or hardboiled egg: NuWave will.
How does the NuWave do it?
The hatbox-sized appliance combines three cooking technologies -- conduction, convection and infrared heat -- that cook food over, under, around and through. It occupies about the same space as a microwave, and is a little shorter than a blender.
The NuWave's claim to fame -- and the reason I was so eager to try it -- is that it cooks meat, poultry and fish straight from the freezer without defrosting. That's a great thing if you never know at breakfast what you're cooking for dinner.
To test its defrost-free claim, I cooked a frozen, 5-pound rib roast -- from rock hard to medium rare -- in under two hours. Unlike a microwave oven, which turns meat gray, the NuWave delivered a picture perfect roast -- crispy brown, glistening with dripping fat, pink inside.
The NuWave uses less electricity and emits far less heat than a standard oven, so your kitchen doesn't heat up when cooking. Unlike microwaves that burst into flame around metal, the NuWave likes aluminum foil and metal meat thermometers. And the thing is so quiet, you have to touch it to make sure it's on.
NuWave delivers on so many of its infomercial's claims, that I hate to mention the things it doesn't do as advertised.
But I will.
The NuWave doesn't cut time off all the foods it cooks: Bacon takes as long to cook in a NuWave as in anything else. The oven's cooking guide is hit-and-miss and cooking times require some experimentation. And although it doesn't warm your kitchen, the outside of the NuWave does get hot, so take care when opening the plastic dome.
The NuWave doesn't boil water or quickly heat soup. NuWave cakes don't rise as high or look as good as those made in a standard oven.
But who cares when the countertop oven cooks a rock-hard turkey in about the same time as a regular oven roasts a defrosted bird?
My wall oven has been on the fritz for about a month. But I haven't rushed to have it fixed because NuWave -- my Nu best friend -- has picked up the slack.
I'm not suggesting that the NuWave will replace your conventional oven, although it pretty much has replaced mine. But it is a great, portable oven that might save your life during the holidays. At the very least, it will cook your goose.
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