NuWave Oven: Does it Work?
By: Lauren Keith
The NuWave Pro Infrared Oven promises you can cook almost anything--frozen of fresh---in a fraction of normal cooking time. I've seen a lot of these infrared ovens advertised on TV, especially in the wee hours of the morning. Several of you must have too because you've requested I "try it before you buy it," and in time for Christmas gift giving.
So, let's get to it. Jackie Wyatt and I assemble the pieces and start with some thinly sliced and lightly seasoned fresh pork chops. No preheating....and 13 minutes per side, per the directions. We'll see. Meantime, if the NuWave works, Jackie believes it would come in handy at her home.
"I have four kids, including a set of twins, so it's a lot of cooking," she says.
The NuWave promises all you have to do is set the timer. It automatically turns off, so if this works, it would be hassle-free cooking.
"Less dishes, too!" chimes in Jackie.
We see the meat turning color, and six minutes in we have dripping. Next, we turn the meat over at this point, per the directions.
"It smells really good," says Jackie.
Sure does, and at 13 minutes, the NuWave really does shut itself off.
"Beep!" we hear the oven sound.
Be careful where you lift---the steam is rising. So, how's it taste?
"Little dry," says Jackie.
Yeah, but this might be our fault. As with any cooking appliance, you have to get the hang of things. Since our pork chops are thin, we probably should have adjusted the 13-minute total cooking time.
Here's the true test: can this thing really heat completely frozen food?
"I have frozen chicken breast strips. We can see!" says Jackie.
Jackie grabs the frozen bag from the freezer and in they go.
"No pots no pans, just throw 'em in there," she says.
While we wait, here's how I think this works. The NuWave works much like a convection oven with heating coils on top and a fan to blow around the hot air. That air is doing something because our chicken strips are turning white.
We shortened the cooking time from the directions. We stop the oven at two minutes in, flip over the strips, and just a few minutes later...
"That's good!" says Jackie, taste-testing the chicken.
"Not dry at all," says Jackie.
Wow! So, you do save a little time not preheating or defrosting. The NuWave did cook completely frozen meat to perfection, and it does automatically shut off, so there's less chance you'll burn the food, but is it worth the $100 price tag?
"I'm pleased," says Jackie.