When Amazon introduced its $60 Alexa-compatible microwave last year, I was a little lukewarm on the device. You don't save any time by telling Alexa to make you popcorn rather than pressing a button. However, Amazon's new $249 Smart Oven, which can microwave, bake, and air fry, looks to be a much more practical device.
Amazon Smart Oven Price and Availability
The Amazon Smart Oven is available for preorder for $249.99 on Amazon.com, and will ship on November 14. The oven will come with an Echo Dot.
Amazon Smart Oven Design
Amazon's not breaking much ground here. Its smart oven looks pretty much like any other microwave oven, with a large door on the left and a touch panel on the right. The exterior has a brushed metal finish with black accents. It should fit right at home in any modern kitchen.
In addition to microwaving, the Smart Oven has a convection oven, can be used to air fry (which is also just convection baking), and warm food.
The oven measures 21.8 x 21.4 x 13 inches, and has a 1.5 cubic-foot capacity. Like many of the microwaves on our best microwaves page, its rated power is 1,000 Watts (microwave), 1,400W (convection cook), and 1,100W (warming element). It also comes with a temperature probe, so you can more accurately cook proteins such as chicken or beef.
Like the AmazonBasics microwave, the Amazon Smart Oven doesn't have Alexa built in. Rather, you have to connect and control it through an Alexa smart speaker. So, for example, if you want to warm up a pot roast, you have to talk to the speaker, which will then relay the command to the oven. You then have to press the Start button.
If you've connected the Smart Oven to an Echo device with a camera, you can use that camera to scan the barcode of prepackaged foods (such as those you might find at, ahem, Whole Foods), and the Echo device will send the correct cooking instructions to the oven, which may also include directions for you for when to turn the food over as it's cooking.
Amazon Smart Oven vs. June, Brava, and Tovala
Amazon's Smart Oven joins a handful of somewhat-similar smart ovens, such as the $600 June smart oven, the $1,100 Brava, and the $299 Tovala. While it lacks features such as the Brava's and the June's ability to recognize food, or Tovala's meal-ordering program, the $249 Amazon Smart oven is the least expensive of the group, and may be the most accessible concept-wise.
The ability to scan foods and have the oven know how to cook them automatically could be a useful time-saving feature, and while you may not need Alexa to help you cook, having a countertop appliance that can microwave as well as bake is useful in itself.