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Greetings, everyone! Now, before we begin discussing the matter at hand, let me introduce myself. My name is Carol Smith, I’m a mother of three, the chef of our family restaurant, and an occasional culinary blogger. I’d like to use this opportunity and share with you what I believe will become your best kitchen countertop friend – the NuWave oven.
Together with some fellow chefs, I did some dare I say extensive research and the result of which is this hopefully exhaustive buying guide which you can use and peruse to your heart’s content. We hope that reading will, in turn, result in your decision to buy one of these puppies. These things are not just full of hot air, although, technically, this is precisely how they operate.
Given that fried food has a sure footing on our dining tables, having an appliance as amazing as the NuWave oven relieves so much pressure and guilt off our shoulders, guaranteed. Deep-frying and plain frying our food has been done for a while, now, while cooking using hot air, on the other hand, has only recently become known and commercially available. In fact, the number of NuWave ovens sold annually exceeds five million.
- The Best Nuwave Ovens
- Our Top Pick: NuWave 20632
- The Runner-Up: Nuwave 20326
- Best Budget Pick: NuWave 20631
- What Is a NuWave Oven?
- Why you should trust us
- How we picked and tested
- Health Risks with NuWave Ovens
- How Does a NuWave Oven Work?
- What to Look Out For When Buying a NuWave Oven?
- Tips and Tricks for Using a NuWave Oven
- The Good Stuff about NuWave Ovens (Why to Buy a NuWave Oven)
- The Not So Good Stuff about NuWave Ovens
- NuWave Ovens FAQs
The Best Nuwave Ovens
|NuWave 20632 Pro Plus||Nuwave||Medium||5|
|Nuwave 20326 Pro Digital-Controlled||Nuwave||High||4.8|
|NuWave 20631 Oven Pro Plus||Nuwave||Low||4.6|
Our three top picks were the NuWave 20632, NuWave 20326 and NuWave 20631. Each of these ovens has an edge over the other in one way or another – for the 20632, it’s the quality value you get for the price; the 20326, on the other hand, with its power-saving capability and the amazing range of additional stuff included in the offer, is the best bang for buck, hands down; finally, the 20631, although having smaller capacity, still represents a great investment, given the low power consumption and a matching listed price. In fact, with the time and power, you’ll save with these things, not to mention the benefits to your health, the whole deal is practically a steal! In a nutshell, the recommendation is as follows:
Our Top Pick: NuWave 20632
From all the ovens we had the pleasure of trying (given the amount and the deliciousness of food that had to be consumed as a result, this seems an understatement), the following model truly takes the cake.
The NuWave 20632 Pro Plus is an excellent choice for those who don’t have the time or will to wait on a conventional oven. For half the time and only a portion of your average day home oven, the 20632 Pro Plus will prepare juicy meats, poultry, fish, veggies, and even desserts. Taking the power of a standard conduction oven, the speed of a pro convection oven and the infrared cooking technology, the oven enables you to barbecue, roast, grill, bake, broil, dehydrate, steam and air fry anything from a single egg to sixteen-pound turkey or at least a fourteen-pound ham.
It’s great for family gatherings or any type of social occasion where you’re expected to feed 10+ persons. There’s no need to pre-heat the oven, nor defrost your foodstuffs; moreover, you can choose between the three pre-set settings (warm, reheat and delay) and using the digital panel to adjust the desired temperature in one-degree increments from 100 to 350 °F, cooking your food with 75% less energy and at only a third of time it would take with a conventional household oven. The cleaning is also quick and easy, as the machine is dishwasher-safe (except for the digital panel).
The Runner-Up: Nuwave 20326
If buying the first item is out of the question, for some reason, you can always fall back on our second choice. Not only does it come close quality-wise, but it also has some sweet deal-makers thrown into the offer.
The NuWave 20326 Pro Digital allows you to prepare fried food and make it healthy in the process. Like most similar products, the 20326 uses hot air to cook, broil, grill, dehydrate, reheat, defrost, bake, steam and air fry a variety of different dishes, including different sorts of meats, eggs, vegetables, and dough. However, unlike most similar products, the oven weds the best of the conduction and convection ovens with the infrared technology, taking the power and speed of the former and the power of penetration of the latter to give you a healthy and tasty meal at half the time and 85% less power consumption than a conventional oven.
It’s perfectly capable of fitting a 14-pound ham or a 16-pound turkey, or at least half a dozen Cornish game. Its capacity and portability recommend it for outside gatherings, dorms, even RVs and boats. All parts, save the power head, are dishwasher-safe, so you don’t have to worry about cleanup. The 20326 comes with a whole host of accessories, including a 3-inch ring extender (for increased capacity and variety), a 2-inch rack (ditto), a 10-inch baking pan, as well as a Quick and Easy Cooking Guide Cookbook and an Instructional DVD.
Best Budget Pick: NuWave 20631
Just in case you’re working on a tight budget, here’s a little something to brighten up your day. It may not have the same capacity as the previous two, but it’s definitely the winner in the price-tag competition.
Like its cousins, the NuWave 20631 makes use of the triple combo cooking power – conduction, convection and infrared – to dehydrate, defrost, reheat, cook, grill, bake, broil, steam or air fry your food. You can prepare almost anything and for any given occasion in this functional kitchen appliance. Whether it was an 8-pound ham or a 10-pound turkey, rib eye, quiche or good ole muffins, everything’s a fair game.
Moreover, you can just as easily prepare an intimate family dinner or a host of dishes for the 4th July, and at half the time and using as much as 85% less energy than it would take a conventional oven. The oven has ten power levels, turning even an unenthusiastic cook into a master chef thanks to how easy it is to use it. You can bake cookies, grill poultry, sear meats so that it’s nice and brown on the outside, but moist and juicy on the inside, or even steam some celery. The oven is dishwasher safe (except for the power head), but its relatively smaller dimension mean you can just as easily wash it yourself in the sink. The oven comes with a reversible 1″/4″ cooking rack for added versatility.
There are many detractors of hot-air frying whose main complaint is that it tastes differently to frying and especially deep-frying. This is true, to a degree, but there are three things to keep in mind. When you deep-fry, you essentially drown the food in oils, adding who knows how many calories you didn’t have to eat. When it comes to preparing food using hot air, you need little to no oil (meats don’t need it, but most veggies might use it), which automatically lowers the calorific intake.
Moreover, since NuWave ovens also make use of infrared waves, this guarantees that the food is cooked on the inside as well as outside, minimizing the risk of raw-food related diseases. Two, deep-frying food is messy, say what you will, and inescapably leaves your house smelling of it for days on end.
With NuWave ovens, you won’t have such problems – you just place your food inside, punch some numbers, and watch your dish getting crispy and yummy through the transparent dome. Three = and this ties into number two – cleaning a deep-fryer is notoriously difficult, with all that oil, stains and whatnot, while on the other hand all you have to do to a NuWave oven is put it in the dishwasher. Given all the parts, except the power head (which doesn’t get in touch with the food anyway) are dishwasher safety, this makes the cleanup all the easier.
You might think that preparing food using a NuWave oven takes more time than deep-frying it, but look at this from another side – while it does take longer to fry stuff, you get a much healthier version of the same fried food your doctor may have forbidden you to eat.
Moreover, while deep-fryers only fry, a NuWave oven can do so much more – it can air-fry, can broil, roast, grill, bake, barbecue, steam, and even dehydrate. You may be thinking – Well, that’s the same thing a regular oven can do, and you would be right. But, consider this – not only does a NuWave oven take much less space than your conventional household oven, it also consumes much less power. Some tests indicate it uses as much as 85% less electricity than a standard oven. What’s more, it does everything a traditional oven can, and at most half the time it does. Besides, it allows you to prepare your meals without needing to defrost the food or preheat the oven, which is super-efficient.
What Is a NuWave Oven?
First and foremost, this is not a microwave oven (you’d be surprised how many people make this mistake). NuWave is credited as one of the leading manufacturers of what is known as the countertop oven, specifically, infrared conduction/convection countertop oven, which is akin to air-fryers. While conventional ovens, which you are bound to be familiar with, rely on heat radiation and natural hot air circulation in order to cook, bake, dehydrate and otherwise treat the food thermally, the NuWave makes use of a triple combo cooking power.
For starters, the NuWave, like most similar products, relies on conduction (something hot touches something cold, the cold thing heats), heating the air around the food, and thereby heating the food. This is the principle that your average day oven uses, as well.
However, this is where all the similarities end. While conventional ovens rely on simply surrounding the food with hot air, NuWave takes a page from the convection oven and air fryers and circulates the air, thereby promoting fast and even heating. However, this is not the complete trifecta of NuWave ovens – there’s also the infrared cooking technology that allows the oven to penetrate the food, cooking it on the inside, thereby giving you nice and crispy exterior, as well as juicy and moist interior.
Why you should trust us
Speaking from a chef’s and a mother’s perspective, I can honestly say that NuWave Ovens were a life-saver for me and my family. I remember having to balance between my family, my job and the culinary school for quite some time. My husband has been torn apart in a similar way because, due to the nature of his job, he travels a lot, so the burden of cooking for the kids fell mostly on my shoulders.
Luckily, my friend at the culinary school mentioned she used a NuWave and recommended I should try it, and boy! Was it a discovery! Soon after this revelation I finished the school and landed a job at a restaurant where I would eventually become the chef, so all the pieces were falling together at the same time.
Before you start thinking this is based solely on personal experience, we’d like to mention that we did read the related science and technical literature, wading through a morass of technical terms and specifications, and “translating” it into plain English. We spoke to the NuWave representatives, who politely and succinctly answered all our questions, additionally referring us to other experts and certified nutritionists, who might better paint the picture.
Following this avenue, we spoke with Elaine Wilkes (PhD. NC. MA.) and David Lee Nall, a sports nutritionist, as well as Ed Gaut of DeToag Testing and shared experiences with them. We also spoke to the folks over at the Health & Wellness Club and the Cooking Club of America, who had already tested and recommended the NuWave Oven; moreover, we were also able to draw on the experiences of the world-renowned Silliker Labs, who had also done some testing and declared the NuWave oven safe,
How we picked and tested
We were, essentially, trying to find a little bit of something for everyone. We started by reading a mass of declarations, product descriptions, and customer reviews, and then comparing notes. We were looking for the standard qualities one might expect from any oven, conventional and countertop alike – even heat distribution, adjustable temperature, decent temp range, versatility, accessories, warranties, quality build, ease of cleanup, footprint, health benefits and risks, the whole shebang. Once we decided on a few most promising candidates, we subjected them to a host of trials and measurements. That’s how we finally came to the three items on this list that are, we feel, bound to attract someone’s attention.
One of the things we were careful (and had been eager) to test is the “fat factor” of each of our top selections, especially when compared to a conventional oven. In short, we made three types of meat side by side, each of them in a regular oven and our NuWave ovens – beef roast, country style ribs and about three pounds of chicken quarters (the three most present types of meat in an average American household).
What we measured was the amount of fat drippings left after preparing each dish in every respective drip-tray. While the regular oven had 2.2, 2.6 and 3.2 ounces of drippings for beef, pork and chicken respectively, the NuWave ovens had, on average 120 percent, 250 percent, and 125 percent more (again, beef, pork, and chicken respectively). This just goes to show that NuWave ovens are not only more time efficient, but they are better at releasing the fat contained in the food and reducing your intake of said fat.
Health Risks with NuWave Ovens
What health risks? If anything, we should be talking about health benefits, not risks, when it comes to these ovens. The only thing that might happen if you use one of these is that you can drop weight, which hardly constitutes a risk to health.
Moreover, using fewer fats and oils when cooking decreases the risk of heart disease and cancer, increases your mood and energy levels, and makes you feel better overall. The oven will help you eat healthy (and with much gusto) by keeping more of the natural juices and releasing more of the fat contained in the food.
How Does a NuWave Oven Work?
With a NuWave oven, you can broil, roast, grill, bake, barbecue, steam, dehydrate, and even air-fry. You don’t have to defrost your foodstuffs, and you don’t have to preheat the oven. Just pop whatever it is you want for lunch inside the oven, press some buttons to tell it for how long to cook it, and enjoy your meal in at least half the time it would otherwise take you if you used a conventional conduction oven.
The way a NuWave oven works is by taking the power of a conduction oven, the speed of a professional convection oven, and the technology of infrared cooking and combines them all into one efficient, compact, portable and advanced kitchen appliance. This is no different than how your everyday frying pan or gas stove works, or a regular oven for that matter, but with a couple of added twists.
In other words, conduction is the heat that is applied directly to the food surface via air. This is done by heating system placed directly over the cooking surface, applying direct heat radiation over the food while it sits on a grill or in the dish. It doesn’t get much more straightforward than that.
Next, there is convection – this is where a fan circulates the hot air inside the oven, distributing the heat evenly around the food, treating it uniformly all over. The convection is achieved using a silent motor connected to a specially-designed fan
Finally, we have the far infrared – these are invisible waves that penetrate the food, like meat, cooking on the inside and outside at the same time, ensuring that the outside is nice and brown, while the inside is juicy and moist by searing the meat and trapping the moisture within. In essence, seeing infrared is just a spectrum of electromagnetic radiation, naturally emitted by all heated bodies (yours included), there’s no reason to fear.
From a chef’s perspective, the principle behind these ovens seems ingenious, because it uses the three methods that we use with big, gigantic machines, condenses those methods, puts it in a small and compact unit that you can place on your countertop and use however you like, even stowing it away when you’re certain it’s not needed (trust us, this is highly unlikely to happen).
What to Look Out For When Buying a NuWave Oven?
Honestly, this mostly comes to your personal preferences – how often you cook, for how many people you usually cook, what types of dishes you favor, the works.
Truth be told, the first parameter above is the least important, since a NuWave oven is a great investment whether you cook once a day or once a month. With the low power consumption, it’s certain to pay for itself in no time. Moreover, given the health benefits, it will save you a bunch of money you might otherwise spend on doctors and medications.
Now, the second criterion is a bit more tricky, as it impinges upon the capacity of your oven. Still, most, if not all ovens are more than able to feed a family of four, not to mention single-member households. As a matter of fact, these ovens are a step beyond your regular countertop oven or air-fryer, as their capacity allows them to fit up a turkey up to 16 pounds, meaning you won’t have to calculate for Christmas.
Finally, as was already discussed, NuWave ovens use little to no oil for food preparation, mostly relying on the oils and fats naturally present in the food. However, if you feel inclined to experiment with your diet, you might consider trying out a number of different oils and fats in addition to mainstay foodstuffs, such as walnut and grape-seed oil, avocado oil, duck and goose fat, grape-seed oil, avocado oil, and other. Remember, not all oils and fats are evil, and there are virtually limitless combinations of healthy fats and oils that will have a beneficial effect on your body.
Tips and Tricks for Using a NuWave Oven
- Always make sure the oven is clean, for obvious reasons.
- There’s no need to preheat the oven, or defrost the frozen foodstuffs, but you might consider dabbing your meats with some sort of marinade, purely for flavor.
- If you mean to make different dishes at once, it might be prudent to invest in an optional extender ring, baking pan or rack, or whichever accessory is available with the given model.
- If you intend to make anything that requires a special dish, make sure it fits the oven prior to whipping out the ingredients.
- Always make sure to clean thoroughly after you’ve made a dish that has a high content of natural fats.
- Additionally, after each use, always take the time to clean the oven; given it’s dishwasher safe, this shouldn’t be much of a problem; however, it would be prudent to clean all the components once in a while, including the power head (for this purpose, you can use the cleaning product you do with any electric device in your household).
- After properly cleaning the oven, dry it with a paper towel and store away.
The Good Stuff about NuWave Ovens (Why to Buy a NuWave Oven)
Indeed, why buy a NuWave oven? There are three main reasons, the least of which is it’s a money-saver (power-efficient) and a time-saver (fast). It’s also a space-saver (relatively small), as well as a life-saver (healthy).
To begin with, as may have been already noted, the NuWave oven draws only a portion of what a conventional oven does. Studies show that the percentage ranges anywhere from seventy to eighty-five percent, which is by no means negligible, especially if you run a tight household.
Secondly, the NuWave oven allows you to spend as little time as possible cooking and still end up with a delicious meal every time. It can make even unenthusiastic cooks into master chefs (or, at least, close enough). It takes you, at most, half the time it would if you used a conventional oven. For example, if you’re between two jobs, or spend most of the day outside, having a quick and easy meal will do much to improve your mood, without sacrificing the calories or taste.
The time-saving effect is twofold, in the sense that not only does it take less time to cook a meal, but the capacity is also close to that of a conventional oven. This means you can easily feed a family of four at a time, or a smaller gathering. Also, thanks to the comparable speed with which you are able to cook, feeding large gatherings is also barely a problem, especially if you plan ahead. Conversely, this is not the case with a great majority of air-fryers, whose capacity can mostly be described as adequate, at best.
Thirdly, while your average day oven usually takes as much space as, say, the fridge, the NuWave oven has a much smaller footprint. It’s small and light enough to be easily ported and placed on your kitchen countertop, taken out to the backyard, put in a corner of your dorm room, RV or boat. Also, provided you have an adapter and enough juice, you can lug it to your favorite campsite and prepare a real feast.
Finally, like most of the similar products (other countertop ovens and air-fryers), the NuWave oven uses very little to no oil. This applies especially when you cook meals that have a high content of naturally occurring oils and fats, like chicken or pork. On the other hand, if you mean to cook some veggies, it might be a good idea to drizzle them with some healthy choice oil. If you’re very health-conscious and do not wish to look at the results of all that hard workout go to waste with just one mouthful, then we suggest getting a NuWave oven.
The Not So Good Stuff about NuWave Ovens
Like the previous section, this one also has multiple points to make – for one, although NuWave ovens are portable, they are just not as portable as most air-fryers. Granted, they are still a lot more portable than a regular oven, but some people just don’t like to bother with the extra weight.
Secondly, some of the ovens out there can be a bit pricey to offset the expense for technology going into them, so they make be a bit of a blow to your budget. However, being power-efficient, they should pay for themselves in short order, though the momentary effect may be tad overwhelming.
Thirdly, and this is something coming from a lot of the customers, to get the maximum performance out of the oven, you have to obtain a number of accessories that seldom come included in the offer; these mostly include the extender ring, baking pans, racks, and other kitchen paraphernalia.
Fourthly, and this applies especially if you’re not used to eating at home, it takes some adjusting to it. If the main reason you’re buying it is so you can have the fried food yumminess without the dangers of it, both cooking and eating will take some… acquiring a taste for it, shall we say.
Finally, keep in mind that, just as with any other mass produced and sold products, there’s bound to be a certain amount of negative reviews, many of which will be justified. However, one major gripe is the fact that the dome is made of heat-resistant plastic rather than some more durable material like Pyrex, but as the manufacturer explains, this is done for safety reasons.
NuWave Ovens FAQs
- Do I need to preheat the oven?
Answer:No, you don’t. While air-fryers do require at least three minutes of preheating, this is not the case with NuWave ovens.
- Do I need to defrost the chicken before putting it into the oven?
Answer:Again, this is a no. The oven doesn’t require you to defrost any type of frozen foodstuff prior to cooking.
- What types of food can I make in my oven?
Answer:Let us answer with a question: What types of food can you make in your regular oven? Exactly. Just make sure you use the appropriate dishes
- How many different dishes can be made at a time?
Answer: As many as you have accessories available. Practically speaking, we’ve managed to prepare
- Is it possible to use aluminum foil or baking paper in the oven?
Answer: Yes, it’s possible, provided you ensure there’s enough room for air to circulate freely.
- Can I use baking pots in it?
Answer: Technically speaking, you can use any dish you would normally use in your conventional oven. Just make sure it fits the oven.
- How much food can I make in the oven?
Answer: That would depend on the model. Usually, the oven allows up to 14-pound ham or 16-pound turkey to be cooked, with some potatoes on the side. However, some smaller models can handle only up to 10-pound turkeys. So, choose wisely.
8.What’s the recommended power source for the oven?
Answer: The oven is made with 110V in mind for the US market and 220V for the European market.
9.Is it possible to add more ingredients into the oven while it’s cooking?
Answer: Yes, it’s possible, but you should keep in mind that you need to do it very quickly so as to minimize the heat loss. Also, you need to be careful not to burn yourself. Keep some distance to allow the hot vapors to dissipate, put whatever it is you need to add, and close it back quickly.
- What kinds of food are recommended for the oven?
Answer: In a nutshell, anything you would prepare in your regular oven. Any type of meat, like beef sirloin, lamb chops ribs, chicken wings, turkey legs, salmon fillets, fish sticks, etc. Most of these will not require any oil, as they have a fairly high content of naturally occurring oils and fats. That doesn’t keep you from marinating them, though. Conversely, dry stuff like vegetables, some fish, and the like, might benefit from a drop of extra-virgin olive oil or a smear of butter. Moreover, with proper vessels, you can make any type of baked dessert, from muffins, through quiche, to cakes.
So, there you have it, as exhaustive and extensive guide to buying a NuWave oven as could be compiled. We hope that after reading through this, you have at least gotten a close idea of what a NuWave oven is, what it can and can’t do, and in what ways it is beneficial to your diet. Keep in mind that while this may seem as just shopping for a kitchen appliance, you’re actually investing in your health and that of your family.