The NuWave oven system is a hot new product that's sweeping the infomercial circuit. It claims to cook food 50 percent faster than a conventional oven, with 85 percent less energy, all while removing more fat.
Although it sounds too good to be true, it's backed with awards from the American Culinary Institute, including the Gold Medal for Excellence and Best Product. NuWave was also recommended by the National Health and Wellness Club, and approved by the Cooking Club of America in 2003.
Beyond the hype, the important thing is how well this appliance works, and whether it can replace your dependable (and if you're like me, stain-ridden) microwave. The NuWave's selling points are:
1. It uses less power than your oven.
At a power output of 1500 watts, (or 1225 depending in the model), it does use less power than your conventional oven (averaged at 3400 watts). This equals about 85 percent less energy than the average oven. Keep in mind, however, that microwaves are often rated at less than 1500 watts, so the NuWave still has a competitor.
2. It cooks 50 percent faster, and does not require preheating or defrosting.
It does cook significantly faster than your oven, and with good results. It also has an advantage over your microwave. Although the microwave would probably win hands down in a cooking race, speed is actually the Achilles heel of the traditional zapper.
You wouldn't dare try to cook a thick slab of meat in the microwave. Besides the fact that your nice red steak would probably explode, the heat is too focussed and intense to produce anything that isn't dry and chewy.
That is where the NuWave comes in. It uses something called "3 way cooking," which is really just a combination of your standard oven technology with added infrared heating and convection. This means that your meats and vegetables will come out moist and evenly cooked.
3. It's small and easy to clean.
It weighs less than nine pounds, and everything except the power head can go in the dishwasher. That's something that certainly doesn't apply to your average microwave.
4. It's versatile.
It can broil, bake, fry, roast, steam and even dehydrate.
5. It removes 25 percent more fat than your oven.
You can see the fat drip off, while food remains tender and tasty.
Now for the bad news
Being small, cooking space is limited, so you wouldn't be able to cook for a large family (say, more than six or seven people).
Also, meats will emerge moist, but not crispy. That's not to say the food doesn't taste good, but some won't have the crispiness of your traditional oven offers.
To remedy these issues you can use your regular oven for the foods that call for crispiness, or when you have large family gatherings. In the meantime, the NuWave is a great way to keep your cholesterol down while still enjoying your favorite foods. Since you can also cook in a fraction of the time of the oven (you can cook a frozen steak or a whole chicken in around 30 minutes), I definitely recommend giving it a try. Most NuWaves also come with a money-back guarantee.