For most Gen X men like myself, the notion of having a hearty delicious meal waiting for us when we got home after a long day of work is a romantic notion that faded away as more moms and wives took an active role in the workplace. Along with that trend though was a resugence in men taking on kitchen duties at home. Somewhere in the middle of this transition is an entire spectrum of services ranging from Freshley to Blue Apron to game changing platforms like SUVIE that for the first time is a product that I can see having as a part of my life beyond a particularly busy time when I don't have time to shop and source my own stuff.
The main reason why I'm so excited about this is that unlike a meal delivery service or meal kit service, Suvie is a complete system that is accurate in how the company describes it: Your Countertop Kitchen Robot.
The core unit is also priced at an incredibly aggressive price point for a product of this quality and sophistication. For only $299, you can get the appliance and 18 free meals (when purchased across three orders - essentially, six free per order if you contract to receive three months of meals. Those meals are packaged typically for one serving, but unlike other meal services, I found these single-person meal portions to be very generous. Last night, we cooked two BBQ Meatloaf meals simultaneously, and three adults were very satisfied with the addition of a side of dinner rolls!
Setting Up Your Suvie
For better or worse, I've somehow become the Air Fryer King Of Toledo over the past few months as we test out different form factors and try different products to ultimately make things easy on my Father in Law once we step back and it's safe for him to have independence again. At this price point - $300 - I was expecting more of a gimmick, but instead, I found Suvie to be pretty robust. The device is heavy, the hinges are sturdy, and it is well-made.
The setup was easy, though - I just placed it on the counter, plugged it in, connected my phone, pointed it to the wifi network, and added water to use during steaming.
Now it's time to throw some food in trays (after washing first) and cook your first meals!
How Meals Work With Suvie
Suvie has a very easy-to-use website for ordering and browsing meal choices, as well as a rotating selection of meals designed by their culinary team along with community insights. I was impressed to see a variety of both vegetarian choices and meaty classics like Chicken, Ribs and Meatloaf for those who are a bit less adventurous. However, even if you aren't looking for Mataar Paneer or Thai Chili Salmon, I'm sure whoever you're cooking for will find something to love her.
The meals come individually portioned in plastic bags with an illustrated instruction card that gives you all the info you need to prepare the meal for cooking - and then functions as an RFID tag for the Suvie to pull up its instructions related to heating, cooling, timing for the two different trays to ensure a properly cooked meal without doing what I've done dozens of times now in other devices where the potatoes are still cold inside even though the chicken is dried out and overcooked.
I'm happy to say here that while I've enjoyed some of the meals more than others - the cooking instructions were spot on.
When you're done, place the stainless steel cooking trays in the dishwasher and run the machine on a regular setting (or cheap dishwasher struggled on light wash / 1 hour wash the pans clean up perfectly on the 4-hour and heavy duty cleaning cycles.
Suvie Can Make Your Own Recipes Too
The absolute killer feature here is that while this is the ultimate product for anyone who has struggled with meal kits and meal delivery programs in the past - Suvie functions on its own by manual programming in the times. For instance, while the kits provided by Suvie are "ready to go" .. you can just as easily throw a couple of boneless skinless chicken breasts up top along with some baby potatoes on the bottom and it will be ready to eat when you come home at the end of the day or when you get home from the gym. Best of all - they don't hide these modifications and diy recipes ... they feature them right on the Suvie Blog.
It's a bit more complicated than that but it's why Suvie has earned a spot in our kitchen.
Long-Term Thoughts On How We Used Suvie
While writing this I began to wonder if my review of Suvie is almost too glowing for some folks to think this is anything more than me shilling for the company (they did send the product to cook as well as two months of food). We've been using the machine for 2 months now and love it. But it isn't for everyone. Suvie is in version 3.0 right now, and they have a very active community of customers. their engineers, designers, and marketing team are very active in the community, listening to suggestions.
My biggest issue is that along with my air fryer, blender, etc. etc. etc. this is just one more SKA (small kitchen appliance) to take space on my countertop. However, unlike my Blendtec and Sous Vide, it is heavy and since it is also a refrigerator needs to be rested before being used again so the coolant can settle again.
This means that I can't just shove it on a shelf in our pantry like the other SKAs can. As such, I don't know where this ultimately ends once we leave Jim's house.
Leaving it here isn't really an option since he's decided that the meals are too expensive and too fancy for his tastes. Despite this being extremely easy to use from my perspective - he would prefer to grab a pizza or hot dog from the freezer or a pot of soup and have a single button to press to turn it on.
His priorities are different than mine, and 5-minute cooking in the microwave is faster and easier than a high-quality complete meal that can be prepared in an hour (or some in less than 30 minutes).
Final Words: Suvie Can Also Serve As Your ManCave Personal TurboChef
Anyone who has ever worked being the counter at a snackbar or a bar without a real kitchen knows about the a nearly magical product called TurboChef. It is a series of ventless rapid-cook ovens with precise temperature control, and often, you can prepare two different orders at the same time - or burger and fries at the same time.
Yeah, me too ... while Suvie is a home run for easy, healthy meal prep that will save you time. It is also the MUST HAVE appliance for your man cave to fire up an order of freezer fries, sausages, frozen burger patties, bagel bites, breakfast sandwhiches etc. Sure, you can do healthier stuff too of course such as some badass baked potatoes or breadsticks as well.
It isn't going to deliver quite the same "turbo" experience at $300, vs $5,000+ but as someone who has used both machines, it comes damned close to replicating the effect and especially the fact that unlike my air fryers that often set the smoke alarms off ... I've not had that problem with Suvie.