Overall, I love this oven. Unless it breaks down on me, which only time will tell, I cannot think of anything negative to say about it. Cuisinart is doing this oven a marketable disservice by labeling it a “toaster” oven. Rather, this is a full fledged oven (in reduced size) that also happens to toast your bread too. Cuisinart has established a new category of ovens with this one. It has evolved way past the “toaster” stage.
I’ll try to cover everything I wanted to know about this oven when I was researching it:
Aesthetically, this oven beats ALL the others on the market hands down. If you are into how your appliance looks as well as how it performs, you will be VERY pleased with this one. It has a professional, sophisticated look about it, which is enhanced by the steel on steel color combination. No black or white plastic look to cheapen it.
The digital control pad is very well labeled and easy to use. The LCD display is a must have. I know most toaster ovens are operated by manual control dials but I would never want one. I like being able to punch in what I want and see it on display. I know more things can go wrong with digital controls but I’ll take my chances.
I do wish the rack automatically slid out when the door is opened. I hate having to use a pot holder just to get a piece of toast out of the oven. On the other hand, it’s no different than using a regular oven and no one complains about that. All in all, not a big deal. I plan on getting some thongs to grasp small items.
It is not as bright inside as it appears in the picture. This oven needs an inside light. I thought my kitchen lighting would be bright enough, but overhead lighting doesn’t reach inside the depths of the oven. It is very dark in there.
The crumb tray is a pain to access from back. Would it have killed the designers to have it slide out from the front?!
I am pleased with the toasting quality of this oven. The preset default setting is #4-Medium for 3 minutes. I generally use the higher setting #5 or #6, as I keep my bread frozen and prefer a darker crust, which require extra time. Incidentally, I do not need to add defrost.
The toast turned out fine. It was nicely toasted on both sides; one side being slightly more toasted than the other. However, it does take a bit longer to toast than I am willing to wait–close to 5 minutes (for setting #6). Rather, I prefer the ease of just dropping my bread in a toaster and less than 3 minutes later, it pops up hot and toasted. For a quick and simple piece of toast, I still use a regular toaster. No big deal because as I mentioned earlier, I do look upon this Cuisinart as more of a mini-oven than a toaster anyway. However, it perfect for toasting larger items like bagels.
The Tollhouse instructions call for baking from 10-12 minutes. I typically cook them for 10 minutes in my big oven so I set the timer for 10 minutes. Good thing I checked on my cookies around 8 1/2 minutes as they were already well done!
I am amazed again at how well this oven heats up. One reviewer complained that their oven heated up 15-25 degrees lower than the stated temperature. However, I experienced no temperature problems at all. If this oven does have temperature inaccuracies, it doesn’t appear to affect its baking performance. In fact, since regular baking cooks so fast, I wonder if I will ever use the convection baking feature.
I haven’t cooked with it yet, but I turned it on to make sure it works and to hear how it sounds. There is a hum from the convection fan but it is no louder than the sound of my refrigerator compressor or my microwave when in use. Between washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, microwaves, blenders, etc., if you aren’t used to hearing noises from your appliances by now, you must be an easily irritated person.
Untested at this time. Will update later when used.
Generally speaking, the Cuisinart may be a smaller oven but it is still an oven. This sucker does heat up to 500 degrees after all. Follow the same safety precautions as you would using your regular oven and you’ll be fine.
I guess the exterior of this oven gets hot to the touch. I didn’t notice. I have no intention on sitting on top of the toaster oven, or on the counter next to it. So the fact that the top and sides may get hot is no problem for me. The front of the toaster oven may get hot too, but just as I don’t touch the door of my regular oven during use, I have no intention of touching this door either.
I have no problems using the handle without worrying about burning my bare hands, though I admit I have small hands. Perhaps someone with larger hands might come in contact with the hot door and it doesn’t look like the metal band under the handle is heat resistant, which would have avoided this particular issue altogether. Be careful.
The top rack slot has a safety catch to prevent the rack from accidentally sliding all the way out. Strangely, the bottom slot does not.
The rack has raised corners. Good feature to prevent a pan from sliding off. Bad feature when inserting or removing a pan. Pans won’t simply slide in and out. You must slightly tilt it a bit. Tilting a pan full of hot liquids is never a good idea so you’ll have to carefully maneuver.
The broiler tray and drip/baking pan that comes with the oven is large. It is a very sturdy pan set. The middle of the pan is slightly raised to allow for drippings to flow to the sides–which will be helpful when using it as a baking pan to cook greasy items. I like the pan, but it’s a bit large for my everyday needs so I purchased a smaller pan set by Chicago Metallic (which is very nice incidentally). I will save the Cuisinart pan for larger “on the weekend” dishes–as I am only cooking for one typically during the week and don’t need to haul out a large pan.
Cuisinart includes an extremely thorough instruction manual covering everything you need to know. It also includes some very delectable recipes tailored for this oven. Their recipes caught my attention to such a degree that I went looking for more on Cuisinart’s website. Yummy looking recipes there too.
Generally speaking, I feel safe and comfortable using this oven. Only time will tell how long it will hold up. Who knows, I wrote this rave review and next week the oven could break down on me. I hope not because I look forward to enjoying this oven for many years to come.
- 6-slice convection toaster oven broiler with 0.6-cubic-foot capacity
- Pizza/bake, broil, toast, and convection; bagel, reheat, and defrost buttons
- Shade control with heat sensor maintains precise oven temperature
- Electronic touchpad controls; clock and oven timers; easy-to-clean interior
- Measures 16 by 17-3/4 by 9-5/8 inches; 3-year limited warranty