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Cuisinart Chef's Convection Oven Review

A great all around performer that was held back due to poor temperature accuracy
Cuisinart Chef's Convection Oven
Credit: Cuisinart
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Price:   $300 List | $299.95 at Amazon
Pros:  Dual cook mode adds versatiliy for complex dishes, included pizza stone
Cons:  Pricey, slightly lower performance than other models in price range
Manufacturer:   Cuisinart
By Max Mutter and Steven Tata  ⋅  Jan 26, 2022
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61
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 13
  • Baking - 30% 7.0
  • Ease of Use - 25% 7.0
  • Temperature Accuracy - 20% 4.0
  • Frozen Food - 15% 5.0
  • Toasting - 10% 7.0

Our Verdict

In our testing, the Cuisinart Chef's Convection Oven placed itself solidly in the upper echelon of toaster ovens. It received high marks for toasting, baking, and ease of use. The only thing that separated it from the top award winners was its below-average temperature accuracy. This might cause issues if you bake very temperature-sensitive items, but most likely would not be noticeable otherwise. If you're not particularly concerned with temperature accuracy, the Chef's Convection Oven is a potential choice to add to your kitchen countertop.

In our testing we used the Chef's Convection Toaster Oven, model number: TOB-260N. That model has since been discontinued and replaced with the Chef's Convection Toaster Oven, model number: TOB-260N1. After a detailed review of the new model's specifications, it is clear that it is essentially the exact same machine with some minor cosmetic differences. Therefore, we feel confident that our testing results apply to this new model as well.

Editor's Note: This oven review was updated on January 28, 2022, with more details concerning our favorite ovens and why we would choose them over the competition.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
Price $300 List
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Pros Dual cook mode adds versatiliy for complex dishes, included pizza stoneExcellent temperature accuracy, great all-around cooking performance, bevy of cooking modes, user-friendlyGreat baking performance, great temperature accuracy, can also air fry and dehydrate, flips on its end when not in use to save spaceCompact, great all-around cooking performance, great temperature accuracyInexpensive, easy to clean, small footprint, consistent performance
Cons Pricey, slightly lower performance than other models in price rangeVery expensive, may be too large for smaller kitchensSomewhat expensiveSmaller capacitySmall size limits portions, cooks on the cool side
Bottom Line A great all around performer that was held back due to poor temperature accuracyThe highest performing, most fully-featured model we've tested, but it comes at a high priceOne of the best multi-function cooking devices on the marketA perfect oven for those that want high performance but don't have much counter spaceCompact, consistent, and budget-friendly are the defining characteristics of this easy-to-use oven
Rating Categories Cuisinart Chef's Co... Breville Smart Air... Ninja Foodi Digital... Breville Mini Smart... Hamilton Beach Easy...
Baking (30%)
7.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
Ease of Use (25%)
7.0
9.0
9.0
7.0
8.0
Temperature Accuracy (20%)
4.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
7.0
Frozen Food (15%)
5.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Toasting (10%)
7.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
Specs Cuisinart Chef's Co... Breville Smart Air... Ninja Foodi Digital... Breville Mini Smart... Hamilton Beach Easy...
Outer Dimensions 17" x 12" x 20" 17.2" x 21.4" x 12.8" 19.7" x 7.6" x 15" 15.5" x 14" x 8.8" 11.9" x 16.1" x 9"
Maximum Pizza Diameter 13" 13" 13" 11" 9"
Accessories Extra oven rack, Baking pan, Broil rack, Pizza stone 13" Pizza Pan, Oven Racks x2, 9"x13" Broil Rack, Enamel Roasting Pan, Mesh basket rack Wire rack, air fry basket, sheet pan Baking pan Bake pan, oven rack, slide-out crumb tray
Power Consumption (W) 1875 1800 1800 1800 1200

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


Cuisinart Chef's Convection Oven toaster oven - the cuisinart is the only model we tested that comes with a pizza...
The Cuisinart is the only model we tested that comes with a pizza stone.
Credit: Katherine Elliott

Baking


The Cuisinart was on par with, but just slightly inferior to, the two top performers in our baking test. The only reason it missed out on a higher score was that it was somewhat less adept at retaining moisture. It made cookies with crispy edges and gooey middles that, if anything, were just a tad too dry. It cooked cakes very evenly but again with a slightly drier texture. Its drumsticks were top-notch, but again the meat was just a bit drier than that of the best performing ovens.

Cuisinart Chef's Convection Oven toaster oven - the cuisinart's cookies: somewhat crunchy on the outside, somewhat...
The Cuisinart's cookies: somewhat crunchy on the outside, somewhat dry on the inside. Overall they were some of the better cookies that came out of our testing.
Credit: Steven Tata

Ease of Use


In our ease of use testing, the Cuisinart again sat right behind the top performer. It has a solid crumb tray that is easy to remove and clean. A well-lit LCD screen displays all relevant information, and one main knob allows you to toggle through settings. Spinning the knob cycles through the Cuisinart's ten main cooking modes: toast, bagel, waffle, bake, broil, roast, pizza, sandwich, keep warm, and leftover. Pushing the button at the center of the knob selects the cooking mode and turns the knob into a temperature selector. Pushing the button again selects the temperature and lets you then select the cooking time.

Once selections are made, a start/stop button begins the cooking cycle. Convection can easily be turned on and off at the push of a button. It also has a dual cook button. This allows you to program in settings for foods that have two cooking stages. Say you have a dish that requires slow cooking at 250˚ for an hour and then another 20 minutes at 450˚ to brown the outside. You can plug this into the Cuisinart, and it will automatically run through both of those stages with no mid-cycle adjustments required. You can also set the oven to a low temperature, like 150˚, to keep items warm after cooking. Just note that the oven can't cool down instantaneously, so be careful about overcooking things if you use this option.

Cuisinart Chef's Convection Oven toaster oven - the cuisinart's single knob design feels slightly less stremalined...
The Cuisinart's single knob design feels slightly less stremalined than other designs, but is still a pleasure to use.
Credit: Katherine Elliott

Temperature Accuracy


Our temperature accuracy test is where the Cuisinart really fell behind the top performers. When set to 350˚ in our test, the Cuisinart was 10˚ hot at the 15-minute mark and rose to 25˚ hot at the 30-minute mark. It consistently ran 25˚ hot when set to 400˚. When set to 450˚, it fluctuated between 20˚ and 25˚ hot.

Frozen Foods


The Cuisinart shared the bottom score with another model in our frozen meal preparation test. It could cook frozen pizzas fairly evenly on the surface, but it often left the dough at the center quite underdone. We got similar results with tater tots: crispy outsides with insides that felt too soggy. While most of these problems could probably be fixed by lengthening cook times, it is annoying to follow the provided cooking instructions and have less than stellar results.

Cuisinart Chef's Convection Oven toaster oven - during our testing we felt that the cuisinart often left the middles...
During our testing we felt that the Cuisinart often left the middles of frozen pizzas slightly underdone.
Credit: Steven Tata

Toasting


The Cuisinart was again just below the top performers in our toasting quality tests. It made phenomenal bagels, on par with the quality of any other model in our test lineup. It toasted faces evenly with just a few light spots. It was also able to leave the backsides untoasted. Its toast map showed a fairly large toasting sweet spot with all three slices in the center of the rack toasting fairly well, but it did produce some light spots near the crusts. The slices adjacent to the sidewalls did come out very light compared to those in the center. Overall we feel most people will be happy with the toasting quality of the Cuisinart.

Cuisinart Chef's Convection Oven toaster oven - the cuisinart was able to make some perfectly toasted bagels.
The Cuisinart was able to make some perfectly toasted bagels.
Credit: Steven Tata

Should You Buy the Cuisinart?


The Cuisinart is a solid, upper-tier performer that will function well in most kitchens. However, it is priced similarly to other slightly better-performing models, so it would not be our first recommendation for most people looking for a toaster oven. Its dual cook function is unique and interesting and may make this a good choice for people who often cook things that require two different cooking stages. The Cuisinart has a reasonable list price, but other similarly-priced models perform better, so we'd have a hard time calling it a great value.

What Other Toaster Oven Should You Consider?


With a middle-of-the-road performance and a price higher than one of the highest ranking ovens in the review, it is hard to say the Cuisinart is the one for anyone. We much prefer the versatile Ninja Foodi Digital Oven with its high rank, impressive cooking performance in all our tests, and a lower price than the Cuisinart.

Max Mutter and Steven Tata
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