The Cuisinart Chef's Convection Oven placed itself solidly in the upper echelon of performers in our testing. 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 great choice.
Cuisinart Chef's Convection Oven Review
Pros: Dual cook mode adds versatiliy for complex dishes, included pizza stone
Cons: Pricey, slightly lower performance than other models in price range
Compare to Similar Products
Cuisinart Chef's Convection Oven
|Price||$280 List||$230 List|
$209.99 at Amazon
|$180 List||$70 List||$170 List|
$149.00 at Amazon
|Pros||Dual cook mode adds versatiliy for complex dishes, included pizza stone||Great baking performance, great temperature accuracy, can also air fry and dehydrate, flips on its end when not in use to save space||Compact, great all-around cooking performance, great temperature accuracy||Makes great frozen pizza, easy to celan, convection mode, great toast||Fast and convenient, great toasting quality, great for frozen foods|
|Cons||Pricey, slightly lower performance than other models in price range||Somewhat expensive||Smaller capacity||Mediocre temperature accuracy, only average baking performance||Smaller capacity, odd controls|
|Bottom Line||A great all around performer that was held back due to poor temperature accuracy||One of the best multifunction cooking devices on the market||A perfect oven for those that want high performance but don't have much counter space||A convenient and reliable budget option with reasonable performance at a great price||A small capacity, amazingly fast oven that can also replace 90% of microwave functions|
|Rating Categories||Chef's Convection Oven||Ninja Foodi Digital...||Breville Mini Smart...||BLACK+DECKER TO3250XSB||Panasonic FlashXpress|
|Ease Of Use (25%)|
|Temperature Accuracy (20%)|
|Frozen Food (15%)|
|Specs||Chef's Convection Oven||Ninja Foodi Digital...||Breville Mini Smart...||BLACK+DECKER TO3250XSB||Panasonic FlashXpress|
|Outer Dimensions||17" x 12" x 20"||19.7" x 7.6" x 15"||15.5" x 14" x 8.8"||14.5" x 22" x 11.5"||13" x 12" x 10.2"|
|Maximum Pizza Diameter||13"||13"||11"||13"||9"|
|Accesories||Extra oven rack, Baking pan, Broil rack, Pizza stone||Wire rack, air fry basket, sheet pan||Baking pan||Baking pan, wire rack||Baking pan|
|Power Consumption (W)||1875||1800||1800||1500||1300|
Our Analysis and Test Results
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.
Ease of Use
The Cuisinart again sat right behind the top performer in our ease of use testing. 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 they finish cooking. Just note that the oven can't cool down instantaneously, so be careful about overcooking things if you use this option.
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.
The Cuisinart shared the bottom score with one other model in our frozen meal preparation test. It was able to 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 but insides that felt a bit 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 come out with less than stellar results.
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.
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.
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.
— Max Mutter and Steven Tata