Cuisinart TOA-60 Review
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|Pros||Easy to use, accurate temperatures, well-built, very versatile||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||Inexpensive, easy to clean, small footprint, consistent performance||Fast and convenient, great toasting quality, great for frozen foods|
|Cons||Pricey, somewhat large, heavy, tendency to slightly overcook||Somewhat expensive||Smaller capacity||Small size limits portions, cooks on the cool side||Smaller capacity, odd controls|
|Bottom Line||This multipurpose oven is sleek, easy to use, and performs well across the board, but definitely takes a bite out of the wallet and your counter space||One of the best multi-function cooking devices on the market||A perfect oven for those that want high performance but don't have much counter space||Compact, consistent, and budget-friendly are the defining characteristics of this easy-to-use oven||A small capacity, amazingly fast oven that can replace 90% of microwave functions|
|Rating Categories||Cuisinart TOA-60||Ninja Foodi Digital...||Breville Mini Smart...||Hamilton Beach Easy...||Panasonic FlashXpress|
|Ease of Use (25%)|
|Temperature Accuracy (20%)|
|Frozen Food (15%)|
|Specs||Cuisinart TOA-60||Ninja Foodi Digital...||Breville Mini Smart...||Hamilton Beach Easy...||Panasonic FlashXpress|
|Outer Dimensions||15.5" x 16" x 14"||19.7" x 7.6" x 15"||15.5" x 14" x 8.8"||11.9" x 16.1" x 9"||13" x 12" x 10.2"|
|Maximum Pizza Diameter||12"||13"||11"||9"||9"|
|Accessories||Oven rack, baking pan, air fryer basket||Wire rack, air fry basket, sheet pan||Baking pan||Bake pan, oven rack, slide-out crumb tray||Baking pan|
|Power Consumption (W)||1800||1800||1800||1200||1300|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Cuisinart TOA-60 is well-built and very multifunctional at a price that is lower than more expensive models with fewer cooking options. In addition to simple baking and broiling, the Cuisinart is a convection oven and an air fryer. We feel it is an excellent oven, but we held back on giving it an award because it takes too long to figure out its quirks — namely mastering cooking time and temperatures to avoid over-cooking. In all fairness, after we gained a firm grasp on how to cook different foods, we feel this oven can compete with the best.
Despite high marks for temperature accuracy, our testers found the Cuisinart runs a little hot and bakes a little too quickly. In many cases, items were slightly overcooked when baked for their recommended time limits. Most cookies and cakes were darker than desired on the tops and sides. Some were slightly burned or left with crispy edges. However, most were still moist on the inside, leading us to believe that the Cuisinart tends to sear items quickly which locks in moisture.
This process was more evident when we baked chicken. We found the top side of our chicken legs to be very desirable and crispy, while the interior was very moist and juicy, earning the Cuisinart some of our highest marks in this area. We feel once the user masters its unique cooking quirk, the Cuisinart can produce very acceptable results. For us, the key to accomplishing better results was to decrease temperature and cooking time. One thing we didn't overcome were its baking patterns with cakes and cookies. There was never perfect a perfect golden-brown hue. Most items were slightly uneven in color, but tolerable.
Ease of Use
The Cuisinart excelled in our Ease of Use metric, earning it high marks in every area we examined. Right out of the box, this oven is extremely easy to figure out without much reference to the owner's manual (although we do recommend reading it). We particularly appreciated its simple, intuitive interface which employs basic, manually adjusted control knobs. In fact, the Cuisinart's control panel is easy enough to use, it can be figured out at first glance. Three simple control knobs individually adjust time, temperature, and function. A fourth knob allows the user to select light, medium, or dark when toasting bread. Additionally, simple to read lights indicate when the oven is in use.
Easy-to-see tray guides allow the user to quickly reposition trays to different levels within the oven. Another stand-out feature is a built-in safety mechanism which prevents loaded trays from being accidently pulled out more than halfway. We found this feature a little bothersome when we were trying to reposition empty trays; however, we still appreciate its ability to prevent spilling hot or messy food on ourselves or the floor.
Cleaning the Cuisinart resulted in mixed results. While the oven's non-stick interior and easily accessible crumb tray made cleaning a breeze, we often found stray crumbs throughout the interior of the oven and its door seals. These could be removed with a wet paper towel or by shaking the oven over a garbage can. However, given the oven's size and weight, it may be difficult for some users to to lift.
Two built-in handles make it easier to lift and move the oven; however, we feel that its weight and size lend it more to being a mainstay countertop appliance.
In terms of accessories, the Cuisinart comes standard with an air-fryer basket, an oven rack, and a baking sheet.
Using two calibrated thermometers, we ran several tests to determine the Cuisinart's ability to maintain accurate temperature ranges. We were very impressed with its ability to establish and manage sustained temperatures, earning this oven some of the best marks we've seen. The Cuisinart boasted nearly perfect temperature readings at 350, 400 and 450 degrees, making it one of the most accurate ovens we've ever tested.
Oddly, its temperature-maintaining prowess did not transfer to perfect baking, cooking, and toasting. Although, scoring above-average in these areas, we still found items to be overcooked, slightly burned, or unevenly cooked.
At first glance, it appeared our 12-inch frozen pizza was cooked to perfection. The top half had ideal color and texture; however, we found the bottom half to be rather scorched in sections, giving the pizza a burned flavor at times.
However, with tater tots, the Cuisinart produced very uniform, golden, crispy outer shells on most of the tots. For a toaster oven, we felt they were cooked nearly to perfection. Again, our results showed that the Cuisinart does an adequate job of cooking and baking; however, it still underperforms a little in uniformity and has a tendency to slightly scorch most items when cooked at recommended temperatures.
Despite our nitpicking, the Cuisinart still received higher than average scores for this metric. In short, it doesn't cook frozen items to absolute perfection; however, we do feel it performs above average and will offer acceptable results to the general consumer.
Bread and bagels were the focus of this metric and the Cuisinart earned above-average scores on both. In all of our toasting tests, we found both items to be toasted to a near-perfect golden brown on the top side; however, we were somewhat disappointed to find the bottom sides didn't exactly match.
In both cases, we set the toaster to medium settings, resulting in lovely brown tops but darker, more well-toasted bottoms. Both were still very edible; however, we were disappointed with the inconsistency, which resulted in lower scores than the Cuisinart could have received.
Should You Buy the Cuisinart TOA-60?
The Cuisinart TOA-60 is stylish, easy to use, and performs above-average in all of our metrics. It's one of the highest-scoring ovens on our list. It's a bit more expensive than most, but when we consider all of the functions it can perform, it actually costs less than some other models that have fewer options. In short, you should purchase this oven if you want a permanent appliance on your countertop and you're looking for multiple functions at a reasonable price. You may sacrifice a little bit in terms of cooking and baking consistency and quality; however, we feel the Cuisinart will serve you well if you a have above-average expectations for aesthetics and functionality, but average expectations for baking and cooking results.
What Other Toaster Oven Should You Consider?
If you won't use the extra functions the Cuisinart offers or you don't have a lot of space or desire for larger permanent appliance, the Cuisinart is not the oven for you. Likewise, if you want simple function and a lower price, a smaller oven like our the Hamilton Beach Easy Reach 4-Slice may be a better fit. On the contrary, if you are looking for what we feel is the overall best product available, you might consider reading up on the Breville Smart Oven.
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