We welcome the Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven to the podium today, as we assess it for its pros, cons, looks and features.
If you follow “Oprah’s favourite things” you’ve heard about the Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven. It’s a stylish little number and is a far cry from the rounded, robotic-looking air fryers we’ve come to know. The Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven looks more like, well, an oven. If an oven and a microwave had a baby, it might look a little something like this (as odd as that sounds, but you’ll know what I mean when you see the product). It’s an all-around cooking whiz as it can do anything an oven can do, as long as there are no liquids involved.
But how good is it? Is it the one for you? What can this machine do exactly? Are the controls easy to use? Is it dishwasher safe? What’s the warranty like? Is the temperature control reliable and steady?
Read on for all the answers and more.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
What Interesting About the Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven?
Cuisinart has gone a bit old-school with this design. Instead of a snazzy digital screen with buttons to program the cooking schedule, they have opted for manual dials. With four dials to control the function, time, temperature and toast doneness, this is a machine for the technology-averse. Personally, I really like this kind of design, it seems more straightforward and intuitive to me. However, some people find it to be outdated and counter-intuitive. It comes down to what you prefer and what you like the look of best.
If you’re looking for a machine with air frying as its sole and star ability, this probably isn’t Mr Right for you. It’s a mini oven, air fryer and toaster in one. You can roast, bake, grill, broil, cook toast and air fry. I see it as being ideal for homes where appliances are scarce and convenience is paramount, as well as for people who want healthier cooking options.
What do other customers and reviews say?
79% of Amazon customers were happy enough to give the Cuisinart Air Fryer a rating of 4 or 5 stars (the large majority awarded 5 stars), with only 9% rattled enough to give 1 star. That’s nothing to scoff at. But why the 5’s and the 1’s? What was so great and so bad?
Well-made and attractive: many positive customers have written comments praising the overall design and quality of this machine. They find it to be a solid, well-made and reliable appliance. This is in stark contrast to many other air fryers which have comments riddled with words like “junk”, “cheap” and “poor quality”, so it’s great to see some positivity in this arena.
Great results: the taste, texture and quality of the food is the most important thing aside from overall quality. You don’t want a sturdy machine which produces average results. Luckily, the majority of people have been thrilled with what this air fryer has cooked for them.
There are many comments singing the praises of the chicken, fries and steaks the Cuisinart Air Fryer has prepared for them. These people have not had the issues that more perturbed customers have had in regards to temperature control and burnt food. But that’s for the negative section below.
Versatile: the versatility of this appliance has been an impressive feature for happy customers. Many reviews focus on all of the different dishes the customer has made, and on a regular/daily basis. People have found this to be a very versatile little kitchen friend.
Great warranty: the 3-year warranty features in the positive comment section a good handful of times. This is a really fantastic warranty, especially compared to some models which offer one as short as 60 days.
It runs too hot/inaccurate temperature control: this is by far the most common complaint in the negative review sections. These customers have found that the temperature jumps up and down resulting in an uneven bake. They have found that the oven “runs hot” and has resulted in burnt dishes. Some people have jumped to the defence of the unit by saying that you simply must keep an eye on the food as it cooks and mustn’t take the timer recommendations in the provided recipes as gospel.
Dials break easily: some people have found that the dials have fallen off or have broken, irritatingly.
Not dishwasher safe: the basket, trays, racks and pans cannot be put in the dishwasher and must be hand-washed. This is a negative aspect for some people, while others really don’t mind. It depends on whether or not you have a dishwasher, or how much you disdain hand-washing dishes.
What are the technical specifications?
|Cooking capacity||0.6 cubic feet (interior)
6 slices of toast
Fits a 12-inch pizza
Fits a 4-pound chicken
|Temperature control (yes/no)||Yes|
|Special Features:||The control panel is really easy to figure out. It has four clearly-marked, simple dials to set. Here’s a quick summary of each dial, feature and accessory so you know what you’re in for if you choose to go with this machine:
On/oven timer dial: this dial doubles as the “on” control as well as the timer. As soon as you turn the dial from “off” to any time bracket, the machine will kick into gear.
When the timer runs out, the machine will automatically switch off. The maximum time is 60 minutes.
Temperature dial: turn this dial to set the temperature between a minimum of 250 and a maximum of 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Function dial: choose the function best suited to your dish with this dial. The functions are: warm, broil, convection broil, toast, bake, convection bake, air fry
Toast timer dial: this one is similar to the “on/oven timer” dial in the sense that it automatically turns the unit off and on when used.
Turn this dial when you need to make toast, and select your toast shade (light or dark). When the toast is done, the unit will turn off.
Light button: when you want to keep an eye on your food as it cooks, hit this button and the interior light will switch on
Safety door: when you open the oven door during the cooking process, the oven will switch off
Crumb tray: there’s a tray that sits neatly at the bottom of the unit to catch toast crumbs. Just slide it out and give it a shake-out to keep it clean and clear
Basket, racks, trays and pans: the unit comes with an air-fryer basket, baking pan/drip tray and an oven rack. All of these items must be hand-washed and not thrown in the dishwasher (unfortunately for some)
Dimensions & Weight
|Size||15.5 x 16 x 14 inches|
How do you use it?
Since there are no digital screens, symbols, flashing digits or arrows to trip you up, it is fairly easy to set-up this model and kick-off the cooking process. However, it does take some getting-used-to and experimenting with temperatures. As other customers recommend, keep an eye on your dishes as they cook when you’re trying out your first few dishes.
When you first take it out of the box: remove all the packaging and extra “stuff” surrounding the unit and accessories. Find a flat spot with plenty of room so the unit can have a decent gap of free space on all sides.
When you’re ready to cook, choose the best tool for the job, be it the basket, rack or tray. Keep an eye on the manual, as it does strongly recommend certain rack positions for certain cooking styles.
For example, toast must be placed on the second rack for safety. Turn the dial to whichever cooking type you like (i.e. toast, bake, air fry, broil etc.), turn the temperature dial to the desired temperature, and the same with the timer dial.
That’s about it. There are a few little tips and tricks you should follow, but they’re all set out in the manual.
- Unpack the unit and discard all trash
- Find a flat spot with lots of room around the unit
- Select your tray or basket
- Make sure you’ve selected the right rack position for your cooking method (the manual tells you)
- Place the food inside
- Select the method, time and temperature
- Keep a close eye on the food to ensure it doesn’t burn or cook faster than what you expected
- The timer will ring and the unit will shut-off when the time is up
- Hand-wash the equipment and give the interior of the unit a wipe-down
How do you clean it? Is it easy to clean?
If you like to put all of your trays, pans and racks into the dishwasher then you might say that it is not easy to clean. All of the removable cooking surfaces (baskets, trays, pans and racks) must be hand-washed with soapy water and a scrubbing brush. This isn’t so bad unless you have lots of grease or splatters to contend with. In which case…give them a soak and a harder scrub.
The interior is easy to clean, as it has a non-stick coating. This makes it easy to wipe the inner walls out with a damp cloth. The crumb-and-catch trays need to be emptied and rinsed, and the top surface of the interior (the “roof”) should be kept clean too. As the manual states, the cleaner the interior, the better the cooking result will be.
There is hand-washing involved for the removable equipment, but the interior and exterior of the unit are easy enough to wipe down.
How does it compare to other models?
Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven vs. Philips XL
These two machines come from entirely different families, aesthetics-wise. The Cuisinart is a silver, angular “mini oven” while the Philips XL is a black, round, drawer-style machine. The Philips Air Fryer XL has a basket which you insert and remove by way of a handle, as opposed to a door and racks like a traditional oven. Both models have adjustable temperature and time. They both have baking, roasting, grilling and frying abilities, but the Philips cannot make toast.
Unlike the Cuisinart, the Philips XL does have dishwasher-safe parts. They both have a pretty great track-record when it comes to the cooking ability and flavour.
Which one’s for you?
It depends greatly on what you want your air fryer to look like as it sits on your counter, as these two are complete opposites. It also depends on what you need it for and how you prefer to cook. Do you want to have a traditional oven experience with the transparent door, flat racks and dials? Take a look at both and consider which one would serve your needs and preferences the best.
Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven vs. Breville Smart Oven Air
Okay, so the Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer is kind of like what the Cuisinart could be, or would be if it were more expensive. The Breville sits around the $400 mark give or take. They look like siblings in the sense that they’re both silver, angular, have dials and a transparent oven-style door.
The Breville has far more cooking features, all listed in a digital display screen: toast, bagel, broil, bake, roast, warm, pizza, proof, air fry, reheat, cookies, slow-cook and dehydrate. So it’s clear the Breville can do far more and is really more of an all-around convection oven with air-frying abilities. It’s pretty great, and the reviews can certainly vouch for that.
Which one’s for you?
They are both great products, so it depends on your budget and what you most need your appliance to do for you. If you need an all-around cooking appliance which can take the place of other kitchen items in order to save space or have a clear-out, the Breville could be a very smart choice. However, if you need something a little cheaper and don’t really need all the bells and whistles, the Cuisinart is a fine choice.
Where can I find a replacement basket?
The “basket” for this model is more like a deep rack or tray than a traditional basket. You can buy a replacement straight from the Cuisinart website. It is labelled as “air fry rack”. Currently, they cost $28.50 but prices can change.
Are there other replacement parts or accessories? Where do I buy them?
You can buy extra/replacement pans, trays and racks directly from the Cuisinart website.
What’s the warranty?
3 years (top marks for that).
Does it come with a recipe book or cookbook?
In the instruction manual, there is a selection of recipes.
Can I find it at Kohl’s, Walmart, bed bath and beyond, Target or Costco?
- Kohl’s: Kohl’s stocks this model. Keep an eye out for sales as you might be able to get it at a cheaper price, on or just below $200.
- Walmart: yes, Walmart stocks this machine. They offer a good price (around $200 as of now, but keep checking in case a sale pops up or the price changes), and free shipping.
- Bed, Bath and Beyond: they sure do stock it, and it’s on their “wedding registry favourite” list. Their pricing is around $200 as of now, but you can get a 20% off coupon for any item when you sign up to their email list.
- Target: as of now, Target online doesn’t have the Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven. They do have a few other Cuisinart toaster ovens, but not this one.
- Costco: nope, Costco doesn’t sell this one either. They don’t have a very wide range of air fryers as of now.
What’s The Best Price For The Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven and where can I buy it?
The prices for the Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven are pretty similar across the board, as of now. Prices do change all the time though, so when you’re ready to make the purchase, have a quick scan across retailers to find the best. Amazon can offer some great sales but their prices are subject to change, so keep checking. As of now, Kohl’s, Walmart, Bed Bath and Beyond and Amazon are all pretty much the same. Find the best sale or a coupon and the best offer for shipping at your time of purchase.
Verdict: Is This Air Fryer For You?
I think that if you’d like a really versatile machine which can take the place of your toaster and even your oven, you should consider this. If all you require is a simple air fryer for healthier fried foods, and you prefer to carry on using your regular oven and toaster…I would try something a little simpler and slightly smaller. You could try a drawer-style air fryer like the Emeril Home Chef Air Fryer.