Size: 16 x 14 x 13.5 inches
Capacity: 3 pounds, 4 slices toast, 4 pound chicken, 12-inch pizza
Modes: AirFry, Convection Bake, Convection Broil, Bake, Broil, Warm, Toast
Smart features: None
If you can’t live without a toaster oven, but also want an air fryer for extra-crispy foods, consider the multitasking Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven. It only takes up the space of one appliance, but gives you the functionality of several. Its only downside is that it’s not good at baking, so if you’re looking for a toaster oven for cakes and cookies, this isn’t the choice for you. While it is pricier than many air fryers, it’s a bargain for what you get. Clad in stainless steel, this is one nice-looking product and with dial controls, it’s easy to use.
That said, it’s not without its drawbacks, which include the exterior getting overly hot to the touch and the fact that the accessories are not dishwasher safe. Read on for the full Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven review.
Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven review: Price and availability
The Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven is available at Amazon from $192 and at Target for $229.99. It is available predominantly in stainless steel, but Amazon has other colors including black, white, navy and copper.
Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven review: Design
The Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven is big and square, measuring 16 x 14 x 13.5 inches. It’s taller, but not as wide, as a typical toaster oven which means it doesn’t hog as much space on your countertop. With its stainless steel exterior and handle, it makes a handsome impression. Unlike many appliances at this price point, this one has dials rather than an electronic control pad with a screen; they contribute to its commercial look.
Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven review: Cooking performance
On test, the Cuisinart scored relatively well across the board, with the exception of frozen French fries. It stood out for its performance on breaded chicken, for which it scored full marks. However, when it came to baking, the Cuisinart performed poorly, overcooking in all our tests. In fact, our initial results were so bad that we tried a second sample to be sure. However, we got only marginally better results in the second oven.
There’s no preheat setting on the Cuisinart and no suggestions that you preheat the oven before air frying. For some air fried foods, cooking times were on the long side, which suggests preheating is incorporated. To set the oven, you turn one dial to the cooking function and another to your desired temperature. You then either set the timer or, if you want to make toast, turn a dial to a toast setting.
Cuisinart gives a very practical assessment of the oven’s capacity, stating that it can accommodate 3 pounds, toast 4 slices of bread, roast a 4-pound chicken, or bake a 12-inch pizza.
To air fry, food is spread out in the wide shallow basket. The Cuisinart browned and crisped breaded chicken cutlets quickly without drying them out. Brussels sprouts and chicken wings came out tender if not completely evenly brown and crispy. French fries cut by hand from Idaho potatoes fared well, with browning on the outside and a moist texture on the inside. However, this toaster oven struggled with frozen fries, which crisped up without browning and didn’t come out moist or tender.
Using the manufacturer’s recommendations, we roasted a 3-pound chicken in the baking pan and were rewarded with a moist and tender bird with crackling skin everywhere, but on the bottom. We’ve cooked dozens of chickens in pans and ovens of all kinds and it’s rare to wind up with a browned and crispy bottom skin. Unlike in an air fryer, there was spattering to wipe off the wall of the oven.
Four 4-ounce hamburgers took twice as long to cook on the convection broil setting as they took to cook in almost every other air frying appliance we tested. However, they did come out browned and juicy with a perfect medium doneness, which made them worth the wait.
When we cooked a frozen pizza for the time recommended on the packaging, it came out burnt. Even at half of the suggested baking time, the pizza emerged very dark on top, although it did have a crispy crust. Chocolate chip cookies came out burnt in the first oven and very dark and dry in the second, when we baked them for the recommended time. When we baked them for a third of the time, they still came out very dark on the outside and were raw inside. A yellow cake baked up with a dark crust that was seriously domed and cracked on top.
The Cuisinart toasted evenly on the medium setting, but the toast came out a bit darker than we expected. While Cuisinart says the toaster oven has a 4- slice capacity, we were able to toast 6 slices at once and get fairly even results. Toasting times are considerably longer than in a pop-up toaster; it took almost 5 ½ minutes to brown on medium and almost 7 minutes on dark.
Using the keep warm setting, we were able to keep four cups of macaroni and cheese piping hot for 45 minutes without drying it out.
Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven review: Ease of use and cleaning
The dials on the Cuisinart are easy to turn and completely intuitive to set. However, as they aren’t digital and don’t click into place at the various settings, they’re hard to set precisely. With the Cuisinart you get an oven rack, an air fryer basket, a baking pan, and a drip tray. Each time you use it, you have to determine which accessories to use and where to position them in the oven.
During use, the dials and the handle stay cool to the touch and the stainless steel top and sides don’t get hot enough to cause burns, however the glass door reaches 259°F, which is dangerously hot. The Cuisinart is exceptionally quiet as it air fries, with a dBA reading of 54.7. This was one of the quietest air fryers we tested. A bright interior light makes it easy to check on food as it’s cooking.
This model didn’t score well for ease of cleaning — none of the accessories are coated with a nonstick finish and Cuisinart doesn’t recommend popping them in the dishwasher. So, It can take a bit of elbow grease to scrub off bits and pieces from the air fryer basket and burnt-on grease from the baking pan. When you cook something like chicken wings in the air fryer, juices and fat drip down onto the heating elements, which are not removable and not easy to clean. The walls of the oven are coated with a finish that makes them easy to wipe clean, but it is a bit tricky to reach into the oven to get to all the surfaces.
With this air fryer, you get an extremely thorough manual that includes cooking charts and recipe ideas.
As we had such poor baking results on the first oven we tested, we suspected that the oven might be a lemon. We contacted Cuisinart customer service and were able to quickly speak to a live person. After hearing our problem, the representative agreed that our oven sounded defective and within 10 days we received a new one. All we had to do was cut the cord on the first one and email an image of the cut cord to Cuisinart. We couldn’t have had a more positive customer service experience, although, as detailed in the cooking performance section of this review, the new oven had the same issues as the first one.
Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven review: Verdict
If you’re space challenged in the kitchen and want one multitasking product rather than several, the Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven can fill the bill as long as you don’t want to use it for baking. Unlike other toaster ovens we tested it can’t substitute for a full size oven when it comes to turning out cookies, cake, and even frozen pizza. Although it doesn’t air fry quite as well as a dedicated air fryer, it can also be used to make your morning toast and roasts of all kinds.
The Cuisinart is a good-looking appliance that you won’t mind having permanently sitting on your countertop. It’s easy to use, but a little challenging to clean. Be wary of how hot the glass door gets through, and make sure it’s out of reach of children.