A toaster oven is something I have always wanted but wasn't sure it would offer enough benefits to offset the loss of counterspace. After using the Cuisinart Toaster Oven Broiler (TOB-40) for even the simplest of tasks I have concluded that it is the most versatile device in my kitchen and well worth the small space it covers on my countertop. If you are still searching for that perfect gift for your mom, wife, or another special person who loves to cook, or just need an oven in a small apartment or dorm room, the Cuisinart Toaster Oven is worth investigating. You will reap the rewards of tasty treats prepared in the oven and the recipient will think of you with gratitude every time they use the oven. That's a Win Win in my book.
The Cuisinart Custom Classic Toaster Oven Broiler, Model TOB-40, packs a lot of features in a small package.
- Small Size - The oven is about the size of a microwave oven but probably a bit deeper. Dimensions are 16.29" x 14.63" x 8.86" and it weighs only 12.9 pounds.
- No Fixed Shelf - Unlike most microwave ovens, the Cuisinart Toaster OvenTOB-40 has an adjustable shelf that can be maneuvered into 3 distinct positions for toasting, baking, and broiling food to perfection.
- Hands free Access - The door opens like a standard oven with the top of the door opening front and downward instead of side to side like a microwave. There is a set of hooks on the inside of the door that catch the rack when it's in the toasting position and pulls it out for easy removal of your toast or bagels.
- Quick Start Guide - The printed Quick Start Guide explains the various shelf positions and when to use them. It also provides tips for optimal placement of food when toasting bread, bagels or English muffins.
- Removable Crumb Tray - A large crumb tray covers the bottom of the oven and is easily removed by sliding it out to the front for cleaning.
- Broiler Pan Included - Your Cuisinart TOB-40 will come with an appropriately sized baking sheet/drip pan and a wire rack. Used together, it is a toaster oven sized broiler pan. The baking sheet used alone is great for baking cookies and other small items.
- Easy Clean Interior - Nonstick coating wipes down in a flash.
- Instruction and Recipe Book - Open the booklet from one side and it's the instruction manual with all the things you need to know about using and caring for your new Cuisinart Toaster Oven. Flip the booklet over and it's a Recipe Booklet with a variety of easy recipes that can be prepared in the TOB-40 oven.
- Warranty - This oven has a Limited 3 Year Warranty
- BPA Free
To the right of the oven door you will see 3 knobs. These are the controls for selecting:
Function- Toast, Bagel, Bake, and Broil.
Temperature - Marked in 50 degree increments from 150 degrees to 450 degrees followed by the Broil Setting.
Toast Shade Selection- Choose a setting of Light, Medium or Dark or anywhere in between for your toast, bagel or muffin. When your toast is done the oven will shut off and an audible alert will sound. My toast is usually done before the sound so I recommend monitoring all toasting operations to avoid over-toasting. There is a Toast/Bagel button on the bottom right corner that you use to start those toasting functions. If your toast is done early, just push the button again to turn of the toasting function.
When I used the TOB-40 for the first time, I started with something simple. English Muffins can be a disaster when toasted in a conventional toaster. They never seem to toast evenly and more often than not they will burn around the cut edges and then get stuck in the toaster. Prepare yourself for perfectly toasted English Muffins every time. Since the muffins, toast, or bagels lay flat on the oven's shelf, they cook evenly from both the top and bottom and there's no way they can get stuck. You can watch them cook through the large class panel in the door so you can pull them out if they are to your liking before the oven beeps to alert you that they're done. They were the best muffins I've ever had and I think they were hotter than muffins done in a toaster too.
Bagels are another challenge in a standard toaster. The last couple of toasters I've had, were labeled something like "Extra Large Slots for Bagels" but the bagels always got stuck anyway. I always thought it was to be expected that they burn or get real crunchy all over. I have since learned that bagels are supposed to toast on the cut side and just warm on the bottom side. The TOB-40 will give you a perfect bagel every time. It has a special Bagel Setting that toasts on the top and warms the bottom of the bagel giving it that lovely warm and slightly chewy consistency.
Toast seems kind of boring after the English Muffins and Bagels but the oven does toast well too.
The oven is large enough to roast a 5 pound chicken to perfection using the Bake function. Be sure to read the warnings in the manual about using aluminum foil and cleanup after cooking greasy food in the oven. The cleaner you keep the oven the longer it will provide you with consistent cooking results. This, of course, holds true when broiling beef, pork, chicken, fish and more using the Broiler function. You can also use the broiler to brown the top of a casserole, cheese on nachos and so much more.
I admit to being a bit skeptical when I decide to bake a coffeecake in the oven. The recommended setting for the rack looked too low and I fully expected the cake to burn on the bottom but it came out absolutely perfect. It was light and fluffy and every bit as good as one baked in a conventional oven.
The Cuisinart Custom Classic Toaster Oven Broiler would be such a great gift for anyone who cooks but it would be especially useful for your college age kids away from home for the first time or living in housing with limited kitchen amenities. With a list price of only $80 it would be a fabulous gift for just about any occassion from a Wedding to Christmas.
Visit Cuisinart online to view additional product information, a demo video of the Toaster Oven, and even find some new recipes. You can find the Cuisinart Toaster Oven at Bed Bath and Beyond for $79.99 and if you get their monthly discount coupon in the mail, you could get it for even less. You can also find it at Amazon with free Super Saver Shipping.