Best Classic Toaster Oven

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Cuisinart TOB-40 Toaster Oven Review

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Price: $79.95

The Cuisinart TOB-40 is the best classic toaster oven we have come across. It toasts and bakes excellently, heats up quickly, cooks evenly, is easy to use, and comes at a fair price - what's not to like about that?

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Among mid-priced toaster ovens, there is one that stands out from the rest – the Cuisinart TOB-40.  This classic toaster oven is a customer favorite and was the #1 best seller on Amazon for a long time until the Black & Decker TO1332SBD came out.  If you are looking for a well made toaster oven that toasts and cooks well, doesn’t take up a lot of counter space, and is simple to use, we think you’ll be quite happy with the Cuisinart TOB-40.

Features and Specifications

  • 1800 watt toaster oven
  • Dimensions: 16.29″ x 14.63″ x 8.86″
  • Convection: No
  • Slice capacity: 4-6 slices
  • Stainless Steel front with easy grip dials and cool touch handle
  • Always Even™ Shade Control monitors the temperature and adjusts the timing to consistently toast to the shade selected every time!
  • Automatic slide-out rack for hands-free loading and easy removal of cooked foods
  • Easy-clean nonstick interior
  • Functions: Toast, Bagel, Bake and Broil
  • Automatic shut off safety feature
  • Front access removable crumb tray
  • Includes: broiling rack, baking/drip pan, wire rack and instruction/recipe booklet
  • Polarized 2 prong plug
Best Price: We have found the best price for the Cuisinart TOB-40 to be on Amazon.com.  They also offer FREE shipping. Click here to visit

If you have done any research on toaster ovens under $100 you will then know that most of them come with many negative reviews.  The Cuisinart TOB-40, however, is one of the few toaster ovens under $100 that doesn’t come with any serious complaints.  77% of customers gave this toaster oven a rating of 4 or 5 stars, and the overall ratings would have been much higher if it weren’t for a minor complaint that we will cover later.

Video Demo of the Cuisinart TOB-40

Aesthetics

The Cuisinart TOB-40 has a simple but clean two-toned look.  The exterior is black with the front panel stainless steel.  Most people liked this look, but a few would have preferred to have seen it be completely stainless steel.

The TOB-40 is also a really nice size.  It will fit perfectly below your upper cabinets and won’t take up too much counter space.  It is also large enough to satisfy a good majority of your cooking needs, but probably not large enough to act as a second/replacement oven.  To give a better perspective of the size, the TOB-40 can toast 4 bagel halves, bake an 11 inch pizza, or broil two big open-faced sandwiches.

Toasting & Cooking

With 1800 watts of power, this toaster oven heats up fast.  It comes with two heating elements on both the bottom and the top, and most customers felt the TOB-40 did an excellent job of toasting and baking their food evenly.

On the toast setting, both elements heat equally so that the toast comes out nicely browned on both sides and with no drying out the bread.

Something that makes the Cuisinart TOB-40 different from other toaster ovens is that it has a unique feature called always even™ shade control, which monitors the temperature and adjusts the timing to consistently toast to the shade selected every time.  Therefore, you can essentially just set and forget the toaster oven and it will produce perfect toast for you every time.

For the bagel setting, the top elements throw off more heat so that the top of the bagel comes out crisp and browned while the bottom comes out less crispy.

For baking, customers reported that the oven heats up exactly to the temperature indicated on the temperature dial and works just fine.  The only gripe people had was that the TOB-40 doesn’t have a timer for the bake/broil option.  Therefore, to get around this most purchased an inexpensive stand alone cooking timer.

Using the Cuisinart TOB-40

The Cuisinart  TOB-40 is your classic toaster oven.  It doesn’t have the fancy digital controls or the convection fan feature, but many actually prefer this simple style of toaster oven.  It’s user friendly and has 3 large rubberized easy grip dials that work as follows:

  • The 1st dial sets the function: Toast, Bagel, Bake, or Broil.
  • The 2nd dial sets the temperature – up to 450°.
  • The 3rd dial sets the shade of the toast.

Making toast is as easy as 1 2 3

1. Simply set the function dial to toast.

2. Choose a toast shade (there is room to adjust the darkness).

3. Press the start/stop button.

When it has finished the toast cycle, the TOB-40 will beep 5 times to let you know the food is done and will automatically shut off.  Moreover, there is no constant ticking sound, which so many people find annoying with other toaster ovens.  You can also leave the toast setting exactly where you like it so there is no need to reset it every time.  Overall, customers really liked the simplicity of how the toast function worked.

The Cuisinart TOB-40 is also incredibly easy to clean with its front access slide-out crumb tray and nonstick interior.  The crumb tray covers the entire bottom of the toaster oven so there is no worrying about crumbs getting under the tray.  And if something gets on the inside walls of the unit, it is easy to wipe clean due to its nonstick coating.

Another convenient feature the TOB-40 has is that the rack slides out when the door opens, which makes placing and removing food a lot easier.  Some wished, however, that the rack slid out a little more and that the oven turned off while the door was open.

Also, the door has a solid plastic handle that stays cool to the touch and unlike the Cuisinart TOB-155 or the Cuisinart TOB-195, which both have a design flaw where the metal strip behind the handle gets very hot, the TOB-40 is safe to open and there’s no need to worry about unwanted burns when opening the door.

Accessories

The Cuisinart TOB-40 comes with a broiling rack, a baking/drip pan, a wire rack, a slide out crumb tray, and an instruction/recipe booklet.  The racks and pans are pretty standard and similar to what you would find with other toaster ovens.

Customer Wishes & Complaints

The biggest reason customers failed to give the TOB-40 a higher rating was due to its lack of timer for the bake/broil function.  This sentiment was felt primarily by people who use the bake or broil function a lot, but most were able to get past this by using a cooking timer instead.

Although this toaster oven is easy to use, many did comment that the font size indicating the function or temperature setting could have been increased to make it easier to read.

Also, like with most toaster ovens, many people reported that the toaster oven gets hot.  This is a very common complaint found with most toaster ovens, though.  Just take the same precautions as you would with any other toaster oven, like leaving some space around the toaster oven and handling it carefully and everything will be fine.

Summary of the Cuisinart TOB-40

The Cuisinart TOB-40 is a great classic toaster oven.  If you are looking for a quality made, but simple to use toaster oven that does what it is supposed to do – toast and bake well – this one would be an excellent option.

Yes, it doesn’t come with a timer for baking, but this can be easily solved by using any other kind of timer.  And if this is really the only serious complaint people have with the TOB-40, considering other toaster ovens that are plagued with issues such as poor toasting or burning food, glass doors cracking, handle areas getting hot enough to cause burns, and control knobs or panels breaking, we think it is very minor when compared to those other more serious issues just mentioned.

Pros

  • Toasts excellently – probably the best at this price point
  • Simple to use
  • Automatic eject rack for placing/removing food easily
  • Front access slide out crumb tray for easy cleaning
  • Auto shut off
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • No timer for the bake/broil function
  • Small font size on knobs

 

 

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7 Comments/Reviews

  • rodney says:
    1 stars

    With the rack in recommened toast position (C) and the the toast shade conrtrol on it’s lightest setting the toast burns black any ideas on how to get unburnt toast???

    • admin says:

      Double check that the rack is positioned correctly. You can view the user manual (page 6) here to see a picture and directions for use. If the rack is positioned correctly and you’re still getting burnt toast, then send the unit back. It shouldn’t be burning the toast on the lightest setting and with rack position C.

  • Jeanne says:
    1 stars

    My Cuisinart TOB-40 worked very well for one year then all of a sudden heated up very hot and wouldn’t turn off. I had to unplug it. That happened several times and I had to throw it out.

  • MoPat says:
    3 stars

    My second new Cuisinart TOB-40 makes weird intermittent ticking-sequence noises when it’s baking. My daughter’s doesn’t do this. I took the same model back to Macy’s last week for the same reason. Anyone have this problem? Should I again return the thing? It’s annoying to hear the clicking, which lasts for about 7 seconds, every minute or so.

    • Dave L says:

      I bought this toaster oven four days ago. While using the bake feature for the first time, I also had the intermittent ticking sounds. Couldn’t tell if it was a warning something was going out or indicated elements cycling on and off. Still trying to find out more on the internet.

  • Andy says:

    This toaster oven is horrible. The door started to stick and eventually got to the point where it wouldn’t open and it completed shattered all over the kitchen with a pull. I have seen other reviews expressing the same issue. It is very real and dangerous.

  • Billy says:
    3 stars

    Works at stated but cooking tray seems to be some form of cheap aluminum. Once exposed to burned oil or grease it cannot be scrubbed clean. Using a SOS pad or Oven Cleaner will destroy what little finish that it came with. Use Tin Foil and never let food scorch or burn on the pan.

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