Cuisinart TOB-260 Review – Chef’s Convection Toaster Oven

With more than 10 cooking functions and other innovative features not found on other models, the Cuisinart TOB-260 Chef’s Convection Toaster Oven certainly appears to be a unit with all the right bells and whistles. But are these features enough to sway a discerning buyer? Are they really that practical? Let’s check them out in this review.

Cuisinart TOB-260 Review – What Are The Unique Features?

cuisinart tob-260 toaster oven

The first unique feature is the Speed Convection function. This eliminates the need to preheat the oven. It is designed to cook your food even faster than the traditional convection heat. It does this by using a fan to circulate the air inside the oven at a faster rate. While this function can be used with most cooking modes like bake, broil, pizza and keep warm, it is most suitable for frozen entrees and roasting food. The benefit of the Speed Convection is that it cuts down on the cooking time since no preheating is needed.

The second unique aspect is the Dual Cook mode. This is a very useful feature since you can combine two functions at the outset to complete your cooking process. For example, you can set your casserole to bake for 30 minutes and then keep warm for another 30 minutes until it is served. Apart from cooking modes, you can also combine two different temperature settings. For instance, you can set a higher temperature first and then lower it to complete the cooking cycle. Many recipes do require multiple steps, so the Dual Cook function is designed to serve this need.

Other features of the Cuisinart TOB-260 include:

  • 1875-watt
  • 4 rack positions
  • 15 cooking functions
  • Auto slide-out rack
  • Door sensor
  • Digital controls
  • Interior light
  • Pull out crumb tray
  • Exact heat sensor
  • Always Even toast shade technology
  • 2-hour timer
  • Auto shut-off
  • Clock
  • Nonstick interior
  • Included: pizza stone, broiling pan, baking pan, 2 cooking racks
  • Size: 20″ (W) x 15″ (D) x 11″ (H)

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With 15 cooking functions, this Cuisinart toaster oven has about everything covered. Apart from the usual bake, broil and toast, other less common cooking modes include sandwich, waffle, roast and leftover. There are 5 heating elements for this oven with them turning on and off periodically and running at different powers for the different functions.

The display panel has a backlit light with LED buttons and a dial to control the settings. You turn and press the selector dial to choose the cooking functions, time, temperature and toast shade settings. It is fairly easy to use although you will need to go through the manual to learn how to operate the toaster oven in the initial period. It is definitely not as intuitive to use compared to a non-digital oven given the high number of functions built in.

As in most Cuisinart models like the TOB-135, this oven also has the exact heat sensor and Always Even toast shade technology. The former is to ensure precision in maintaining the oven temperature while the latter helps to give consistent toast results each time.

See the features and how to operate the oven in this video below:

The Cuisinart TOB-260 Dimensions – How Big Is This Toaster Oven?

The size is fairly big since it can fit 9 slices of bread. As for baking, you can buy a 13″ pizza to dump into the oven. As per the manufacturer, it can also take in a whole 9-lb chicken. The outer dimensions of the Cuisinart TOB-260 are approxiamtely 20″(W) x 15″ (D) x 11″ (H). The depth is including the stoppers at the back and the handle.

The interior dimensions are about 14.5″ (W) x 13″ (D) x 6″ (H). The interior depth is including the hump at the back which is designed to hold a round pizza. The height is measured from the lowest rack to the top. It is also safe to buy a 9″ x 13″ baking pan to fit into this oven.

Should You Buy The Cuisinart TOB-260 Chef’s Convection Toaster Oven?

Pros
  1. cuisinart tob-260 chef's convection toaster ovenConvenient and saves time – The Dual Cook and Speed Convection really make the Cuisinart TOB-260 stands out from the rest of the competition. Being able to combine two cooking functions and temperatures means you don’t have to come back to the oven to reset to finish a multiple-step cooking process. As for the Speed Convection, think of the time-savings with no preheating required. The one other toaster oven with no preheating needed that we have come across is the Panasonic Flash Xpress but this is a much smaller unit.
  2. Lots of room – This model has a fairly large capacity at 0.95 cubic-foot. Even the Breville BOV800XL has a smaller capacity at 0.8 cubic-foot. While a large interior means a bigger footprint, it also  means it can take in a larger amount of food which makes it suitable for family meals. Not many models can fit a whole chicken inside like the Cuisinart TOB-260 can. However, if you need a really large toaster oven, there is a bigger one in the Oster TSSTTVDGXL-SHP which can hold 14 slices of bread at the maximum.
  3. Interior light – After going through so many models from different brands, we can tell you that only very few toaster ovens offer this feature. The light enables you to see clearly inside and hence, check on the progress of your food. Once you have it, you will find it useful. Another model that has a light installed is the Oster TSSTTVMNDG.
  4. Additional cooking time – There is the convenient +30s button to add a little more time to your cooking cycle. This is similar to the ‘A Bit More’ feature of the Breville BOV450XL Mini Smart Oven. It helps you to cook your food to perfection by giving you the flexibility to add just a little bit more time to the cooking process.
  5. Cooks well and fast – The majority of online reviews from buyers have mentioned that this unit cooks well enough to produce evenly cooked dishes. It can handle a variety of food from cupcakes to roast chicken to flounder fillets with tasty results. The fan operation is also quiet when it is on convection mode.
Cons
  1. Toasts can be spotty – This is a minor complaint from a few buyers. If you want an even toast shade, you may need to flip and move your toasts around. It does brown them and the toasts do come out crispy, but the shade isn’t perfect.
  2. Learning curve involved – Compared to a 3-knob unit like the Black & Decker TO1640B, you will need to take the time to pore over the manual to learn how to operate the Cuisinart TOB-260. With a few buttons and a dial to control most of the settings, it is not overly complicated but a learning curve is still there.
  3. Touchy control dial – The dial selector can be touchy and skip numbers if you are turning it a little too fast. A steady hand and a slower motion is required to set it each time.
  4. Bottom rack too close to the door – It can be hard to get food out of the bottom rack because it is very low and hence, close to the door. You might scrape your hands against the door if you are not careful.

Cuisinart TOB-260 Or Breville BOV800XL?

We think both of these models are two of the best toaster ovens out there right now. However, if we have to choose, we would go with the Cuisinart. The price is slightly cheaper and the manufacturer offers a 3-year warranty at the time of writing. In comparison, you will only get a year warranty if you buy the Breville unit.

On top of that, there is no Dual Cook and Speed Convection for the Breville BOV800XL. Neither is there a +30s feature and an interior light to add to the convenience. As for the accessories, you are given 2 racks for the Cuisinart toaster oven instead of just one for the Breville.

However, the Breville BOV800XL is more intutive to use and its operations simpler to grasp. There are 3 dials to set the function, temperature and time respectively instead of just a single knob to control all.

So, for the price and features, the Cuisinart TOB-260 Chef’s Convection Toaster Oven gets our pick over the Breville BOV800XL Smart Oven.

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