Cuisinart TOB-40N vs Instant Omni Plus 18L Side-by-Side Comparison

Alan Nguyen
Alan Nguyen
Reviewer
Nguyen Ntk
Nguyen Ntk
Visual Specialist
Reviewed
Our recommendations are made independently through research and testing following our review procedure. We may receive commissions from purchases made via our links at no additional costs to you.
Tested Using Methodology v1.0
Updated Dec 1, 2022
Tested Using Methodology v1.0
Updated Nov 28, 2022
Cuisinart TOB-40N Custom Classic Toaster Oven Review
Instant Omni Plus 18L Air Fryer Toaster Oven Review
Power
1800W
1800W

Our Verdict

6.4
Overall Score
  • Performance (50%)
    6.8/10
  • Design (25%)
    6.2/10
  • Usability (25%)
    5.8/10
8.6
Overall Score
  • Performance (50%)
    8.1/10
  • Design (25%)
    9.7/10
  • Usability (25%)
    8.4/10

Throughout our performance tests, the Instant Omni Plus 18L consistently produced great results. While the Cuisinart TOB-40N roasted a whole chicken very nicely, it just can’t compete with the Instant. In particular, the Instant Omni Plus excelled at baking french fries, where the Cuisinart struggled. They went toe to toe toasting bread, though.

Both ovens use 1800 watts of power but the Instant Omni Plus is a lot more efficient. It has four quartz heating elements and one nichrome heating element as opposed to the Cuisinart which contains only four heating nichrome elements.

Of the two, only the Instant Omni Plus has a convection system, and it’s a strong one at that. The oven’s touchscreen display shows a cooking status bar with automatic reminders. Besides the standard accessories, the rotisserie kit and air fryer basket make full use of the oven’s extra functions.

Nonetheless, the Cuisinart’s 100% analog control with easy-grip dials is more suitable for people who like a straightforward control panel. Moreover, the oven has the ability to stay on indefinitely — something the Instant Omni Plus can’t do. 

Both ovens are built sturdy and include their own convenient slide-out crumb tray. The Cuisinart, however, has the extra touches of a safety hook for its level-2 tray and an auto-slide rack.

The Instant Omni Plus 18L is the winner in every aspect with its clever design, smart technologies, and overall efficiency. Nonetheless, the Cuisinart TOB-40N is still a solid choice that does the job at an inexpensive price.

Performance

6.8
Performance Scores
  • Toast (40%)
    7.1/10
  • Pizza (25%)
    6.5/10
  • Whole Roasted Chicken (25%)
    7.4/10
  • Baked French Fries (10%)
    5.1/10
8.1
Performance Scores
  • Toast (40%)
    7.3/10
  • Pizza (25%)
    8.6/10
  • Whole Roasted Chicken (25%)
    8.4/10
  • Baked French Fries (10%)
    9.3/10
7.1

Toast

7.3
Cuisinart TOB-40N Toast
On the left: 3m 25s; In the middle: 3m 40s; On the right: 4m 15s
Cuisinart TOB-40N Toast 1
Best level: 3m 40s
Cuisinart TOB-40N Toast 2
The first batch vs the second batch
Taste: 7
50% * 7 = 3.5
Even Surface Color: 7.5
20% * 7.5 = 1.5
Consecutive Usability: 7
30% * 7 = 2.1
  • Function: Toast
  • Number Of Slices: 4
  • Toast Level: Medium
  • Cooking Time: 3m 40s
  • Second Batch: 3m 40s
  • Convection: No

During our Toast test, the Medium level — 3 minutes 40 seconds on the timer — on the Toast knob was the best option, scoring a 7.1/10. Decreasing the time to 3 minutes 25 seconds resulted in a very light color, whereas increasing it to 4 minutes 15 seconds resulted in a significantly dark — although more even — color.

The Medium toast level of the Cuisinart produced 4 pieces with a light golden-brown color. However, without the convection fan, there were some brown areas on the top and dark brown spots on the bottom. Thus, we gave it a 7.5/10.

The first batch of toast was slightly crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, so we gave it a 7/10 for taste. Our head chef, Tuyet Pham, determined they would be great for sandwiches. They may not be ideal to have with soups, egg benedict and omelet, but can be served with these foods as well.

With the same toasting time as the first, the second batch had a brown color and some dark spots on the bottom. Interestingly, this was one of the few ovens where our chef preferred the second batch, thanks to its crispiness being on point.

In the end, it got a 7/10 for consecutive usability. If you want the second batch to be the same as the first, remember to only turn the knob ¾ of the way to Medium which is around 3 minutes 25 seconds.

Instant Omni Plus 18L Air Fryer Toaster Oven Toast
On the left: Level 1; In the middle: Level 2; On the right: Level 3
Instant Omni Plus 18L Air Fryer Toaster Oven Toast Even Surface Color
Best level: Level 2
Instant Omni Plus 18L Air Fryer Toaster Oven Toast Consecutive Usability
The first batch vs the second batch
Taste: 8
50% * 8 = 4.0
Even Surface Color: 6
20% * 6 = 1.2
Consecutive Usability: 7
30% * 7 = 2.1
  • Function: Toast
  • Number Of Slices: 4
  • Toast Level: 2/5
  • Cooking Time: 5m 25s
  • Second Batch: 4m 1s
  • Convection: No

Using the steps of our Toast test, we determined that level 2—5 minutes 25 seconds on the timer—was the best option scoring a 7.3/10. In comparison, the level 1 and 3 had a more uneven while being lighter and darker surface color respectively.

The Toast Level 2 of the Instant Omni Plus 18L produced four pieces with an 85% even golden brown color. Since the fan couldn’t be deployed, the toast had some darker spots and lighter areas resulting in a 6/10.

The first batch of toast was nicely crispy while still soft and moist inside and we gave it an 8/10 for taste. Our head chef Tuyet Pham determined it would be excellent with omelet and eggs benedict but not so good for sandwiches or soup.

This is one of the few ovens with a smart program that automatically deducts time to reach certain temperatures when the oven’s already hot. Thus, the surface color of the toasts was quite consistent throughout multiple batches. In addition, due to its extra crispiness, the second batch was determined to be good enough for soup.

If you want the second batch to be similar to the first, remember to lower it by one level. Overall, the score for consecutive usability was 7/10.

6.5

Pizza

8.6
Cuisinart TOB-40N Pizza
Cuisinart TOB-40N Pizza 1
Cuisinart TOB-40N Pizza 2
Cooking Time: 6
20% * 6 = 1.2
Crust: 6.5
20% * 6.5 = 1.3
Toppings: 7
30% * 7 = 2.1
Taste: 6.5
30% * 6.5 = 1.9
  • Function: Bake
  • Temperature: 450°F
  • Cooking Time: 9m
  • Convection: No

The Cuisinart did an acceptable job of baking a 9-inch thick-crust meat pizza with a score of 6.6/10.

Compared to the recommended 10 minutes on the label, this oven was able to bake the pizza slightly faster at 9 minutes. However, that result only scored a 6/10 among the ovens in our Pizza test.

The crust had some charred spots and a little bit of crispiness but was still soft overall, so it got a 6.5/10.

The toppings caramelized unevenly and some areas of the cheese got darkened. Nonetheless, they weren’t dry, so we were able to give them a 7/10.

After tasting the pizza, our chef gave it a 6.5/10.

Instant Omni Plus 18L Pizza
Instant Omni Plus 18L Pizza Crust
Instant Omni Plus 18L Air Fryer Toaster Oven Toppings
Cooking Time: 10
20% * 10 = 2.0
Crust: 8
20% * 8 = 1.6
Toppings: 8.2
30% * 8.2 = 2.5
Taste: 8.5
30% * 8.5 = 2.5
  • Function: Bake
  • Temperature: 450°F
  • Cooking Time: 3m 50s
  • Convection: High

The Instant Omni Plus, having a very strong convection system, did not seem ideal for baking a 9-inch thick-crust meat pizza resulting in an 8.6/10.

A cooking time of only 3m 50s was extremely fast compared to the recommended 10 minutes on the label. After comparing it to other toaster ovens in our Pizza test, it was more than enough for a 10/10.

The crust, although golden brown, was a little soft with some lighter and darker areas due to the short cooking time plus strong fan. It got an 8/10.

The entire surface was a little too dry due to all the convection. In addition, while the cheese was nicely melted, caramelization wasn’t even due to the short cooking time. Thus, the final score for the toppings was 8.2/10.

Our chef gave the pizza an 8.5/10 for taste.

7.4

Whole Roasted Chicken

8.4
Cuisinart TOB-40N Whole Roasted Chicken
Cuisinart TOB-40N Whole Roasted Chicken 1
Cuisinart TOB-40N Whole Roasted Chicken 2
Cuisinart TOB-40N Whole Roasted Chicken 3
Cooking Time: 6.3
20% * 6.3 = 1.3
Skin: 6
20% * 6 = 1.2
Doneness: 9.7
20% * 9.7 = 1.9
Taste: 7.5
40% * 7.5 = 3.0
  • Function: Bake
  • Temperature: 350°F
  • Cooking Time: 1h 17m
  • Convection: No

The Cuisinart was able to comfortably fit a 3 lb chicken for our Whole Roasted Chicken test and scored a 7.4/10.

The oven took 1h 17m to cook the chicken; this was 17 minutes longer than the standard amount of time so it got a 6.3/10.

The skin had an uneven color, ranging from light golden to golden at the ends, and was soft throughout. This was most likely the result of the absence of a convection system; we gave it a 6/10.

The chicken was thoroughly cooked and the internal temperature was 181°F-183°F, which was only a little higher than recommended by the USDA, so we gave it a 9.7/10.

The meat was soft and juicy, deserving a 7.5/10 for taste from our chef.

Instant Omni Plus 18L Air Fryer Toaster Oven Whole Roasted Chicken 1
Instant Omni Plus 18L Air Fryer Toaster Oven Whole Roasted Chicken Doneness
Instant Omni Plus 18L Air Fryer Toaster Oven Whole Roasted Chicken Taste
Instant Omni Plus 18L Air Fryer Toaster Oven Whole Roasted Chicken Taste 1
Cooking Time: 9
20% * 9 = 1.8
Skin: 9.8
20% * 9.8 = 2.0
Doneness: 9
20% * 9 = 1.8
Taste: 7
40% * 7 = 2.8
  • Function: Roast
  • Temperature: 350°F
  • Cooking Time: 50 minutes
  • Convection: Yes

Following our Whole Roasted Chicken test, we chose a 3 lb chicken and it fit without a problem scoring an 8.4/10.

However, cleaning up was a big hassle as there wasn’t enough space below to use the drip pan. Worse still, during cooking fat splashed everywhere inside the oven causing the heating elements to smoke.

The roasting time was 50 minutes which was shorter than average and worthy of a 9/10.

The rotisserie kit and high convection together produced perfectly golden brown crispy skin deserving a 9.8/10. One thing to note is that due to the meat being considerably moist, the skin lost its crispiness in a relatively short time span.

The smooth rotation and high convection also allowed the whole chicken to be thoroughly cooked without any pink spots in just 50 minutes. The internal temperature was only a little higher than the USDA recommended 165°F-180°F at 178-190°F, so it got a 9/10.

The meat was almost fall-off-the-bone. Unfortunately, with it being so moist—to the point of softening the skin, our chef could only give it a 7 for taste.

5.1

Baked French Fries

9.3
Cuisinart TOB-40N Baked French Fries
Cuisinart TOB-40N Baked French Fries 1
Cuisinart TOB-40N Baked French Fries 2
Cooking Time: 0
20% * 0 = 0.0
Color: 6.5
20% * 6.5 = 1.3
Texture: 6
20% * 6 = 1.2
Taste: 6.5
40% * 6.5 = 2.6
  • Function: Bake
  • Temperature: 400°F.
  • Cooking Time: 31 m
  • Convection: No

The Cuisinart left a lot to be desired in baking french fries and scored a 5.1/10.

The oven took 31 minutes to bake 12 oz of french fries to an acceptable color and doneness. With our time limit being 25 minutes, it failed the cooking time criterion of our Baked French Fries test.

The fries gained an acceptable color, enough for a 6.5/10. Even though the baking pan was large enough to spread the fries, they still weren’t able to crisp up much and got a 6/10. After tasting the fries, our chef gave them a 6.5/10.

Instant Omni Plus 18L Baked French Fries
Instant Omni Plus 18L Baked French Fries Color
Instant Omni Plus 18L Baked French Fries Texture
Cooking Time: 9
20% * 9 = 1.8
Color: 9.8
20% * 9.8 = 2.0
Texture: 9.8
20% * 9.8 = 2.0
Taste: 9
40% * 9 = 3.6
  • Function: Air Fry
  • Temperature: 400°F.
  • Cooking Time: 15m
  • Convection: High

The Instant Omni Plus was excellent at baking 12 oz of french fries with a score of 9.3/10.

After performing our Baked French Fries test on different toaster ovens, we came to the conclusion that the ideal cooking time for baked french fries was 15 minutes. However, it wasn’t the fastest one on our list so it scored a 9/10.

The strong convection combined with the air fryer basket produced evenly golden fries worthy of a 9.8/10 for color.

What helped the color also baked perfectly crispy fries while retaining a nice amount of moisture. This earned the oven another 9.8/10 for the texture of baked french fries.

Our chef gave the fries a 9/10 for taste.

Design

6.2
design Scores
  • Exterior (20%)
    7.0/10
  • Interior (30%)
    6.0/10
  • Build Quality (50%)
    6.0/10
9.7
design Scores
  • Exterior (25%)
    9.5/10
  • Interior (30%)
    9.5/10
  • Build Quality (50%)
    9.0/10

In the Box

Cuisinart TOB-40N In the Box
  • Model: TOB-40N
  • Warranty: 3-year limited
  • User Manual
  • Baking Rack
  • Baking Pan

The packaging keeps the oven as well as its two accessories in place. The accessories are also wrapped in carton pads to avoid scratches during transportation. The oven comes with a user manual with recipes and a simple instruction to register your Cuisinart for premium customer service, special offers, and more.

Instant Omni Plus In the Box
  • Model: 140-4002-01
  • Warranty: 1 year (US and Canada only)
  • User Manual
  • Baking Rack
  • Baking Pan
  • Rotisserie Kit and Lifter
  • Air Fryer Basket

You can quickly access the download page for the Instant Pot App thanks to the QR code on the package and the user manual. Their website provides the full manual, how-to videos, FAQs, and more. You’ll also need to go there to register your product and activate your warranty.

7.0

Exterior

9.5
Cuisinart TOB-40N Exterior
Cuisinart TOB-40N Exterior 1
Cuisinart TOB-40N Exterior 2
Cuisinart TOB-40N Exterior 3
  • Weight:
    10.0 lbs (4.5 kg)
  • Length:
    15.94 inches
  • Width:
    14.84 inches
  • Height:
    9 inches
  • Material:
    Stainless steel
  • Color:
    Black
  • Door Handle:
    cool-touch
  • Tray Indicators:
    No
  • Crumb Tray:
    Slide-out

The Cuisinart has a stainless steel exterior with a cool-touch door handle. What stands out in this simple design is the slide-out crumb tray. The oven has two buffers at the back to prevent it from being placed too close to the wall. Due to their small size, the carrying handles built-in to the bottom stands are a bit awkward to use when the oven is hot.

Our measurements of the oven’s footprint were 15.94" x 14.84" x 9" which was quite different in terms of width compared to the manufacturer’s 17" x 11.74" x 8.35". This could be because we took the door handle and back buffers into account when measuring the oven’s width while the manufacturer didn’t.

Instant Omni Plus 18L Air Fryer Toaster Oven Exterior
Instant Omni Plus 18L Air Fryer Toaster Oven Exterior 1
Instant Omni Plus 18L Air Fryer Toaster Oven Exterior 2
Instant Omni Plus 18L Air Fryer Toaster Oven Exterior 3
  • Weight:
    25.4 oz (721 g)
  • Length:
    16.5" (42.0 cm)
  • Width:
    15.8" (40.0 cm)
  • Height:
    13.9" (35.3 cm)
  • Material:
    Stainless steel
  • Color:
    Silver
  • Door Handle:
    cool-touch
  • Tray Indicators:
    Yes
  • Crumb Tray:
    Yes

An example of the Instant Omni Plus 18L’s clever design is the slide-out crumb tray not to mention its two strong base stands as well as air ventilation on two sides and the back. For safety, it has two buffers on the back to prevent the oven from sitting too close to the wall and a cool-touch door handle.

To accommodate its many cooking functions, there are tray-level indicators on the glass door. Our measurements of the oven’s footprint of 16.54" x 15.75" x 13.90" were quite different from the manufacturer’s 12" x 12" x 13.89" in terms of length and width.

We could explain that the difference in width was because we also took the dial and the back buffers into account but not the difference in length. Nonetheless, we didn’t find this to be a problem.

Control Panel

Cuisinart TOB-40N Control Panel
  • Type:
    3 control knobs + Stop/Start button
  • Temperature:
    100°F - 450°F
  • Timer:
    Not available
  • Indicator Light:
    Yes
  • Status Bar:
    No
  • Light Toggle:
    No
  • Convection Toggle:
    No
  • Rotation Toggle:
    No
  • Automatic Preheat:
    No
  • Audio Cues:
    No

The Cuisinart has 3 control knobs for functions, temperature, and toast/bagel level. The Stop/Start button is only for Toast and Bagel functions.

Instant Omni Plus Control Panel
  • Type:
    black LCD digital touchscreen + one master-control knob
  • Temperature:
    150°F - 450°F
  • Timer:
    1 - 60 minutes
  • Indicator Light:
    Yes
  • Status Bar:
    No
  • Light Toggle:
    Yes
  • Convection Toggle:
    Yes
  • Rotation Toggle:
    Yes
  • Automatic Preheat:
    Yes
  • Audio Cues:
    Yes

This oven has a black LCD digital touchscreen and one master-control knob. The display includes the cooking status bar, functions, and toggles for Light, Convection, and Rotation. Besides the automatic oven preheat feature, it features an audio cue to turn food halfway through the input cooking time.

Audio cues include the beeps when you plug in the oven, select a function as well as adjust time and temperature, and when the oven finishes cooking. According to some reviews we’ve seen, they can be a bit loud, especially for households with children and/or pets. However, they can be turned off by pressing and holding the control knobs for 5 seconds until the screen displays S OFF.

Cooking Functions

Cuisinart TOB-40N Cooking Functions
  • Toast
  • Bagel
  • Bake
  • Broil
  • Warm (100°F)

Besides the standard Bake and Broil functions, the Cuisinart has the Warm function which maintains the oven at around 100°F. In addition to a Toast function, this oven has a Bagel function which can be useful for fans of this type of bread.

  • Air fry (180°F - 450°F)
  • Broil (350°F - 450°F)
  • Bake (180°F - 450°F)
  • Roast (180°F - 450°F)
  • Dehydrate (85°F - 175°F)
  • Reheat (120°F - 360°F)
  • Warm (170°F - 300°F)
  • Toast (level 1-5)

Even though there’s no Rotisserie function, the oven comes with a tailored rotisserie kit and a Rotation Toggle. Besides making dried fruits, herbs, and meat jerky, the Dehydrate function is also ideal for proofing bread dough at 85°F and Low Convect.

6.0

Interior

9.5
Cuisinart TOB-40N Interior
Cuisinart TOB-40N Interior 1
  • Heating Elements:
    4 nichrome
  • Convection Fan:
    No
  • Lighting:
    No
  • Tray Levels:
    2
  • Rotisserie:
    No
  • Safety Hook:
    Yes

Capacity: 15.8 liters - 6 slices of toast - 11-inch pizza

The Cuisinart has a spacious interior for its size, capable of fitting 6 slices of toast in addition to all our test dishes. Although the oven has only two tray levels, you can make use of the rack-up and down positions.

We measured the cooking chamber’s volume to be around 15.8 liters which was different from the manufacturer’s provided 14.15 liters. However, it could just be a difference in measuring standards.

Interestingly, the door has a hook to automatically pull out the baking tray only on the upper level. Although the pull-out hook doesn’t work with the baking pan, the interior safety hook does. Unfortunately, the oven doesn’t have internal lighting or a convection system.

Instant Omni Plus 18L Interior
Instant Omni Plus 18L Interior 2
Instant Omni Plus 18L Interior 3
Instant Omni Plus 18L Interior 4
  • Heating Elements:
    4 quartz and 1 nichrome
  • Convection Fan:
    Yes
  • Lighting:
    Yes
  • Tray Levels:
    4
  • Rotisserie:
    Yes
  • Safety Hook:
    No

Capacity: 24 liters - 6 slices of toast - 12-inch pizza - 4-pound chicken

The Instant Omni Plus has four golden quartz heating elements. These pipes use infrared light to cook, which produces more heat and also cools down faster.

They are also easier to clean and more energy-efficient but don’t last as long in terms of durability. However, if grease splashes onto the heating elements while cooking, it’ll leave permanent stains.

Featuring safety guards, the heating elements are kept out of direct contact with baking pans and trays. The oven even includes a coil nichrome heating element at the top, specifically for broiling.

To top it off, this oven has a powerful and not noisy convection system as an interior light. In addition to 4 tray levels, you can make use of the baking rack with its rack-up and down positions.

We measured the cooking chamber’s volume to be roughly 24.6 liters—a lot different from the manufacturer’s provided capacity of 18 liters. However, this could be because we measured from the cooking chamber’s walls to walls whereas the manufacturer stopped before reaching the heating elements.

Power Cord

Cuisinart TOB-40N Power Cord
  • Length:
    31.1 inches
  • Type:
    2-prong plug
  • Power:
    1800 W
  • Rated Output:
    120 V ~ 60 Hz

The power cord is roughly 31.1"—plenty long enough for household use—and can be wrapped around the back buffers to save space. It also comes with a plastic lock to keep the cord in place.

Instant Omni Plus Power Cord
  • Length:
    33.5" (85.0 cm)
  • Type:
    3-prong plug
  • Power:
    1800 W
  • Rated Output:
    120 V ~ 60 Hz

The power cord is roughly 33.46"—more than long enough for household use. However, the cord can’t fully wrap around the two back stands as they are too high up.

Baking Rack

Accessories

Baking Rack
Cuisinart TOB-40N Accessories: Baking Rack
  • Length:
    11.81 inches
  • Width:
    11.25 inches
  • Height:
    0.78 inches
  • Material:
    Stainless steel
  • Dishwasher Safe:
    Yes

The rack fits perfectly with the guide, which helps prevent accidents when placing your food in the oven.

Instant Omni Plus Baking Rack
  • Length:
    12.4" (31.5 cm)
  • Width:
    11.4" (29.0 cm)
  • Height:
    0.9" (2.4 cm)
  • Material:
    Stainless steel
  • Dishwasher Safe:
    Yes

The rack fits perfectly with the guide which helps prevent accidents when placing your food in the oven.

Baking Pan

Accessories

Baking Pan
Cuisinart TOB-40N Accessories: Baking Pan
  • Length:
    11.73 inches
  • Width:
    11.18 inches
  • Height:
    0.78 inches
  • Material:
    Stainless steel
  • Dishwasher Safe:
    Yes

The baking pan does the job of catching any drippings to prevent any mess and fire danger from dirty heating elements. It has a coating but is not completely non-stick so it can be prone to some stubborn stains after a hefty roast.

Instant Omni Plus Baking Pan
  • Length:
    13.8" (35.0 cm)
  • Width:
    12.4" (31.5 cm)
  • Height:
    1.8" (4.6 cm)
  • Material:
    Stainless steel
  • Dishwasher Safe:
    Yes

Thanks to its perfect size, the baking pan does a great job of catching the meat juice and drippings from the air fryer basket. Thus, it helps prevent making a mess and avoid the danger of fire from dirty heating elements. Keep in mind that the dishwasher can damage the enamel coating.

6.0

Build Quality

9.0
Cuisinart TOB-40N Build Quality

The Cuisinart has a sturdy construction and durable material. Its auto-slide rack and slide-out crumb tray show attention to convenience in a simple design. Although the easy-grip dials are a nice touch, they feel flimsy at times.

Instant Omni Plus 18L Air Fryer Toaster Oven Build Quality
Instant Omni Plus 18L Air Fryer Toaster Oven Build Quality 1

The Instant Omni Plus 18L is a well-built and intricate piece of equipment, to say the least. It provides a helpful cooking status bar, smart programs, and automatic features. The oven does consume a lot of electricity so make sure your outlet can provide and handle 1800 W.

The meticulous design shows in the bottom tray, safeguards for heating elements, and cooling fan for its mainboard. However, the bottom tray can easily slide out if you tilt the oven. Also, during our roasting of a whole chicken, the hot drippings created some oxidation on the crumb tray.

Usability

5.8
usability Scores
  • User Control (30%)
    7.0/10
  • Ease of Use (50%)
    5.0/10
  • Cleanability (20%)
    6.0/10
8.4
usability Scores
  • User Control (30%)
    9.9/10
  • Ease of Use (50%)
    8.0/10
  • Cleanability (20%)
    7.0/10
7.0

User Control

9.9

The Cuisinart doesn’t have a timer. You simply choose a temperature setting and turn the Function knob from Off to a specific function for the oven to start running. In other words, this oven has a built-in stay-on timer for every function except for Toast and Bagel.

The Instant Omni Plus 18L has 8 settings to choose from but can serve more than 10 functions. Although the LCD display could be improved with better contrast, it’s not a big problem.

The master-control knob can be confusing for first-timers but it should take little effort to get familiarized with it. The temperature can be adjusted in 1°F increments by turning the knob slowly and in 10°F increments by turning the knob fast. Also, the timer is specified by the minute.

If you want to readjust the setting during cooking, simply tap the feature and adjust it with the knob. Don’t tap Cancel as it will reset your inputs and repeat the automatic preheating.

The convection setting is applicable to almost all except for toast. One thing to note from the manual is that most recipes recommend reducing the temperature by 25°F when convection is on.

The convection fan speeds can toggle between high and low which is not very common for ovens, especially at the same price range. The two exceptions are Air Fry which always uses High Convect and Warm using Low Convect.

5.0

Ease of Use

8.0

When the toasting cycle finishes, the oven will beep 5 times and turn off. After you finish using the oven, remember to turn the Function knob to Off. Having no digital display, you can freely leave this oven plugged in and not worry about power consumption.

Thanks to the safety hook for tray level 2, you can partially slide out the baking rack or tray to reposition the food during cooking. However, this feature makes it quite tricky to remove the tray or rack. Be careful as the oven can be quite hot to the touch after a long cooking time on high heat.

According to the manufacturer, the Cuisinart has an Always Even Shade Control to monitor the temperature and adjust the timing to consistently toast to the shade selected every time. However, our test result showed no significant improvement even compared to the Cuisinart TOA-60 of the same brand.

When you adjust temperature and time for a function, the Instant Omni Plus saves your setting for next time use. After the oven finishes cooking, it will beep and automatically switch to Keep Warm mode until the display shows End.

After a period of no interaction, the digital display will show the word OFF similar to when you’ve just plugged it in. You’ll then need to push the knob once to turn it on. It’s advised to unplug the oven after you finish using it.

The light automatically turns off after 30 seconds of no interaction and turns on 30 seconds before finishing cooking. Opening the oven door pauses the cooking but the light stays on for another 30 seconds. Closing the oven door resumes the cooking but it will go into stand-by mode resetting all inputs after 5m30s.

Taking the rotisserie kit out of the oven can be a bit tricky even with the lifter. However, with a bit of practice, it’ll be no problem at all. The oven has good heat insulation, so the casing doesn’t get too hot to the touch at 350°F and 400°F but be careful at 450°F.

6.0

Cleanability

7.0
Cuisinart TOB-40N Cleanability
Cuisinart TOB-40N Cleanability 1
Cuisinart TOB-40N Cleanability 2
Cuisinart TOB-40N Cleanability 3

We cleaned the Cuisinart following our toaster oven cleaning guide. The oven has an internal and external coating plus no tricky nooks and crannies so it was easy to clean.

During the roasting of a whole chicken, fat splattered everywhere inside the oven. Nonetheless, we were able to clean it all off, even on the gaps between the heating elements and internal walls. The slide-out crumb tray made it easy to clean up the crumbs but we still had to tilt the oven to remove them all.

Instant Omni Plus 18L Air Fryer Toaster Oven Cleanability
Instant Omni Plus 18L Air Fryer Toaster Oven Cleanability 1
Instant Omni Plus 18L Air Fryer Toaster Oven Cleanability 2

We cleaned the Instant Omni Plus 18L following our toaster oven cleaning guide. Despite having an internal and external coating, it still wasn’t easy to clean due to some very tricky nooks and crannies. The small gaps between the heating elements and internal walls didn’t help either.

Most of the mess came from the considerable fat splatter from roasting a whole chicken. It left difficult stains on the heating elements and their safeguards which were already tricky to clean.

With the removable oven-bottom tray, cleaning up the crumbs was extremely easy but we still had to tilt the oven to get all of the crumbs out. On the bright side, having thought it would be difficult to clean caramelized bits of food from the air fryer basket due to the fishnet design, we were happy to find this wasn’t the case.