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The black stainless steel Cuisinart TOB-40N Custom Classic Toaster Oven Broiler is for you if you want an inexpensive medium-sized unit with a big capacity and no convection system.
This oven doesn’t have a timer, which means it has a built-in stay-on timer for every function except for Toast and Bagel. The absence of a timer doesn’t affect the oven’s performance and therefore, is not a criterion for our evaluation. It’s simply a matter of personal preference whether you like this custom choice or not.
The auto-slide rack, slide-out crumb tray, and easy-grip dials are nice touches to a simple toaster oven. However, we feel the investment for these features could have been better put into a convection system.
Things We Like
- Spacious and non-stick interior
- Auto-slide rack
- Easy-to-clean stainless steel exterior
- Slide-out crumb tray
- Cool-touch door handle
- Stay-on feature
- High power output
Things We Don’t Like
- No convection fan
- No internal lighting
- No safety mechanism for the door
- Updated Jul 26, 2022:
The black stainless steel Cuisinart TOB-40N Custom Classic Toaster Oven Broiler has a simple and sturdy construction. For just $84.99, you’ll get a medium-sized unit with a big capacity, a slide-out crumb tray, necessary accessories and cooking functions plus a stay-on feature.
Cuisinart TOB-40N Classic Toaster Oven Performance: Could Be Improved with Convection
The Cuisinart TOB-40N performed well in making toast and whole roasted chicken despite not having a convection system. However, the lack of convection resulted in uneven surface colors on our test dishes. Even though the oven runs on 1800 W, it wasn’t able to produce a good result in baking french fries.
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.
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.
7.4Whole Roasted Chicken
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.
5.1Baked French Fries
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.
In the Cuisinart TOB-40N Custom Classic Toaster Oven 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.
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.
Control Panel of the Cuisinart TOB-40N
The Cuisinart has 3 control knobs for functions, temperature, and toast/bagel level. The Stop/Start button is only for Toast and Bagel functions.
- 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.
Although the TOB-40N has only two tray levels, you can make use of the rack-up and down positions. 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.
Capacity of the Cuisinart Classic Toaster Oven Broiler
The Cuisinart has a spacious interior for its size, capable of fitting 6 slices of toast in addition to all our test dishes including an 11-inch pizza and a 3 lb whole chicken. 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.
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.
Accessories: Baking Rack
The rack fits perfectly with the guide, which helps prevent accidents when placing your food in the oven.
Accessories: Baking Pan
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.
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.
Cuisinart Custom Classic Toaster Oven Usability: Only Standard Features
The Cuisinart TOB-40N doesn’t offer much in terms of ease of use. While the control panel is simple, not having a timer means you’ll need an external timer when using this oven. The oven posed no difficulties in cleaning but nothing to help either.
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.
5.0Ease of Use
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.
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.
The Cuisinart TOB-40N Compared to Other Toaster Ovens
The Cuisinart TOB-40N had a lot of similarities to the Hamilton Beach 31127D including their sizes and scores. Upon a closer look, the Cuisinart had a larger cooking chamber while the Hamilton was cheaper and easier to clean.
Compared to our best value toaster oven—the Toshiba AC25CEW, it scored lower in every aspect including performance, design, and usability. However, it didn’t fall too far behind when it came to roasting a whole chicken and toasting bread.
Standing next to the Cuisinart TOA-60 of the same brand showed what the TOB-40N lacked. The former—our best convection toaster oven—made full use of its 1800 W of power to supply its six nichrome heating elements and convection system to deliver a better cooking performance.
Cuisinart TOB-40N FAQs
No, the Cuisinart TOB-40N doesn’t have internal lighting. Yes, it has a stay-on function.
The Cuisinart TOB-40N uses 1800 Watts of power. The oven can be quite hot to the touch after a long cooking time on high heat.
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. No, the Cuisinart TOB-40N doesn’t have a turn-on timer.