The Cuisinart TOB-135 toaster oven is a well thought out and logical cooking appliance. The design team at Cuisinart clearly put a lot of thought into the controls and features they included (though they left off a few that I consider wish they had included in a toaster oven at this price range, as you will read further on in my review). You can cook toast, bake cookies and cakes, and even roast a whole chicken inside this oven.
Setting cooking functions is intuitive. You can choose from seven preset cooking functions, and even cook with convection if you choose to do so. The size is on the small side of toaster ovens so it won’t overwhelm your countertop. People looking for a higher end toaster oven made from a reliable manufacturer will want to take a look at this machine.
|Table of Contents|
|1. Dimensions and Appearance||2. Cooking Features||3. Controls and Settings|
|4. Additional Features||5. Accessories||6. Cleaning and Care|
|7. Video Demonstration||8. Warranty||9. Pros|
|10. Cons||11. Price||12. Reviews|
|13. Helpful Resources||14. Final Thoughts|
Length = 19.7″
Height = 10.7″
Width = 10.9″
Length = Unknown
Height = Unknown
Width = Unknown
The dimensions of this model are a bit deceptive. When you look at the food capacity below you will see that this toaster oven will fit a 12” pizza, yet the width is listed at just 10.7”. How can that be?
The answer to that question is that the inside has a recessed pocket that extends part of the back wall so that a 12” pizza will fit inside. It looks to me as though Cuisinart did not include this extended space in their official dimensions.
I am waiting to hear back from Cuisinart regarding the interior dimensions of this model. What I did find out is that some people were disappointed with the interior size of this toaster oven. Unfortunately, I was unable to determine what these people expected so I don’t know if they had unrealistic expectations or if this truly is small for what it claims it can cook.
Toast Quantity = 4 to 6 slices, depending on the size of the bread
Bagel Quantity = 4 to 6 bagels, depending on the size of the bagels
Pizza Size = 12” pizza
Open-Faced Sandwiches = 1 to 2, depending on the size of the bread
Chicken Size = An entire chicken
I have to admit that I was not entirely convinced that you can truly cook an entire chicken inside this oven based on the dimensions because they seem too small for a chicken. Luckily, I found a video of a chef cooking an entire chicken inside this toaster oven and watching it I saw that, yes, you really can cook an entire chicken.
This is a fairly light toaster oven, which makes sense because the dimensions are on the small side. The light weight of this model, along with the side handles, should make it easy to move.
Exterior Housing Material
The Cuisinart TOB-135 is made of stainless steel with a brushed chrome look to it. Stainless steel is desirable because it is easy to keep clean.
The exterior is silver from the stainless steel, and is a very sleek and modern looking toaster oven, and its looks are winning over a lot of fans. This is a toaster oven that will look good in just about any kitchen, but especially those that have other stainless steel appliances in them.
I have not yet been able to find the length of the cord for this model and I am waiting to hear back from Cuisinart about this. However, my past research has shown that toaster oven cords are usually around two feet in length so it is safe to assume that this one is around that same length.
The back has prongs for cord storage. This allows you to wrap up any excess cord and help keep your countertop neat and tidy.
There is a convection fan in this toaster oven. The fan is, according to one owner, “whisper quiet”.
Cuisinart was able to decrease the amount of noise made by the fan than on previous models, which is an appreciated change for people who don’t want their toaster oven convection fans to sound like airplanes taking off.
Although I am not positive yet, I believe there are four heating elements in this toaster oven. As soon as I know for sure I will update this information.
Cuisinart uses what they call an “Exact Heat” system that keeps the temperature consistent. There are internal sensors that monitor the heat and keep it at the right temperature so that foods are cooked perfectly every time. The heating elements are quick to preheat, which means you can start cooking faster than if you used your conventional wall oven.
There are two rack positions slots and three rack positions. The wire rack can be used in either the up or down position, as described below.
- Bottom position = Rack turned down and inserted in the bottom slot. Best for baking cakes and cookies, bread and pizza, and roasting meats and vegetables.
- Middle position = Rack turned up and inserted in the bottom slot. Best for baking thick foods and broiling.
- Top position = Rack turned down and inserted in the top slot. Best for toasting bread and bagels, open faced sandwiches, quesadillas, and broiling.
As you can see, there are two suggested positions for broiling. You can try either position to see which gives you the best results.
Cuisinart thoughtfully added a rack stopper. This is an important features because it prevents the rack from sliding all the way out of the toaster oven when you pull out the rack.
There is no rotisserie on this toaster oven.
The temperature range is 150° F to 450° F for BAKE, REHEAT, and WARM. The temperature can be adjusted up or down in 25° increments. This incremental amount is common for most digital toaster ovens.
The temperature is 500° for BROIL and cannot be changed. I was disappointed to learn that you cannot control the temperature during broiling. There are times when a lowering broiling temperature may be desired, but you don’t have that option with this machine.
There are vents on top of this toaster oven so I do not recommend using the top as a warming tray.
The maximum watts used for the Cuisinart TOB-135 is 1800 watts. Actual watt usage will depend on the number of heating elements used for any given cooking function.
1800 watts is a lot of watts, which means it will heat up quickly. It also means that it will cost more to use than a toaster oven with fewer watts, but the difference may be negligible because lower watt ovens take longer to preheat and may take longer to cook.
While this toaster oven is in the use LCD display lights up and is backlit with a lovely shade of blue. As of this writing there is only one video that shows this model being used, and it doesn’t show much of the machine (the video, seen below, is about how to cook a chicken and potatoes in this model).
The display will show your selected cooking function, toast shade setting, cooking temperature, and cooking time. It will also show if it is preheating or cooking.
The display will go dormant after a certain period of inactivity. While dormant the backlight goes off. Pressing the START / STOP button will activate the backlight.
While in use the LCD display is lights up and is blue. The display remains the same color blue when cooking is done. This may be a minor thing for some people, but I prefer the way the display on my Breville BOV800XL’s turns orange during cooking and changes to blue when cooking is done. This makes it easy to see from a distance if the toaster oven is still cooking or not. It seems odd that Cuisinart would not have included this particular feature, though the reason might be because the rim around the START / STOP button lights up during cooking.
Type of Controls
You will find a combination of LCD display, knob, and buttons on this toaster oven. Here they are, in order of appearance from top to bottom and how they are used:
- LCD display – Shows the various functions, temperature, shade setting, cooking time, or regular time
- SELECTOR knob – Turn to select a cooking function or to set the clock, cooking time, temperature, or toast shade
- SHADE button – Press to choose the darkness level when cooking toast or bagels, then turn the SELECTOR knob to the desired darkness, ranging from 1 to 7 (the toaster oven will remember your last choice until you change it or unplug the machine)
- DEFROST button – Press to use with either the TOAST or BAGEL cooking functions to defrost the bread before toasting it
- TEMP button – Press to choose temperature, then turn the SELECTOR knob to set the temperature
- CONV button – Press to turn on the convection fan when using either the BAKE or BROIL cooking functions
- TIMER button – Press, then use the SELECTOR knob to enter the cooking time for the BAKE, BROIL, CONVECTION, KEEP WARM, and REHEAT cooking functions
- CLOCK button – Press, then use the SELECTOR knob to enter the current time
- START / STOP button – Starts or stops any of the cooking functions, and also lights up while the oven is in use
The SELECTOR knob and LCD display work similar to the BOV800XL controls. One difference between these two models is that the buttons and functions being used on the Cuisinart will light up when selected.
If, during cooking, you decide that you want to increase or decrease the cooking time, temperature, or toast shade in the middle of cooking, you can easily do so by pressing the appropriate button and changing the setting with the knob. This is a wonderful feature. I’ve seen other toaster ovens where the only way you can change these options is to stop cooking and start from scratch. Well done, Cuisinart!
There are audible beeping sounds during the use of the controls. If you would rather not hear the beeps the instruction manual explains how to turn them off. You can always turn them back on if you change your mind later.
During my research I found that owners of this model found the user interface intuitive and very easy to use. Pretty much everyone agrees that the controls are easy to figure out without needing to constantly open up the instruction manual.
Temperature Control Options
The temperature is controlled by using the TEMP button along with the knob, as explained above.
Cuisinart uses “Exact Heat” sensors to control the temperature. According to Cuisinart, these sensors work to maintain precise oven temperatures. I wanted to understand how they work, but was very surprised when I could not find anything about it. It looks to me like Cuisinart is trying to compete with Breville’s “Element IQ” heating technology, which is on their smart ovens such as the BOV800XL. If this is true, wouldn’t Cuisinart want to shout from the rooftops how their “Exact Heat” works and why it is a superior method of cooking?
Cuisinart also uses “Always Even” technology to ensure that toast is always consistent and evenly toasted. Again, I wanted to learn more about this technology but found nothing. I suppose I could assume how they both work, but I’m sure you already know the cliched saying about what happens when you assume something. My search for information about “Exact Heat” and “Always Even” ended in frustration, so I contacted Cuisinart and asked them for details. I will share what they say after they respond to my inquiry.
What I do know is that owners love the way it bakes and cooks. Bread, cakes, cookies, casseroles, and meats turn out wonderfully.
Toast Darkness Adjustment
You can adjust the darkness of either toast or bagels by choosing a shade level from 1 dot (lightest) to 7 dots (darkest). As I stated above, Cuisinart uses what they call “Always Even” shade control, which results in even and consistent toasting.
As is true of any toaster oven, you will need to experiment until you find the perfect toast shade setting for you. Once you find it, the TOB-135 will store your setting in its memory. Each time you choose TOAST it will use your setting until you either change it or unplug the machine. This is a thoughtful feature because it saves you from having to choose the shade setting every time you want to toast bread or bagels.
Preset Cooking Functions
There are seven cooking functions for the Cuisinart TOB-135 toaster oven:
- KEEP WARM
All elements are used in each of the above cooking functions. The one exception is KEEP WARM, which uses only the bottom heating elements to keep the temperature at a steady 150° F.
Additionally, you have the option to use the convection fan with either the BAKE or BROIL cooking functions.
This toaster oven has a very generous two hour timer. Most toaster ovens have timers that range from 30 to 90 minutes. Two hours is plenty of time to cook just about anything. In the unlikely event you want to cook something that requires more than two hours, you can simply add additional time to the timer.
There is a preheat ready signal that tells you when preheating is done and cooking has begun. This alarm will sound when the internal temperature reaches 75% of the selected cooking temperature.
Not all toaster ovens let you know when preheating is done. Knowing when preheating is done is important because that is the proper time to put food inside the oven. Thanks to the alarm that sounds when preheating is done there is no guess work about when to put your food inside.
There is also an alarm that sounds when cooking is done. This model is so new that I was unable to find out anything regarding how loud the alarm is. I will update this section when I do finally learn anything about the sound of the alarm.
There is no “always on” function with the Cuisinart TOB-135. There is really no need for an “always on” option because of the generous two hour timer.
The timer will automatically shut off in each of the seven cooking functions. This is a great feature because it means that you don’t have to worry about overcooking food or accidentally leaving the machine on.
There is no auto-eject rack on this model, and I found that disappointing. Just about every other toaster oven in the same price range has an auto-eject rack.
This model does, however, have a rack stopper that prevents the top rack from being pulled out all the way. This is an important safety feature that keeps hot food from spilling out when the tray is pulled out.
The Cuisinart TOB-135 toaster oven is BPA free.
The crumb tray is removed from the front of the machine. You have to open the door, then pull out the tray.
I have to admit that I was surprised that you have to open the door before you can remove the crumb tray. This is common on lower end toaster ovens, not high end models. High end toaster ovens usually have the crumb tray accessible just below the door, which is easier than having to open the door.
The handle on the door stays cool so you can safely open the door without getting burned.
Exterior Temperature During Cooking
The outside of the Cuisinart TOB-135 toaster oven gets hot to the touch while it is in use. To be fair, though, this is true of almost every toaster oven.
The top can get very hot when you use the BROIL function because only the top elements are used. Take care when touching the exterior when using this machine, and don’t keep plastic nearby or it may melt onto the sides or top.
There are handles on either side of the Cuisinart TOB-135 which will make moving it easy. The main benefit to handles is that you don’t have to wait for the machine to cool down completely before you move it.
In Use Light
The outer rim START / STOP button lights up when this machine is in use. This is helpful in knowing if the machine is on from a distance.
There is no interior light in this toaster oven.
The inside of the TOB-135 toaster oven is coated with a nonstick material. This is done to aid the cleaning process, and people have been very vocal in their appreciation for how easy it is to clean the inside of this model.
Under Counter Mount
This model cannot be mounted.
Wire Rack Stopper
The top rack position has a stopper that keeps the rack from accidentally being pulled all the way out. This is an important safety feature that will keep you from being scalded with hot food.
There are three accessories included with the TOB-135 toaster oven:
- Baking tray
- Broiling rack
- Recipe book
The recipe book was a surprise. Including recipe books with cooking appliances was once commonplace, but not often done these days. The great thing about having a recipe book from the manufacturer is that the recipes are all made to bring out the best in an appliance. It also shows owners different things they can do with their machine.
If you watch the video below you will see this toaster oven make a chicken. There is a scene where the chicken has been taken out of the oven and you can see it resting on the wire broiling rack. The rack is bending under the weight of the chicken, which makes me wonder how sturdy the rack is and how long it will hold up under constant use.
There are no additional accessories made specifically for this model.
The exterior of the Cuisinart TOB-135 toaster oven is made of stainless steel that has a brushed look to it. It is therefore important that you do not use any type of abrasive cleaner or sponge on it or you may scratch the finish. The same is true of the inside, which has a nonstick finish.
You can clean both the inside and outside by wiping it down with a damp rag or sponge. Soap can be used as needed to remove grease.
This video is of a chicken and twice baked potatoes that were made in the Cuisinart TOB-135 toaster oven. It is a great example of what you can make in this toaster oven.
Weight: 14 pounds
Cuisinart’s warranty for the TOB-135 toaster oven is three years. That is between one and two years longer than the warranties offered by their competitors. This speaks very highly of Cuisinart and shows that they stand behind their products.
Be sure to keep your original proof of purchase, which will be needed if you ever need to make a warranty claim.
Customer Support Experience
This toaster oven is so new that I was unable to find any information about people needing to contact Cuisinart about it. Cuisinart does have an excellent reputation when it comes to honoring their warranties. The one thing that I found while researching Cuisinart and warranty claims is that people are unhappy with their policy of charging $10 for shipping a replacement item – something that Cuisinart states in the warranty section of the instruction manual – and customers are responsible for the cost of shipping defective items to Cuisinart. This is pretty much standard procedure for companies these days, though, so this is likely to be the case no matter what toaster oven you buy.
- Cooking Time Change – Change the cooking time, temperature, or toast shade during the cooking cycle
- Quiet – Convection fan is very quiet
- Heats Up Quickly
- Even Cooking – Cooks food evenly and thoroughly
- Recipe Book – Unlike most toaster ovens, this one includes a recipe book that showcases how to use the unit
- Warranty – It includes a very generous three year warranty
- Broiling Temperature – BROIL temperature is fixed at 500°
- No Auto-Eject Rack
- Flimsy Broiler Rack – The wire broiler rack appears to be flimsy
- Price – The price is a bit high in my opinion compared to competing models
The slightly higher price of this Cuisinart makes sense given that you can do convection cooking in it, as well as the included accessories and the seven preset cooking functions.
Multiple times during my research on this model I read where people said that they would recommend this toaster oven to their friends and family. There is no higher praise for a product than this!
The high rating that this model has received goes hand-in-hand with the satisfaction people have for this toaster oven. People are also very happy with the three year warranty, which helps instill confidence in this toaster oven.
Here are the most helpful online sources I used to research the Cuisinart TOB-135 toaster oven. You may find additional helpful information by visiting any or all of these sources:
After researching this toaster oven for this review I came to the conclusion that its main competition is Breville’s BOV450XL model. I think Cuisinart did a good job with this model, but the Breville model has a few features that I would expect to find on a toaster oven in this price range, such as the auto-eject rack, 300° and 500° temperature options for BROIL (compared to the Cuisinart’s single option of 500°), and the temperature increments of 10° (compared to the Cuisinart’s increment of 25°). I wish Cuisinart had added these features, but I’m sure that many people will think that the inclusion of a convection fan will more than make up for these missing features.
Despite the missing features, the one area where this model wins out over the Breville model is with the warranty. Three years is a long time for a small cooking appliance to be under warranty and I am sure that Cuisinart wins over a lot of buyers with their generous warranty. All in all I think this is a good toaster oven and fans of Cuisinart are already expressing their happiness with it.