This Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven Is the Ultimate Countertop Appliance
We reviewed the Cuisinart TOA-65 — and it's a true kitchen workhorse.
By Leah Brickley for Food Network Kitchen
Like many, counterspace in my kitchen is limited. If it's an appliance I use every day — like my electric kettle and pour-over glass coffee maker — I make room for it. If not, it gets stashed away until some holiday or spring-cleaning project.
I was initially skeptical about Cuisinart's TOA-65 Air Fryer Toaster Oven. Its roughly 17 x 22 x 16 inch size seemed too large to merit space on my counter, and I couldn’t imagine myself luging it out of a cabinet to toast a bagel or air fry onion rings. However, as I tested each of its seven features, my judge-y disposition faded; every setting nailed it — from toast to French fries. Plus, I found myself using it for odd jobs like to quickly broil a cheese sandwich for my son or roast a small chicken when my oven was full of cake.
The TOA-65 embodies smart convenience and versatility in a multicooker. Its intuitive interface is easy to navigate, the preprogrammed settings make sense and most of the features work well, eliminating the need for individual specialty equipment. This small yet mighty appliance won me over and earned a place next to the kettle.
Cuisinart TOA-65 Air Fryer Toaster Oven Overview
The Cuisinart TOA-65 Air Fryer Toaster Oven is stainless steel multicooker retailing for about $250 full-price. It comes with a rack, baking/drip pan, air fry basket, seven distinct cooking features plus warm and reheat. The LED interface is a combination of buttons and knobs and it has a limited three-year warranty. The instruction book has recipes and helpful charts for successful air frying and dehydrating.
How We Tested
Each feature was given a specific task and evaluated for attributes like color and texture: I toasted slices of white bread, air fried frozen French fries, baked slice-and-bake sugar cookies and a frozen pizza, roasted bone-in and skin-on chicken breasts, broiled a salmon filet, dehydrated tomatoes and proofed bread dough. And then I cleaned it, inside and out. I made notes throughout and documented with photos.
In search of perfect toast? Look no further. I toasted sliced white bread; two and then six slices (the max). The TOA-65 made some of the most beautiful toast I have ever seen — evenly golden on the top and bottom. It did everything short of buttering the slices for me.
The flat air frying basket is roomy — it can easily fry half a standard bag of frozen fries in one shot — and there is less overlapping like in some of the first-generation barrel-shaped air fryers. There are preprogrammed settings: fries, wings, nuggets, snacks and vegetables with the option to set the time and temperature as needed. My frozen crinkle-cut fries came out golden and crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside on the fries pre-set. The basket is a little hard to insert and remove but easy to clean.
The baking feature offers both low and high fan speed (convention cooking) with a temperature range of 200 to 450 degrees F and can bake for up to two hours at a time. I started with store bought slice-and-bake sugar cookies and baked them according to package instructions on the baking pan that was included. They followed in the toast and fries' footsteps— with a soft and golden top, crispy edge and tender middle. The I put a small frozen pizza on the included baking rack and used the preprogrammed pizza setting: The toppings and sauce were hot, the cheese melty and the crust crispy. No complaints.
I used two bone-in and skin-on chicken breasts — seasoned only with salt — to try out the roasting function. To achieve success the meat should be tender with an internal temperature of 165 degrees F and the skin golden and crispy within 40 minutes. There was a good amount of condensation build up from steam while the chicken roasted — which made me nervous the skin would be flabby — but at about 45 minutes I had two golden, crispy and tender chicken breasts. The baking/drip pan was easy to clean and there was no sign of grease on the bottom of the appliance.
This setting is fixed at 450 degrees F and can broil continually for to two hours (which, frankly, is unnecessary). I placed a salmon filet in the air basket which was fitted in the baking/drip pan — as recommended. The default time is five minutes, which I followed. The fish was looking good after five minutes and there was no smoke or fishy smell. I broiled for three minutes more and the salmon was browned on top, opaque on the sides and bottom and just flakey in the middle.
This machine can dehydrate for up to 72 hours straight. I followed the TOA-65's handy dehydrate chart and picked tomatoes as a test. I dehydrated halved grape tomatoes at the recommended 140 degrees F with high fan speed and at about eight hours had lovely, flavor-packed dried tomatoes.
The proof setting offers a low temperature range from 80 to 100 degrees F (for up to 2 hours). Directions advise that the first proof should be done at room temperature and then the dough is to be divided, shaped and proofed in the TOA-65. This was a little disappointing and I was not able to fit all my dinner rolls on the baking pan for their second proof. While this is a seemingly nice feature it doesn't really solve a problem. It’s easier to proof on the countertop or on top of the oven.
How It Cleaned
The TOA-65 includes a handy pull-out crumb tray (which does the job) and features interior sides coated with nonstick. My piece of equipment needed a clean after testing — the broiled salmon was the limit. A microfiber cloth damp with a mild soap solution did the trick and the outside only needed a quick wipe-down and dry. The oven rack and crumb tray had to be handwashed (easy) while the baking/drip pan and air fryer basket cleaned up in the dishwasher (easier).
Who Should Buy This?
I would never have considered buying the Cuisinart TOA-65 Air Fryer Toaster Oven, but I've changed my mind after testing it. I have a small son and quickly cooking a quesadilla for his dinner or baking a couple of cookies was made infinitely easier by this appliance. I've found lots of reasons not to turn on the oven or stovetop. Plus, I can air fry and dehydrate! (Though I'll stick to old-school proofing.)
If you're into kitchen gadgets but want to streamline and downsize, then the TOA-65 is perfect for you. If you wish you had a second oven or don’t have one at all — then it's also your best bet. Its smart, compact and a workhorse. It will earn its place on the countertop.