Cuisinart Air Fryer Mini Oven review

One-minute review

If you’re looking for an appliance that’s full-service, versatile and space-saving, one that will deliver the crispy air-fried chips of your dreams, then look no further than the Cuisinart Air Fryer Mini Oven. While Cuisinart is best known for its food processors and various other kitchen appliances, the brand has more recently been dipping its toes into the air fryer market with great success.

The Cuisinart Air Fryer Mini Oven, known in the US as the Cuisinart Airfryer Toaster Oven, is a multi-functional appliance that offers seven cooking functions; two specific modes for cooking paninis and toasties and for roasts or pizzas, as well as the standard options to keep warm, grill, toast, bake, and, of course, air fry. 

Cuisinart’s focus has been to present stylish, reliable appliances to market, built with an intention to transform your kitchen from a functional room into a more convivial space – and this air fryer mini-oven perfectly fits that aesthetic. This appliance’s chic casing and dial controls have a distinctly retro feel, yet are simple enough to fit into kitchens of any style. 

The Cuisinart Air Fryer Mini Oven is certainly roomy, offering a large 17-liter capacity. It comprises two shelves, meaning you can cook evenly across different levels, too. However, its air-fry capacity is only around 3 pounds / 1.3kg – although, thanks to its width, there’s greater space to spread your food items when air frying, leading to more crisp results. In the box you’ll also find three non-stick trays – an air-frying basket, a baking tray, and an oven rack. Note that while Cuisinart states that these trays are “easy-clean”, this wasn’t our experience; nor are these trays dishwasher safe. 

On test, we were impressed by all of the cooking settings we tried – the huge caveat being that cooking times and the temperature will likely need adjusting to achieve the best results. For non-meat dishes, we needed to set the temperature to about 25°F lower (roughly 10°C) than the recipe or Cuisinart’s own information booklet recommended. 

The Cuisinart Air Fryer Mini Oven may be larger than some of the best air fryers available, but when you consider that you can likely do away with your toaster, panini grill and even your oven, for smaller households the trade-off might prove worthwhile. 

(Image credit: Future)

Price and availability

 List price: $229.95 / £250.00 

As mentioned above, the Cuisinart Airfryer Toaster Oven is known in the UK as the Cuisinart Air Fryer Mini Oven; and at the time of writing, this appliance wasn’t available in Australia. We tested the UK version for this review, and it’s worth noting that there are slight differences between models. Our version arrived in matte black, while the US model is clad in stainless steel, plus the dial labeling is slightly different. 

It’s the only air fryer on offer from Cuisinart in the UK, and as a result you pay a premium for it; the model is a fair bit cheaper in the US. Still, for its uniqueness in the market, its design and performance, we’d say the price isn’t at all unreasonable.

Along with the oven and trays, the Cuisinart Airfryer Toaster Oven also comes with an instruction manual that includes a number of cooking tips, guidelines and best practices for your new appliance. 

You can buy the appliance directly from Cuisinart or through Amazon, or Target in the US.

Price and availability score: 4/5

Design

The Cuisinart Air Fryer Mini Oven measures 35 x 40 x 31cm (h x w x d), with its US counterpart coming in at 14 x 16 x 15.5 inches; note that in use, it requires that you leave 100mm of clearance on each side for safety reasons. It’s one of the larger air fryers we’ve reviewed – but when you consider that it offers an additional six cooking modes that might reduce the number of small appliances you need in your kitchen, it’s a fair trade-off. The US model weighs in at 21lb, with the UK model 12kg, so it probably isn’t an appliance you’ll want to be moving between cupboards and countertops with any regularity.

While its 17-liter capacity appears impressive at first, unless you get your hands on a second air frying basket, which sits beneath the Cuisinart-supplied one (and run the risk of interfering too much with the airflow), the actual air frying capacity is a pretty average at 3lbs. However, this model is wider than the majority of appliances on the market, meaning you can achieve a better spread of food items while cooking, for more crisp results. We found there was sufficient room for about two and a half portions of fries cooked to perfection; or three, if you’re willing to sacrifice some of the crispiness.

As mentioned in our overview, the Cuisinart Air Fryer Mini Oven comes with three non-stick trays: an air frying basket, a baking tray, and an oven rack. None are dishwasher safe. While dishwasher-friendly accessories aren’t a given with such appliances, they certainly would have been welcome here; the Cuisinart’s wire air frying basket proved tough to scrub clean having cooked sticky or fatty foods such as chicken. The model does come with a removable crumb tray, however.

(Image credit: Future)

On the front of the windowed oven you’ll find four control dials for selecting the cooking time, temperature, function and level of toasting. The timer can be set from 0-60 minutes, and the temperature can be set between 250-450°F / 90-230°C. While the dials fit well with the fun, retro aesthetic of the oven, analog controls are synonymous with imprecise measurements, which can be an issue when cooking some trickier dishes. As such, you’d be well advised to keep an eye on your food while it’s cooking. Note that there aren’t any dedicated preheat settings or such guidance in the instructions with this model, although the oven does heat up tremendously quickly. Nor is there a shake or stir reminder when air frying, a feature commonly found in dedicated air fryers to ensure even crisping.

Design score: 4.5 / 5

Performance

 Produces even, brown results  Wide tray space delivers greater real estate  Lots of condensation build-up 

Since the Cuisinart Air Fryer Mini Oven comes with an array of functions, we were keen to test as many of them as possible. We had a go air-frying homestyle sweet potato fries, frozen thick-cut fries and chicken wings; we baked a cupcake, and used the roast and pizza setting to cook a pizza.

For our frozen thick-cut fries, we set the temperature of the mini oven to 440oF / 230oC per Cuisinart’s instructions. Since this was our first test, we decided to allow the oven to preheat for 5 minutes before putting in our fries for 12 minutes, shaking them mid-way through cooking. In letting some of the heat out to shake our fries, we probably just about saved our food from oblivion; by the end of the 12 minutes, the fries were a little too brown, and a little dry.

(Image credit: Future)

We tried again, this time following the air fryer-specific cooking instructions found on the fries’ packaging, which suggested cooking at 350oF / 180oC without any pre-heating – Cuisinart claims this model can heat up in 90 seconds. While they took a little longer to cook at 15 minutes, the results were perfectly crispy, golden fluffy fries.

With these learnings in mind, we moved on to chicken wings. We were delighted to find we could comfortably fit nine wings in the basket – impressive capacity for an air fryer. You could probably fit in more if you layered them, although we’d advise against this if you’re looking for super-crispy results. Following Cuisinart’s guidelines, the chicken wings were cooked at 390oF / 200oC for 20-25 minutes. Cuisinart doesn’t offer any information on how much oil to use, so we followed our standard measure, using ½ tbsp oil to evenly coat the wings. We turned the contents of the basket halfway through cooking, and after 25 minutes we had a plate full of delicious, crispy, moist chicken wings. Cooking in a conventional oven would have taken an hour, so this was a huge win. 

(Image credit: Future)

One slight quirk that we found while using the air fryer is that the front window can quickly become fogged up with condensation – and judging by online customer reviews, we’re not alone in seeing this. The manual does give passing mention to the fact that this can happen, but offers no suggestions on how to stop it. Having used windowed air fryers before, we know this is certainly possible; but we haven’t seen it occur as frequently as it did on the large glass pane of the Cuisinart Air Fryer Mini Oven. We also noticed a lot of steam escaping from the left-hand side of the door – which again, was observed by other customers online.

(Image credit: Future)

For our third test we made homestyle sweet potato fries, which were thinly cut, covered in cornflour and then drizzled lightly with ½ tbsp oil. We cooked these at 390oF / 200oC for 14 minutes, once again shaking at the halfway point. The results were fairly good. Some of the fries were burned a little at the ends, but overall they were fairly crispy on the outside with a wonderfully soft texture inside. We’ve found sweet potato fries particularly hard to nail without a deep fryer, since their softer texture and structure doesn’t lend itself to air frying as well, so these results don’t surprise us too much.

(Image credit: Future)

To test the roast and pizza function, we bought a pre-made pizza base and topped it with mushrooms before cooking at 350oF / 180oC for a quick 10 minutes; preheating isn’t necessary. While this knocks only a few minutes off the cooking time we’d have required in a regular oven, every little helps! The pizza came out perfectly and evenly cooked, which can’t be said for the slightly soggy, irregular results of some domestic ovens.

(Image credit: Future)

Our cupcakes were cooked at 350oF / 180oC for just 18 minutes, which, compared to our domestic oven that also needed pre-heating, saved us 6 minutes. The cupcakes were perfectly cooked, although they didn’t rise quite as much as our oven-cooked batch did.

We found that for the first four or five uses, our model of the Cuisinart Air Fryer Mini Oven produced some pretty unpleasant chemical smells. However, we were pleased to find that these smells dissipated following a few uses.

For optimal performance and longevity, Cuisinart stresses in its product information booklet the importance of regularly cleaning this mini oven. We certainly noticed a lot more moisture droplets and oil than when testing other air fryers; however, this model is also far easier to clean thanks to its shape, size and frontal access.

The air fryer was wonderfully quiet during use and didn’t go louder than 54.8dB on our noise meter. There have been user reports of the US model becoming exceptionally hot during use, perhaps due to its stainless steel exterior, but the UK model didn’t suffer the same issues.

Scorecard: Cuisinart Air Fryer Mini Oven
AttributesNotesRatingPrice & affordabilityIf we’re scoring this as an airfryer, it’s pricier than a lot of the competition, but as it offers so much more we’re fairly happy with the value for money.4/5DesignWhile the retro aesthetic is not to everyone’s taste, this mini oven is a simple yet chic piece that will suit most kitchens well.4.5/5PerformanceGenerally speaking, it performed well on test, but as the user experience involved so much tweaking and guesswork, we have to pull down the rating slightly.4/5

Buy it if…

Don’t buy it if…

First reviewed: August 2022

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