It’s no secret that we have really leaned into our cooking appliances over the past year. They make things easier, more delicious, and allow us to find joy despite never leaving the house. ????
Without question, the cooking appliance of the pandemic has become the air fryer. You can’t scroll on Pinterest without seeing hundreds of air fryer recipes. It’s the new Instant Pot, except, in my opinion, it’s actually completely worth the hype and doesn’t turn your food into mush. (I am still salty that my high hopes were not met with the Instant Pot. ???? Sorry, I know there are many who love it–but that’s a discussion for another day.)
Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven Review:
“To get an air fryer or not get an air fryer?” you may be asking yourself, along with the entire quarantined millennial population. ARE YOU EVEN A MILLENNIAL IF YOU DON’T HAVE AN AIR FRYER?
(The answer is yes. You still qualify, and no, you don’t NEED one, you don’t NEED most things, but will it bring you joy? ABSOLUTELY.)
Yes, I admit, I too was reluctant to jump on the bandwagon, but after being influenced by friends and family, I have finally taken the plunge and seemingly overnight I am now an air fryer influencer? (For those who started following me on Instagram for fashion tips I wholeheartedly apologize that now this is all I can talk about.) I love it so much that sometimes I feel like a newborn parent, holding myself back from NOT talking about my air fryer because it’s getting a little excessive but all I want to do is gush over her–even her most mundane qualities–like, did you know she has a CRUMB TRAY? (Her name, by the way, is Agatha Crispy. Shout out to reader Lyndsay for coming up with that absolute gem of a name.)
Agatha is a combo Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven, known by her more formal name, the Cuisinart TOA-60. And today, we will be deep diving into ALL of your questions about Agatha. (Thank you to those who submitted on stories!)
In short: Agatha Crispy coming into my life has been a game-changer with all my food recipes, and she has been one of my favorite purchases of the entire year. Let’s jump into the review!
One more thing: this post was not sponsored nor the product gifted–although, Cuisinart, if you’re listening, I would LOVE to team up with you. ???? As always, all sponsored posts and gifted items are very obviously disclosed and this is not one of those instances! However, I do make a small commission on any purchases you make through my links, which I am always grateful for if you feel inclined to do so!
What is the Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven?
The Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven is just as it sounds! It’s a combo air fryer and toaster oven. We upgraded our Breville toaster oven to this one. It’s different than a traditional air fryer because of this reason–it has a lot more functions than just air frying. I have very limited counter space so I knew I didn’t want the traditional air fryer because I don’t need one more appliance! I have the stainless steel version but it comes in other colors as well, all include a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty.
What comes with it?
(See photo below). The Cuisinart comes with three trays–the air frying basket (top tray you see below), a sheet pan, and a rack. These are all interchangeable in position based on what you’re cooking. You want whichever rack you are using to be on top, but make sure the air fry pan is always sitting atop the sheet pan so it can catch drippings, crumbs, etc. You can also use the sheet pan as you would a regular sheet pan in your full-size oven for baking, air frying, etc.
Capacity of the Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven–how much can you cook at once?
It can bake a 12″ pizza, toast 6-slices of toast simultaneously, and air fry 3 lb. worth of food at once. I would say it always fits plenty for two people, but if you had four really hungry people, you might want to get something with a larger capacity. (See below for other top picks!)
Is The Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven Worth It?
YES! In my opinion, for the kind of cooking I do, and for my needs, I think it’s absolutely worth the money AND the counter space. Here’s what I love about it:
Crispy and crunchy, healthier food:
Air frying function really makes everything perfectly crispy without being unhealthy. I simply give food a spritz with olive oil spray and you have food that gets crisp and crunchy in minutes! You use significantly less oil than with traditional pan frying or deep frying.
Cooks food FAST:
So much faster than a regular oven or even a regular toaster oven! While it has a toast setting, I will use the air fry function to make toast because it’s faster than a regular toaster and tastes pretty much the same.
Takes up the same amount of counter space as a regular toaster oven. It looks bigger because it’s taller, but it has the same footprint as our old toaster oven.
VERY easy to clean–easier to clean than a regular air fryer:
It’s just as easy to clean as a regular toaster oven! I just rinse the trays with some soap and a sponge. Takes two seconds. Not many crumbs fall to the bottom, but there is a crumb catching tray there too, so all you have to do is slide it out, wipe clean, and pop it back in. No need to scrub melted cheese off of hard to reach places!
Ability to see food cooking AND an oven light:
This is a really big one–in a regular air fryer, you can’t see your food cooking so it’s really hard to monitor. Air frying definitely has a learning curve, especially with the Cusinart, I’m told, because it tends to run pretty hot. (Which is great, because that’s why it’s so fast!) However, I make sure to keep an eye on my food through the window and rely on that vs. relying precisely on timers, because every oven is a little different and you need to learn yours–not watching it is how you wind up with burnt food.
Easier, more hands-off, less mess cooking:
I find that you can make a lot of things in the air fryer that you’d normally make on the stove, and therefore, it allows for more hands-off cooking, which is really nice! Pretty much anything you’d pan fry–from meat to veggies, can be made in the air fryer.
Think of like, the ease of a sheet pan meal, with the flavor and texture of something deep or pan-fried. You also get the functionality of a big convection oven, with the TIME saver of a toaster oven for a couple reasons: 1. You don’t have to preheat it (at least with the Cuisinart) and 2. It’s so much smaller, so the food is closer to the heat source AND because it doesn’t take nearly as long to build and retain heat.
You don’t have to preheat the Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven!
I know, I just said this, but I wanted to restate it because I think it’s so important. Some models do require a preheat period which I was NOT having. (This is why I hate the instant pot so much, it doesn’t actually save that much time due to preheating and steam release. ???? I felt duped. Again, another topic for another day.)
I made Blue Apron’s flautas the other night in the air fryer rather than pan frying as instructed and they were TO DIE FOR. (You can find similar recipes for air fryer flautas and taquitos on Pinterest!)
Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven Cooking Features:
Fact: Air frying is really just a fancy way of saying “Convection.” I do not have a convection setting on my regular oven and I didn’t have one on my toaster oven, thus, why I made the upgrade. If you have a convection setting on one of your existing ovens, you probably don’t need an air fryer!
This also has a toasting function, but to be honest I just use the air fryer setting for toast now because it’s so quick!
The baking and broiling function I used to use a lot on my old toaster for baking chicken breasts, for example, broiling for melting cheese, making crostini, etc, but to be honest, I pretty much just use the air fryer function now in lieu of those two settings, again, because it’s so much faster than traditional baking/broiling methods. However, this model does have those if you want to use them!
I use the air fryer to reheat anything that was once crispy–it’s absolutely AMAZING for warming up takeout. You’ll never cry over soggy fries or wings again! However, I would not use it for reheating anything else that was not once crispy, such as soup, pasta, etc.
I LOVE the warming feature even when I’m not air frying. This comes in really handy if you’re cooking things in batches on the stove, (I.E. You made veggies for a side and want to keep them warm while you sautee your chicken, etc) or if, say, I make two grilled cheeses (yes, you can make that in the air fryer) and Neal is finishing up something and isn’t ready to eat his yet.
Air fryer crispy tacos are maybe my #1 favorite thing to make in the air fryer. Recipe coming soon!
What can you cook in the air fryer toaster oven?
Like I said, you can cook SO MUCH in it.
Mostly I make things that are crispy, like bacon (my favorite method to cook it–so fast, and hardly any mess), grilled cheese, french fries (fresh or frozen), hashbrowns (fresh or frozen), any frozen appetizers (or for moms out there–chicken nuggets in minutes!), I LOVE to make crunchy tacos, taquitos, toasted sandwiches, crispy brussels sprouts or broccoli, quesadillas, chicken wings. Anything with a breading is great in an air fryer–think chicken parm, pork chops, etc. (You can make the breading as healthy as you like–whether you’re gluten-free, paleo, etc.)
We haven’t tried this yet, but I’ve also heard steak is amazing in the air fryer, as is salmon (lots of you told me this, granted I don’t like fish so I’ll probably just take your word for it. ????)
Also, it is a game-changer for takeout. I spent almost a year eating sad soggy delivery french fries and wings. Yes, you can re-crisp them in the oven or cast-iron, but this does it in minutes, and makes takeout taste fresh out of the kitchen again.
When in doubt, google “air fryer” paired with the recipe you want to make, and thousands of recipes will come up!
The removable slide-out trays and super amazing crumb tray make cleanup a snap!
How to clean the Cuisinart air fryer toaster oven:
As mentioned above, the other reason I definitely wanted a combo air fryer toaster oven vs just a regular air fryer–it’s SO much easier to clean. Just like a regular toaster oven–slide out the trays, run it under some water with soap and a sponge, and that’s it. Rinses off very easily.
Plus, the bottom portion (you know, where crumbs fall and then start burning?) has a CRUMB TRAY. Which honestly I didn’t even know until I went to write this post and discovered it! (So, proof you don’t have to clean it too often. ????) But it’s GENIUS! All you have to do is pull out the crumb tray, wipe it off, and put it back in. You never have to deal with sticking your hand into the bottom and cleaning around the coils like you do with toaster ovens.
More tips on quick cleanup:
When you go to air fry, make sure to give the whole basket tray a once over with olive oil spray, as well as the food. (You don’t need much, just enough to ensure it will rinse off easily and prevent sticking!)
Also, you can line the tray the basket sits atop of with parchment paper or foil to catch any crumbs, drippings, etc from below the basket, if you want. However, DON’T line the basket itself, because you need the air to be free-flowing through the basket to ensure evenly cooked and crispy food. If there is a liner, the air won’t reach the food from the bottom.
Where Can You Buy the Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven?
Amazon (Get $19 off right now!) Macy’s, Bed Bath and Beyond (they have next day delivery!) or pretty much ANYWHERE that appliances are sold! Cuisinart is a big brand and this is a popular model so it’s not hard to find.
The Cuisinart makes perfectly toasty bagels, and the best crispy frozen hashbrowns! (I cook those directly on the tray, not the basket!)
Which other air fryer toaster ovens did you consider? Why the Cuisinart?
I ultimately went with this model (the TOA-60) because I have friends who rave about it, and it was recommended highly by you guys when I asked you on IG stories! Also, it was a much more reasonable price point than the other highly rated competitors. I didn’t want to spend more than $200 because that just seemed silly, and I’m really happy with my purchase!
Why this model vs. the newer digital Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven (TOA 65?)
I went with this model because I didn’t think it was worth paying $80 more dollars just for a digital display. Also, a lot of the reviews said that the digital settings were a lot more cumbersome and confusing, and because I’m 90 years old I read the consumer reports comparison, and the TOA 60 model won out over the 65, so, therefore, that’s the one I went with. I like how easy it is to just turn the knobs and not have to mess with digital settings. It also makes a really cute little nostalgic “ding” when the timer is up which I think is charming. ????
Agatha is also fantastic at reheating pastries and donuts so they taste fresh out of the oven!
Other top picks of air fryer/toaster oven models that you all loved:
**Note I did not ask for non combo/air fryer only options so I cannot speak to those–but there are tons of articles you can google!**
(this was the #1 recommendation!) I LOVE the Breville brand (it’s what our old toaster oven was) but this one just had more functions than we needed and I didn’t want to spend that much. What is pretty cool is that it has a slow cook setting (though I don’t think you could fit a dutch oven in there so I’m unsure how functional that really is?) but also I haven’t used a slow cooker in like three years so again, just not what I needed for my cooking style.
Many of you recommended this version for small spaces, as it flips and can be stored vertically, but knowing me, if I had to haul it out of a cabinet and put it away every time, it was never getting used. Ever. So–this was not an enticing factor for me personally.
If I wanted something with larger capacity (i.e. I had a family of four with two older kids) this is definitely the model I would go with because it has a much bigger capacity than the others and amazing reviews! Many of you love this model.
I liked that this one was the same price point as the Cuisinart, but honestly had way too much technology/bells and whistles. I don’t need to air fry my dinner with a smartphone app. (Granted, you totally don’t HAVE to use that option–it has a digital display). However, I just liked the simplicity of the Cuisinart better. (I also got a mental image of Neal trying to figure this thing out and wanting to throw it across the room, and moved on from this model quite quickly. ????) It does have even more functions though, including dehydrating and a rotisserie, if that is of interest to you!
Okay I know I dog the Instant Pot but I also know many of you love it, so it’s worth noting you CAN get a special Instant Pot lid to air fry in your Instant Pot. Many of you recommended this option if you use and love the Instant Pot, and this option makes it great to not need to buy a whole additional appliance!
The first thing I made in the air fryer was frozen chicken strips to recreate my favorite salad from college: Mother Bear’s salad with cheese, tomatoes, goldfish crackers (or in this case, Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies) as croutons, and ranch. ????
Can an air fryer toaster oven replace the microwave?
The short answer: no, they do completely different things!
The longer answer: Maybe, it depends on what you like to eat and whether you actually like cooking.
It can definitely replace the microwave for a lot of things, mainly reheating anything that was once crispy–(vs the microwave, which makes things sad, tough, and soggy) but I still use my microwave for heating up things like leftover soup, pasta, etc. But honestly, I don’t use my microwave that much, so if I had to choose, I would probably choose the air fryer/toaster oven. (Because reheating soup, pasta, etc can also be done on the stove, and I am very picky with my food and have high standards for even my leftovers.)
However, I am someone who LIKES cooking and cooks A LOT. If I ate a lot of canned things, oatmeal, frozen meals, etc, those are not things you can make in an air fryer, so honestly, it just depends on what kind of food you eat and how often you are cooking for yourself.
If you’re a foodie who loves to cook, you could probably get away with replacing your microwave with this. But if you are all about convenience, not a chance. ????
How much space does it take up? Is it worth the counter space?
The same amount as a toaster oven. The Cuisinart TOA 60 measures 16″ L x 17″ W x 14″ H. It’s just taller than a regular toaster oven. Absolutely worth the counter space IMO, and we don’t have a lot of it in our city condo. It is the only appliance other than our espresso machine and drip coffee maker that has been awarded coveted counter space.
Can you cook food from raw in it?
Absolutely! You can use it to cook any raw foods that you would cook in an oven or on the stovetop.
Crispy crunchy air fryer taco recipe coming soon!
Air fryer cooking tips:
READ your air fryer manual, and have it handy in a place you can easily reference it!
It will tell you the correct approximate cooking times to use per each food. Keep in mind, that the quanity of food you are making will also affect this, so if you’re cooking 4 chicken nuggets for your two year old, don’t set it for the recommended time the manual gives you for cooking 10 chicken nuggets and walk away. You must use logic with the air fryer. It is not a “set it and forget it” machine. (At least at first, until you get to know her better.)
I have found that 400 degrees is the temp I use 99% of the time for most things.
When in doubt, go with 400.
Set the timer for less time than you think you need so you can check and don’t overcook your food.
Food can burn FAST. This is because it cooks so quickly! Keep an eye on it.
Embrace the learning curve:
It will take you some experimenting to get the hang of your air fryer, but like I say with cooking anything, keep checking in as you go. Once you cook one type of food once, you’ll have it down.
I have found flipping food is necessary!
Even though the basket allows for air to circulate around the bottom of whatever you’re cooking, I’ve found the top cooks faster, so I think flipping your food is helpful for the best result.
Experiment and get creative
Don’t just pigeonhole yourself into making wings and fries, there are so many things you can make in the air fryer–challenge yourself to think outside the box! Think of all your favorite foods and then google “x food” and “air fryer” and see what comes up. Chances are, you can make it faster in the air fryer with less mess, and it’ll taste better too!
How to determine if an air fryer is right for you:
If you already have a full-size oven or toaster oven with a convection setting, OR a convection toaster oven, you likely don’t need an air fryer! (Remember, air frying is essentially just convection cooking!) Neither my big oven nor my toaster oven had a convection setting though, thus, I deemed this was a worthy purchase for me. Another big pro to this vs. using the convection setting on your oven is that it doesn’t need to preheat and cooks food much faster.
A con though, is that obviously, your oven can cook way more food at once. I think this is great for two people but wouldn’t cook enough food in one sitting for say, a family of four to all eat the same meal.
Again, like I’ve said above, it really comes down to what kind of cook you are, and what kind of food you like to cook!
WHEW! You made it to the bottom! Agatha and I are impressed. You deserve a cookie. I hope this was helpful and if you do decide an air fryer is right for you, that it brings you as much joy as it does to me!