Cuisinart TOB-135The TOB-135 from Cuisinart promises convection cooking and .6 cubic feet of cooking space. The former means speedy cooking, and the latter means 6 slices of toast or a full 12 inch pizza.

Currently on the market for $150 however, it’s not exactly cheap. Is it worth the price? That depends.

Out of the box, the first thing that you’ll notice about the Cuisinart TOB-135 is that it’s not much to look at. It’s primary competitor is probably the Breville BOV650L and in terms of style at least, the Breville wins hands down.

The good news is that what the interface misses in style, it makes up for in ease of use. The LED screen is back lit, bright and easy to read. The seven buttons on the front provide one touch access to most functions, and the tactile dial offers just the right amount of resistance.

Once you turn it on, the oven lets you know when it’s pre-heated. It has a timer that goes up to two hours, something that’s sorely lacking in many similarly priced appliances. And it has an auto off function in case you want to cook something while busy elsewhere in the house.

Apparently the TOB-135 has a “spacious” capacity of .6 cubic feet. Personally, I wouldn’t call this .6 cubic feet particularly spacious but it is more than enough for 12 inch pizzas, 6 slices of toast, up to 8 baked potatoes and most plates.

Arguably the biggest benefit of the Cuisinart over the similarly priced and sized Breville is the inclusion of convection cooking. This is basically a fancy way of saying fan assisted. But fancy or not, it does make a real difference.

The Cuisinart heats up faster than the Breville and while I haven’t measured it personally, science suggests that it uses less energy. As far as cooking performance is concerned, both scored equally well.

One potential problem with convection ovens is increased noise as a result of the fan. Luckily, this doesn’t appear to be the case with the TOB-135. It is louder than non fan assisted, but the difference really is negligible.

The heating elements are well spread out resulting in even cooking. There are two different levels for the trays, and each tray has an up and down setting. This results in four different heights to cook your food which is perfect for somewhat fragile dishes.

I tried the Cuisinart on all the usual suspects and didn’t make a single bad meal.

Cuisinart has included a generous number of accessories, namely a standard baking rack, a broiling tray, a removable crumb catcher and a recipe book. The recipe book is something of a gimmick but everything else is high quality.

Reviews for the TOB-135 are almost universally positive. At the time of writing, it’s been reviewed almost 150 times on Amazon for an average rating of 4.4 stars out of 5.

Verdict

The TOB-135 isn’t cheap but it justifies that price with solid performance and an easy to use interface. At .6 cubic feet, it’s primary competitor is the Breville BOV650L. Both make for excellent purchases but given the Cuisinarts convection cooking, I reckon it just about comes out on top.

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