Cuisinart CPT-120 2-Slice Toaster

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Good toast comes in a small package (at last)

Aug 16, 2006
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Excellent

  • Ease of Use:
  • Durability:
  • Ease of Cleaning:
  • Style:

Pros:Easy-to-adjust browning; small footprint; (mostly) cool exterior

Cons:Bagel and defrost modes seem more gimmicky than useful

The Bottom Line: Just when I thought plain old toasters had become irrelevant, this little Cuisnart changed my mind. No more mediocre toaster ovens for me!


This review continues the saga of my search for the perfect piece of toast.

In my recent review of the Black & Decker TRO390 toaster oven I said that I wanted a versatile, reasonably priced appliance that wouldn’t hog space in my kitchen. The 16 year-old B&D oven I had previously answered that need perfectly. Sadly, its successor (the new TRO390) started making scary buzzing noises after only three weeks of use. As such, it has returned to its place of purchase. In its place stands a new Cuisinart CPT-120 two-slice toaster. Why did I change my mind? Just because it seems that most low-priced toaster ovens have cheaped out, offering flimsy construction, mediocre toasting or both.

Design

Cuisinart’s CPT-120 offers simplicity in a neat package. The toasting slots accommodate bagels easily and even sliced hamburger rolls – if not too thick. Clustered on one end of the toaster you’ll find the toast lever which operates easily and with a sturdy feel. To its left is the browning control, an easy-to-grip knob with an illuminated LED readout. Above that are a series of membrane-type pushbuttons that activate three special modes: Bagel (a slightly longer cycle), Defrost (just what it says) and Reheat (a short burst of heat to rewarm something previously toasted without blackening it). A fourth button below will cancel any toast mode.

This model has a feature that I now consider a must-have: A pull-out crumb tray. Man, does this device simplify cleaning! No more juggling the toaster over the sink or trash can while shaking crumbs out through a bottom-mounted door. Just slide out the neat little tray, measuring about 4 x 6 inches, brush it off and you’re done.

Performance

After two weeks of daily use, I’d say the CPT-120 makes toast that’s almost perfect. The browning control adjusts the toast cycle progressively so there are few surprises. Most things come out evenly browned, although I’ve found that the inner sides of frozen waffles and some kinds of bread don’t get quite as brown as the outer sides. As for the special modes, they strike me as bit gimmicky; so far I’ve had little need for them.

Quality

This simple Cuisinart toaster seems pretty substantial, compared to most present-day small appliances. The controls operate smoothly. The glossy exterior stays admirably cool to the touch while toasting. And the aforementioned crumb tray slides in and out without a hitch. Amazingly, it comes with a three-year warranty – a rarity these days.

As noted in a recent review, the metal area surrounding the toasting slots does become very hot – but then, this is a toaster. I wouldn’t say it poses any more of a risk than you’d find in similar appliances. What’s more, I've found the CPT-120's Extra-Lift Carriage easy to use: Lifting up on the toast lever makes the bread, muffin or toaster pastry rise up adequately for an easy grasp.

Finally – I think I have the solution to my toasting needs. As for warming stuff that won’t fit in the toaster…could there possibly be a m-i-c-r-o-w-a-v-e in this kitchen die-hard’s future? Hey, you never know…


Recommend this product? Yes


Amount Paid (US$): 26

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