But if you are short on time or space, cooking just a few servings, and favor crispy food, a pod-shaped air fryer might be right for you. Designed to match other Cafe brand appliances like the Cafe fridge, coffee cuisinart toa60 maker and more, this Couture Oven with Air Fry will make a statement on your countertop. In addition to the matte black design with rose-gold colored knobs, it also comes in white and stainless steel.
I used the broil (rather than convection broil) setting and added sausages to the air fry basket so that excess fat would drip out into the tray below. It got off to a slow start and they took 10 minutes to brown, then I turned them and after only five more minutes they were browned all over and cooked right through. Browning was a little patchy but inside the sausages were moist and meaty.
And the stainless steel construction ensures long-lasting use and durability. Apparently there is an audible ping when cooking ended, but it was very quiet. Breville won the fry test with perfectly golden fries in six minutes. I set the Ninja to a slightly lower temp (390 F) per its manual and in eight minutes had perfect fries (a very close second place and it likely would have won or tied if I’d set it to 450 F).
Air fryers can’t fit larger items like casseroles, whole pizzas, or whole chickens. Because their fans are so powerful and the interior is so cramped, they tend to cook unevenly, and they aren’t good for recipes that need a more delicate touch, such as cakes. Also, the preprogrammed settings, which cuisinart toa60 may look enticing for new cooks, are generally inaccurate, so you’ll likely need to adjust the time or temperature a bit when using them. This can require a little trial and error, but if you spend the time to get to know your machine and how it tends to cook, this issue may not bother you.
People who have weaker hand muscles or grip-strength issues may struggle with maneuvering this basket. Convection mode uses a fan to circulate cuisinart choppers air during baking or roasting. The KitchenAid won this test with an average reading of 350 F on the nose and with very little fluctuation.
But we have learned over the years that many people prefer the pod-shaped style for a few reasons. Pods are typically more compact, which means they cook a bit faster, since there’s less oven space to heat. Some people also find that it’s easier (or just more fun) to use an air fryer basket with a handle, rather than pulling a hot pan from an oven.
The Ninja (343 F average temp), Cuisinart (346 F) and Breville (345 F) also did well, although the Breville started off very hot and then came back down. The two last-place finishers were the Crux, which ran hot (365 F) and the Calpahlon, which ran cold (337 F). 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. Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest.