Review: Cuisinart Steam and Convection Oven (CSO-300N)

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I first encountered the Cuisinart Steam and Convection Oven at a friend’s house. I had known about steam ovens but had never seen a counter top one before. I was quite impressed with the functionality and was drawn to it because the hubs and I love baking bread and baking our bread in a steam oven seemed rather appealing. However, the price point was a little high and we didn’t have the space for it.

For my last birthday the hubs decided to buy this oven for me. Our trusty and old toaster oven was still working well but he decided that this gift was something I would really like and use. Furthermore, everyone would enjoy using it – himself included. He was right. Yes, it was a little pricey, but it did fit in the space that our old toaster oven occupied so no space lost in our kitchen. The ability to also steam things increased the functionality of the oven.

We have had the oven for about a month now and use it very often (at least three to four times a week).

Here’s what we use it for:

  • Toasting bread slices using the toast function. The hubs has commented at length how even and crisp his toasted bread now is.
  • Baking…almost everything! Even though the oven is “small and compact” it can still fit a 9×9 inch pan, standard loaf pan/pie pan/quiche pan, 6 muffin tin etc. I love how the oven takes less than 10 minutes to preheat so I don’t have to wait long. It really saves me a lot of time. Also, the food cooks a little quicker because of the smaller space.
  • Proofing and baking bread. We are able to do our final proof in this oven using the steam function (set to 100°C) for about 30 minutes. We then bake the bread using the bread function. We have noticed the crust turns out very much like the bread you get from the bakery. Our whole-wheat loaf baked in this oven turned out fantastic. It was not too dense and the crust was nice and crisp with a slight chewy texture.

What we like:

  • The steam clean function makes cleaning the oven a lot easier.
  • The oven preheats very quickly.
  • The small footprint of the device makes it suitable for small kitchens.
  • Multiple functions (steamer, toaster oven, convection oven, steam + convection oven) makes this oven a good buy.
  • Food cooks/browns faster because of the small space.
  • The ability to proof bread in the oven makes it handy when the room temperature is cooler.
  • The oven is great for smaller families (4 people and below).
  • The control dial is easy to use.

What we don’t like:

  • It is hard to clean and dry the water tank completely.
  • There are some crevices that are hard to reach when cleaning inside the oven.
  • It can be hard to remove your food from the oven because the interior is small.
  • Contrary to what they say in the booklet, roasting a whole chicken (below 4 pounds) inside the oven is not a good idea. The top of the chicken is too close to the heating element on top. Roasting chicken pieces is fine though.

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I haven’t been able to find many reviews online about this oven and what it can be used for. As such, I have decided to share a few posts about how I use the oven. The posts are under the Cuisinart SC Oven category.

*Image of oven from here.

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