Cuisinart BRK-100 Brick Oven Classic - Experiences, anyone?
My Krups 286-45 ProChef Digital 4-slice toaster oven suffered a premature death from button membrane collapse.
So now I'm looking to replace it, and this Brick oven concept looks intriguing. I've read the other earlier threads on this, but I'm hoping someone who's had and used this one for a while will chime in with positive or negative comments.
$170 is really the outer limit for me on price, so the Breville and and other high-end items are out.
Unfortunately no direct experience, this is a bit tangential to OP's question. Cuisinart's website is one of the most frustrating I have ever encountered. They don't give exterior or interior dimensions (doesn't anyone besides me want to know whether the oven will fit into a certain space?), the manuals for download are often not the one for the product pictured, and they are disingenuous at best, inaccurate at worst, regarding the materials the ovens are made of.
I had a Cuisinart TOB-165, precursor of the current TOB-195, a convection toaster oven with digital controls, that functioned well, but made of such cheap and flimsy materials that the painted steel cabinet quickly became permanently mottled from the inevitable high heat and made the unit look terrible throughout the years I had it. Still, because it functioned so well, and so did its iterations, this series is still a bestseller. I keep encountering it as I shop around for a replacement. But the newest version, which looks like stainless steel, is also apparently mostly made of painted stell, only this time the paint is steel-colored instead of white.
The brick oven - in all three model numbers - is described as having a "stainless steel housing." With Cuisinart's double-speak, I now wonder whether that means it is actually made of stainless steel throughout. One of the models states that the side handles are plastic, painted to look like steel. Don't know if that's true of all the models. I know that on my old TOB-165, the white plastic handles were attached by two screws, and the plastic tab was so flimsy that the handles broke off in the first year of use and actually couldn't be repaired, since the plastic tabs themselves broke. We learned to live with it, something that became our motto about that old oven.
All-stainless has its pros and cons. It would mean the exterior would get super-hot during use, obviously, so the oven would have to be placed in a suitable location where it would not damage surfaces and where no one would be injured. But after years of living with that horrible mottled oven, I am hoping all-stainless could also be cleaned properly and maintain its look, and I have an appropriate spot in the kitchen.
As far as the convection, please keep in mind that the model with convection cooking is Model BRK-300, out of the three models they produced. Again, Cuisinart's description is hard to understand, since the download manual linked on every product page is for the BRK-300, no matter which model is actually listed on the product page. Also, at this point, the BRK-200 (Brick Oven Deluxe) and BRK-300 (Brick Oven Toaster Oven) currently appear under their discontinued products, while the BRK-100 (Brick Oven Classic) appears as a current product. IDK, to me it seems confusing that the one with the "simplest" name is actually the one with the most functions, but that's how it appears when you look at the product details. The BRK-300 is the one with the "five cooking options, including convection bake and rotisserie."
The brick inserts on the side walls are permanent, while the brick stone on the floor of the oven is apparently removeable, because you can buy a replacement for it. The BRK-300 is also the only one of the three described as having an interior light.
Lastly, I'll just note that you can use a Bed Bath and Beyond 20% off coupon on Cuisinart, because it doesn't appear in the list of exceptions. Unfortunately, I don't think they stock the BRK-300. I have seen the BRK-100 in their stores, as well as the regular (non-brick) convection toaster ovens. The 20% discount brings it down to almost-Amazon prices.