Good range of brownness settings
Sides can be operated independently
Easy to clean
Problems with bagel setting
We purchased the Cuisinart 4-Slice Metal Classic Toaster so our reviewer could put it to the test in her kitchen. Keep reading for our full product review.
Toasters are a frequently used countertop appliance in many households, especially on busy weekday mornings, and if your family regularly fights about who gets to cook their breakfast first, the Cuisinart 4-Slice Metal Classic Toaster will probably be appealing to you.
This appliance is basically two toasters smushed together into one, offering two sets of two slots, each of which can be controlled independently. But does it work? I put the sleek toaster to the test over the course of several weeks to see if it really is a must-have appliance for busy households.
Design: Surprisingly attractive
As someone who’s owned a cheap plastic toaster for more than a decade, I was surprised at how pretty the Cuisinart Toaster is. Big, but pretty. The unit I tested had a brushed stainless steel finish, and the curved upper edges and symmetrical design make it an attractive addition to the kitchen. The toaster has a heavy-duty plastic base to keep it up off the counter, and its buttons and knobs are black plastic. The stainless steel doesn’t smudge quite as easily as other appliances I’ve had in the past, but greasy fingerprints do show up occasionally.
One of the downsides of this toaster is that it takes up quite a bit of space, especially if you have a smaller kitchen. Its footprint is roughly 11 x 10.5 inches, making it hard to tuck away into a cabinet if you don’t want to keep it out. Personally, I have limited counter space in my kitchen, and I can’t see myself keeping this toaster out all the time—it’s just too big—yet, I also don’t have a convenient cupboard to store it in.
The power cord on this toaster is around 26 inches long, and I liked that it comes with a reusable cord wrap. You could take the wrap off if desired, but I found it was helpful to be able to neatly bunch up the cord for storage. Alternatively, there are cleats on the underside of the toaster where you can wrap up the cord.
Performance: Inconsistent at times
One of the main appeals of the Cuisinart 4-Slice Toaster is that each of its two sides can be used at the same time with independent settings. On each side, there’s a dial to select browness, a lever to start the appliance, and several buttons for its various settings, each of which has an LED indicator light that lets you know it’s on. Once your food is done, you can lift the levers up further to grab your food more easily, if needed.
I’ll admit that this toaster and I got off to a rough start. You see, my go-to toaster setting is typically 5, as it delivers a crisp, browned texture on most toasters. The first time I used this toaster, I popped my bagel in, turned the dial to 5, turned on the bagel setting, and walked away. When the bagel popped back up, the exterior was burnt to a crisp, while the interior was only slightly browned.
One of the main appeals of the Cuisinart 4-Slice Toaster is that each of its two sides can be used at the same time with independent settings.
This occurrence made me consider the question of the “right” way to put a bagel into a toaster—had I been doing it wrong for my whole life? Should I have put the bagel into the toaster with the cut sides facing outward? After some research and surveying quite a few people, I learned that most toasters have a little diagram somewhere that shows you which way to place your bagel, but the Cuisinart doesn’t, nor does its manual specify which way your bagel should go. In fact, all the instructions say is, “The bagel feature adds extra time to the toasting cycle to allow for thicker breads.” This isn’t typically how a bagel setting works, so I was left feeling confused. On subsequent uses, I opted to just toast bagels without the bagel setting, and that worked just fine.
I also used the toaster to make other breakfast foods, including Pop-Tarts and frozen waffles. It definitely took a bit of trial and error to figure out the best settings for each food, and I found that there were inconsistencies between the two sides of the toaster. For example, when both dials were set to level 3, the right side of the toaster browned the bread more than the left side. Further, this toaster doesn’t do a good job toasting both sides of your food evenly—the interior is always a shade or two darker than the exterior. The toaster is still perfectly functional despite the inconsistencies, but it’s a little disappointing for a $70 appliance.
That said, I did like that this toaster delivers a wide range of brownness options, ranging from barely crisped on setting 1 to practically burnt on setting 7. There were noticeable differences between each of its settings—and you can set the dial between numbers if needed—allowing you to find the one that perfectly suits your tastes.
Features: Defrost, bagel, and reheat
Both sides of the Cuisinart toaster have a few extra buttons, including defrost, bagel, and reheat. As mentioned above, the bagel setting is confusing and doesn’t deliver the results you’d typically expect. However, I found that the defrost setting works well for frozen waffles and similar foods, ensuring they’re completely defrosted and crisped up nicely. The instructions even offer guidance on what brownness setting to use on different frozen foods—3 or 4 for frozen waffles and 5 to 6 for frozen bagels.
There’s also the reheat setting, which simply warms items up without toasting them anymore. I didn’t find any use for this in my day-to-day routine, but I suppose it would be helpful if you forgot your breakfast in the toaster and wanted to heat it up again.
Cleaning: Individual crumb trays
Each side of this toaster has its own removable crumb tray, making it quick and easy to clean. The gap at the bottom of each slot is spacious enough that most crumbs fall down on their own, and any stragglers could be ushered down by tapping the side of the toaster gently. From there, it was easy to simply pull each tray out and tap the crumbs into the trash can.
Price: Double the slots, double the price
The Cuisinart 4-Slice Metal Classic Toaster retails for around $70, which is fairly expensive as toasters go. You can buy a two-slice toaster with similar features for half the price (or less), so you’re truly paying double for the dual-sided design.
I found that the defrost setting works well for frozen waffles and similar foods, ensuring they’re completely defrosted and crisped up nicely.
Cuisinart 4-Slice Metal Classic Toaster vs. Hamilton Beach 2-Slice Toaster
If paying $70 for a toaster seems like a stretch or you want something smaller, the Hamilton Beach 2-Slice Toaster (view at Amazon), which I also tested, is a more budget-friendly choice. It has a similar stainless steel design with plastic trim, and it comes with defrost, bagel, and keep warm settings. (The bagel setting on this toaster is much more reliable, as well.) It doesn’t have the same sleek appearance as the Cuisinart toaster, but it will get the job done reliably.
It won't wow you, but it will get the job done.
The Cuisinart 4-Slice Metal Classic Toaster has some consistency issues that might irk people who like their toast just so, but it still gets the job done.
- Product Name 4 Slice Metal Classic Toaster
- Product Brand Cuisinart
- MPN CPT-180P1
- Price $70.00
- Weight 6.39 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 11.5 x 7.50 x 10.65 in.
- Color Brushed stainless, black stainless, red, white
- Material Stainless steel
- Warranty 3 years