The Cuisinart CSO-300 Combo Steam + Convection Oven gets great reviews and ranks high on the list of best countertop convection ovens primarily because of the steam feature, not seen in any other countertop oven models. This steam feature makes the Cuisinart CSO-300 desirable for many homes because steaming foods allows for not adding extra oils, making meals simpler and healthier. Here is a summary of the features, capacity, and strengths/ weaknesses of the Cuisinart CSO-300.
As previously mentioned the steam feature of this countertop convection oven makes it unique. This oven allows you to cook meals without oil but still getting tender meats and other dishes using steam. The Cuisinart CSO-300 touts cooking speeds of up to 40 percent faster than a traditional oven using these methods.
This model comes with easy controls on a nice LCD display, a wire oven rack, a baking pan, broiling rack and a removable drip tray. The oven rack can be moved around to accommodate different dimension dishes as well as to cook on different settings.
The steam function is also great for cleaning the unit. Rather than using oven cleaner or other chemicals, the steam feature can be used to loosen food on the inside of the unit, then wiped away once the unit has cooled off.
The Cuisinart CSO-300 has a very nice, clean appearance. The inside dimensions allow users to cook a whole chicken or a 12 inch pizza. The removable water reservoir that is used for steaming will accommodate up to 47 ounces of water, which is convenient for cooking meats and larger dishes as you don’t have to refill the reservoir halfway through the cooking process.
The steam feature on the Cuisinart CSO-300 allows up to 120 minutes of steaming without interruptions and is really best for steaming rice, meats and vegetables. The unit has to be placed on a counter carefully, however, as the unit vents the steam from the back of the oven. Long term use of the steamer near drywall can cause rot, so placing this near a tile or metal backsplash is advised.
Additionally, the top of this countertop convection oven and steamer heats up when in use. Many countertop ovens on the market today remain cool and can be used for storage, but that isn’t the case with this model.
The oven rack can be easily moved and removed, but unlike the Breville Smart Oven, it does not have the magnetic auto- eject feature. When removing food from the Cuisinart CSO-300, users are cautioned to be careful not to burn their hands or arms on the top or sides of the oven.
In short, the Cuisinart CSO-300 Steam and Convection Oven is an excellent countertop oven that offers the highly desirable function as a food steamer. With some forethought to placement and storage of the unit, this oven will allow you to cook simple, healthy meals in full sized dishes while saving energy and time.