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Cuisinart CPT-122 Review

It may not be the most aesthetic, but this toaster is compact, practical, and budget-friendly for its high performance
Cuisinart CPT-122
Credit: Cuisinart
Best Buy Award
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Price:   $30 List | $28.49 at Amazon
Pros:  Strong toasting, small storage, easy to use, budget friendly, good strudel
Cons:  Mediocre bagels, waffles
Manufacturer:   Cuisinart
By Genaveve Bradshaw and Benjamin Hickok  ⋅  May 18, 2022
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74
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 16
  • Bread Toasting Quality - 35% 8.0
  • Ease of Use - 35% 8.0
  • Bagel Toasting Quality - 15% 5.0
  • Frozen Food - 15% 7.0

Our Verdict

The Cuisinart CPT-122 offers strong toasting performance. Surprisingly, this model was a leader in many of our test metrics and performed strongly in ways that were unexpected when looking at the price tag. This model came up a little short when it came to bagels and waffles, but only slightly compared to far more expensive toasters. This high-performing model makes evenly toasted bread and, to our pleasant surprise, made the perfect strudel, a rare find in such an inexpensive toaster. We recommend saving yourself the money and purchasing this model instead, which will give you nearly the same results as other high-end toasters.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Cuisinart CPT-122
This Product
Cuisinart CPT-122
Awards Best Buy Award  Best Buy Award   
Price $30 List
$28.49 at Amazon
$35 List
$39.99 at Amazon
$40 List
$35.10 at Amazon
$40 List
$34.98 at Amazon
$26 List
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Pros Strong toasting, small storage, easy to use, budget friendly, good strudelBudget-friendly, easy-to-use, great strudelsInexpensive, toasts 4 slices at once, toasts bagels evenlyGood toast, decent bagels, inexpensiveGood toasting, inexpensive
Cons Mediocre bagels, wafflesSubpar bagel toastingNo specific bagel mode, toasting can be slightly inconsistent overallHard to clean crumb trayMediocre defrosting, poor cleaning access
Bottom Line It may not be the most aesthetic, but this toaster is compact, practical, and budget-friendly for its high performanceAn easy-to-use toaster that is also easy on the wallet, and great for strudel lovers, but not for bagel loversThe best option we've found for people seeking a 4-slice or long-slot model on the cheapA good, inexpensive option that does just about everything wellThis toaster delivers the best bagels you can get at such a low price
Rating Categories Cuisinart CPT-122 Oster 2 Slice Elite Gourmet ECT-3100 Black+Decker TR3500SD Amazon Basics KT-3680
Bread Toasting Quality (35%)
8.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
8.0
Ease of Use (35%)
8.0
8.0
6.0
6.0
4.0
Bagel Toasting Quality (15%)
5.0
5.0
9.0
7.0
8.0
Frozen Food (15%)
7.0
6.0
7.0
7.0
5.0
Specs Cuisinart CPT-122 Oster 2 Slice Elite Gourmet ECT-3100 Black+Decker TR3500SD Amazon Basics KT-3680
Weight 3.7 lbs. 3.5 lbs. 6.4 lbs. 2.7 lbs. 2.5 lbs.
Dimensions (L x W x H) 6.5" x 11" x 7.2" 11.7" x 6.9" x 7.3" 14.7" x 7.1" x 7.7" 10.0" x 6.5" x 7.4" 10.7" x 6.4" x 7.6"
Standard / Long Slot Standard Standard Long Standard Standard
Available with Long Slot? No No Yes No No
Available in 4 slot? No No No Yes No
Color/Finish Options White, Red, Black Gray Black Plastic/Stainless Stainless Steel Black Plastic/Stainless
Exterior Housing Material Plastic Stainless Steel Stainless Steel Stainless Steel Plastic
End of Cycle Indicator None None None None None

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Cuisinart CPT-122 offers consumers strong toasting performance and a small footprint. This easy-to-use and inexpensive machine performed well across a large number of our tests. This model did nothing but impress when working with toast and frozen foods. It only failed to be exceptional in our bagel tests and struggled a little bit with frozen waffles. While there are better models and appliances to handle bagels and waffles specifically, like a toaster oven, few if any appliances can match the dollar-for-dollar performance of this super easy-to-use machine. Overall great performance and a budget-friendly price tag made this model one of our top choices.

Performance Comparison



Cuisinart CPT-122 toaster - the cuisinart cpt-122 is modern, compact, budget-friendly, performs...
The Cuisinart CPT-122 is modern, compact, budget-friendly, performs well across the board, and is easy to use.
Credit: Chris McNamara

Bread Toasting


The Cuisinart CPT-122 was one of the most impressive bread toasters in our product lineup. It performed exceptionally well across different heat settings and very narrowly missed out on being the best product we tested for the category.


On the lightest setting, the Cuisinart CPT-122 did not produce a perfectly even spread of heat. Instead, it created areas of each slice with more warmth and crispier textures than in other areas. However, it did produce the classic golden coloration across the entire slice of bread and was still enjoyable to consume.

Cuisinart CPT-122 toaster - cuisinart cpt-122 toasting test: round one comparison.
Cuisinart CPT-122 toasting test: round one comparison.
Credit: Genaveve Bradshaw

With the medium heat setting selected, the CPT-122 created a mostly even, dark gold-colored piece of toast that was almost perfectly heated, with a minor exception. A single corner received more heat than the rest of the slice, keeping it from being totally uniform in warmth. The medium heat setting repeated this performance across multiple cycles and consistently made an impressive, almost uniformly golden slice of toast.

The Cuisinart was also able to repeat consistent toasting performance across multiple cycles on the highest heat setting. Again, the result was an almost perfectly evenly heated piece of toast, but with a deep brown surface, instead of the golden one — perfect for toast lovers who enjoy a little more crunch and deeper toasting.

Cuisinart CPT-122 toaster - cuisinart cpt-122 toasting comparison round two.
Cuisinart CPT-122 toasting comparison round two.
Credit: Genaveve Bradshaw

Ease of Use


Ease of use is another metric where the Cuisinart performed very well. In our ease of use tests, we evaluated and scored crumb tray access, the ease of cleaning, user interface, and the external surface temperature of the toasters during a cook cycle.


The Cuisinart CPT 122 incorporates a removable crumb tray at the back of the toaster, which follows conventional toaster designs. Just like most conventional toasters, the tray located at the back of the device requires pulling the toaster away from a wall or rotating for access. Once accessible, it was easy to remove and empty and above average in that regard.

Cuisinart CPT-122 toaster - the crumb tray on this model is easy to remove and empty.
The crumb tray on this model is easy to remove and empty.
Credit: Chris McNamara

Our ease of use tests extended to whether or not appliances became warm or even hot to the touch. Fortunately for our testers and consumers, the Cuisinart does a great job insulating the exterior surface from the heating elements inside. The body of the toaster was ever so slightly warm to the touch and felt just a little bit warmer than room temperature, staying much cooler than other models we tested.

Consumers will have no problems using the CPT-122. Seven heat settings controlled by a numbered dial make selecting your heat preference simple and straightforward. An easy lever activates the toaster when pulled down, and a small extra lift of the lever makes extraction at the end of the cook cycle easy.

The Cuisinart CPT-122 also makes selections for bagels, defrosting, reheating, and canceling super easy with large buttons. A light next to each button indicates the selection. All of the toasters functions are clear, practical, easy to use, and maintain an overall clean and sleek appearance that would look good on many countertops that prefer an antique-looking design rather than a modern one.

Cuisinart CPT-122 toaster - the interface of the cuisinart cpt-122 is easy and practical.
The interface of the Cuisinart CPT-122 is easy and practical.
Credit: Chris McNamara

For all the reasons mentioned above, the Cuisinart CPT-122 performed exceptionally well in our ease of use test metric.

Bagel Toasting Quality


Unfortunately for bagel lovers, bagel toasting was one of the few test metrics where the Cuisinart CPT-122 was a bit lacking compared to the other appliances we tested. It maintained a mediocre performance across multiple bagel cook cycles.


In the first round of testing, the Cuisinart produced bagels that were generally golden to golden-brown in color, and they were noticeably toasted and warmed but also left a lot to be desired. Despite the wide range of golden colors, the texture was different than that of a bagel straight from the bag.

Cuisinart CPT-122 toaster - left: cuisinart cpt-122 round one bagel test. right: redmond two...
Left: Cuisinart CPT-122 round one bagel test. Right: Redmond Two Slice Retro round one bagel test.
Credit: Genaveve Bradshaw

During our second cycle of testing, bagels resulted in a range of coloration from light gold to a deep brown and again had an uneven heat distribution. Although the bagels in our tests were never underdone, nor were they ever burnt, they were consistently underwhelming. While our testers don't expect a standard toaster to perform like a toaster oven, the Cuisinart failed to do as well as many of the other models we tested.

Cuisinart CPT-122 toaster - left: cuisinart cpt-122 round two bagel test. right: redmond 2 slice...
Left: Cuisinart CPT-122 Round two bagel test. Right: Redmond 2 Slice Retro bagel round two test.
Credit: Genaveve Bradshaw

Frozen Food/Defrosting Toasting Quality


The Cuisinart CPT 122 defrosted and toasted frozen foods as good or better than many other appliances, including more premium and expensive options. Its overall performance was mostly impressive, but its waffle performance was less than amazing.


The Cuisinart CPT-122 struggled in our first frozen food test, waffles. It produced waffles that were completely unevenly cooked, nearly burning one side while the opposite remained undercooked at the edges. The waffles were never soft or cold, but the textures were inconsistent and uneven.

Cuisinart CPT-122 toaster - left: cuisinart cpt-122, frozen waffle test on medium heat. right:...
Left: Cuisinart CPT-122, frozen waffle test on medium heat. Right: Redmond 2 Slice Retro, frozen waffle test on medium heat.
Credit: Genaveve Bradshaw

After a disappointing performance in our waffle tests, we moved on to frozen bread, where the Cuisinart proved it can handle frozen food items. The toast produced had an attractive, fairly even golden coloration, a lovely crispy texture, and an even distribution of warmth.

Cuisinart CPT-122 toaster - left: cuisinart cpt-122 frozen bread test. right: redmond 2 slice...
Left: Cuisinart CPT-122 frozen bread test. Right: Redmond 2 Slice Retro frozen bread test.
Credit: Genaveve Bradshaw

When it came down to testing strudel preparation performance, the Cuisinart CPT 122 was impressive. The finished strudels had an ideal crispy, almost crunchy texture, with a perfectly warmed center, and perfectly warmed edges. This is a feat only accomplished by only some appliances. So, if you want an all-around, above-average toaster capable of making the perfect strudel, then look no further than the Cuisinart.

Cuisinart CPT-122 toaster - cuisinart cpt-122 frozen toaster strudel testing.
Cuisinart CPT-122 frozen toaster strudel testing.
Credit: Genaveve Bradshaw

Should You Buy the Cuisinart CPT 122?


The Cuisinart CPT 122 is one of the best deals around for the well-rounded performance it delivers, especially compared to its peers, and rightfully earned one of our top choices. However, if bagels are your preferred toasted snack or frozen waffles are your go-to breakfast option, then this may not be the best choice for you. Or you may just be more interested in a toaster oven.

Cuisinart CPT-122 toaster - sliced bread is ready to be toasted in the cuisinart cpt-122.
Sliced bread is ready to be toasted in the Cuisinart CPT-122.
Credit: Chris McNamara

What Other Toaster Should You Consider?


If you intend to use your toaster for bagels or frozen waffles and are willing to spend a few more bucks, consider either the Elite Gourmet ECT-3100 or the Breville Bit More 2 Slice. If you have a more restrictive budget and want a great bagel, then take a serious look at the Amazon Basics KT-3680.

If you are willing and able to pay a premium for all-around premium performance, then there isn't a better toaster than the Smeg 2 Slice, which is our current favorite, and a very deserving purchase.

Genaveve Bradshaw and Benjamin Hickok

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