Customer Reviews: Cuisinart BRK-200 Brick Oven Deluxe, Stainless Steel
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on July 29, 2007
I purchased this beautiful toaster/convection oven to use as a second oven for entertaining/holidays and for everyday use to cook for just the two of us.

First of all, it's darned beautiful to look at. It matches my stainless appliances and looks fabulous on my counter. The controls are very easy to use. It comes with 2 racks (although you're only supposed to use one at a time) and a baking pan/broiler tray. But the best thing is that it comes with a baking stone which sits in one of the racks and the oven itself is lined with baking stone material on either side. The back of the oven has the convection fan. All non-stone surfaces are of nonstick material, which makes it a cinch to clean.

In the month I've had it, I've used this amazing appliance to bake cakes and casseroles, broil shrimp, make pizza, roast tomatoes and chickens and even toast an english muffin! It passed every test with flying colors. The oven is large enough to fit a whole chicken for roasting - and did a great job.

I'd say the weak points are that you have to turn the oven around to get the crumb tray out (a minor inconvenience) and both the crumb tray and the baking pan tend to warp when the oven is hot.

To use the baking stone, you must preheat the oven for at least 30 minutes. Not a problem for me, as I preheated while waiting for my pizza dough to rise. Worked out great.

I'm delighted to give this my highest recommendation.
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on August 13, 2008
I cook a lot but there are only two of us in the house, so I was really excited to have a nice oven that wouldn't heat up the whole kitchen every time I needed to bake something. I loved this oven for the first two or three months; it cooked everything so beautifully. Then I noticed things started burning. I tried adjusting rack levels and ingredients, thinking somehow I was in fault. Finally, I decided to check the temperature of the oven. I stuck an oven thermometer inside and was shocked... the oven was set at 350, but the thermometer showed that the temperature was actually reading hotter than the max temp. on my thermometer.

This might be just this particular oven, but I'm very disappointed. I called customer service (long, long wait) and was told the only thing I could do was ship it in and pay for the shipping to get it fixed. That is not an option for us, as it would be much too expensive (it is a heavy unit). I tried to look for a way to calibrate the oven myself, but it isn't available like in a conventional oven. All it does for us now is toast the occasional bagel and take up counter space (at least it's nice looking).
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on September 8, 2007
I love this oven! It is the solution I have been looking for to baking bread in a stone oven, without having to heat a stone for an hour in my large convection oven. This is perfect. I've made several 2 pound loaves with wonderful crusts, and the pizzas are incredible. I use the baking tray that comes with the oven as a "peel", and shape the dough on parchment on top of the upside-down tray. Then I slide the parchment right onto the stone.
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on August 8, 2008
Since age 11, when I began working in the kitchen of my parents' steakhouse as an aspiring chef wannabe, I have been a big "fan" of convection cooking and have since owned several convection toaster ovens. When I was ready to buy a new one in early 2008, I did a fair amount of research and the Cuisinart BRK-200 emerged as the clear winner. So far, it is the best convection/toaster I've ever used. It costs more than most others but the quality and value is very good. It is the only oven I've found with all the features I want, especially: interior light, convection + toasting, stainless steel exterior, and large enough inside for a 12" pizza or large chicken. After using this oven for several months, I am very happy with my purchase.

-Quiet fan during convection cooking
-Internal Light
-Simple Controls, easy & convenient to use overall
-Stable & consistent temperature, i.e. maintains set temperature well
-Looks good on the counter top
-Uses far less power than conventional oven
-Roomy interior
-Comes with a pizza stone!
-Overall quality and value for the price is good
-Easily delivers excellent cooking results

-Exterior gets very hot (but all counter top ovens have this problem)
-Silk screen printing on toast "START" button rubbed off when new
-No indication of when set temperature is reached
-Made in Communist China

-Ease of cleaning, no better or worse than others
-Better as an oven than a toaster due to slightly uneven toasting
-Rotisserie is included but is not a feature most people want or need
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on August 11, 2008
I first ordered the Cuisinart BRK200 through one of Amazon's 3rd party suppliers. The oven arrived and I discovered the bottom element didn't come on. I took it up with Cuisinart - I paid to ship the one I had back to them and they quickly shipped me a new oven at their expense.

I live in a rural area and can't find good pizzas anywhere in the town close to me, so I mainly got this to cook pizzas at home. I can get a Wal-Mart Sams Choice fresh pizza, add my own toppings plus extra cheese - and I get a really good pizza with a nice pastry like crisp crust. I can also reheat cold pizza slices in the oven (always preheat for at least 20 minutes to get the brick hot) and they turn out as good as the pizza did the first time I baked it (and I always put on a little more mozarella at the second baking/reheating). For it's excellence at approximating the best pizza I could get in a good Pizza Joint - I give this oven 5 stars.

Before I purchased the BRK200 I came to Amazon and read all the reviews. Several people complained that there was not a light that indicated when the oven was preheated. Well, I say to them "Duh!" This oven operates differently than a standard oven so that kind of preheat light would not apply. The reason you preheat this oven for 20 to 30 minutes (I always preheat for 30 if doing pizza) is so the brick inlay and brick sides absorb the heat and come up to temperature along with the elements heating of the oven. Of course this process by which the bricks absorb and retain heat happens at a different rate than when the oven first reaches the temperature you set on the dial. The longer you preheat the oven, the more stable the overall temperature because of the heated brick and then the less the elements have to switch on and off to maintain set temperature. It didn't take me long to figure this out. I too had wondered why there wasn't a preheat light until I realized how this oven operates with the brick sides and plate. The hotter they are the less the elements come on and off.

There are also ways of getting creative with this oven. I always use parchment paper on top of the brick because when I didn't the pizza stuck and the brick insert is not that easy to clean when it gets gooey with cheese. And it should go without saying that you would not put the parchment paper in the oven until it is preheated and you are ready to put your food on top of it and bake. Once you do this you'll be amazed at what you can do - preheat the brick and you can make splendid Quesadillas, Grilled Ham and Cheese sandwiches, frozen egg rolls, etc. So in a way you can turn this into a sandwich grill. Also certain frozen foods like Country Fried Steaks or Frozen Breaded Chicken patties turn out crispy (like they were fried) and delicious when placed directly on the parchment paper over the preheated brick.

I haven't done much conventional baking yet. I did bake some breaded chicken breasts (A recipe called Chicken Divine) on the convection setting and they were wonderfully moist and tender.

Here are the few negatives - not enough to ruin the 5 star rating. I've seen the bottom element come on when using the Broil function. I don't think that this should happen. The listing tells you this comes with a baking tray but it doesn't. It does have a drip tray which you can use as a baking tray - but I called Quisinart and they have told me it is not a baking tray. Semantics I guess! I thought the recipe booklet could have been much better than it was. It just doesn't maximize the cooking potentials of this oven.

Overall, I'm very, very pleased with this purchase. Besides being an oven, it can reheat foods with a much better quality than a microwave. Just remember to always preheat the brick!
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on October 20, 2007
Haven't had much time to use it but the little I have it seems like a very good oven. Just like the rest of the reviews - no digital heat setting and nothing to let you know it reached it's preheat temp. Knowing all that I still purchased it. I do alot of research before I buy ANYTHING (I'm a sick-o when it comes to that) I've been looking at ovens for months now and for your dollar I don't think you can beat this one. I only wanted to spend no more than $150 but went the extra mile and happy I did!!! I hope this helps. 4 stars because of the cons!
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on October 4, 2007
This oven is without a doubt one of the finest table-top appliances we have owned. It is easy to look at, very simple to use, (has dials; not digital), and heats/cooks quickly, especially in the convection mode. The pizza stone makes for great crust! It costs a little more than the rest, but so far it certainly is worth it!
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on December 1, 2008
Just purchased this to replace a Toastmaster digital unit that quit 3 weeks before Thanksgiving.

First the good points: this oven heats food evenly, comes up to temperature fairly fast and has a very quiet convection fan. The compartment has a bright light, a real plus. Although it lacks a temperature readout, I was able to "calibrate" the dial on mine with an oven thermometer. It pretty consistently heated to the correct temperature if the pointer was set to the left digit on the dial (e.g. if you want 350 degrees set the pointer to the "3" in "350" etc.)
The middle shelf position has stops to prevent the rack from tipping under a heavy load as it is pulled forward.
The baking stone works very well on pizzas.

Now the stuff that needs improvement:
The drip pan that comes with the oven twists and distorts shape when heated. This is a real nuisance. The gauge of the metal used is pretty thin, and should be better quality.

Unless I missed something in the owner's manual there's no easy way to replace a burned out bulb in the oven's interior. I can take the unit apart and would do so when the bulb quit but for the average user this might be a bit daunting.

Exterior of the unit gets HOT, although the manual warns about this. More a caution than a complaint.

Overall I was very pleased with the quality of everything baked in this oven so far: casseroles, stuffed fish, potatoes, pizza etc. The convection setting was much quieter, and browned faster and more evenly and than my two previous units (Toastmaster and DeLonghi).
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on January 17, 2008
I did some research and found that the BRK-200 was the counter top oven we wanted. When it arrived from Amazon we were very pleased. The convection feature is nice to have baking biscuits and such. Toasting bread is faster then our old pop-up toaster. I highly recommend this oven.
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on March 20, 2008
Received the oven a week ago and have used it several times. I like the large size of the oven, the way it toasts but have one complaint: When you use it on convection bake or regular bake, there is no way of knowing when the oven gets to the desired temperature. It would be nice if a light came on, went off or if the oven beeped to let you know it has reached the temp. you have set.
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