Why buy a toaster?
Few moments carry the same kind of enjoyment as when you roll out of bed and say, “I’m taking it easy today. Break out the frozen toaster strudels.” The toaster embodies convenience, asking no more of you than plugging it in, loading it up, and letting it rip. It’s fast and efficient, compact and portable, and far more capable than what you’ve been led to believe. Don’t believe us? You’ll understand in just a few more mouse scrolls.
What should you look for in a toaster?
- Toasting Levels: As expected, your toaster should offer you various heating levels to achieve the perfect browning and crunch for your needs. A toasting dial with anywhere from four to seven heat levels is a well-accepted standard, as is the ability to defrost certain types of cold bread.
- Types of Toast: In addition to heating power, you should also seek out a toaster option that can accommodate your preferred types of mealtime bread. Most toasters that you come across will feature plenty of space for traditional sandwich bread, but not every device features extra-wide toasting slots or button settings that allow for the proper browning of bagels, English muffins, and even waffles.
- Toasting Precautions: It’s also important to seek out an option that can preserve the integrity of your toast. Look to toasters that can heat your bread without drying it out too quickly, thus maintaining its moisture and flavor. The most efficient toasters also come equipped with heating settings that warm a piece of pre-toasted bread without the risk of burning your food.
How versatile should your toaster be?
A toaster is often seen as such a one-note and effortless-to-operate piece of home cookware that it’s understandable if you think twice about how much you’re willing to pay for one. However, there are some impressive options out there that go beyond the average toaster in terms of function, features, and results. You should want an option that grants a variety of browning, moisture control, and overall safety settings. Don’t overcomplicate the process, but don’t sell yourself short on convenience.
Amazon Basics Extra-Wide Slot Toaster
A standard toaster that features spacious toasting slots, a removable crumb tray, and an extra-lift lever to safely remove small pieces of bread.
Pros: Your standard choice for all things crisp-inducing, this toaster features the right amount of adjustability to get you to an ideal level of crunch. With the simple turn of a six-setting dial, you can decide how light or dark you want your toast. As the name suggests, its extra-wide slots allow for the toasting of anything from bagels to English muffins. As far as button interfaces go, this option doesn’t get much easier to handle: There are three buttons, one dial, and a lift lever.
Cons: While by no means anything to write home about, this toaster is as straightforward as they come. Its simplicity can fall short for a lot of users, as it doesn’t feature much except the basics you need to toast some bread. Some users have reported that the toaster emits an odor the first few times it’s put to use. While you’ll eventually toast through the scent, it can still be obnoxious.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a no-frills and transportable toaster that would feel right at home in a camper or additional small living quarters, this choice gets it done. Load up the slots, let the slices brown, and then clean up the crumbs in a matter of seconds.
Elite Gourmet Maxi-Matic Toaster
This toaster features immensely long toasting slots that allow you to heat up at least four slices of bread at a time.
Pros: The ideal choice for bigger families and office-kitchen settings, this toaster can accommodate multiple eaters at a time thanks to its extra-wide and immensely long toasting slots. Each slot measures 1.25 inches wide and 10 inches long, allowing you to not only toast thick bread but also multiple pieces of thick bread across both slots. It features six adjustable toasting levels in addition to self-centering guides and a reheat warming function that allows previously toasted bread to be warmed at a lower temperature without burning.
Cons: While there are several means in place to prevent the bread from burning, this toaster utilizes a notably high wattage power. This is due, in large part, to its extra-long design as well as how many pieces of bread it might need to brown at once, but it’s still a lot of energy to expend. The higher wattage is a solid indication of its better construction, yet the toaster doesn’t feature a bagel setting, an option that most higher-end choices tend to include.
Bottom Line: A solid choice, from its high energy to its stainless steel framework, this toaster offers you peace of mind when you’re prepping breakfast in a rush for multiple hungry mouths. While it’s simple to operate, this toaster’s gorgeous outer shell prefers to make a grand statement on your countertop, with its striking steel sides and backlit buttons offering a wonderfully refined appearance.
Revolution High-Speed Touch Screen Toaster
This toaster features over 60 toasting functions built into its modern tech.
Pros: The words “luxury” and “toast” haven’t quite found their way together before, but this high-end toaster knows how to brown your bread in a multitude of exciting ways. By way of its InstaGLO technology, this device toasts 35% faster than most options on the market and does so while maintaining 30% more moisture than those options, too. Its touch screen is futuristically convenient and stunning, allowing you to swipe through its 63 digital settings and serve up amazing toast, English muffins, waffles, bagels, or pastries whenever you need and want to.
Cons: The future is here, but it isn’t without its flaws. Touch-screen interfaces are notorious for how frustrating they can get whenever a substance like water or grease comes into contact with it. During meal prep, it’s imperative that you keep your hands clean before tinkering with the screen, or you’ll risk getting stuck on the home screen until you do. It carries quite the price tag for a toaster, too, so you won’t be blamed for considering all of your options several times over first.
Bottom Line: A terrifically modern and one-of-a-kind device, this toaster understands just how multifaceted the world of bread is, so it allows users to toast every one of their favorite breads in a variety of different ways.
Yabano 2-Slice Toaster
Embrace the future like it's 1962 with this nifty toaster that knows you want style to go along with your crunch.
Pros: Brandishing a stylish shell that wouldn’t look out of place in an episode of The Jetsons, this toaster offers exactly what you want on the technical and visual sides. It features seven bread-shade settings, extra-wide slots, and a simple operation that’s no more complicated than pressing one of three buttons and twisting the main dial. The inclusion of a warming rack, a grill-like feature that resides above the toasting slots, ensures that bread or pastries can be warmed without the risk of being burned.
Cons: Preferences are important, but the manner in which this toaster relies on its numerical dial system can get tricky. The numbers (1-2, 3-4, 5-7) are intended to represent light, medium, and dark shades of toast. However, it’s up to you to decide which shade best suits your toasting preferences within a given day, and asking yourself, “Am I feeling a shade of Dark 5 or Dark 6?” might get old over time. Additionally, some users find that the toaster doesn’t dissipate heat well and is prone to heating up even on the outside, leading to discomforting burns upon occasion.
Bottom Line: This toaster is the kind of quirky and retro throwback that you want to see sitting on your countertop every Saturday morning. It offers ample heating power that can be divvied up between its main toasting slots and a convenient overhead warming grill.
DASH Clear View Toaster
A toaster that allows you to see your toast cook, so you can decide when you've reached the ideal level of crunch.
Pros: With its see-through and removable glass panel, breakfast enjoyers get a clear and constant view of their bread to achieve the ideal browning level with this toaster. It features three preset settings (defrost, reheat, bagel), seven browning levels, and an automatic shut-off feature that prevents you from burning your bread and your home. It also features an extra-wide toasting slot, so you can prep Texas toast or bagels easily.
Cons: This toaster is a considerably larger and longer option that measures just under 16 inches across its frame. For users who are in short supply of counter space, this toaster might not be their first choice. Some users have also reported that the device doesn’t always toast two slices of bread evenly, producing toast that’s more chewy than crunchy.
Bottom Line: Setting the dial and then hoping for the best has always been the norm for toasters, but wouldn’t you like to know how far along your toast is without canceling the entire process? This clear-view toaster grants you that exact convenience.
Why slave away at the stovetop for another morning when you could be just one dial turn away from golden, crunchy perfection? The toaster is an antidote to laborious and time-consuming cooking. It’s the epitome of convenience for a kitchen setting, whether it belongs to a single tenant who’s enjoying a lazy day or a parent who needs to pop out several meals for their family before heading out the door.