Toaster is affordable and easy to use, the toaster is a practical small device that is essential in a kitchen worthy of the name. With two or four slits on top where you put slices of bread, just press a lever and the toast appears when it is ready.
Even though toaster remains a seemingly simple device, there is an impressive amount of different models. And the least we can say is that not everyone is equal after our tests! This buying guide will help you find the best toaster according to your budget and frequency of use.
Which toaster to choose in 2018?
If you’ve ever looked inside a toaster, you’ll notice rows of shiny red threads on both sides of the slice of bread. When electricity flows through these wires, they heat and work like dozens of miniature radiators to grill your bread.
When electricity flows through a wire, energy is transmitted from one end of the wire to the other. The movement of energy is a bit like the water flowing along a pipe. The electrical energy is transported along the wire by the electrons, the minute particles inside the metal atoms that make up the wire. As electricity flows, the electrons jostle and collide with each other, as well as with the atoms of the wire, releasing heat. The finer the wire, the greater the electric current, the more collisions, and the more heat are produced.
Be careful, you should never touch these filaments with your fingers or other objects because they are extremely hot and carry large electrical currents that could zap into your body or electrocute you. If you need to remove bread stuck in a toaster, unplug it before plunging your hand inside!
Toaster oven or toasters?
A toaster is a kind of mini-four that is not necessarily suitable for making slices of bread. Indeed, it takes more space, costs more, consumes more electrical energy while being slower than a toaster. In addition, the slice of bread is not evenly heated with most models.
For all these reasons, the toaster 2 slots or 4 slots is widely more common. It is a cheap, fast, economical and efficient device, often designed by the USA companies like Cuisinart or Hamilton. I advise you to focus on Made in the USA when possible and avoid poor quality devices made in China.
How to choose your toaster?
To help you make the right choice, here are the criteria to check before buying a toaster.
We also, suggest you read our analytical article about all criteria to choosing best toaster for your research on a large scale.
Size of the toaster
Toasters tend to be rather compact. You will need to find the ideal compromise between the space available in your kitchen and the number and size of bread slices.
- How many slices of bread do you want to grill at the same time?
- How much free space do you have in your kitchen?
These are the 2 important questions to ask before choosing a specific model. You will find 2 and 4 slice toasters. Similarly, toasters with larger slots may be useful for warming large slices but also bagels, waffles, and croissants.
Settings and thermostat
The thermostat is an element often underestimated that allows to choose the degree of cooking perfectly to his taste. Indeed, some people prefer a loaf less bread than others. Ideally, a toaster with an automatic centering option should be used to cook bread evenly.
Likewise, the reheat function is a handy option for reheating bread already in the toaster. Some models also have a defrost mode that adds extra cooking time for the piece of bread to defrost before grilling.
Drawer collects crumbs
A removable crumb tray is perfect for saving time in the maintenance of your toaster. This allows a few seconds to remove all the crumbs that fall to the bottom of the device during cooking. It can even be cleaned while the toaster is hot so you do not waste time in the morning at breakfast if you are in a hurry!
The power of a toaster is expressed in Watts. Manufacturers are required to provide this number, which is useful for comparing 2 different models. That said, the number of Watts is not everything, a powerful device is not necessarily an ideal choice.
Some toasters are easier to use on a daily basis than others, regardless of the number of settings. For example, a rise of bread high enough is recommended not to burn. In addition, it is better to prefer devices with a wide slot that accepts all types of bread slices. Also, pay attention to the weight of the device which can sometimes be very heavy to ensure a certain stability.
There is no chance, the durability of a good grid depends on the quality of the materials used. Also, I advise you to limit yourself to some recognized brands in the world of small kitchen appliances: Russell Hobbs, black and decker, Cuisinart, KitchenAid etc. Be aware that these brands generally offer a quality service with a warranty period of 2-4 years in the majority of cases.
There are good toasters on the market from only twenty euros. These are very simple bare frame models that do the job, but they are made of less durable materials. At the other end of the spectrum, you’ll find models with many features and setup options that some users will appreciate, but many will not need.
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As with most kitchen appliances, most customers are looking for the right balance – a toaster that will last and make toast successfully. The 6 models I selected to fit perfectly into these criteria.
How to clean a toaster cleanly?
For optimal operation, a hard toaster needs regular cleaning. The crumbs accumulate at the bottom of the device over time but it is not enough to empty the crumb tray.
First, think of unplugging the toaster before doing anything for safety reasons. Place the toaster on a flat surface covered with a large tea towel or a sheet of newspaper.
Remove the crumb tray if the model has one (or flip the appliance over to break small pieces of bread). Shake the toaster carefully and wash the crumb with a damp sponge and detergent (sometimes it can be put in the dishwasher).
Do the same with the outside of the toaster with a damp cloth or the non-abrasive part of a sponge. By cons, it becomes more complicated for the interior. You can use a toothbrush to clean the slots, taking care to slide the remaining crumbs down.
It is possible to use white vinegar on the bristles of the toothbrush if the interior is very dirty, but be careful not to put water in the electronic part of the device. Once you’re done, shake the device one last time.