Many people see breakfast as the best meal of the day, and it can even be a ritual for some. They prepare the drink they most enjoy, and a fruit juice for vitamins. In that case, the majority of us also like to have toasts; some with butter and marmalade, others with cheese or tomato. This is why you need a good toaster.
As you probably know, this household appliance is designed to toast your bread just right. It doesn’t matter whether it’s sliced or loafed bread, or even buns. Toasters are very easy to use, but thoroughly knowing your model will help you get the most out of it. We’ve prepared the following shopping guide so that you can pick the perfect toaster for your home.
- 1 Key Facts
- 2 Ranking: The best toasters on the U.S. market
- 3 Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about toasters
- 3.1 What is a toaster and how does it work?
- 3.2 What functions do toasters have?
- 3.3 How should I use my toaster?
- 3.4 Is it better to buy a toaster or a sandwich maker?
- 3.5 Are horizontal or vertical toasters better?
- 3.6 How do I clean my toaster?
- 3.7 How should I use my toaster safely?
- 3.8 What kind of toast can I make with my toaster?
- 3.9 What are the advantages and disadvantages of toasters?
- 4 Shopping Criteria
- 5 Summary
- Many different models of toasters are available on the market. While they do share common features, slight differences will make specific ones more tailored to your needs.
- It is important to pick a toaster with a timer. That way, you won’t have to stay in front of it while your bread is crunching up.
- The majority of toasters offer enough space to prepare two toasts at once. However, you’ll find certain models that have a much higher capacity, toasting up to six slices at the same time.
- Almost all the toasters sold on the market are similar in design, and you simply have to place your bread inside. That being said, other options — such as horizontal models — are also available. Tunnel toasters are another type that you can buy, and you’ll discover what makes all of them so special throughout our article.
Ranking: The best toasters on the U.S. market
If you want to pick the toaster that will satisfy your needs and that of other members of your household, this is the section for you. Below, you will discover our very own selection of the best models available on the market right now. We’ve also summed up the main features of each one, and we’re confident you’ll be able to make an informed purchase after reading our picks.
No. 1: AmazonBasics 2-slice Toaster
AmazonBasics is a line of products by the American giant that seeks to offer useful and affordable appliances and equipment for your home. This extra-wide slot toaster meets both criteria, which is why it has become Amazon’s Choice in the category. It has also received fantastic reviews from hundreds of customers, who have praised its overall value for money.
This model features two wide slots, which will allow you to place buns and bagels inside. The bagel setting even allows you to toasts only one side of the bread, and you can defrost using the frozen function. Like most toasters, it also features a cord wrap and a removable crumb tray. Remember to let the toaster run a few times without food before your first use.
No. 2: HoLife 2-slice Toaster
This simple little model is another fan favorite, and it’s another Amazon’s Choice in the toaster category. It particularly stands out thanks to the small LCD screen featured on its side, which allows you to know exactly how your toasting is going. The wheel located below the screen lets you choose between six different browning gears.
This toaster also includes three additional useful buttons. You can stop the appliance at any time using the cancel button, while the defrost one allows you to get frozen bread ready to eat. Finally, the bagel function works just like AmazonBasics’ model above. The anti-overheat feature is a nice addition to have. This product comes with an 18-month replacement warranty.
No. 3: Cuisinart 4-slice Toaster
Cuisinart is an American home appliance brand founded in the early 1970s. Advertised by names like Julia Child and James Beard, their products are used by professionals and home chefs alike. Is it surprising, then, to see their toaster featured in our ranking? Definitely not. It has dozens and dozens of top ratings from previous customers, too.
Its most attractive feature is the fact that you’ll be able to prepare four toasts at once. Not only that, but you can also adjust different functions and browning settings for each pair of slices. That way, everyone can have their own toast ready at the same time. It naturally comes with bagel, defrost and reheat functions. Its elegant design is available in four different colors.
No. 4: KEEMO 2-slice Retro Toaster
KEEMO is a Chinese brand that makes stylish yet affordable household appliances, and its 2-slice toaster has taken the market by storm. Its design is undeniably one of the most attractive features of this model, considering retro is back in fashion. In that regard, you’ll be able to pick from three stylish colors: blue, cream and dark black.
The food-grade stainless steel case is non-toxic and BPA-free, so you don’t have to worry about that. It’s also rust-proof and easy to clean, which means that you’ll be using this retro toaster for years to come. It includes two additional functions: bagel and defrost. You can also choose from six different browning settings. The crumb tray is easy to remove.
No. 5: Yabano 2-slice Retro Toaster
Last but not least, here comes another elegantly retro toaster by Yabano. The warming rack included in the package is definitely a big plus to have if you like warm croissants or want to be able to reheat your sandwiches in a hurry. It’s super easy to use, too! Simply place the device on top of your toaster, select the right setting, and you’re good to go.
This model by Yabano features a total of seven browning settings, which means there will always be the right one for anyone having breakfast with you. Past buyers have particularly enjoyed the versatility of this toaster, which also includes defrost and reheat functions. If you had any doubts regarding the quality of this product, know that it comes with a 24-month warranty.
Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about toasters
You’ve probably learned about some key aspects of toasters while discovering our selection of the top models on the market. As you may have noticed, there truly is a wide variety of products available out there, with different capacities and designs. Let’s now delve deeper into the most important features of this essential breakfast appliance.
What is a toaster and how does it work?
Toasters are small appliances designed to, well, toast bread. Their operation is very straightforward: the interior is heated via a resistance. This, in turn, evaporates the water contained in the food and lightly scorches the outside of the bread. Most toasters need about two minutes to accomplish this feat.
What functions do toasters have?
There are a number of features that you’ll want the toaster you buy to include. Some of them are common to all models, while others are only found on the most advanced appliances. We’ve listed the most useful features in the table below, so pay attention to see which are most important to you:
|Cable storage||Used to collect the cable when you’re not using it, it is generally located at the bottom of the toaster.|
|Crumb collecting tray||Most toasters feature this useful part to avoid having crumbs all over your kitchen.|
|Reheat||This is a very useful function for heating bread and other foods.|
|Defrost||The defrosting function is also very helpful, in particular if you often freeze bread.|
|Bun rack||This external rack is ideal to heat bread rolls or croissants.|
|Pause button||Certain toasters have this button that allows you to temporarily stop the appliance.|
|Screen||Some models feature a screen where you can see key information.|
How should I use my toaster?
While it is true that using a toaster is very simple, you have to remember a series of things. We’ve listed them below for you to keep in mind. It is important to know exactly how to use each appliance you have at home if you want to make the most of them:
- First use: Before using your toaster for the first time, you are advised to run three full toasting cycles at maximum power. This should generally give off a smell of burned plastic, but don’t worry. This is totally normal, and it will avoid that smell to impregnate your own toasts.
- Bread: Make sure the bread slices are the right size for your toaster. This will prevent them from getting stuck in the appliance. Otherwise, your bread won’t be toasted evenly.
- Metal: Do not use metal cutlery to remove the bread from your toaster.
- Temperature: Read the instructions of the toaster carefully. That way, you’ll know exactly which temperature you should set to get the results you want.
Is it better to buy a toaster or a sandwich maker?
Many people often wonder whether to get a toaster or a sandwich maker. The truth is that there’s no answer to this question, simply because they are two distinct appliances. The first one is designed to toast bread, while the latter helps you make sandwiches.
This means that you can have both appliances at home.
Are horizontal or vertical toasters better?
There are two main types of toasters available on the market: horizontal and vertical. With a horizontal model, you simply place the bread on top of the appliance and wait for the resistances to toast it. This allows you to have full control over how each slice is done. The design of these toasters also means you can place various types and sizes of bread.
Vertical toasters, on the other hand, are the best sellers. You need to insert your bread in the slots located on top. The appliance will automatically eject it once it is toasted. The great thing about these models is that you don’t have to worry about turning the slice over. People are also less likely to burn themselves.
How do I clean my toaster?
Cleaning your appliance is a very simple task. Start by removing the crumb collecting tray, emptying it, and putting it back in place. You should then flip the toaster upside down and shake it a little so that all the remaining crumbs fall off. Wipe the outside with a slightly damp cloth, and you’re good to go! The only thing that matters is that your toaster is ready every day to help you prepare breakfast.
How should I use my toaster safely?
Just like with any other household appliance, using your toaster safely is essential. First of all, you should never use it near water to avoid accidents. If you opted for a horizontal model, be careful not to burn yourself. Finally, you must never use a metal tool to remove a slice that got stuck inside.
What kind of toast can I make with my toaster?
As we mentioned in the very beginning, many people believe that breakfast is the best meal of the day. Some people think otherwise mostly because they feel like you have to eat the same things day after day. We don’t want that happening to you, which is why we’ve prepared a small table with different toast recipes. They’re simple to make and delicious to eat:
|Nuts||Spread cheese on your toast and add some nuts on top.|
|Salmon||Salmon toasts are to die for, with cheese and fresh tomatoes.|
|Chocolate spread||Put chocolate spread on your toast, and place sliced strawberries on top.|
|Avocado||Prepare some toasts with avocado and add a slice of ham on them.|
|Ham||Ham and tomato toasts are a must.|
|Anchovies||Start by spreading avocado on a toast, then put cherry tomatoes, chives and anchovies on top.|
|Goat cheese||Put goat cheese and sliced tomato on your toast, and add ham on top.|
|Pâté||The perfect combination with your pâté toast is to add jam to it.|
As you can see, there are many options for breakfast toasts you can make every day. This is so important, because as American celebrity chef and author Julia Child once said:
“How can a nation be called great if its bread tastes like Kleenex?”
What are the advantages and disadvantages of toasters?
Toasters truly are fundamental appliances for any home. You already know the most important features that these products offer, and we’ve also given you some useful tips to best take care of them. You’ve even learned several new recipes that you can prepare with your toaster. Let’s now have a look at the main advantages and disadvantages of these appliances:
We’re nearing the end of our shopping guide, but we don’t want to send you on your way without first discussing the remaining key criteria you should consider when buying your very own toaster. This is why we’ll be looking at a series of aspects in the following section. They’ll help you make the right decision, and you’ll be satisfied with your purchase:
- Adjustable programming
As you know, most toasters available on the market have the capacity to prepare two toasts at once. However, some options have four, or even six, slots. This will come in very handy if you have a big family and lots of slices to toast. Keep this in mind before making your final decision, and you won’t regret it. We don’t recommend opting for a model that offers a single bread slot.
You may want to have your toaster on display at all times, in which case you’ll choose the design according to your kitchen. The great news is that there are thousands of different attractive designs available. Make sure to pick one that fits with your home décor. Retro-style appliances never fail to amaze and are a good bet, but they tend to be more expensive.
You’ve realized by now that this household appliance can help you do more than simply toasting bread. This is naturally an aspect that you have to consider when you’re picking the right model for your home. Think about what else you want to do with your toaster; you may want to defrost or reheat foods, or have a bun rack.
We strongly encourage you to go for a model with different toasting levels available. Everyone likes their bread slices done differently, and being able to choose how you want it is a big plus. Some models will feature a small wheel, while other toasters have a small screen. Remember that the latter is the more comfortable option.
We take it for granted that any toaster sold on the market today will comply with safety regulations. That being said, you should still check before buying any model. Automatic shutdown, for instance, is a particularly useful feature that you should count on. This will prevent your bread from burning and potentially cause an accident.
The power of your toaster will influence its efficiency. This is logical: less power means that your appliance will take longer to prepare your bread. You should aim for a model with 800 W or more. This shouldn’t affect the price too much, but it will definitely make a difference for you in the long run.
Having a toaster at home is a fantastic idea. The market is filled with models that come with different features and sold at varying prices. We’re sure that the information you learned throughout our article will help you make the best decision. Assess your needs and your budget, and find the toaster that most suits them.
As you now know, the capacity of this appliance is an aspect you simply can’t overlook. But it’s not the only one; pay attention to the functions it offers, as well as its maximum power. If you play your cards right, you’ll be able to buy a toaster with many features at an affordable price. Don’t forget to consider the design and ease of use, too.
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(Source of featured image: Lightfieldstudio: 106886061/ 123rf.com)