10 Best Toasters & Toaster Reviews in 2017
No matter how big your family is, we’ve got the best toaster for you. These brands truly are the hallmarks of the very best in kitchenware, and no matter how big your family is you will be able to make perfect toast every morning, noon and night. These appliances are often overlooked, but a good toaster will help you start your morning just right. Nobody wants to wake up to the smell of burnt toast!
This is why we have put together a list of unique and well-designed toasters that range from starter models to full on professional designer brands that will never need replacing. If you’re shopping for a quick wedding gift or a housewarming present we’ve got some great choices for you too, including Star Wars themed toasters, see-through toasters, four-slice toasters and many more.
Best Toaster Reviews of 2 & 4 Slice Toasters
- 1. Smeg 2-Slice Toaster
- 2. KRUPS KH734D 4-Slice Toaster
- 3. Russell Hobbs TR9198S 2 Slice Toaster
- 4. KitchenAid KMT4116ER 4 Slice Toaster
- 5. Dualit 2 Slice Toaster
- 6. KitchenAid KMT2203CA Toaster
- 7. Dash Clear View Toaster
- 8. Darth Vader Bread Toaster
- 9. Oster TSSTTRWF4S 4-Slice Toaster
- 10. Oster TSSTTRJBP1 2-Slice Toaster
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The Guide To Buying a New Toaster
You might think that buying a toaster is one of the easiest choices you can make – after all how complicated could they really be? Well, there are some particulars that you could be missing, such as which features on a new toaster are really worth going for and which are gimmicks. Have you ever heard of a fully automatic toaster that senses when you’ve put bread in it? That one is actually real, and it’s on our list! By reading through our guide you will have everything you need to make an informed decision about the best toaster for you.
When were the first toasters invented?
Can you even imagine a life before toasters? It’s very difficult to think just how much more time we would have to spend making that full egg and bacon breakfast if we had to sit and hold bread to an open flame until it toasted. Not to mention that pretty much every piece of open-flame toasted bread must have been unevenly browned! Thankfully, the very first electric toaster was conceived in Scotland around 1893, and it worked with one of the early prototypes of the electrical element.
How does an element work you ask? Well, essentially it has electricity fed through it, and this electrical current is released in the form of heat. This heat works as a stand-in for an open flame, and toasts your bread for you. The problem with the first elements were that they required a lot of energy and weren’t very efficient – they could also only toast bread on one side at a time. The introduction of two sided toasters that could get both sides evenly toasted at the same time was about 50 years later, in the 1940s. From here there were several improvements and experiments with different designs. We now have products like conveyor belt toasters in hotels, which can toast a huge amount of bread every hour. They need to do this in order to keep up with breakfast runs, and to make sure their customers are happy.
From this fascinating history that began in the late 19th Century Scottish Highlands, we now have sophisticated designs that are energy efficient, have safety cut-offs, and some even work all by themselves. We’ve even seen the revival of recent styles from the 1950s, as with the Smeg TSF01. Just take a look at how polished and professional our technology has become:
What is the best way to clean a toaster?
Toaster are one of those appliances that normally sit on the side or in a corner of your kitchen waiting to be used. How dirty could they get when you just put bread in it? Well, you will be surprised how dirty they can get, what with all the crumbs building up inside and all the finger prints that seem to build up on that beautify stainless steel finish. Any food related appliance should be cleaned regularly to prevent build-up of germs and other bacteria. Here are a few tips on how to keep your toaster clean.
In order to start the cleaning process what you need to do is to unplug your toaster from its power source – make sure that it is not hot and that it will not turn on randomly when you are handling it. To clean a toaster, you can do a few different things but generally you will approach the process in two steps: inside and out. The methods for cleaning each part of the toaster are different, because you can use dishwashing liquid on the outside – but you should never put anything wet inside the toaster because the electrical components could short circuit or cause a fire when they are switched on again.
Inside: The first thing you will want to do is to check whether your toaster has a crumb tray at the bottom, as this will catch the majority of the debris that comes out of the toasting process. However, these trays often can’t catch everything, or you will find that little pieces of bread have gotten stuck just before the tray entrance and haven’t yet fallen down. The best thing you will be able to do here is to find a suitable surface or packet that you can shake the toaster over. Take the toaster and hold it upside down and give it a few shakes from left to right, and then up and down. Repeat this process until you have let most of the debris fall out of the toaster. Never poke around in the interior of a toaster with anything metal while it is plugged in – if you simply have to pry some stuck bread out, rather use a wooden skewer or unplug the toaster and use a wooden handled knife to loosen the debris.
Outside: In the rare case that you will need to do a full clean on the outside of your toaster, you can use your everyday dishwashing liquid and a bit of water. Apply the soap to a clean damp cloth and give the exterior of your toaster a wipe. Avoid using any rough brushes or scouring pad that could scratch the paint, because many of these units have expensive paint jobs. Also make sure not to run any water on the outside of the toaster to clean off the soap, rather use the same cloth once you have rinsed it out. Repeat this process until there are no visible soap bubbles, and then you can dry your toaster with a drying up cloth. Don’t use bleach or other household cleaners because they might stain the exterior of your toaster, and if you’ve got a beautiful Russel Hobbs or Smeg model you’re going to want to be extra careful not to mess up the paint job. It’s as simple as that!
Which features are worth looking for in a toaster?
There are five different areas that we’ve identified as the main features worth considering when buying a new toaster. In no particular order of significance, they are as follows:
Settings – the best toasters have multiple heat settings, and some even have special options such as defrost, reheat or bagel modes. You will want a toaster that has the right settings for your uses, as not all of them have the same features. Defrosting a frozen waffle or pop tart is a great way to get a quick breakfast, but you would hate to wake up and find that you’d bought the wrong toaster to get the job done.
Accessories – these are optional extras that can keep you from buying more appliances. For example, sandwich cages can be used to make toasted cheese instead of having to fire up a frying pan, and using a crumb tray to catch unwanted debris can save you a lot of time when you need to clean your toaster inside and out. The more accessories you have, the more room you will have in your kitchen from economising on space!
Style – this might be the most important feature for some people, because brand names can really bump the value of a toaster right up in to hundreds of dollars. The particular style of the toaster, whether 1950s pastel or a plain stainless steel, will need to fit your kitchen. This could influence the place you end up putting the toaster, or if you can handle a particular toaster in your house at all. Some people might not mind clashing styles and colour schemes, but for those of us who know a bit about interior design, you’ve got to get every little accent just right.
Novelty – we’re talking particularly about the Star Wars themed toaster and the see-through toaster here, because these items can make fantastic gifts. The Star Wars toaster is perfect for kids or young adults who are enjoying the latest film releases, but it can also be for die-hard fans of the original series! The see through toaster is great for those tech whizzes who like to see exactly how science and mechanics work, and they will probably be the most appreciative of getting a toaster as a present too. Novelty can add sentimental value to a toaster if you buy it for someone else, so don’t be afraid to pick one of these items up as a gift for a friend or family member.
Safety – you want the safest appliances you can get your hands on, especially if you have kids in the house. Look for toasters that have automatic switch-off functions so that even if they remain plugged in they will cut out after they hit a certain heat threshold. This will prevent potential fires, melting of plastic and smoke that might come from leaving your toast in for far too long. Another good safety feature to keep a look out for is the tray lift that a couple of these models have. By lifting the lever up-wards you will bring the tray slightly out of the toaster body, and this will allow you to grab anything that is over toasting or perhaps even starting to burn.
As you can see there is a lot to be said for picking your toaster carefully, and finding just the right match for your needs is of the utmost importance. They might seem like insignificant choices now, but it’s really the small, niggling frustrations that get to you over time that we’re hoping to avoid here.
Which toasters are best for toasting crumpets and teacakes?
As we’ve just discussed, some toasters are better than others at toasting different kinds of foods, and this is very important if you’re going to be heating up delicate baked goods like tea cakes and crumpets. You don’t want to burn them to a crisp on the first try, but you also don’t want them coming out soggy if they’ve just been taken out of the freezer. Below we have some advice for heating up tea cakes and crumpets in the toaster:
Teacakes – Teacakes are slightly more delicate than crumpets, so you will want to use a lower heat setting if you intend to put them in the regular toasting slot. This can be a tad risky, because they are not always easy to get out afterwards and are prone to burning quickly. Instead you can use an accessory called a bun warmer, because it holds the cakes above the toaster slots to get a nice heat from underneath. The best item for this would be the Russell Hobbs TR9198S 2 Slice Toaster, because it has a good range of heat settings as well as a helpful bagel toasting option.
Frozen Crumpets – defrosting is important for these foods, because toasting right from the freezer will leave you with a soggy mess of food. First you should defrost them using the available feature on your toaster (if you don’t have one, you’ll have to wait quite a bit until the frost is gone), and then you can go ahead and toast them with a low to medium setting.
Regular Crumpets – Just about any toaster with a decent heat control will be able to toast crumpets and teacakes that aren’t frozen, as long as you set the toasting dial to a medium or low heat setting. These are pre-baked goods that only really need heating up and a bit of browning, not a long second baking process. We also recommend using a sandwich cage, strange though it may sound, because this will ensure that no edges of the crumpet reach through the grid and burn on the element.
That being said, most of the toasters on our list will be able to give you a nice toasting for crumpets and tea cakes, but for the best results you should follow our guidelines.
What are the best toaster brands?
Our list comprises many different brands from around the world, so we’ll give you a brief overview of each of our favourite toaster brands right here.
Smeg – we chose the Smeg brand for the top of our list because of the blend of style and design, and this is something that the company has long been known for. They have 11 different aesthetic product lines which cover every conceivable kitchen appliance that you’d ever need. If you’re looking to revolutionize your home with a new brand, Smeg will be the finest you can find on the market today. Just check out how well they managed to integrate their style with Dolce & Gabbana to create some refrigerator art:
Russel Hobbs – for the classic look and reliable manufacturing we had to go for Russel Hobbs. They’ve been around for 65 years, and they really know what they’re doing. This brand adds a touch of class to your kitchen like no other.
KRUPS – built with typical German efficiency and quality, the KRUPS brand gives us the best 4 slice toaster on the market today. Their major business is done within the bartending, artisan coffee and tea making areas, but they have some great countertop products like the KH734D 4-Slice Toaster too. This company has been in business for an impressive 170 years, from producing manual fruit juicers in the late nineteenth century to their shiny automated contemporaries today. Krups just seem to keep perfecting their products with each new release.
Dualit – From the chilly British Isles we find the English brand, Dualit. They make clean stainless steel appliances, and have done so for over 70 years. Their passion for toasters goes beyond just wanting to make a profit, the owner of Dualit actually has a long history with building them from scratch as a child with his dad. This history is a great testament to the long standing interest that owner Leslie has in his products, and it really shines through in the way he designs his toasters to give you crispy and soft toast all in one.
KitchenAid – the lower end of the price range doesn’t have to mean tacky, unusable kitchenware. KitchenAid brings great value for money and high quality products to the market that everyone can enjoy. This proudly American brand has been making appliances in the USA since 1919, just short of 100 years! Their range of products includes full kitchen suites including dishwashers, fridges and microwaves, right down to the nitty gritty cutlery sets that you’ll need to cook a meal.
These companies all have years of design behind their products, and it really shows! Their products all have nice features that make toasting just about anything as easy as pie, and you can be proud if you own any one of their appliances in your home today.
Why should I buy a brand name toaster?
When it comes to buying any kitchen appliances you want to know that it is going to last the test of time. No one wants to go shopping for a new stove once a year, so why would you want to do that for a toaster? Buying one of these name brand toasters will give you the peace of mind that you are buying a quality product. Brands work hard in order to develop a reputation and the quality of their products and they would not like to have their reputation drop. This means that they make sure that they only release products that meet their standers and will keep their clients happy. Most of these brands are so proud of their products that they offer warranties on their toasters. The Dash Clear View Toaster comes with a one-year manufactures warranty, that most no name brand toasters would not have.
Sometimes you may find that the toaster starts playing up a few years after the warranty. If you have a no name brand toaster you might as well just toss it out and buy a new one. But when buying a brand name toaster, you get the peace of mind that the toaster could be repaired. Most electrical repair shops would have come into contact with these brands before and will be able to solve and fix any problems you may find. Why would any want to buy a toaster off the super market shelf that struggles to toast the bread and breaks in a couple of months, when you could buy one of your brand name toasters that can do it all for you, and will last of years to come?