T here are few kitchen accessories as important as the counter top toaster. More than likely it is the appliance that everyone in the house uses. They toast a variety of items to their own specificity and, quite often, they do this at the same time. The toaster is also one of the few items we keep on display in the kitchen so aesthetics are just as important as functionality. Before buying a toaster, there are a few important factors to consider. How many people use the toaster, what do they normally like to toast and how much space you have in your kitchen.
Does your family live on frozen waffles? Maybe they enjoy bagels and muffins as well. Look for toasters with bagel or bun settings to allow for toasting on one side and warming on the other. Consider wide adjustable slots. Do you regularly toast smaller items? If you have also burnt the dickens out of your fingers trying to extrapolate those little buggers from your toaster, you might want to find a toaster with high lift carriages. Your fingers will thank you.
The most common toaster sizes are the 2 slice and the 4 slice. For the single person, a 2 slice is probably fine but even for couples and certainly for small families, the 4 slice is most convenient. A 6 slice toaster feels like a luxury for busy families and really is a necessity for large ones.
Take a look at the wattage when purchasing a toaster. The higher the watts, the faster the device toasts. This process results in the desirable crispy outside, fluffy inside. Conversely, the lower the watts the slower the toasting process, which can sometimes produce chewy and dry toast. You should also study the browning elements inside the slots. Tip: The more spaced out the wires are, the greater the risk of uneven browning. When the wires are closer together you will see a more even toasting job.
If you and your family members like different breads and have different browning preferences, choose a toaster that has a separate timer or toasting level for each slot. It’s very handy to have the option of choosing how many slots heat up. For one piece of toast, only one slot should heat up. This will ensure more evenly toasted bread and energy efficiency.
Some toasters like the Dualit Classic offer convenient perks like defrost and reheat. If you regularly toast from frozen, the defrost function will warm the bread first then toast in one cycle. The reheat feature is beneficial in that it will warm the toast without leaving it soggy or burning the bread.