Despite toasters being very simple, you’ve probably noticed that most can do a bit more than just make toast.
From garlic bread to bagels to even small waffles, you can pretty much toast any thinly sliced bread-based product nowadays. Plus, toasters have features that will allow you to set the correct heat and time for toasting different products.
What is a Toaster?
These boxy machines are pretty simple really. When you have soft and flexible bread-based products, you can convert them into toast by exposing them to constant heat. Toast is just a firmer, more solid form of bread that you can spread toppings on easier.
Toast is most commonly used for breakfast and brunch meals because of its easy and ready to eat right out of the toaster. Don’t let that stop you from having it for dessert!
The Aicok 2-Slice is pretty much your average toaster with a sort of sleeker, futuristic box look. If style means something to you with cooking machines, then this is the machine to impress. It also comes with a removable crumb tray to avoid the build-up of excess debris.
It has two additional settings specifically for toasting bagels and defrosting frozen foods. In the case of the frozen foods, you should look to keep the foods sliced and even so they fit in the toaster.
There are three different types of the Hamilton Beach SmartToast-a 2 slice, a wider 2 slice, and a 4 slice toaster. Depending on what you get, you’ll simply be able to toast larger quantities and widths of bread.
They’re all pretty much the same. They all come with cancel, bagel, and defrosting centric features, but the 4-slice one comes with an automatic shutoff should jamming occur. Overall it’s a very simplistic toaster that doesn’t try to overextend its capabilities.
Best Under $100
The Russell Hobbs Toaster is an interesting looking machine and not just because it’s longer and thinner than most toasters. It comes with a warming rack that allows you to check the status of your browning bread without canceling the toasting function.
Because the toaster itself is longer and thinner, you’ll be able to insert longer pastries or even rolls if you feel these bread products need it.
Best Under $150
When Breville says smart toaster, they really do mean smart toaster. This machine even lowers the bread into the toasting bays with a touch of a button. This is to avoid jamming the toaster by pushing down too hard on levers.
The toasting bays are pretty large for a 2-slice toaster, so you’ll be able to fit bigger pastries that you might otherwise not be able to with smaller toasters.
The Cuisinart 4-Slice Toaster comes with two control panels to control 2 of the 4 toasting bays. Each panel has a toasting, defrosting, bagel, and cancel feature. On top of that, there are two digital displays that will show you how the level of browning that you want.
In addition to having four moderately sized toasting bays, it has a removable crumb tray. This is almost a necessity for a 4-slice toaster considering the amount of crumbs you’ll be getting.
What to Look for in Toasters
You might think there’s not much to be considered, but two things you’ll want to keep in mind are durability and longevity. The accumulation of crumbs and small pieces of food in the toaster can lead to malfunction, jamming, and overall degradation.
To avoid this, you’ll want to look for toasters that come with removable crumb trays. If they don’t, you can simply clean the toaster when you’re not using it, but a crumb tray makes things a lot simpler.