The main task of the toaster is to brown the bread evenly, regardless of the recipe. Modern models are able to not only fry bread but also prepare sandwiches, waffles, pancakes, reheat food and combine the functions of a grill and oven. Not sure whether you really need a toaster? Let’s find out!
Do you really need a toaster? You really need a toaster if you like having sandwiches or toasts for breakfast and you want to save some time. Modern toasters are able to not only fry bread but also prepare sandwiches, waffles, pancakes, reheat food and combine the functions of a grill and oven. The functionality, time-saving and versatility of toasters make them undoubtedly useful in many kitchens.
Pros of Having a Toaster:
To decide whether you should buy a toaster, let’s consider the advantages of having a toaster.
- Shorter cooking time. You do not have to wait for the frying pan or oven to heat up, the heating starts immediately after turning on the “Start” button;
- No oil is needed when frying. The toaster dries up the bread and contributes to the appearance of a golden-brown crust and an appetizing aroma;
- Easy to clean. There is no need to wash a greasy frying pan, just empty the crumbs from the pan;
- The taste and pleasant crunch of the crust stimulates the appetite and facilitates proper digestion.
- Autonomy. The toaster differs in relative autonomy from a person: just load the basket and turn on the mode, and then the cooking process goes automatically. And you do not have to stand at the stove, turning the croutons, you can do other things in parallel.
Toasted crunchy pieces of bread taste perfect, even if you just butter them. They also go well with different foods. You can make sweet toast with jam, whipped cream, sweet syrup, chocolate nut spread, honey, condensed milk. You can supplement them with apples, bananas, nuts, blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, avocados, apricots, plums.
What Should I Look For When Buying a Toaster?
So, you have decided that you need a toaster now. Then you will have to choose the best toaster on the market. Here are some things you should look for when buying a toaster:
- The number of slices. Toasters are available for 2 or 4 bread slices. Should I buy a 2 or 4 slice toaster? You should buy a 4 slice toaster if you will make toasts not only for yourself. Although the 4-portion model will take up more kitchen space, it is more practical for a large family. 4-slice toasters are often equipped with two different thermostats, allowing you to simultaneously cook toast with different degrees of browning.
The more slots there are, the higher the rated power of the unit and the higher the energy consumption.
- The width of the slicing slot. The wide slot is required if you are cutting the bread into thick slices of different thickness, or for toasting rolls, bagels and other baked goods that differ in shape from a regular loaf of bread.
- Body material. The plastic case of budget toasters must be resistant to heat and not emit dangerous fumes. If a metal case is used, it should not burn fingers or leave finger marks. So you are free to choose the one you like more as it virtually makes no difference.
- The number of browning modes. The ideal toaster can toast bread from very light to very dark. The same roast should produce the same shade every time.
- Breadcrumbs tray. The pull-out tray makes it easy to empty the crumbs. The conveniently designed tray can be safely pulled out even when the toaster is still hot.
- Lift height. Choose a toaster that has the slices raised high in the slot for easy access. Some models are equipped with an additional level of the lifting of small pieces of bread, which will allow you not to burn your fingers when you take them out.
- Additional functions. This includes defrosting bread, heating buns, and auto-centring the slice. In addition, some toasters combine the functions of other kitchen appliances.
- The cancel button will stop the roasting process and prevent the bread from charring if the mode is incorrectly selected. Some models are equipped with a pause button to check the degree of browning in the middle of the cycle without interrupting it.
- Electronic or mechanical control. In the case of mechanical control, you will have to manually adjust the settings and control the roasting of bread. The electronic control uses the readings of the sensors and sets the settings automatically.
- Power. High power toasters brown bread faster but do not guarantee perfect browning.
- Countdown timer. The remaining time is shown on the LCD and allows you to calculate the preparation of a cup of coffee or tea while making toast.
- Drawing on toast. Toasters, designed for toasting bread for children, burn a specific pattern on the slice using a specially designed heating element.
How Much Should I Spend On a Toaster?
Toasters come in a variety of prices, you can buy a toaster for as little as 15$ to as much as 300$. There is no correct answer on how much you should spend on a toaster, but you will need to spend around 80-100$ for a good toaster of famous brands such as Cuisinart, Oster, Breville. Since you will not need to replace your toaster for another 8 years with proper care, it is a pretty good investment.
Many manufacturers offer both budget options and premium toasters. Braun, Cuisinart, Scarlett and other manufacturing companies offer a variety of models for every taste, which will allow you to choose the option that suits you best.
But remember that cheap toasters, although practical to use, still have very limited functionality. Often they are only able to toast a slice of bread and not always to the level you need. Therefore, if you like crispy toast in the morning, then still give your choice to more expensive models that are of excellent quality and reliability.
You’ve Been Using Your Toaster All Wrong
What Makes a Good Toaster?
That said, after you decide on the number of toasts that you need at one time, you should pay attention to the following details that make a good toaster: when choosing a toaster, you should give preference to models with a wide range of different roasting modes, do not forget to pay attention to the thermal insulation of the case and the presence of thermal insulating elements. At the same time, the body itself should not cause problems during cleaning (at least, it should not have places where dirt could hide).
The presence of an automatic toast centring system will increase the uniformity of roasting, but even it will not guarantee that your appliance will fry the bread evenly enough. Alas, the uniformity of roasting can be checked only after purchasing the device – or by referring to user reviews and resources specializing in testing household appliances.
When it comes to choosing the number of slots, it’s only up to you. The more slots there are, the higher the rated power of the unit and the higher the energy consumption. It is advisable not to be greedy: a small toaster volume may result in the need to repeat toasting two or three times (up to the required amount of toasted toast).
The toaster should have a thermostat, too. This device will allow you to comfortably use the heating elements for those who love baked bread as much as possible, and for those who do not want to burn or wait until it cools down.
The body of the toaster should be made of durable heat-resistant plastic or metal covered with a layer of non-conductive material. This will ensure both the strength of the structure and its safety. The careless movement will not damage the mechanism, and the child will not be burned if they accidentally touch the toaster.
How long should a toaster last? How often should you replace your toaster? On average, toasters last for 5-8 years if you properly look after them and follow the safety rules while cooking. Toasters must be properly cleaned because leftover crumbs might set the toaster on fire. That said, toasters do not wear out much if they are properly looked after.
5 Ways to Use a Toaster
How to Use a Toaster Safely? Tips for Using a Toaster
Even if you know what a toaster is and how a kitchen appliance works, this does not guarantee the preparation of perfectly toasted bread. To make the slices really tasty and crispy and to use a toaster safely, try adhering by the following rules:
- To achieve a good roast, always load the slots fully. If they are designed for four slices, then that number of slices must be placed in the basket when loading.
- If thick slices are used, they may touch the heaters and cause carbon deposits. Overly thin pieces will dry quickly and turn into croutons. Therefore, after purchasing the device, it is better to experiment a little and choose the optimal size of the loaves.
- What you can’t do is dry the bread at the maximum temperature during the first use. Until you know the capabilities of your kitchen assistant, there are always risks of making burnt rusks. Start using the appliance at medium temperatures.
- The toast is too hot right after toasting. To remove it from the basket, you must use an oven mitt or wooden tweezers.
- Never use metal objects to get your toast. Metal conducts electricity well, which means there is a high risk of electric shock. Use wood or plastic fixtures.
- A toaster is a fire hazardous device, so place it in the kitchen away from flammable objects: curtains, tablecloths, towels.
- Keep appliances away from the edge of the countertop and away from the sink. If water gets on the toaster, the heating elements will spark and may burst.
- Is it OK to leave a toaster plugged in all the time? You should not leave a toaster plugged in all the time. It is recommended to connect the toaster only while cooking. To avoid possible overheating and fire of the appliance, never cover the toaster when it is switched on with a cloth or napkin.
- Clean the device only after it has completely cooled down while disconnecting it from the power supply. It is strictly forbidden to put a hot appliance in a cabinet or put it in a box.
- Do not use abrasive powders for external cleaning, as these will ruin the appearance of the toaster.
If you follow these simple recommendations and rules for operating the device, you can constantly delight your family with simple but mouth-watering breakfasts. Ready toast is served with cheese, jam, butter, and any other products. The toaster helps to diversify the family’s diet, makes it truly healthy and tasty.