A Guide to Buying a Toaster

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What You Need to Know

  1. You can pick up a very basic toaster for as little as £5.
  2. If you can’t eat leavened bread or are a big fan of pita bread, you may want a toaster designed with deeper slots.
  3. Some toasters come with helpful additional settings for toasting bagels, defrosting bread, or reheating toast that’s gone cold.
  4. It is easy to find a toaster to fit the décor of your kitchen, but bear in mind that stylish touches, such as a chrome finish, will cost you more.
  5. Find online consumer reviews to check the toaster you have in mind doesn’t have any design faults. For example, some poorly made toasters only toast a strip across the middle of the bread.
  6. It is now possible to get energy efficient toasters that will help you use less electricity, save money and help the environment.
  7. Remember to check the dimensions of the toaster you are buying and bear in mind how much space you have available on your kitchen counter.

Price

The amount you can spend on a toaster varies greatly. Most major supermarkets do their own 'budget' 2 slice toaster which, as long as you aren’t feeding a large family in a hurry, should be sufficient for making breakfast in the morning.

On the other hand, you can spend as much as £250 on a toaster if you’re after something stylish with lots of additional features. However, if you just need a neutral looking, 4 slice toaster than can serve more than one person at a time, you needn’t pay more than £10-20 to find a good toaster.

Features

There are a surprising number of extra features you can find on modern toasters, many of which are surprisingly useful. Here are some common features you may want to look for;

  • Deep Slots- Pita bread is increasingly popular, especially amongst those who can’t eat leavened bread. If you’re a fan of pita or other awkwardly shaped breads, such as bagels, you may need a toaster with deep slots.
  • Slide Out Crumb Tray- A crumb tray makes it much easier to clean your toaster and dispose of the waste material that accumulates inside it.
  • Bagel Settings- Some toasters have a bagel setting, so that, when you cut a bagel in two and toast the halves, only the ‘cut’ side gets browned.
  • Warm/Re-heat/Defrost Settings- Many people freeze bread so it will keep longer. Some toasters have a special setting to allow you to quickly defrost your frozen bread. Others have settings which allow you to reheat your cold toast without browning it any further.

Size

If you only ever make the occasional piece of toast, then a conventional two-slice toaster is likely to suffice. However, should you want to toast muffins, buns or anything other than sliced bread, or if you need to prepare toast for more than one person each day, then it could be wise to invest in a larger device. Four, six, or even eight-slice toasters are readily available, as are toasters with the ability to adjust the size of slots to accommodate bread slices of differing thickness levels.

You may expect than even the cheapest toaster will be able to accommodate a slice of your bread of a choice, but you should check consumer reviews before buying. Often cheap models leave a portion of bread sticking out of the top, untoasted.

It is also easy to forget to check the dimensions of the toaster you are buying. Some designs are surprisingly bulky, so bear in mind how much space you have available on your kitchen counter.

Looks

Many people take more pride in the appearance of their kitchen than any other room in their home. As a result manufacturers produce toasters to fit in with any aesthetic. As well as the standard all white and all black designs, you can also spend a little extra for a toaster with an attractive chrome finish. There also many toasters with a vintage appearance available, normally at a premium.

Energy-efficiency

Standard toasters can use anything up to 1,200W of power. However, energy-efficient, low-wattage devices are becoming increasingly-more commonplace, enabling consumers to reduce the size of their kitchen's carbon footprint.

When shopping look for the Energy Saving Trust logo to ensure you get an environmentally friendly appliance.

Novelty value

There are a wide range of novelty toasters are available for fun-loving consumers. Among the most-popular novelty toasters are those that use specially-shaped electrical heating wires to imprint a pattern onto the bread, while retro and futuristic-themed toasters can also make the kitchen a little livelier.

Further Reading

 

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