The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Toaster

alabubba's picture
alabubba

Toaster

I am looking for recommendations for a new Toaster.


I live in the US.


So, What do you use, what would you not wish on your worst enemy? What works well and what doesn't.?


Above all, what makes the best toast?

dlt123's picture
dlt123

I currently use my Toaster Oven, but have been thinking of getting a toaster also.  I would be interestd in what others use for toasting their toast.


Dennis
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Judon's picture
Judon

When I was looking...


I saw recommendations for the Dualit Lite 4 slice and that looked interesting with good reviews here on TFL. I used a Dualit 4 slice at a friends house and liked the way it toasted our Pain au levain.


I previously had a 4 slice Oster which I loved - great price and it has worked well for years - passed it on to a friend when I received the Viking 4 slice as a promotional gift at work. It is a great toaster. Never had better English Muffins!


I think Viking is lowering their prices on some electrics this fall but I'm not sure if the toaster is in that group.


Hope this has helped.


Judy

flournwater's picture
flournwater

My wife and I received a toaster as a wedding gift.  It worked beautifully for forty years.  Twelve years ago it finally died; we've had four or five (I've lost count) since then and haven't been pleased with any of them.  Some of these were "high end" appliances, other were WalMart specials.  We currently use a four slice Cuisinart which, while it does work reasonably well, is not one that I would recommend.  What I've learned in our search for a good toaster is to make certain it has all the features, style, etc. that we'd like to have  -  AND to test it before purchase.


A lot of toasters toast unevenly; and it doesn't matter who manufactures/markets the make/model of interest.  Once I've selected a toaster I think we might like to have I take it to an area in the store where the ambient light is low (as low as possible) and initiate a toasting cycle.  If the heating elements don't light up evenly (on many toasters you'll find one bank of elements glows brighter than the other) the toaster won't toast evenly and isn't worthy of further consideration.

odinraider's picture
odinraider

Metal pan. Butane torch. Labor intensive, and less practical, but hands down the best toaster setup you will find. And it's multipurpose!

alabubba's picture
alabubba

I have actually done this, I found it gave the bread a fuelish (new word) flavor.


I have made toast over a Sterno can and that wasn't too bad. I even had made toast with tongs over a campfire. That was probably the best I have ever had, We buttered it with bacon fat... YUM.

wwiiggggiinnss's picture
wwiiggggiinnss (not verified)

I love this toaster something fierce:


http://www.brevilleusa.com/toasting/die-cast-4-slice-smart-toastertm.html


They make a 2-slot one too that's $50 cheaper.


It's a work of beauty. You won't be disappointed.


It even has a bagel feature that only toasts one side of the bagel. 


And a peek feature that quickly lifts whatever you're toasting so you can see its doneness and decide if you want to stop or go longer.


Here's the video:


-

re: Dualit

Most expensive, most overly-hyped toasters around. They toast worst than a $10 one from Walmart. I wouldn't buy one with someone else's money.

sphealey's picture
sphealey

Four years ago I too got fed up with the succession of junk toasters that attempted to replace my 20-year-old wide/long slice unit.  I ordered a Dulit from King Arthur when they were carrying them and it has been an incredible machine.  As advertised it will make round after round of toast (e.g. kids' sleepover breakfast) without overheating or shutting down, always hits the degree of doneness shown on the dial, and the two long slots hold most of my breads and thick bagels.  The bagel mode works well too.  The only disadvanges are that it must be pulled out from under the cabinets due to fear of scortching wood up above, and that I have never dared use it above 6 for fear of setting the ceiling on fire!  it is right up there with my Zojirishu breadmaker and ricemaker, and my Moccamaster coffee maker, as perfect kitchen tools.


However, Dulit is a UK company and the last time I looked for one for a wedding present I couldn't find an importer or 120 volt version ;-(  Perhaps there is a new importer now though; worth a look or an e-mail to their customer service address.


sPh

GENE FOSTER's picture
GENE FOSTER

sPH


Target has the Dulit toasters - expensive - to over $300 US


Gene

sphealey's picture
sphealey

===  Target has the Dulit toasters - expensive - to over $300 US ===


Wow - THAT's a markup!  King Arthur, which is usually the most expensive place around, was only charging $175.  For $300 it would be cheaper to order one from the UK plus the parts and tools needed to convert it to US mains ;-)


sPh

pjaj's picture
pjaj

The reason Dualit is "over hyped" is that they are virtually indestructible. All the major parts are readily available as spares and any handyman can field strip it, replace the elements and put it back together again.Try an do that with your cheap jack toaster! You probably won't even be able to get it apart without breaking it. And as for spares....


I've had mine for well over 10 years and its on its third set of elements, but the latest ones have a better design and have lasted more than 6 years. Both my daughters have them. One got drenched when an upstairs shower leaked through her kitchen ceiling - The Dualit factory refurbished it and it's ad good as new.


Fundamentally Dualit toasters are commercial machines, designed for near continuous operation in cafes. I wouldn't buy any other brand.

wwiiggggiinnss's picture
wwiiggggiinnss (not verified)

Virtually indestructible, just like that other British invention: the Land Rover, proud occupant of ditches and road sides the world over, broken down, but easily repaired, if you can just get it towed to nearest dealer.


Bah! :D


I couldn't stand mine. When it wasn't burning the toast it was searing the flesh off my hands. I could toast the same bread from the same loaf one after another without changing a single setting on the toaster and it would "toast" (and I mean TOAST) each differently. It was like someone designed it to toast in every way but properly.


I actually threw it in the garbage, it was that disappointing. $250 something, and trashed it. My fire alarm thanked me.


-


I don't need a commercial toaster, but if I did, I'd go with Waring, which are rock solid and worth every penny.


http://www.waringproducts.com/com/catalog/index.php?cat_id=26

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

pjaj,

Where did you find the elements to replace your burned out ones?

Janet

pjaj's picture
pjaj

Well, you can start with their own web site, although it may not list older models you can ask them as I believe parts are still available and the current models may well use the same elements.

Dualit

 Then Google "dualit toaster spares". The google shopping option will give you lots of hits.

You can also buy them over the counter from most appliance repair (vacuum cleaner spares) shops / market stalls. I got mine in a shop in Shirly High Street, Southampton.

Just make sure you know what you are doing when you dismantle and rebuild your toaster. If you are not sure, the shop will probably do it for you.

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

After writing my question I did think of googling and found some stuff but I like the idea of going to a local appliance repair shop....will have to hunt one down as they aren't as numerous here abouts anymore.  People just toss rather than repair :-/

Thanks for the response,

Janet

pjaj's picture
pjaj

Sorry Janet, I thought, from your first post you were in the UK, like me. I would agree that in Colorado finding spares for a British toaster might be a bit tricky !  In that case your best bet might be Dualit themselves, the elements are light and shouldn't be too expensive to post. They also can supply a new timer switch.

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

pjaj,

No need to apologize. Your suggestions really helped me.  I hadn't considered repairing our old one since so many things now-a-days are simply tossed.  Years ago I did repair all of our small appliances and then 'the change' happened and the price to repair was more than the price of a new one and our local repair stores closed their doors.

In fact our original Dualit stopped toasting on one side of each slot a few years ago.  THe kids simply got into the habit of flipping their toast mid way to get an even toast.  As long as it was working I didn't mind as it still outshined anything we have ever owned. Last winter, when I began baking bread, I decided to go ahead and replace it despite the cost.  Had I know I could have gotten the spare parts I would have opted for that BUT all is not lost as I did not toss out the old toaster.  It is in the basement and when one of the kids needs a toaster in their own homes - I have it waiting and now I can search out the part needed to fix it so it will be just like new for them :-)  I will let my youngest do the job since he loves taking things apart and putting them together again.  Has an uncanny knack for doing that.....this will be a fun job for him :-)

Take Care,

Janet

pjaj's picture
pjaj

Don't give the kids the Dualit - give them its replacement!

You should be pleasantly surprised by the latest replacement elements. The old ones, which you probably had, had exposed heating wires which could catch on the odd bit of crust and eventually break. Mine lasted about 2-3 years per set. About 6-7 years ago Dualit brought out a new design which covered the wires with a very thin layer of mica and mine have now lasted 6 years and show no signs of deterioration. Of course you don't have to replace every element, only the ones that are broken.

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Replacement,

The replacement IS a Dualit :-).  After owning one I would never buy anything else....

Our original one is the one that started to burn out on one side and it is probably 10 years old.

The sites that came up with replacement parts were all in the UK so I am going to have to get creative here.

I have a friend from England and her father still lives in England and usually visits her once or twice a year. The only glitch now is that the friend just moved to Portugal due to her husband's job but they do intend to come back here several times a year.  )THey have kept their home here as they do not intend to stay in Portugal long term - for now it looks like a 2 year stint...)

Anyway, I am thinking that if her dad is willing and able to pick up the part I need, which I will have my son figure out, he can take the part to her when he visits and then she can bring it to me when she comes back here....provided it passes security check LOL....

A lot of 'ifs' involved but who knows.  I did email Dualit to ask if they have a parts supplier here - that would be the simplest solution. I await their response.

Thanks for your input!

Take Care,

Janet

pjaj's picture
pjaj

I'm sure you know this, but make sure your friend gets parts intended for the USA models 110V and not UK parts 230V. (unless you are running your toaster from a 220V outlet, which I believe some US houses have for high power appliances).

It won't do any harm, it just won't get very hot! UK elements would give about 1/4 the heat on 110V than they would in the UK.

BTW Williams-Sonoma (our favourite US cook shop) stock the toasters so they may be able to advise on US parts.

http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/dualit-new-generation-classic-toaster/?pkey=ctoasters-ovens

Best of luck with your quest for parts, let me know if I can help.

Peter.

Chuck's picture
Chuck

I use my run-of-the-mill toaster oven rather than one of those silvery popup gizmos. I know, it's "dumb", but it has some advantages too:


 o Having only one appliance uses up less counter space.


 o You can see the toast the entire time it's toasting, and take it out immediately if necessary rather than waiting until there's "smoke".


 o More importantly for bread bakers, it's quite happy with oddly shaped and/or thick pieces. Slicing your loaf a little thick and getting a piece "stuck" in one of those popup things just once will make you consider alternatives, as will pieces that are a little too long or awfully short.


 


My experience is it works better to buy another fairly cheap unit every five years or so when the previous one dies than it does to search out a "high quality" (and very expensive) "repairable" unit.


 


(Just be sure to put some sort of thermal insulation [cardboard wrapped in tinfoil?] under it; a toaster oven sitting directly on a formica counter is quite likely to leave scorch marks in the counter top and you won't be able to get them out.)

maziej's picture
maziej

We  have had a T-Fal Avante for about 8 years. Nice even toasting, with a range of "toasted-ness" settings. Wide slots accomodate bagels and healthy slices of pannetone. Has a nice "push-up" feature, whereby you press a lever and it advances the toasted item further out of the toaster slot. And a one slice setting to save energy. We have been very happy with it.

Good luck in your search for the perfect toaster!