The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

What's your favorite toaster?

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Porkbutter's picture
Porkbutter

What's your favorite toaster?

I've had lousy luck with toasters. They either toast unevenly or even just stop working at all. An important issue is the slot size as I mostly make  hand shaped loaves. Most toasters out there are scaled to grocery store pan loaves and anything a bit odd sized, long or wide just won't fit. Even slices from my oval loaves tend not to fit as I often bake them in a Romertopf clay baker which is a bit wider. I had actually stopped using toasters for quite a long time opting instead to toast bread in a cast iron grill pan. That actually works quite nicely, but it involves more work, more time, & more clean up afterwards. Plus it's just not the same as normal toast.

What do you say? Do have a toaster that is a good one for the home baker?

PClark's picture
PClark

is my favorite but I had to retire it. My parents got it as a wedding gift and used it daily. When I would go back to visit I always had toast the first morning. It toasted so beautifully and Dad always had fresh sliced bread from the bakery. Yum! When my sister and I had to clear the house after Dad died I told her she could have anything if I could have that toaster. So I brought it home and used it for about 5 years. Finally 5 years ago I became worried about the cord and tried to have it repalced. The repairman said he would not do it because of the danger of the inside wiring not being okay and would not recommend I try to do it. So I retired it. But I still have it way back in a corner.  And have had three other toasters since. I can't find one that works well either. I buy too cheap, I think. The one I am using now is a Hamilton Beach, not terribly cheap and it works reasonable well if you put your glasses on and check all the settings to make sure you aren't doing bread on the bagle setting. I did that yesterday and thought the toaster was broken. I dropped in while unpacking a couple of months ago and I don't think it toasts as even now. Good luck. I have had none. 

texalp's picture
texalp

 I don't use a toaster ; I just bake in the oven or run under the broiler. I hate to lose counter space.

                                                                                          Al

darkman013's picture
darkman013

Have you considered a toaster oven?  It pretty much fits any sized slice of bread.

Bakrboy's picture
Bakrboy

I gave up on toasters a long time ago for all the above mentioned reasons. Now all I buy is toaster ovens. They are so versatile! I use them for almost everything. Re-heating pizza, wings ect. They are perfect for toasting your sandwich whole or single slices of almost any shape and size.

Don't try to bake a Miche or fry a turkey in it lol. But trust me, the satisfaction of saving your beautifully bake loaves of crusty deliciousness from stalling by turning them into mouth watering garlic asiago crisps is worth the minimal investment.

"Disclaimer: in the unlikely event of a food flare up, unplug but most importantly keep the door shut!" Safety first :-)

sphealey's picture
sphealey

I got a Dualit 4-slice when King Arthur was selling them and it has been tremendous:  long wide slots, precise control, and will toast any number of slices in a row at any combination of settings and get them all right.  Unfortunately King Arthur no longer carries them and I don't know if they are being sold in the US anymore. 

sPh

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

sPh,

We have a Dualit toaster - 2 slice model.  Husband bought one years ago and I was sticker shocked until I saw how long it lasted with daily use -LOTS of daily use with 3 growing children who all devoured toast.

Amazon sells them.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_sc_0_7?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=dualit+toaster&sprefix=dualite

We have a toaster oven too and love both.

Be sure to unplug your toaster oven when not in use - one of ours burst into spontaneous flame one evening.  It was not turned on and hadn't been used for hours....just started to burn.  Luckily one of the kids noticed.  I shudder to think what would have happened had it been the middle of the night.  

We now unplug all small appliance after use.  (Even had a radio/alarm clock start on fire too years ago....luckily someone caught that one too.....)

 

Janet

pjaj's picture
pjaj

The great advantage of the Dualit is that you can replace the elements yourself should they fail, and Dualit will service it if anything else goes wrong. Essentially they are immortal!

Try doing that with any other brand.

Of course the major disadvantage is the price, you could buy a whole counter full of cheap toasters for the price of one Dualit.

There was a very sinilar thread a while back which you can find here.

flournwater's picture
flournwater

...  she ain't what she used to be.

I feel your pain.  My wife and I received a toaster as a wedding gift in 1958.  It was one of those special deals that a famous jewelry store chain used to run back in those days.  It lasted fifty years, then it died.  We've tried three or four different famous brands since it died and can't find anything that even comes close.  When you shop for a toaster, plug it in at the store and check to see if the elements light up (they should glow a beautiful red color) evenly.  Don't buy anything if some of the element(s) are brighter than others.

I've recently found that toaster ovens seem to work better than pop-up toasters for making good toast.  It take longer, but the quality of the toast is superior most of the time.

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

Well, that's what we called it.  The sides come down and the elements light up inside and you have to flip the bread over to toast each side.  It made super toast, almost as good as the toast we made on our old woodstove in the country.

jlewis30's picture
jlewis30

http://www.amazon.com/Cuisinart-BRK-200-Brick-Deluxe-Stainless/dp/B000O3RK7E/ref=sr_1_4?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1316578952&sr=1-4

I love this thing SO MUCH, make a beautiful loaf of bread/pizza/cookies/casserole/TOAST

jcking's picture
jcking

Great for toasting any size slice of bread, rolls or bagels and reheating pizza. With dual heating elements, top and bottom, 2 permanent stones on the sides and a removable stone and tray/rack inserts it performs well. Great for summer baking as it doesn't heat the whole kitchen. It will hold a quarter size baking sheet and it perfect for six rolls or a focaccia.

Jim

merlie's picture
merlie

Love my Breville !! Nice wide slots for home baked bread and it treats each type of bread differently . Also has defrost, reheat and does bagels too. ( Check out the neat plug ...)

Merlie

Porkbutter's picture
Porkbutter

Well, it's good to see that there are some options out there. I think that perhaps I have been too cheap when buying toasters. Although, from looking at reviews at Amazon, even many of the pricier toasters get some pretty bad feedback. I am really tempted by the Cuisinart brick oven mentioned above. This would leave my countertop space totally crowded. Still I think of how either my bread baking suffered or I suffered during this past overly hot summer. It would be wonderful to be able to bake a loaf without heating the whole kitchen. I see that this product has been discontinued by the manufacturer, but is still available for purchase. 

Thanks to everyone for your opinions. The research continues for now while I look for all the options.                                        -Bob.

 

 

jaywillie's picture
jaywillie

Consumer Reports likes the Cuisinart CPT-170 and the Hamilton Beach 22502. Both have wide slots that fit bagels, though some users complain the slots are not long enough to accommodate extra-long slices (think Oroweat). I just ordered the Cuisinart, so I can't comment yet -- check it out on Amazon. However, I find toasters to be a real conundrum. It's clear that no manufacturer can do what seems like it should be simple -- build a toaster that browns consistently and lasts a long time. Why is that!?

(And, as much as I like counter space, wasting the energy turning on an oven, especially a broiler, to make toast is just not something I would do.)

EvaB's picture
EvaB

about 40$ and has a bagel setting, which works just fine for buns as long as they aren't too puffy. Had a toaster oven, and gave it away, it was a right royal pain took up so much room on the counter, and didn't toast worth a damn. I used to have a good one which quit, but this one was useless. And the old one was a whole lot cheaper and not nearly as big a space waster.