The Best Toasters & Toaster Ovens
Sometimes when you are in a rush during your hectic mornings, there is no better breakfast than quick, cheap and easy toast. At least it should be quick and easy. Not all toasters are created equal, and if you bought the cheapest toaster you could find, chances are that toaster is going to start wearing down sooner or later.
While toasters are simple and easy, toaster ovens are becoming more and more powerful, offering a wide range of settings that might just take over many of your cooking tasks from your oven. If your toaster fails or you are looking at adding appliances to your kitchen, you may wonder what option between a toaster and a toaster oven is best for you, and then you may wonder about the best product for you. That is why we created this buying guide highlighting some of the best toasters and toaster ovens available in 2023.
Our top picks
How to choose a toaster or toaster oven
Toasters and toaster ovens are very different. While they can share some of the basic uses, they have different ways of getting there. Before shopping, you should decide which type of device you want, then figuring out which device is right for you will be easier from there.
We think toaster ovens are great options for people with smaller kitchens, people who want versatility in the kitchen or people that lack access to a full-sized oven. We think toasters are great options for most people due to their small footprint and affordable price, but toasters especially make sense for people who find themselves on the run in the morning. Once you have decided what kind of product you want, you should consider the following aspects as well.
- Size: Size is a significant consideration for both devices. You should look for a toaster or toaster oven that will be big enough to tackle your average use, yet not take up too much space inside the kitchen. If you are thinking about buying a toaster, consider how much toast you will realistically need to make at any given time – 2 slots are appropriate for single people and couples, while a family (or people who just really, really like toast) will benefit greatly from a 4-slot toaster. On the other hand, the size of the inside of your toaster oven is more important – a large enough toaster oven will be able to roast a chicken or bake a large pizza but might take up too much counter space.
- Watts: How many Watts a toaster can run on will determine how consistent and powerful the device will be. While toasters are low-watt devices and you will not need to consider placement for too long, many toaster ovens take up a lot of Wattage and will need some extra consideration to ensure finding the safest space in your place. Before operating a new toaster oven, we highly recommend reading all the included instructions, which will include notes about safe setup.
- Controllability: What we mean here is, how easy is it to get the desired outcome of whatever you are putting in your toaster or toaster oven. There are a lot of factors at play: is the machine even heating, or does it have hot/cold spots? Are the controls intuitive and accurate to what the response is? Are the results consistent once you have dialled in everything the way you like? One of the biggest complaints about toasters and toaster ovens alike is uneven and inconsistent results.
- Price: Price is always a factor when shopping around for products. However, with devices such as toasters that are simply constructed, many people will buy whatever is cheapest. If you find yourself going through toasters regularly, you may want to consider a better-constructed product, even if it costs more.
Why trust us
Sometimes when shopping online, you have no real idea of the quality of the item you are looking at. That is why we have crafted this buying guide. We spent over 16 hours researching some of the best toasters and toaster ovens available in Canada, so you do not have to. We referred to trusted product analysis from sites like The Wirecutter. We also read through countless verified user reviews to understand what user experiences were like. We only considered toasters and toaster ovens with an average online score of 4 stars or higher.
Best large toaster oven
Cuisinart TOB-260N1 Chef’s Convection Toaster Oven
With a large internal size and lots of features including excellent convection, the Cuisinart Chef’s Convection Toaster oven can tackle an impressive range of foods and cooking styles. While this unit may take up a significant amount of space, you might be looking at options to replace the space your oven leaves if this device leaves your old oven obsolete.
The Chef’s Convection Toaster Oven features a powerful Convection mode that helps you cook quickly and evenly. This Cuisinart toaster oven features a wide variety of cooking options, including Toast, Keep Warm, Bake, Broil, Defrost and Dual Cook – a feature that lets you program two different settings to run at different temperatures consecutively. This mode allows for slow cooking items or finish a dish with the broiler for some nice browning on the top. With the extra-large internal capacity and the ability to use two racks to bake with at once, this Cuisinart Toaster oven can be a workhorse oven replacement for spaces where an oven just will not do. Included are two racks, a baking pan, a broiling tray and a ceramic pizza stone.
Featuring a bright blue LCD display that is easy to read and access all the settings, learning how to figure out how to operate the Chef’s Convection toaster oven should not be too difficult, even though you may need to click several buttons to get the function you are looking for.
However, there are a few issues that users have brought up. The door of this toaster oven does not shut entirely, however, this seems to prevent issues like the front panel and handle getting too hot and prevents the glass from breaking when in use. The rear is non-insulated, meaning it can get hot – so placing this in an area with limited space could be dangerous if the back of this toaster oven is pushed to the wall. Finally, the markings on the buttons are prone to come off after repeated use. Between some of these issues and the size of the unit (with its’ 53 cm x 43 cm footprint), some users might be better to opt for a smaller unit, especially if the kitchen space is tight.
Users overall really enjoy the performance of this machine, whatever it is tasked with. We have read comments praising this machine’s ability to make toast, salmon, chicken wings, pizza, and lots more. Users love the large size, and how easy the Cuisinart Chef Convection Toaster Oven is to both use and clean. While on the pricier side of toaster ovens, the extra features and ease of use make this Cuisinart toaster oven many users’ favourite part of their kitchen equipment. The Cuisinart Chef’s Convection Toaster Oven also has a 3-year warranty in case anything goes awry.
- Large size perfect for larger meals.
- Powerful convection oven.
- Backed by a 3-year warranty.
- Door does not close all the way.
- Back is non-insulated.
Best small toaster oven
Panasonic FlashXpress Compact Toaster Oven
If you are looking for something less all-encompassing but more counter-friendly, the Panasonic FlashXpress is pint-sized but powerful. With fast performance and even cooking throughout, this is a great toaster oven for single people or small families, that can be had for an affordable price.
With double infrared heating lights, Panasonic claims that you can toast, bake or brown up to 40% faster than conventional toaster ovens, while also skipping out on pre-heating. Cooking with the FlashXpress is very quick, but the device can get very hot inside and can potentially burn or overcook foods. Many users remedied this by wrapping whatever you are cooking in tin foil is recommended with certain dishes to prevent too much browning from happening too early in the cooking process, resulting in burnt food. Some trial and error might be required, but overall, users are shocked by how fast this thing cooks.
The Panasonic FlashXpress is a smaller-sized toaster oven, with a footprint of 33cm by 30cm, and the internal space of the tray is 24.5cm by 24.5 cm. This smaller space means the device is compact but is also limiting in the types of food that can be cooked in it – large pizzas and roasts will likely be too large, and taller items run the risk of the top burning. However, you will still be able to toast up to 4 slices, crisp up some fries or other frozen snacks, or bake cookies in this oven.
One downside of the Panasonic FlashXpress is you cannot adjust cook times while the machine is running – having to turn off the device to make an adjustment. The timer is also only adjustable by half-minute intervals, and the maximum time you can set this machine to run for is 25-minute intervals – so you will need to reset the machine midway for foods with longer cook times, although with this cooker’s fast performance, this might be less of an issue than it seems.
Users overall are very happy with the Panasonic FlashXpress and surprised by its rapid yet consistent performance. More than anything, users love the fact that they do not need to pre-heat this oven. While there is a definite learning curve with this toaster oven, after you learn what works and what doesn’t, the consensus on the Panasonic FlashXpress is that it is an easy-to-use, powerful little toaster.
- Even cooking results.
- Pre-heating not required.
- Small size that can fit in most kitchens.
- Functionality of the controls and settings is limited.
Best budget toaster
BLACK + DECKER 2 Slice and 4-slice Toaster Stainless Steel
Toasters are one product on the market that for the most part, people are more than happy to spend as little as possible. Featuring the minimum requirements one needs on the toaster at a minimum price, this Black + Decker toaster is an excellent budget choice.
For many, the excess bells and whistles can be completely unnecessary, especially for a simple appliance like a toaster. This Black + Decker toaster features a minimal number of settings: only bagel and frozen settings are included, with a cancel button. A 7-shade selector dial completes the lineup of controls. Featuring extra-wide toaster slots for bagels and thick-cut bread, and a lever with extra lift for those times your English muffin or toaster strudel is just out of reach. With a pull-out crumb tray for easy access, Black + Decker has all the basics down.
In terms of toasting performance, this toaster seems to be overall solidly quick with an even heat distribution. The Black + Decker seems to generate a lot of heat, so it is recommended you start experimenting with the levels in a lower setting. We also suggest being careful with its placement, as the stainless-steel enclosure will also get hot, especially after repeated uses.
Users generally liked the look of this toaster, but the stainless–steel body will pick up fingerprints and other oils and might require regular cleaning, and the stainless–steel body will also get hot after several uses.
Overall, users liked this Black and Decker toaster for being a dependable toaster at a budget price. Users like the sleek stainless-steel design, but often see a few downsides of this design choice. However, for the price, this toaster does everything it is supposed to and does it well.
- Effectively toasts on lower settings.
- Budget price.
- The whole device runs hot.
- Stainless steel shows fingerprints and needs cleaning to keep up.
Best convection toaster oven
Breville BOV845BSS The Smart Oven Pro (4.6)
One of the most recommended toaster oven units online, the Breville Smart Oven Pro is a kitchen workhorse with high-quality performance and tonnes of features. Chances are, this toaster oven can do everything your full-sized oven can do, and maybe more.
The Smart Oven Pro features 10 cooking functions, including some common ones including toast, grill, bake and roast. Another function is slow cook, which that seems to work out well, despite the oven’s smaller internal size compared to some slow cookers – scale down your favourite pot roast or slow cooker recipe and it should work excellently. This is a convection toaster oven, meaning this oven harnesses hot air currents to cook food quicker and more evenly, while also browning your toast, pizza or cuts of meat excellently. Convection is the same process found in air fryers, so you can crisp up fries and chicken nuggets easily. Best of all, due to the quick cook time and the smaller enclosure, cooking with a convection toaster oven required less energy overall than firing up your oven. The rule of thumb with convection cooking is to go 25 degrees lower than the suggested temperature and 25% shorter of the suggested cook time for the same results in a non-convection oven.
With a 47 cm by 37 cm footprint, this is a toaster oven that can take up considerable space, but with a larger internal space that can handle many different dishes – including up to 6 slices of toast, a large pizza or even a make a one-tray dinner of chicken and roast yams and other veggies. Included is a pizza pan, a baking pan, and a broiling pan, which provide the basic pans needed to start cooking with the Smart Oven Pro right away.
There are a couple of issues that may pop-up in the long run: the convection fan does not stay lubricated, so after consistent use, the device may develop a loud noise while running, and there seem to be other issues with the buttons on the device developing some degree of unresponsiveness. While this ultimately means the device loses points in terms of durability, this device’s performance and ease of use do make up for these shortcomings. However, Breville stands by its products with excellent customer service.
Users not only love this oven: it is very likely the Breville Smart Oven Pro might dominate your kitchen. Many users commented that after buying the Breville Smart Oven Pro, they entirely favoured this device over their previous ovens and microwaves. While the questions of the unit’s durability and the high price of this toaster ovens do subtract some points from its’ overall score, the performance of this toaster oven makes it a definite strong contender.
Interested in convection cooking? Check out our article on some of our favourite air fryers here.
- Cooking with convection currents saves time and energy.
- Intuitive interface.
- Large size can handle lots of different meals.
- Issues with long-term durability.
Best budget toaster oven
Black and Decker TO1313SBD 4-Slice Toaster Oven
If you are looking for a simple toaster oven, without extras and the extra price that comes with them, one of the best budget toaster ovens is the Black and Decker 4-Slice Toaster oven. This smaller toaster oven packs even heating and solid functionality, at a budget price perfect for college students or bachelor suites.
The Black and Decker is a small machine, with a 39 cm x 29 cm footprint, and a height of only 21 centimetres total. This size is perfectly suited for up to 4 slices of toast, a small personal pizza, or a tray of frozen snacks, but the size is a limiting factor. The size is ideal for cooking for one or two, but for any more we recommend opting for something bigger. The short height of this machine also means that some foods will automatically be too high towards the heating element which puts them in a position to burn food if left for too long. While it will not replace an oven like some of the more expensive toaster oven options we have covered, the Black and Decker is a handy toaster oven for light cooking.
The Black and Decker toaster oven features four different cooking functions, including bake, broil, toast and keep warm. Combined with a 30-minute timer with a stay-on mode for food preparation that takes a little longer, cooking with this toaster oven is quick and easy. The Black and Decker 4-slice toaster oven even includes a baking pan and broil rack that fit the oven perfectly.
Unfortunately, with budget products, there are invariably going to be issues in use or design that separate them from more premium-priced products, and the Black and Decker as a result has a flaw worth noting. The device does not have much in the way of insulation, so this machine can get hot and leak heat to its surroundings. This makes having a safe place for this toaster oven a prerogative, and any setup where the toaster oven will be by other electronic devices or the power cord itself can potentially be dangerous. Overall, compliments and complaints both stemmed from the two main factors of this oven: it is cheap and small, and so it is only suited for certain setups.
Users find this a fast-cooking product that works surprisingly well for the price. While radiating heat may seem worrying, with the correct setup in a safe place, this should not be an issue. Overall, if you want a toaster oven for limited purposes and have limited space, this is the toaster oven for you.
- Cheap and small (for some users).
- Included tray and broil rack.
- Cheap and small (for other users).
- Poor insulation leads to excess heat transfer to the surroundings.
Coolest toaster oven
BALMUDA Steam Toaster Oven
Too many times with cheap toasters, a nice piece of bread goes into the toaster, and comes out golden on the outside – but dry and crumbly on the inside. Personally, I like the softness of bread too much to put up with poor toasters. However, Japanese company Balmuda has an interesting approach to this: toasting with steam.
Sounds crazy, right?
The process starts off with light steam as the Balmuda envelops the bread with a layer of moisture – which warms quicker than air and begins the toasting process before the toaster oven increases the heat in the end, getting a nice, crispy exterior, without drying out bread. Designed with thick-cut Japanese bread in mind, the process of steam toasting that the Balmuda is so renowned for breathes fresh life even into any stale bread or pastry you have, even bringing several-day-old pizza back to its former glory. The Balmuda even has a setting for making cheese toast unlike that you have ever had before.
While the Balmuda Steam Toaster Oven is manufactured for Japan, they have become available online. While being an imported product, the price is premium, and with that in mind, there are a few things that make this toaster not for everybody. While the device is designed to run off 100V outlets, users have been able to use the included North American style plug to power the device without a converter. All the instructions are in Japanese, but you will be able to figure out how to work the Balmuda toaster oven through a few online tutorials.
There are a few downsides to this device. The device has limited internal space – you might be able to fit 2 slices of bread in the device at once, and maybe only a croissant. The device also needs time to cool down between uses, making it the less-than-ideal toaster oven making batches of toast in the morning. There is also the price: Japanese users found the device expensive but made some of the best toast. Considering the price in Canada will be increased by the cost of importing, this makes this a premium-priced product, that while excellent at what it does, is also very niche at what it does.
Users are generally happy with the performance of this toaster oven unit: for some, the incredible toast or toasted items that it can make are worth the price. However, the Balmuda will not be for everybody. With limited internal space and required cool-down periods between uses, this device will not be a great choice for families, especially if everybody is fighting over the cheese toast this makes.
- Steam toasting.
- Well constructed.
- On the smaller side of things.
Best toaster under $100
IKICH long slot toaster
The IKICH long slot toaster is also our choice for the best long slot toaster and the best 4-slice toaster.
Typical toasters with the capacity to do 4 slices at once are often bulky, take up too much counter space and are limited to smaller-sized sliced bread bought from the grocery store. Long slot toasters not only can make the same amount of toast but can toast slices from artisanal and bakery loaves that are too big or atypically shaped for standard toasters. Our favourite toaster under $100 is this IKICH toaster that features 2 long slots, perfect for tackling any type of toasting job your throw at it.
This IKICH toaster features the basics we expect from toasters these days: with defrost and reheat settings, a cancel button, a 6-setting shade dial and a crumb tray for keeping your counter space clean. This toaster also features a built-in warming rack, great for warming up buns or pastries that would not cleanly fit inside. With long, 10-inch slots, the IKICH long slot toaster has enough space to tackle whatever type of bread you need, whether you are toasting bakery sourdough, bagels, or store-bought bread for 4.
In terms of performance, the IKICH toasts each side evenly, however, the inward side tends to toast more than the outward side. This is the result of excess heat from the next slot over adding to the heat generated by the slot’s own filaments. Unfortunately, the lack of a button to only turn on one toaster slot means this will be a reality for every slice of toast you make. This toaster does seem to not be overly fast too, so if you find yourself in a rush in the morning, this might not be the ideal toaster for you. However, for consistent performance, that can fit many different types of bread, the IKICH Long Slot toaster is an ideal choice.
There are a few downsides to this toaster, but none are exactly dealbreakers. The crumb tray pulls out the back, which makes accessing it a little difficult. Also, while the slots are designed to be long, the slots are on the shallow side of things, so you may need to move around taller pieces of bread – or flip them sideways.
Users are generally very happy with the IKICH Long slot toaster, for the versatility that the long slots provide, while also being evenly toasting and relatively inexpensive compared to other long-slot toasters. While there are a few things IKICH could improve upon, this is a real solid toaster for a value that other brands’ long slot toasters cannot match.
- Long slots allow for toasting different kinds of bread.
- Browns toast well.
- Inexpensive for a long-slot toaster.
- Somewhat slow toasting time.
- Slot could be deeper.
Best toaster under $50
Cuisinart CPT-122 2-Slice Compact Plastic Toaster
The Cuisinart CPT-122 Compact Plastic Toaster is also our choice for the best small toaster.
Some people do not care too much about excess settings, gadgets and the latest tech on an appliance as simple as a toaster. If you want a bare-bones toaster that toasts and will not break the bank, our choice is the Cuisinart CPT-122 Compact toaster.
This toaster features the bare minimum requirements in terms of toaster features: 2 slots that can fit bagels and more, a 7-setting shade dial, and modes for bagel, defrost and reheat, as well as a cancel button. Its plastic construction means the siding is not a good heat conductor and so the toaster will not get hot to the touch, unlike some toasters featuring stainless steel enclosures.
There is not a lot to say about this type of basic toaster, other than how well it toasts. This toaster overall toasts very well for its’ price, although there seems to be a degree of inconsistency between units. Users liked how quickly and evenly this Cuisinart Toaster toasts, and for the most part, but some users experienced uneven toasting. More than anything, we feel as if this is attributed to burned-out filaments, which could be the result of damage in transit or inconsistent build quality. Overall, for its price, this toaster performs respectably.
Users liked the value and small, lightweight construction of this toaster. While results from user to user seemed inconsistent, many users found this toaster to toast evenly and quickly. However, some inconsistencies have spoiled what promised to be a cheap yet effective toaster for some users. The Cuisinart 2-slice Compact toaster does have a limited warranty, so we recommend contacting Cuisinart in the case that the toaster turns out defective.
- Designed for fast and even toasting.
- Minimal settings.
- Inconsistent build quality.
Best touch screen toaster
Revolution Cooking R180 Toaster
The Revolution Cooking R180 Toaster is also our choice for the Best fast toaster.
Is this what the toaster of the future looks like? Revolution has taken a brave approach to the toaster, offering what might be the world’s first smart toaster. Revolution has paired a high-powered toaster for fast and even heating with a touch screen interface so you can get toast, how you want it, quickly. However, there are some doubts to the degree that this toaster will be worth its’ hefty price tag.
While most toasters will have dials and knobs to dial in the settings, Revolution is one of the first makers of toasters to include a touch-screen interface. When not in use, the touch screen displays date and time. When the toaster is in use, you are greeted to a bright layout with an array of settings, including what type of item you are toasting, 3 settings whether you are toasting from fresh, frozen or just reheating, and a 7-shade spectrum. When your settings are selected, the Revolution toaster will show you an image of what you can expect the toasted product will look like. As the toaster runs, near the end the toaster will count down to when it is done, and you will be greeted with your toast and a little jingle. The Revolution R180 claims that it can make toast quicker, more evenly and consistently than any other toaster on the market. Is this the case? Not exactly.
While the Revolution will tell you what you can expect your toast to look like, the reality is often way different, often being significantly darker, especially on settings aside from the bread setting. While the results are fast, this lack of consistency puts into question the actual usefulness of the touch screen. In its current form, the touch screen is more a gimmick than anything.
There are a few more things that we find worth noting for potential shoppers: The slots are small and anything larger than store bought sliced bread is not going to fit entirely. There is no way to turn down or turn off the jingle. Each unit is $450.
Users will admit it is pricy, they are overall impressed by the quality of the toast and the novelty of owning a touch screen toaster. However, as a toaster unit, this device is not head and shoulders above other toasters like the company claims. The touch screen does make navigation easier, but this device will perform similarly to a toaster 3 or more times less expensive. I will admit there is a future with this brand – this type of innovation is certainly rewarded in today’s technological climate. However, we are not enthralled by the combination of price and the amount of user complaints regarding burnt or inconsistent results.
- Fast results.
- Touch screen displays date and time when not in use.
- Very expensive
- Shade settings are typically inaccurate.
Best luxury toaster
SMEG 2-Slice Toaster
If you love retro styles reminiscent of the ’50s and have the disposable income the average family had in the ’50s as well, SMEG has a line of toasters for you. SMEG is an Italian manufacturer that designs dependable yet elegant kitchen accessories that do what they are meant to do and nothing more – in this case, that is toasting bread and other baked goods. While the high price tag will make this product certainly not for everybody, if aesthetics is important in your kitchen space, this is a luxurious toaster that will likely fit your space wonderfully.
SMEG offers 2– and 4- slice toasters that toast bread very evenly on both sides. SMEG toasters feature a shade dial, as well as three pre-sets for reheating, defrosting, and toasting bagels. Some users have noted that the toaster’s power makes higher settings too much unless you like your toast blackened. Overall, this is a toaster that does what it’s supposed to. Made from alloy steel, this toaster should last a long time.
The retro-chic design is perhaps the strong suit – with a rounded body that comes in several pastel colours, polished chrome base and stainless-steel level and knobs. If looking at this toaster makes you want one – you will get enough use and joy looking at it that it will probably be worth it. However, if you are not enamoured with the looks – move on. This toaster is designed to be an accent piece and is priced as such. The quality is there, but you can get quality toasters that last for much cheaper. One thing that is important to note: users on Amazon think these toasters are European-made, and the price reflects higher labour costs – nope! They are made in China.
Users love the quality of this toaster and how it looks. Users like how this toaster and other SMEG products can elevate the look of their kitchen. Users complemented the even golden-brown toast that this toaster regularly produced. However, there are toasters that are cheaper that do this job better, even if they will not look as good doing it.
- Effective yet simple toaster.
- Chic ’50s aesthetic many people like.
- Expensive for what it is.
Best high-end toaster
Dualit 2 Slice NewGen Toaster
The Dualit 2 Slice NewGen toaster, with the sandwich cage (sold separately), is also our choice for the best toaster for sandwiches.
Another premium toaster for a premium price: Dualit has been making toasters for over 70 years in England. With an interesting asymmetrical design and durable hand-built construction, this is a solid choice, albeit a simplistic one. Designed for the wear and tear that commercial kitchens put appliances through, Dualit makes sturdy and effective toasters you can count on.
The Dualit NewGen is basic in functionality, however, it offers some incredible versatility despite that. With only two dials on the front, the settings these dials enable are more versatile than some other toasters. The selector dial allows users to choose if they only want to toast 1 slice, 2 slices, or a bagel. Since excess heat from the other toaster slot is the biggest contributor to uneven sides, we think being able to switch the other slot off when not in use is a huge benefit of the Dualit. You can also access the toasters defrost setting on the shade selector dial.
Compared to other high-cost toasters on the market, we really appreciate Dualit’s business model. Firstly, every toaster the company makes is handmade by Dualit’s employees in the UK, with each toaster having its maker’s name inscribed on the baseplate. The Dualit is built to be highly durable, however in the case that the toaster does break, Dualit offers fully repairable or replaceable parts, as well as servicing of your toaster if it does fail. While shipping from Canada to the UK might be expensive, we much prefer a toaster that is built to last years and be fully repairable than the planned obsolescence and cheap manufacturing of other toasters.
Another thing we quite like about Dualit is the few accessories available: you can buy a sandwich cage tool that lets you turn your toaster into a full-fledged toasted sandwich maker, without the fear of the inside of your toaster getting messy. A pastry warmer insert lets you warm croissants and other pastries as well. However, these accessories are on the overpriced side of things, and you might need to double-check you are getting the right size with the toaster (and the right size of bread too).
Users overall like the build quality of the Dualit NewGen toaster and love the toast that it makes. While it is an expensive toaster, you are paying for a premium-made product that should last you years. If you want a premium toaster that does more than just look good, we recommend Dualit hands down.
- Excellent quality toast.
- Hand-made construction.
- Fully repairable or replaceable parts and fully serviceable.
Best toaster for bagels
KitchenAid KMT4115SX 4-Slice Toaster
If Bagels are a regular part of your diet, certain toasters will not do your bagels justice. Far too many times have my bagels been toasted well only to see a burnt back. For an excellent toaster that handles bagels and bread of all thickness well, our recommendation is the KitchenAid 4-Slice toaster, with 4 extra thick slots and dedicated bagel modes for perfect bagels.
This 4-slot toaster features independent sliders, shade dials, bagel mode and cancel buttons for each side, so you can toast different types of baked goods independently and get your preferred results for each. While some Bagel modes only turn on one side of the toaster, this KitchenAid toaster instead reduces the heating elements of one side instead, so you get a bagel that has been thoroughly warmed, with a nice, golden brown inside.
In terms of performance, this toaster is strong, with even toasting, warming bagels all the way through. However, users have noted that higher settings on the shade dial may be too hot to effectively brown toast. This can be a symptom of one of the main issues that toasters have – they usually are not well insulated so heat from other toaster slots can transfer and affect the toasting of your baked goods. With this in mind, we think that these issues are easily navigable, once you have tested out what works to your liking. Something not as easy: adjusting to the loud beep this device emits when your toast is done.
Overall, users like using this KitchenAid toaster in the morning for quick and easy breakfasts, with a versatility that makes it great for pastry and bagel lovers alike.
- Effective 4 slot toaster.
- One of the best bagel modes available.
- Beeps loudly when toast is done and there is nothing you can do about it.
- Can get very hot, especially if both sides are running simultaneously.
How we chose the best toasters and toaster ovens
Making this list was challenging partially due to the similarity we assumed about how similar toasters and toaster ovens are, compared to how different they turned out to be.
We feel as toaster ovens of today are wide-ranging products: they can be cheap or expensive, and both have their merits. Some toaster ovens can be a cheap addition to a dorm bedroom or small apartment, while some of the higher-end toaster ovens can straight up replace your oven. With all these factors in mind, we mainly focused on even heating, how easy the toaster oven is to use, and how much value it provides long term, in terms of durability and efficiency.
Toasters on the other hand seem to generally be an inconsistent product due to the product’s inherent simplicity; a multitude of factors from how thick the bread is to how long ago you used your toaster can impact the results of your toaster, whether it is a $50 unit or a $250 unit. We saw complaints about a toaster’s evenness or toasting for literally every single toaster we reviewed. While we did try to consider the evenness of toasting, we also considered factors like how consistent, durable and intuitive a toaster is.
Like any product, the price will also be a considerable factor when shopping for both, but after comparing prices between products of both kinds, we can easily see the merit of paying $300+ for a toaster oven, but generally speaking, we cannot justify most toasters more than $150, and even that is a steep price.
Frequently asked questions
How does a toaster work?
Toasters feature wires that line the inside of a toaster, called filaments, that heat up and glow red when electrical currents pass through the wires. These filaments are responsible for turning your bread into golden brown toast. The steady stream of electricity required to evenly toast quickly mean that the best performing toasters need to consume the maximum amount of electrical energy per second.
Toaster vs Toaster Oven: What’s the difference?
Toasters is the term for devices designed specifically for toasting bread and other baked items. They usually feature between 2 and 4 upright slots that items can be inserted into and will toast the bread from both sides.
Toaster ovens on the other hand are small ovens that can easily fit on a countertop. They can toast bread, but they can do a lot more, from baking and broiling, while some modern toaster ovens can even dehydrate and air fry foods today. They usually feature a door on the front that opens so you can slide your toast onto the oven’s racks or put whatever you need to cook on a small oven tray.
Why are SMEG toasters so expensive?
We think that SMEG toasters are fine, and undeniably look nice. However, we think the SMEG’s price is more a result of marketing than the product’s quality – more and more companies are realizing you can sell solid products at a premium price, and with some luck and clever marketing, people will clamour for the brand name. SMEG toasters might be worth it to people who love the retro-look, but if you are just in the market for a solid toaster, there are options that will do what you want for cheaper.
How to clean a toaster?
Using a toaster is easy, but toasters need to be maintained – after a few uses, toasters become a crumb trap. To clean out the inside of the toaster, first, unplug the toaster. Next, you will need to locate the crumb tray – a removable component that the crumbs inside will invariably end up on. If you do not know where the crumb tray fits, look for a raised edge or lip on one of the sides of the toaster. Clean off the tray, dumping any crumbs into the garbage and wiping off the tray, and then rinse and dry thoroughly before placing the tray back into the toaster. This process should be done often if you use your toaster a lot.
Finally, while the toaster is still unplugged, you can take a toothbrush or similar dry brush to remove any crumbs that may be sitting on the filament.
When was the toaster invented?
The electric toaster was invented in 1893 by a Scotsman named Alan MacMasters, but the early versions only had one coil – so you had to flip the toast to do the other side. 26 years later in 1919, Charles Strite, a Minnesota mechanic, designed the first toaster that toasted both sides simultaneously and popped the toast up when it was done.
Can I make toast without a toaster?
Yes! You can make toast in a toaster oven (duh), a regular oven, or even in a pan over a burner. However, for quick, even toast that you do not need to flip (like you would if you did make it in the oven or on the stovetop), toasters are still the best.
What do the numbers on a toaster mean?
The numbers on the side of a toaster loosely give users an idea of how much toasting the toaster will do. However, since there is no universal toaster standard for the numbers, each toaster’s settings will vary. We recommend reading your toaster’s manual, as well as experiment with different settings, to figure out what setting will work best for you.
What are the different types of toasters?
Beyond toaster ovens and toasters, there are not many established “types” of toasters. You could consider long-slot toasters as a type of toaster that is becoming more common as more people are eating more bakery bread, however, for the most part, devices that toast are always going to be divided by “toaster” and “toaster oven”.
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