‘Smart’ and digital or old fashioned?
I’ve been looking for the perfect toaster for years. I get recommendations from friends, try them, and after a little while I am disappointed for one reason or another. I decided to do my own survey and research and here what I learned.
Toasters landed in kitchens in the 1890s, and predated sliced bread. Toast, particularly toast that is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, is currently wildly popular. At the same time toasters have advanced into smart appliances with hefty price tags. Will today’s toasters be better than yesterday’s?
The Magimix Vision Toaster looks fun. It has four pre-programmed heat settings – toast, bagel, reheat, and defrost. It has a viewing window to watch your toast get toasted. It has extra-wide slots for bagels or croissants. This toaster’s quartz heating elements give a quick sear to the toast, rather than the traditional toasting. $199.95.
This Breville 4-Slice SmartToaster allows users to take a quick peek at how their toast is doing without interrupting the toast cycle. There is a “Lift and Look” button that raises the bread for a peek and then lowers it again. Another feature is the “A Bit More” that saves the user from having to commit the toast to another full round of toasting when all it needs is just a bit more. $179.95
This is a two-slice toaster by Revolution Cooking. It has a tappable panel to choose types of bread, fresh or frozen, and how toasted you want your bread. It has a countdown clock and chimes when the toast is done. The primary reason it is so popular is that instead of baking and drying the toast out, it quickly crisps the bread, locking in the moisture. Revolution Cooking R180. $279.95.
The 2-slice Italian Smeg toaster seems to be a hybrid toaster – part smart and part old-fashioned. The price of $169.95 is certainly in the smart toaster league. They are retro and durable. The toaster has 11 browning control levels with a removable stainless steel crumb tray. The slots are extra wide at 1.25″ wide. There are 9 colors to choose from. $169.95.
There is a 4-slice Smeg toaster available for $249.95.
If simpler is more your speed, Wirecutter, the New York Times’ list of ‘best gear and gadgets’ reviewed toasters and recommended the Cuisinart CPT-122 2-slice Compact Plastic Toaster
These Cuisinart toasters consistently produced evenly toasted bread. They have a wide range of settings and are easy to use. While most toasters offer a one-year warranty, Cuisinart offers a three-year warranty. . It is inexpensive at $30 from Home Depot.
If you need a larger toaster, the 4-slice recommendation is the Cuisinart CPT-142 Compact Plastic Toaster at $40 from Amazon.
One final entry is a toaster oven, not a traditional toaster, but it gets great reviews for toasting. It is called the Balmuda and its success in toasting bread to perfection is due to its steam technology. Users pour a little water into the toaster before toasting and it will steam to toast the bread so that it is crispy on the outside and soft and moist on the inside. It comes in white or black. $329.00.