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Best Toaster Reviews

Updated on January 20, 2011

Best Toasters

Here’s a brief review of the best toasters. Any kind of toaster you might want is here - a two slice toaster or a four slice toaster. Need a toaster to brown long artisan or sourdough bread slices? That’s here. So, too, is a “smart” toaster that babies your toast to perfection with high-tech options. They all share these features:

1) Toasts various types of bread

2) Has controls to toast bread the way you like it

The four are:

1) TEM500 Egg-and-Muffin 2-Slice Toaster and Egg Poacher

2) Cuisinart CPT-120 Electronic Cool Touch 2-Slice Toaster

3) T-Fal 4-Slice Digital Toaster, Black

4) Breville Die-cast Smart Toaster

Back to Basics Egg and Muffin Toaster

Egg and Muffin Toaster

This toaster poacher makes the best egg muffins you’ll never, never see or find at the fast food joints. It also warms pre-cooked bacon or sausage if you want that on your breakfast muffin. The official designation is the Back to Basics TEM500 Egg-and-Muffin 2-Slice Toaster and Egg Poacher.

Here are the best features of this toaster:

1) Toasts bread, cooks an egg and warms meat all together

2) Cooks a breakfast sandwich in 4 minutes

3) Wide toaster slots for bagels and Texas toast

Now you can cook up a delicious sausage and egg muffin sandwich for breakfast in about 4 minutes. (Try adding a tomato slice or a cut of your favorite cheese - tastes great.)

Say goodbye to the cold, the soggy and the dry muffin breakfast sandwich at the rubber chicken drive-ins. Your personal breakfast chef in the TEM 500 has arrived with this toaster-poacher. Breakfast is now served hot and delicious, exactly the way you like it. The egg is cooked perfectly - not gooey or dry.

Toasting an Egg and Muffion Sandwich is Easy

It’s so easy:

1) Add 2 tablespoons of water to the heating tray.

2) Add your pre-cooked bacon or sausage

3) Coat the poaching tray with oil.

4) Crack an egg

5) Drop your muffin into the toasting slots

6) Select “egg/toast” and push the lever down

7)Wait 4 minutes

8) Breakfast is served.

To clean, wipe the heating tray and egg poacher with a wet paper towel. Done. And you’re off to tackle the day with a healthy and delicious breakfast stowed in the old breadbasket.

Think Convenience and Speed

Let’s expand our breakfast horizon and think of convenience and speed.

Try this combination: Use this toaster poacher along with the Mr. Coffee DRX5 4-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker, which brews 4 cups in 5 minutes. Here’s your new morning scenario:

Pop out of bed. Push the button on this 4 cup coffee maker. Crack an egg. Set the muffin in the toasting slots. Select “egg/toast.” Go shower. Five minutes after you shower, your coffee and an egg and muffin breakfast sandwich waits for you. How easy, convenient and speedy is that?

No standing over the stove heating a pan, cooking an egg and watching the toaster and coffee maker. This automated combo of a coffee pot and toaster poacher saves 5 minutes out of your life. Five minutes to do something else - dress the kids, pack a lunch, pet and feed the dog or find your car keys.

This toaster/poacher does have flaws.

Tips for Egg Muffin Sandwiches

The egg pan is susceptable to staining, so be sure you use a sufficient amount of oil. Spray with a good amount of non-stick spray and add a little less water than recommended. The egg poaching tray also can lose its non-stick coating after a while. Use a plastic or rubber spatula to get the egg out so you don’t scratch the surface. No metal utensils. Regardless of these minor flaws, it’s the best toaster/poacher out there for this price.

Here are a few tips to make a better breakfast sandwich.

Use lean pre-cooked meats or grease will drip onto your egg. If that happens, sop up the oil off the top of the egg with a clean paper towel.

It can also steam 4 hard boiled eggs at a time.

Use a bit less water if you want a runny egg. Use more water if a hard egg is your preference.

Cuisinart 2 Slice Toaster

Cuisinart 2 Slice Toaster

This toaster is here for one main reason - it has an unheard of 3 year warranty. The official designation is the Cuisinart CPT-120 Electronic Cool Touch 2-Slice Toaster.

Here are the best features of this toaster:

1) 9 browning choices

2) Bagel and defrost settings

3) three year limited warranty

Consider this. Anytime a manufacturer backs a heavily used kitchen product with a three year warranty, stand up and take notice. Three years of toasting for a toaster priced under $30 is a phenomenal deal.

Either the maker has designed an incredible product that it believes will stand up to long-term daily use, or there’s a ton of overstock standing by to replace defective items. I prefer to believe the former.

Makes the Same Toast Forever

One of the best features of this toaster is no more jumping down Alice’s rabbit hole and guessing which toast surprise lies at the bottom. When you find the toast setting you like for a particular type or brand of bread, you get the same results every time. Always and forever. It won’t pop out black one time and untoasted the next time.

The toaster is simple as pie. It has instructions for setting your toaster. Take these as hints. Experiment, especially if you’re toasting breads bought at bakeries. As we know, all bakeries are not equal and their ingredients vary, so toasting may call for testing on your part to find the right degree of “toasty” to suit your liking.

If you end up with a piece of burned toast while testing for the right setting, consider it food for your bird friends. The sparrows will love you.

Once you get it right, you get perfect toast - crunchy on the outside and soft inside. It also has wide slots that automatically adjust for bagels and muffins.

Strictly for Standard Loaf Bread

This toaster doesn’t get super hot on the surface like other toasters. It has a removable crumb tray, but walking it outside, turning it upside-down and shaking keeps it operating well. The ants will love you.

This toaster is for standard size loaf pan bread. If your toast taste leans toward anything larger than a standard size piece of bread, such as bread slices from a round loaf of sourdough, read about the toaster following this one. The slots aren’t long enough on this Cuisinart toaster for round artisan breads.

And if you don’t want your toast black, don’t go past number 6.

4 Slice Toaster

4 Slice Toaster

Sure, it’s designated as a 4 slice toaster designation. Forget that. Think Continental. With its long slots, this is a dream toaster for people who love the long slices of toasted bread from large round loaves like sourdough or artisan. The official designation is the T-Fal 4-Slice Digital Toaster, Black.

Here are the best features of this 4 slice toaster:

1) Displays a digital countdown as your bread toasts.

2) 1 to 8 browning control

3) Toasts long slices of bread

4) Toasts four slices of bread at a time

It has three features you’ll appreciate.

First, this toaster keeps the toast partly down when done to keep it warm. That gives you time to fish the kids out of bed and still enjoy warm toast on returning. Second, you can push the toast above the top of the toaster so you don’t need to take it out with chopsticks. Last, you’ll like the countdown and the “beep” when your toast is done.

Experiment With Toast Settings

Like any toaster, experiment with the browning settings until you find the one you like. It’s easy to adjust the toasting times.

The T-Fal toasts the cut side of the bagel while warming the other side. Frozen bagels are defrosted and then toasted all in one cycle.

Easy to clean. Also has a cancel button.

Finally, watch out for smaller pieces of bread. This toaster has a big spring that can literally eject the toast out of the toaster.

Breville Smart Toaster

Breville Smart Toaster

It’s difficult to pick out the “best” 4 slice toaster because people’s expectations of “perfect toast” are so different from one another. One person likes the way one toaster makes bagels while another person may not like the results from that same toaster with muffins. Because this Breville toaster solves that problem, it wins out above all others. It is truly a personal toaster, designed to please personal likes.

This toaster sports intuitive controls that insure that perfect piece of toast every time, regardless of the type of bread and individual browning preferences.

Quite simply, the Breville Smart Toaster is the Mercedes Benz of toasters - sleek, well designed, highly engineered and fun to drive. It’s official designation is the Breville BTA840XL Die Cast Smart Toaster.

Here are the best features of this 4 slice toaster:

1) One touch control

2) Variable browning control

3) Lift and look control

4) Internal “smart” chips

First off, it’s pricey - about $150. But it earns it’s expensive pricetag by placing you in control.

This toaster has fun toots and whistles.

Start by setting the level of “brown” you want. Press the “toast” button. The bread carriage slowly and automatically lowers itself and starts toasting. There’s no lever to push down. The LED timer counts down as it toasts. When that level of toasting is attained, the bread slowly rises from the toaster, sounding a “beep.”

Let’s explore a few of the high tech features.

So here comes your toast, slowly rising up...You look. You decide it could be a bit more brown this morning. Press the “bit more” button. It automatically slides back into the toaster for a “bit more” browning. Figure about 30 seconds. Then it slowly comes back up, all ready and a “bit more” toasted.

Let’s suppose you’ve set your toast to a medium brown setting. It’s toasting. You change your mind and decide you want your toast lighter. Okay, hit the “lift and look” button which raises the toast for a few seconds while the heating elements keep going. Check it out.  See if it’s toasted the way you like. If it is, pull it out. If not, the toaster then automatically lowers the bread back into the toaster for finishing.

The heat is well contained by the insulation in this cast aluminum toaster. The “toast” button doubles as a “cancel” button, bringing the toast up.

Consistent Toast All the Time

If you like your muffins and bagels toasted on the cut side but not the other, this toaster does the job.

Each piece of toast can finish exactly the same, each and every time. It makes a more consistent toast than any other toaster. Or you can vary the toasting according to your mood. You are in control.

This Breville burns hotter than other toasters which makes the toast taste better - crisp outside and soft inside.

It all comes down to this: You can buy a “throwaway” toaster that may or may not make toast you like, or buy a toaster that toasts right and lasts for years.

Breville 2 Slice Smart Toaster

Breville 2 Slice Toaster

If you don’t need a 4 slice toaster but want all the neat features above, Breville makes a 2 slice toaster. It’s designated the Breville BTA820XL Die Cast 2 Slice Smart Toaster. It’s less expensive, toasts two slices at a time and has all the toasting features of the 4 slice toaster.


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    • nthdimension profile image

      Graeme Houston 

      8 years ago from Scotland

      I need to buy a new toaster soon as mine is on its last legs. I hadn't thought about it before but I see there's a huge variety of different types. Probably I'll get a four slice toaster, to save too much waiting.


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