If you have ever shopped for toaster, you will know how difficult it can be because there are so many options to choose from. There are cheap toasters and expensive toasters, big ones and little ones, four slice toasters and two slice toasters, and a number of different bells and whistles that you can get. To help make things a little bit easier for you we put together this toaster buyers guide. A brief guide to show you what to look for when shopping for a toaster.
Figure out How Much You Are Willing to Spend
There are cheap toasters on the market for as little as $15 and there are higher-end units that are available for $75 or more. Sometimes you get what you pay for and you may have to be willing to pay a little bit more than $15 for a quality toaster. But that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank either. Figure out what your price range is before you start shopping.
Two Slices or Four
Two slice toasters outsell four slice toasters by a considerable margin. However, if you have a busy household with a lot of people that want their breakfast all at the same time, a four slice toaster may be a better choice. They will be bigger, they will take up more counter space, and they will cost more than a two slice toaster, but it would be worth it for a big family.
Many toasters have slots that are designed for sliced bread that you buy at the grocery store. However, there are some toasters that have deeper and wider slots and they are able to accommodate long slices of bread or thicker items like English muffins and bagels.
If all you do is toast white bread every morning, you won’t need special slot sizes but if you want a little bit of variety and versatility, make sure you buy a toaster that can accommodate the different food items you will be toasting.
The more convenient the controls are, the easier your toaster will be to use. Some toasters simply have a dial that isn’t labeled very clearly. If that is the case, you’re going to have to get to know your toaster very well to get consistent results. Numbered dials are easier to use but electronic touchpads and an LCD readout are the easiest to use and generally the most precise, giving the most consistent results.
Some Other Nice Features to Look for
Many toasters have a slide out crumb tray to make cleanup easier. Other toasters have a tray that is connected to the toaster with a hinge. A removable tray is a lot easier to use.
Some toasters have retractable cords which is great if you’re going to be putting your toaster away in a cabinet, or if you just want to keep your countertop looking as tidy as possible.
A handy feature that a lot of toasters have these days is a bread lifter. When your toast is done and it pops up, it may not always pop up far enough. With a bread lifter you can push a lever that will push the toast up a little bit further, making it easy to retrieve.
Some toasters today have a number of different settings that customers are very happy with. A toaster with a defrost setting is great for warming up frozen pastries. Some toasters have a warm or a reheat setting that will warm things up without burning them or overcooking them. Some toasters even have a bagel setting that will toast the cut side of the bagel to a golden brown while just warming the uncut side of the bagel.
Hopefully the tips in this toaster buyers guide will help you find the right toaster for your family. I would also recommend that you research customer reviews online. Get information from people that have already purchased and used a toaster that you are considering. This will give you an idea of what people like or don’t like about a particular toaster and it will help make your decision a lot easier.