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Chris Amirault

The State of Toasters, 2011 -- or, Why Do They Suck So?

86 posts in this topic

Does anyone happen to have any recomendations on a very low profile toaster oven?

My current Black and Decker Countertop Oven works great but at 11 inches tall is only 1 inch below my upper cabinets. The varnish was peeling over where the oven is, and I have just torn the kitchen apart and painted the cabinets. After 2 weeks of stripping sanding and painting I dont want to melt the paint right off. I guess I may just have to go regular toaster for the next one.

tracey


The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

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I don't toast all that often, but when our cheap junk toaster died (or was killed by my wife, LOL) I started to look around. As I maybe use it once a month I was not tempted to spend a couple hundred on one of those pretty and fancy chrome machines. And I have an issue with the slot size on most of those, they don't fit most of the sliced bread we buy, and I like to toast a nice long slice of a chiabata etc once in a while.

While at Ace for some coals for my BGE I walked past a Hammiltion Beach Toastation which was on sale for $40 and grabbed it. I was intrigued by the long slot which will allow me to toast even a long slice of Bavarian farm bread. And it's a little toaster oven at the same time! You move a lever on top which open or close the toast slot to keep the heat in as oven function.

I'm usually skeptical with multi function things (except swiss army knives) but figured I can always return it, so why not. And you know what? Against all expectations it makes a great toast! I was concerned, since it has just two long "glow sticks" on each side of the bread, and one under the (removable but I leave it in as crumb catcher) tray, and toasters usually have that woven row of "glow threads", but no matter what bread I throw at it, it makes a perfect and even toasted toast. At least by my definition. Golden and crunchy.

I have not yet used the toaster oven function, and since I have the one slot model there's a wider two slot model too) but the tray is big enough for one toast sandwich or a slice of pizza or something like that. Of course, I'd have to sneak into the kitchen at 3am if I intended to just make one slice of pizza, w/o the kids and wife wanting one too.

Reviews on amazon are all over the place, all I can say is that I'm happy. It does not have any fancy sensors, you kind of have to play with the first slice to figure out what setting you'll need for your desired toastyness. No biggie for me.

If you look for something cheap that looks nice and works well, it might be worth looking at this little machine. Oh, and you can watch your toast while it browns through the window! The only toaster that I'm aware of where you can do that is a very expensive designer machine I saw in some catalog.

I have no clue if my toaster would hold up to daily use of a 4 person household, but so far we've had no problems. You have to watch a bit that you set the bread on the riser bar correctly, I guess it could potentially slip off once lowered into the large oven chamber, but that has not happened to me.


"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

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As promised, a video of my wicked cool new/old Sunbeam Radiant Control AT-W toaster, a marvel at all things toast. As beautiful as it is just sitting there --

Oh man, now I want one of those. I don't make toast very often and we have a serviceable Cuisinart, but even that requires watching and flipping to make even toast. Actually, one of the most frequent uses is to reheat leftover waffles that I have made in my ancient Sunbeam W-2 waffle maker. A toaster that could do that well would be greatly appreciated.


"I think it's a matter of principle that one should always try to avoid eating one's friends."--Doctor Dolittle

blog: The Institute for Impure Science

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As promised, a video of my wicked cool new/old Sunbeam Radiant Control AT-W toaster, a marvel at all things toast. As beautiful as it is just sitting there --

DSC00010.JPG

-- check it out in action:

That orange-red glow is the color of morning joy.

While antiquing today at Granny's Korner in Tomball, TX I saw one of these Sunbeam toasters. I would have bought it if I hadn't already purchased my "new" old Toastmaster just a few months back. If anyone is interested, the price tag was $39.99 and on sale with a 20 percent discount. The dealer initials are PH. I can't comment on the working condition of the toaster but it looked to be in good condition. A link to the shop's web site is here.

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Since Williams-Sonoma is offering free shipping today and tomorrow and a 10% discount on all electrics (notice came in an email), and since I have a W-S gift card that has been languishing on my desk for some months, I have decided to add

THIS to my collection of cool toasters.

I placed the order a few minutes ago and will have a few days of anticipation.

I'm sure that, as so often happens, now that I have ordered it, the price will be discounted significantly in the not too distant future but I'll just have to live with it.

As soon as it is in my hot little hands, I will take photos of it in action to see if it lives up to the hype.

Too bad that it is just a single slot. I much prefer toasters with two long slots so will continue to use my Breville for my "regular" toasting agenda or my ancient Sunbeam for regular breads.

I noted a few months ago that the automobile commercial that featured one of these as a "chestnut roaster" in one of their "too, too exclusive" segments, has omitted this toaster. I wonder if there was a complaint from the manufacturer...


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

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The Magimix Vision toaster arrived today.

Unpacked, set up and tested.

Pros: It is pretty. It toasts fairly rapidly, somewhat faster than the Breville.

I tested it with stollen, probably a mistake because of the sugar in the dough, this may have caused uneven browning.

Magimix2.JPG

Magimix4.JPG

Magimix8.JPG

Magimix11.JPG

Cons: The sides and ends get quite hot. This is NOT a cool-side toaster. It was too hot on the end for me to grasp and move it while it was toasting. The buttons do not get hot but this is not a toaster to have around small children.

It only has the one slot and unless your bread is the standard, store-bought, "regular" sized slices, you can't get two side by side, so are limited to ONE slice at a time.

Granted the slice I toasted was larger than the "standard" but not that much larger.

It's a novelty and I'm pleased to have it for my collection but I doubt I am going to use it much. And I'm very glad I didn't pay full price. If I had, it would be on its way back by now.

The next time I try toasting in it, I'll use my infrared thermometer to record the exterior temps.


Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

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I've used the Magimix Vision toaster this morning to toast a slice of frozen bread - did okay.

Toasted a split English muffin - did pretty good.

As I mentioned in my previous post, the outside surfaces get hot. I expect this in my vintage toasters, they always got hot, but with a generation growing up with cool side or cool touch toasters, (my Cuisinart, Dualit and Breville), I certainly did not expect this.

Four minutes after removing the last English muffin from the toaster, I directed the infrared thermometer at the metal housing on the front, an inch above the glass panel.

This is what I got.

HPIM4431.JPG

It was hotter neck to the slot on top and directing it at the glass showed higher heat but didn't feel as hot so I think it was reading heat from the coils inside.

That is hot enough to burn so, as I mentioned before, this is not a toaster one should allow children to use.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

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So I'm bumping up this topic as I have a question about toasters. I went through the whole topic again and it seems that Breville is preferred by a long shot to the Dualit. We were out again today looking at toasters and the store had a Waring 4 slice toaster on sale for $50 less than the 4 slice Breville. Does anyone have an opinion on the Waring? Thank you.


Edited by ElsieD (log)

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Thank you all for your very interesting discussion and recommendations. Based on what I read here, I abandoned all hope of finding an excellent modern toaster, and instead purchased a 1947-vintage Toastmaster 1B12 in eBAY. This was a Christmas gift for my significant other Mary Ellen, who's long fought with our state-of-the-art Hamilton Beach model POS (acronym) toaster that takes forever and only browns one side.

Oh my gosh. The Toastmaster, made 66 years ago (when I was 5) is amazing. It is FAST, toasts evenly, is beautiful, and is sturdily constructed. The eBAY seller inherited it from her great-grandmother, who obviously took very good care of it.

Anyways, thank you. I'll recommend vintage toasters to friends.

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Good advice!

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