How to think about buying a toaster

How to think about buying a toaster

Buying kitchen appliances is a necessity for any homeowner, but it can sometimes be confusing as to what the best choice is. Even an appliance as simple as a toaster comes with its own list of features that can be deciding factors when choosing how to heat your morning meal.

Capacity

When looking at toasters, the first thing you should consider is how many slices you need to toast. Do you want to toast two, four or six slices of toast? This is down to personal preference but also to the size of your family.

Being able to toast more than two slices at once may help to speed up your morning breakfast routine, as you can make toast for more than two people at a time. The capacity will, however, influence the size of the toaster, which is another consideration for choosing this appliance, outlined below.

Size

You will need to consider the size of the countertop space your toaster will be placed on, in order to help with this aspect. A toaster will need to be kept away from any areas that could become wet, as this may cause it to become damp and short circuit  the next time you  use it.

A small kitchen will need a smaller toaster in order not to clutter the counter space or make the room feel disproportionate. For a larger kitchen, you will likely have more room for appliances and can have a four- to six-slice toaster. A larger family will need a toaster that can handle more than two slices of bread at once.

Browning control

The browning control on a toaster is a feature that has long confused people. The numbers on the side of a toaster will differ according the model of your toaster. Some offer simple settings, for light, medium or dark while others work on a timer system. Still, other toasters use a circuit that times based on heat.

You will need to consider your wants and needs when it comes to browning control. Are you a simple person who only needs to know the colour of their upcoming toast, or do you prefer to be precise and time how long your toast will stay inside for the perfectly browned slice? Choosing a toaster with basic settings is wise if you need a quick start to the day or a speedy meal for dinner.

Type of toaster

The type of toaster you want will depend on your individual needs. There are two types of toasters you can choose from, a pop-up toaster and a toaster oven. A pop-up toaster is usually a two to four slice appliance that can take only normal sized slices of bread. It is the generic appliance we think of when we think of toast.

A toaster oven, however, is a much bigger appliance and can take up to nine slices, depending on its size. A toaster oven is ideal for a larger family that needs to make multiple slices of toast, and it can also be used for other cooking functions such as grilling or baking. Your toast will not pop-up as usual but you will be able to set the ‘doneness’ of it with browning controls.

Ease of cleaning

Cleaning a toaster can be a messy business, which is why you should look for one that has a crumb tray. This will make it easier to clean the leftover crumbs from your toast without having to battle to clean the slots. Some toaster ovens have enamel interiors, making cleaning easy and efficient.

Be sure to look for a toaster with an exterior that does not show fingerprints easily, as this will make wiping it down easier. If you choose a toaster in a bright colour, try to choose an exterior material that does not show dirt and stains. A quick wipe down with a damp cloth (while unplugged) is usually enough to clean the exterior of a toaster.

Making toast is easy, it is finding the perfect toaster that is difficult. Your toaster should provide you with perfectly browned toast, every time, and should not be difficult to clean. Having a toaster that is too large for your countertop is not wise, but be sure to look for one that meets yours and your family’s needs. Find the right one and your meals will soon be the toast of the town.

 

Photo by flrnt

Authored by: Pete Anderson

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