The best toasters you can buy
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- Although the humble toaster may be a small appliance compared to the stove or refrigerator, it still remains a vital part of your kitchen lineup.
- The Cuisinart Countdown 4-Slice Toaster is the best one you can buy with its many settings and features.
Toast has long been a beloved comfort food. It's cheap, easy to make, versatile, and downright delicious. For many of us, the heavenly aroma of bread transforming into the best beautifully browned version of itself elicits treasured childhood memories.
Toast has transformed with the times. While we have been devouring heavily buttered toast with eggs at the diner for decades, toast became fancy in 2014 when San Francisco started serving up artisanal toast. Slathered with locally-sourced butter, jam, or other spreads, a single slice of the good stuff was pulling in a whopping $4. Avocado toast is an even hotter trend that shows no sign of slowing down.
If you don't want to spend that much on toast, you can always make it at home, but you need a reliable toaster. We've done the research to find the best toasters you can buy for browning your bread to perfection.
For making toast at home, there are two major types of toasters: toaster ovens and traditional pop-up toasters. In this guide, we are focusing on the more common pop-up toasters, which come in either two-slice or four-slice options.
Which one is right for you depends on both the size of your family and the size of your kitchen. If you are single and living in a cozy studio apartment where countertop space is at a premium, a two-slice toaster will probably do the trick. A family of six in an oversized suburban home? A four-slice toaster can clearly make your mornings easier.
Toaster features to look out for while shopping:
- Defrost setting: This defrosts frozen bread before switching to a different setting to toast it.
- Bagel setting: This will toast the dense bread, or anything else, on just one side.
- Different width slots: Extra-wide or adjustable slots allow you to toast thicker bread slices. Some toasters come with extra-long slots, too.
- Warming tray: This allows you to heat items - like dinner rolls - over the toaster.
- Sandwich rack: Easily warm thin sandwiches. If you butter the outside of the bread, it slows the browning process and helps warm the filling.
- A removable tray: This remains the best way to remove crumbs from your toaster.
- Reheat Function: If you tend to plop bread in the toaster and then forget about it, this allows your toast to be warmed up - without further browning.
Still, all the bells and whistles in the world don't really matter if you don't end up with great toast. Ideally, a toaster should brown bread evenly and consistently and fairly quickly. It should also be able to handle a variety of different bread or food products, be safe, look good, and fall within your budget.
Here are our top picks for the best toasters you can buy:
- Best toaster overall: Cuisinart Countdown Four-Slice Toaster
- Best budget toaster: Oster Jelly Bean Two-Slice Toaster
- Best expensive toaster: Breville Die-Cast Four-Slice Toaster
- Best designed toaster: SMEG Two-Slice Toaster
- Best two-slice toaster: Cuisinart Two-Slice Classic Metal Toaster
Updated on 12/14/2018 by Malarie Gokey: Added our toaster oven uying guide. Updated prices and formatting..
Read on in the slides below to check out our top picks.
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