Please tell me the best toaster

Holly- KayApril 20, 2013

I will be lucky if anyone reads this because a toaster is such a non high tech appliance. I love toast and have had so many different toasters but have never found one that is actually good. I do have a friend who swears an old toaster from the 50's maybe is the best. Can anyone recommend a good one?

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Actually, there was a good discussion about toasters a few weeks (months?) ago I think in Kitchens. I think it started with a sale on some moderately expensive brand that comes in a ton of colors, posted because of a yellow one for 2LittleFishes kitchen. I'll try to link it later if I can, dinner is just about done at the moment.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 7:22PM
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Holly- Kay

Thanks Williamsen. I did a search before I posted this but couldn't find a thread on this subject. I guess I should have googled it instead!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 7:49PM
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The Vintage (1930) Sunbeam flatbed that I have on my counter in my pictures is the best toaster I have ever had. I just can't step away for more than a minute though......

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 9:33PM
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The Vintage (1930) Sunbeam flatbed that I have on my counter in my pictures is the best toaster I have ever had. I just can't step away for more than a minute though......

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 9:34PM
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Holly- Kay

Thanks NYC. I am honestly just fed up with toasters and just can't seem to find one that works well. I am going to go to your pics again to see the toaster. I swear I will wear out the link to that beautiful kitchen of yours. I just can't stop looking at it. If I had seen your kitchen before my cabs were in the works I would heve gone with walnut. I just love them!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 8:41AM
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You certainly know how to make a girl feel good! Go to toaster central dot com if you are interested in vintage toasters. Michael is great and he has wonderful stuff. Not sure all of his inventory is on the website but I am sure you could contact him.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 9:17AM
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Holly- Kay

TY NYC I will do just that!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 9:27AM
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Holly- Kay

Oh my! I just got off toaster central! I looked at the 1930 models as we both have an affinity for that era, as we have two 1937 Studebaker cars (a sedan and a coupe), a 1937 Stude truck, and a 1939 Studebaker Coca Cola delivery truck.

Just love some of the 30 models but the one that I really loved was sold. Then I looked in the 40's and later and saw a Toastmaster that looks exactly like a model that we had when I was a youngster. I really think I need that toaster and love the idea of using a made in the USA vintage toaster. Thank you soooo much! I am going to email Michael and inquire about it.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 10:15AM
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We have gone through probably 5 toasters in 10 years. I get so fed up. The last one I had was the Cuisinart and only toasted on one side well. Toasted poorly on the other side. Before that I had another brand that was expensive that quit toasting altogether after a couple of years. After looking closely at the reviews on Amazon I have come to the conclusion that the expensive toasters do not last any longer than the cheap this is the one I have had for a few weeks. So far, so good. About $40. Hamilton Beach.

Keep in mind that my family works a toaster hard ie: toast, frozen waffles, bagels, toaster pastries, frozen hash browns.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 12:20PM
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Toaster models get introduced and discontinued so frequently that I am not going to attempt to answer your question directly. But I can offer some guidelines.

The most important "feature" in any modern toaster is that it have a shut-off mechanism (preferably redundant shut-off mechanisms) that is independent of the position of the toast elevator (in pop-up models). Two many toasters depend upon the elevator popping up to shut off the heating coils. But the mechanism can jam (for instance, by the toast folding over), and then the toast keeps getting toasted darker and darker until it catches fire. Entire houses get lost that way.

Most toasters these days have guides that center the slice in the toaster, so that the slot can be wide enough for, say, a half bagel, without having a skinny slice of bread lean sideways or get much closer to one heating element than to the other. But only a very few (the better ones), actually move the heating elements themselves as part of that centering action. It is worth your time to seek out toasters where the planes of the heating elements move along with the centering guides.

In general, heating elements that look like skinny glass tubes provide a more even heat than heating elements that look like zig-zag wires.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 1:40PM
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holly---I bought a toastmaster toaster, (2)waffle irons and (220v)electric kettle from toastercentral.
I love the toaster, it's beautiful ! If I have a large slice of bread(from a round loaf) I flip it half way through. It's perfect for sliced pan loaves from the bakery.
The waffle iron I need to figure out what I'm doing wrong with the batter(2x it was PERFECT 2x it stuck). I have not used the electric kettle yet but it is in great condition. I was going to give the 2nd waffle iron as a gift but was told the couple have a new one probably from BB&B :(. Still debating what to do...maybe get myself one of the cool looking egg cookers.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 3:01PM
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Five years ago, 30-year old toaster that got thrown out simply because the side of the case had sprung loose: Put indicator on medium > lower sliced baked item > three minutes later medium brown toast pops up. Put indicator on black, dark toast pops up.

Replacement toaster, a cute little art deco Sunbeam chrome job that my wife fell in love with: Put indicator on black > lower sliced baked item > three minutes later warmish sliced baked item pops up > repeat steps again to get medium brown toast OR repeat steps a third time before getting medium brown toast, although occasionally by then you will get burnt toast, so toss it and go back to the beginning.

There is no item in our kitchen that I hate more, so yeah, I can empathize. After reading all these threads on toasters, I'm afraid to buy another one.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 3:09PM
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Holly- Kay

RMTdoug I knew I couldn't be alone in my toaster love/hate relationship. I have gone through 5 or 6 models in the last 10 years and ready to toss yet another one.

Thanks for the info herring. I never knew there was another way to toast than the little wire thingys in a toaster. I guess I never thought to actually look inside but then almost all my kitchen type purchases are done through Amazon.

Red Lover, what a cute toaster! It is very retro and I hope it serves you better than your previous ones did!!

Eatreal, I just loved toastercentral. I fell in love with that Toast Master as it is exactly the model I remember. I then went and searched the other items and I am going to buy a popcorn popper and possibly a waffle maker even though I am satisfied with my Cuisinart one. I also saw the sweetest little sandwich grill but it would be eye candy only as I doubt I would actually use it to grill sandwiches. I need to reign in the electronics monster in me, and add the sandwich grill to my "I want" list!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 4:43PM
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Dualit is the company from that thread, it was from October (!), guess I've been a little absorbed in this kitchen planning.

I have had great success with our Delonghi toaster oven, it's 8 years old and we use it all the time! Mostly for cooking, but also toast on occasion. Might not be what you're looking for, but an option.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 5:22PM
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Holly- Kay

LOL Williamsen! Kitchen planning is definitely a time absorber! Thanks for the info!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 5:47PM
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Dualit was a favorite toaster on the Kitchens thread. I've had one for 25 years and it did a great job for so long. Just before we moved, I bought a new one for our other place on the fly when the old one broke. It's a Cuisinart and I put the Dualit away because this one honestly (for about a third of the price) did a better job IMO.

The Cuisinart toasts evenly, has a bagel setting, has reheat, has cancel. My Dualit toasted evenly enough but had none of the convenient settings. It also doesn't have the spring that usually breaks on toasters -- just a lever.

But I prefer the Cuisinart so it's become the backup.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cuisinart toaster

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 6:22PM
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99% of the time I make all my toast on my Griddle.
makes far better toast than any toaster ever will.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 6:33PM
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Dualit has a simple manual control lever to raise and lower the bread slices at any time. They stay warm after the cycle is complete until you raise them for removal.
So simple but once you've used it you can't go back.
A friend is Scottish and seems to include toast with many of his quick meals. This brand is still made in the UK
for a strong domestic toast loving market. The quality is there even for our 120v versions.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 6:39PM
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Do you live in NYC? I thought you might. If so, have you visited Michael's booth at the Columbus Avenue flea market on Sundays? He brings some of the really cool stuff with him when he sells there. But he only likes the warm weather so haven't seen him yet this spring. I have been meaning to ask him if that was one of his toasters on the episode of Downton Abbey when the downstairs got the newfangled toaster thing (and burned the toast of course).

You sound even more obsessed with the vintage stuff than me! I agree, the egg cooker looks cool.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 6:52PM
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Holly- Kay

Eatreal & NYC, I loved the little egg cups. I keep hens so I have fresh eggs every day. Our girls free range part of the day and eat healthy food with no antibiotics so the egg cookers seemed like something I should have! I am still longing for the little sandwich grill though.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 7:54PM
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I have a Sunbeam from 1952. It belonged to my grandparents, and they bought it new. It's been used steadily ever since. I've been using it (and loving it) for over 30 years. My Mom still regrets letting me have it!

Here is a link that might be useful: Toaster love

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 8:51PM
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OT nycdevil-Yep. I am yet another sad person who can't vent to the outside. What hood did you get and how is it working ? so frustrated trying to get reviews on these re-circulating hoods...
No I didn't go to the flea market yet since Michael said he goes back in the Spring. I picked up the toaster at his apt. My god he has beautiful toasters there...all lined up waiting for good homes :). Very nice man. He had quite a busy Christmas season. The toaster I bought was a birthday gift, and the waffle iron a Christmas gift for my SO. The electric kettle is to bring overseas...

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 12:37AM
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Eat--I have a Modernaire 1200 cfm hood vented to the outside, so it works great. Our coop board has allowed people to do it. We are in a landmark district but my kitchen faces into the courtyard which is not visible from the street, so several people have vented their hoods outside.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 6:03AM
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Thanks nyc, blast I can't do that at all. I was hoping you had a recirculating hood...

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 8:12AM
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i am partial to my magimix toaster. been working great and toast evenly

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 10:38AM
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I haven't bought it yet, but I've had my eye on this Breville Die-Cast Toaster. I am entranced--I admit it--by the "slow lift", i.e. the toast does not pop up, it slowly lifts up. I am such a sucker for that kind of stuff. Also, I like how you can see how much time is left on your toast. And, the "Lift and Look" feature which allows you to lift the toast for a peek, then takes it back down for more toasting if needed.

What has stopped me from pulling the trigger to purchase: the price, $127, when I see Hamilton Beaches for $35 getting great reviews. And the Breville's wildly skewed Amazon reviews between 5-stars-this-is-the-greatest-toaster-ever to 1-star-my-toaster-broke-in-6-months-it-makes-bad-toast. I just wish the reviews were more consistent, cause I don't want to be one of the ones to get what seems to be prevalent lemons.

Here is a link that might be useful: Breville BTA820XL Toaster

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 6:51PM
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I read through that link you posted just yesterday. I must say I'm impressed with those old Sunbeams, unlike the new one we have. I think I'll start looking for one of these locally or some other old-school toaster. I make toast for breakfast every morning and all we need at our house 99% of the time is something that will properly toast two pieces of store-sliced whole wheat bread or occasionally whole loaves sliced at home. I can't believe today's manufacturers can screw up such a simple thing.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 7:09PM
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Holly- Kay

Thanks for all the info! I am thinking the vintage Toastmaster will be my next toaster though I am going to hold off for a bit. DH and I like to go antiquing so I may find a great one and ship it to Michael for restoration.

Rmt I so agree with you. I told DH yesterday that we should research the components for toasters and start our own little toaster company.

Hj I will google the magimix. That is a brand I never heard of.

AK the Breville seems to get good reviews on Amazon. I hate spending that much money on something if it is not made in the USA, I didn't see where it is manufactured.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 9:27PM
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The very best toaster ever made is the toaster oven!

I have the Breville Smart Oven now (love it!), and had used a Cuisinart toaster oven for over 10 years before that. I gave up using a toaster probably 30 years ago and have not missed it for even a single moment since then.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 4:28PM
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Holly- Kay

Karen, I had a toaster oven and hated it. It was a long time ago though so maybe they have improved since then. I am going to check out the Breville on Amazon.I always like to read the reviews before I decide. Thanks for taking time to post!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 7:32PM
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I bought a Breville smart oven during our kitchen renovation and everyone in the family loves it!

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 10:37AM
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I second KarenLee's comment about the Breville Smart Oven as a toaster. Like kal34, I bought mine during kitchen remodel, and it is the one appliance that absolutely earns a permanent place on the counter.
Easily the best toaster I ever had. It accepts slices of any size (well, almost--not sure you could slice an artisan loaf lengthwise and get it in the oven) and any thickness. You can choose the darkness and observe whether it is right or not.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 8:32PM
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Breville smart oven owners,

How easy or difficult is it to clean after baking/broiling?

IMO, DeLonghi is a nightmare to clean. I clean spills but have practically given up on "baked on" splatters.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 4:35AM
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Elena- what model do you have? We have a dl as well. It looks great and is about 5-10 years old. It is solar to the breville in appearance. I am sure if I cooked a lot of spatter goods that I would have stains but I guess most ofy items don't spatter

As far as toast- it makes nice toast but takes about 4 minutes or more. We don't eat much toast so it works for us

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 5:00AM
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Back about 1949 Consumer Reports tested toasters and found a cheap "best buy" one that I bought. Then I saw the model that they described as a runner up but it cost a lot more. It was the top of the line Procter (not Procter-Silex). It could make toast of any color evenly but it also had settings for dryness. The dryer the setting, the more on-off cycles it did, so it took longer to get to a certain darkness. Dried out the toast. It wouldn't do bagels or any of the things modern toasters do though. I have to agree with herring-maiden about safety in shut-off mechanisms. Well thought out. No one has discussed this feature by brand of toaster. Wish someone would.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 10:00AM
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Rosie's link leads you to amazon, sigh, where there's no "good deal" just normal price. BB&B is $50 cheaper if you have the coupon. (Less tax of course.) Dont worry about the fine print on the coupon- according to my local store Miele is the only brand they enforce.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 12:41PM
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