You must have come across the mantra that states the breakfast is arguably the most essential meal of the day. As a matter of fact, lots of people around the world have accepted that the quality of the 1st meal they will have during the day can greatly influence how the rest of the day will turn out.
With that in mind, the category of breakfast options is quite broad, but there is no denying that one of the most popular and standard varieties is a perfectly toasted bread slice and a cup of coffee. That said, achieving any of these is quite impossible if you do not have the best toaster in your kitchen.
I know what you’re thinking, “but I can get one of those at the restaurants around my neighborhood.” Well, while that is true, take it from personal experience when I tell you that nothing can beat a homemade toastie.
With that in mind, I understand you may not be acquainted with these appliances, and that is why I decided to create this post that will explain everything from the definition of a toaster to how to choose the best one from the marketplace.
Without wasting any more of your time, let us skip to the main section of the post and start by defining what a toaster is.
Toaster Meaning in English?
Simply put and just as its name implies, a toaster is an electrical kitchen appliance used to toast and brown bagels, English muffins, croissants, and bread slices. This appliance was first invented by Alan MacMasters in 1893.
For a better understanding of how these masterpieces work and their different parts, here is a detailed summary on the history of toasters. Ensure you check it out.
Now that you understand what a toaster is, let us take a look at how many types are there.
Types of toasters
Thanks to technological advancements, there are two main types of toasters, the first type is pop up toasters and the second is countertop toaster ovens. Let’s take a look at both of them in detail.
Pop up toasters
Nowadays, these appliances are just regarded to as “toasters” without the qualifier. So anytime, someone mentions a toaster, simply picture a small kitchen appliance with either four or two slots on the topside where you can drop your bread (croissants, English muffin, or bagel) slices inside to toast. When the slices are sufficiently toasted, they will pop up (hence the name pop up toasters), so you can easily retrieve them without hurting or burning your fingers.
In addition to that, some pop-up toasters will work best with your average-sized bread slices but there are others with significantly wider slots that can easily accommodate the thickest bread meals out there, including but not limited to pastries.
Compared to toaster ovens, pop up toasters are also cheaper, readily available anywhere, and extremely easy to use.
- Easy to use
- Compact to save on space
Countertop toaster oven
Countertop toaster ovens can make delicious toasties just like a regular pop up toaster, but their biggest advantage is they can do a lot more. In fact, lots of people nowadays acquire these appliances to replace their standard conventional oven, which takes more time to cook while at the same time consuming more energy.
And in case you are saving on space, then you can also find four-slice countertop toaster ovens that are compact. But if space is not an issue, feel free to acquire larger models that can easily accommodate up to ten slices at the same time. This also makes it the go-to appliance if you have a big family of toast lovers.
In regard to price, countertop toaster ovens cost a little more compared to pop up toasters as well, which is understandable since they deliver a wider array of uses. As a matter of fact, most modern countertop ovens can even make pizzas or bake cookies. And if you choose carefully, you may get one that retails with the rotisserie function as well.
- Retails in both large and compact sizes
- Can be used for much more than just making toasts
Things to consider when choosing a toaster
Now that you clearly understand the different types of toasters out there, let us skip to a more exciting section of the post and look at the factors one ought to consider when choosing their next toaster.
If I’ll be 100% honest, this is undeniably the most overlooked factor when people are choosing a kitchen appliance, and that is why I decided to put it in the first place. Regardless of how great the appliance you choose is, it is useless if you’ll need to replace it in a couple of months down the line.
But if you add durability to the equation while making your choice, you can get an appliance that can keep serving your family for years. For instance, our oldest toaster has been serving our family for more than ten years and to this day, the toasties it delivers are super delicious.
To ensure that a manufacturer has faith in the appliance they have created, ensure the toaster you are about to choose retails with a warranty. A one-year warranty is usually sufficient to give you some extra peace of mind.
It isn’t the worst idea in the world to ensure you pick the best toaster that can also save you lots of money. As a general rule of thumb, to determine the energy usage of a toaster, check how many slots are heated up at the same time.
This implies that four-slice toasters will usually consume more energy compared to 2-slice toasters. Be ensure you pick an appliance that has the exact number of slots you think you will need.
Another thing worth noting is that toaster ovens need more energy compared to pop up toasters, which is expected given their size and number of uses they can deliver.
Ease of use and maintenance
Most toasters nowadays are easy to use mainly because they retail with manual guides and also have LED controls that keep you posted on the current setting you are currently on. So, the main thing you ought to focus on, is the appliance’s ease of cleaning.
Always ensure you pick an appliance with a removable crumb tray. This makes the appliance easy to clean because it will collect all the dirt and debris. And when it is time to clean it, all you ought to do is take it out, wipe it using a damp cloth, and put it back into the appliance.
As for toaster ovens, ensure that the one you pick has a non-stick interior surface.
Needless to say, a toaster oven will cost way more compared to pop up toasters. The most basic toaster oven will retail for approximately $65 whereas a basic pop up toaster can go for as low as $15. On the more advanced end of the spectrum, a toaster oven will cost around $600 whereas a pop-up toaster will go for around $200.
When it comes to considering the size of the appliance you will acquire, you ought to ask yourself three questions:
- How much kitchen counter space are you willing to sacrifice?
- Do you often toast thick bread slices such as English Muffins?
- How many slices would you like to toast at the same time?
Once you figured out the answers to the second and third questions, then you can easily determine the size of the toaster you are about to acquire by looking at its product description. But note that the second question will usually only apply to regular pop up toasters.
That said, both those questions won’t matter if the appliance you come across cannot fit on the space you have set aside on your kitchen counter. So, make sure you find the best balance between the three answers.
What’s more? If you decide to pick a regular pop up toaster, ensure you choose one that’s slots can fit items such as Texas toasts, English Muffins, bagel slices, and even Croissants. This feature will come in handy in the future.
There you have it, my detailed guide to toasters. If you are psyched up to acquire your first toaster, then I recommend, that you take a look at the post on the best 2-slice toasters. It will give you an idea of what to expect based on the appliance you will choose.