Did you know there is more than one type of toaster?
If it’s time for you to get a new toaster, it is a great thing you’re trying to understand the different types available in the marketplace before making your final decision. You no longer have to be stuck with your standard toaster that can only toast two bread slices at a time.
In fact, most people have actually realized, by choosing their next toasters keenly, they can make a whole lot of other meals using the same appliance. To help you understand the different types better, I categorized them by design, then brand classification.
Without further delay, let us look at the three main types of toasters.
1. A regular toaster
A regular toaster is the small and usual appliance that can toast from two to four bread slices at the same time. Of course, the more slices you can toast at the same time, the more you will have to pay for the appliance.
What’s more? Most regular toasters work best if you plan to use regular bread slices with the standard size, but others do offer wider slots that do a good job of accommodating large bread slices and other pastries, such as Texas toasts and bagels.
To conclude, this type of toaster is affordable and easy to use compared to the other two types of toasters we will look at shortly.
But prior to looking at the next type of toaster, here are some features you should consider when acquiring a regular toaster.
As I noted in the preceding section, regular toasters currently come in either two or four slice capacities, even though others retail with two wide slots that can easily accommodate four slices.
In case you have children in the house and worried about their safety, then you want to consider your toaster’s housing options. Most toaster housings are made of metals that retain heat but ensure the one you choose has a “cool to touch” housing. This means that if someone comes into contact with the appliance while it’s working, they won’t be hurt.
The display isn’t a common feature on traditional toasters, but it is prevalent on the best modern toasters. Toasters with displays indicate settings you are currently on amidst usage, improving their ease of use.
Most regular toasters, both new and conventional, retail with a lift lever that allows you to lift your food when it’s done. And even though these levers are a standard feature in most toasters, new models retail with automatic lifts. Such toaster will lift your toast slices automatically when they’re ready.
The reheat function allows you to warm your toasties without toasting or browning them any further. This is a great way to warm up leftovers without losing their crunchiness. This is unlike what you would expect in a microwave reheat setting, which usually results in a soft, reheated or soggy meal.
Most toasters nowadays also retail with a defrost setting that allows you to defrost frozen bread slices and toast them in one easy step. That said, not all toasters offer this function, so you need to pay close attention to ensure you pick a model with this feature.
A crumb tray is a piece of equipment inside a toaster that collects the debris, dirt, and crumbs left behind by your toasted slices. They are extremely convenient because they allow you to easily and quickly dispose of any crumbs, which in turn makes cleaning the tool a breeze.
If you enjoy bagels or happen to want only one side of your bread slices toasted, ensure you pick a toaster with the bagel setting. The bagel setting only toasts the cut side of the bagel. While using the bagel function, ensure you place in your bagels such that the open face is facing inwards.
If you do the opposite then your bagel will be toasted on the outside.
Most toasters these days boast a feature that allows you to select how dark you would like your toasts to be. Usually, the higher you adjust the shade setting, the darker your toast will come out.
Let us look at the second type of toaster.
2. A countertop toaster oven
Just like a regular toaster, toaster ovens are great for making toasts, but you can also use them to prepare other types of meals. In fact, most individuals acquire a toaster oven as a replacement of the standard ovens which use more electricity and take more time to prepare simple meals.
In addition, the smallest toaster ovens in the market can accommodate up to four slices, but you can also find larger models that can toast up to six or nine slices of toast at the same time. If you have a big family of individuals who love toasts, then a countertop unit is a better choice because it can serve everyone at once.
Note: a countertop toaster oven will cost a bit more than a regular toaster, but they can prepare more meals as well including, but not limited to baking cookies, making pizzas, and some even retail with a rotisserie function.
If you just want a tool that can prepare toast, then a countertop toaster oven will be overkill. But if you want a toaster that can prepare other meals, this is the way to go.
What features do we look for when picking a countertop toaster oven?
Automatic Shut Off
When the programmed cooking cycle is complete or when your toaster’s timer runs out, the best toaster ovens will turn themselves off. This ensures your food does not burn any further if you are not around to remove it right away.
Toaster ovens retail with multiple cooking functions, which is the reason most people choose them. Some of these functions include defrost, reheat, warm, toast, broil, bake, and much more. I’ll explain some of these functions below
Infrared heating elements
With infrared heating elements, your toaster oven will automatically have sufficient heat to cook your meal. This means preheating will no longer be required. There are also two distinct types of infrared heating elements, far and near.
Far infrared elements are capable of penetrating your meal efficiently to cook the inside.
Just like with the regular toaster, a display is a less common feature, but it can be very useful. The display is where you see all the cooking settings currently in use.
A timer allows you to specify the period of time you’d like your meal to be cooked. This will come in handy when you are using the toast, broil, or bake functions.
Most Toaster oven models nowadays retail with temperature settings. This basically implies that the tool allows you to set the temperature you would like your meal to be cooked at.
Modern toaster ovens retail with an interior light. This feature is useful as it allows you to see the cooking progress of the food without interrupting the process.
Just like with the regular toaster, most toaster ovens allow you to choose how dark you would like your toasties to be. But note: the higher shade you pick, the darker your toasts will turn out.
3. Convection Toaster Ovens
The convection Toaster Oven is similar to the countertop toaster oven in all ways, the only difference being that a convection toaster oven comes with an in-built fan that moves hot air inside the oven around: allowing you to prepare a meal that has been cooked through and thoroughly.
This feature also allows you to prepare meals faster and more efficiently.
Features to consider
Remember, a convection toaster oven is similar in every other way to the countertop toaster oven. This implies that features you would look for in a countertop toaster oven are the same features that a convection toaster oven has.
The Best Toaster Brands
For each great toaster, you come across, there is a popular example of brand behind it. Some of the best Toaster Brands today include Avanti, Black and Decker, Panasonic, Oster, KitchenAid, Hamilton Beach, Cuisinart, and Breville.