We are always on a quest of finding small machines that can replace our current appliances and save kitchen counter space. That is one of the reasons a toaster is a main kitchen appliances in American households. They are energy conscious and also space saver.
Having said that, the process of picking the best toaster is always a hassle. And the main reason for this is the fact the market is flooding with toaster models, all claiming to be the best of the best. Worst yet, most people run into the marketplace without even first understanding the basics of a toaster and how it works.
How can you pick the best of something if you do not know how it operates and the features that separate them from the best?
That is why I decided to create this post explaining what a toaster is and giving you all the basic knowledge required to guide you sufficiently as you go on the hunt for your next, best toaster.
Without further delay, let us start by looking at;
What is a toaster?
Defined simply, a toaster is a user-friendly and simple kitchen appliance you can use to lightly cook and toast bread slices so they become crispier, darker, and tastier. When using these appliances, you will need to adjust the tool’s knob in order to choose how dark you would like your bread slices to be toasted.
After that, you will slide your bread slices into the toasting slots and then press the lever on the front side of your appliance so the toasting procedure can begin. In the next section, we will clearly look at a step by step guide on how to use a toaster.
But as a general rule of thumb, always keep your nose open as you use your toaster to ensure it is not burning.
How to work a toaster
There are different types of toasters out there, all with different features that make their usage procedures unique. That said, this section of the post will touch on general procedures that one will go through when using a standard toaster.
1. Put a slice of bread into each slot on the toaster
f you wish, you can toast just a single slice on a multiple-slots toaster, in which case, you will only need to choose one slot and place your bread slice in. if you are dealing with a single slot toaster with a long slot, then it can probably fit two bread slices.
In addition, the direction in which you decide to place your slices into the appliance does not matter, but the most natural way is to insert the bottom first.
2. Set the toasting level
After step number one it is time for the toaster settings. Use the adjustment knob on the front side of your toaster and choose how dark you would like the toast to be. On most toasters, there are multiple toasting levels, from number one being the lightest setting to the highest setting being the darkest.
If it is your first time using a toaster, I urge you to pick between the 2nd and 3rd setting. This way, your bread slices will be toasted medially, and in case the darkness does not entice you, you can toast it again.
You will realize that other toasters also include different settings such as bagels, toast, and waffles. In such cases, simply pick the settings that best matches whichever meal you are preparing.
3. Press the lever downwards to begin the toasting process
Give the slices sufficient time to toast. During this procedure, it is also crucial that you keep your nose open to smell for burning. The toasting procedure shouldn’t take longer than a minute or two, depending on how dark you would like the toast to be.
Even though most toaster will be timed and will pop the bread slices up automatically, I urge you to ensure you never leave your toaster unattended. This way, in case the bread slices begin to burn, you can quickly pop them out manually.
If you need to pop up the bread slice manually, simply hold the top side corner of your toaster down while you lift the lever up. However, I only urge you to do this if you notice the bread slices are starting to burn.
4. Remove the food
You’re are done toasting your meal. When the lever automatically pops up, it indicates that the toasting procedure is over. Use your hand and take out the toasts. You can also use wood tongs, but since the bread slices are nicely raised, you won’t need to worry about burning your fingers.
For your own safety, ensure you do not use anything metal to retrieve the toasts. You may electrocute yourself.
Now that you understand how to use your toaster, let us look at the more advanced brother of toasters, the toaster oven.
Toaster ovens are the innovative versions of the toaster. They are bigger, and also permit you to be creative in the kitchen. Compared to using a regular toaster, a toaster oven also allows you to prepare meals easily and quickly for different occasions.
Below is a list of different uses for a toaster oven
1. A toaster oven can make small batches of individual cakes, muffins, and cookies
2. Dehydrate vegetables and fruits
When using the toaster oven to dehydrate your meals, set the temperature to the lowest setting. Subsequently, slice your vegetables and fruits and place them on a baking sheet then cook for several hours until the meals are completely dehydrated
3. Roast vegetables and meat
Unless your family is a big one, you can use your toaster oven to prepare a healthy, delicious meal for yourself. You can quickly roast turkey, beef, chicken, pork, or other different types of meat.
4. Bake a pizza
Depending on your toaster oven’s size, you can usually quickly bake up to a 12-inch pizza. This is the standard sized pizza I noticed can fit in most toaster ovens. You can also make your own bagel pizzas and English muffins using any of your favorite ingredients.
5. Reheat leftovers
When you reheat meals in your microwave, they usually come out inedible and soggy. This is usually because the microwave reheats by vibrating the water molecules in your meal. Using a toaster oven to reheat the leftovers, however, will retain both your meal’s flavor and texture
6. Roast nuts
7. Make baked potatoes
8. Defrost frozen ingredients
9. Melt cheese on top of your meal
10. Warm your plates before serving
11. Cooking side dishes such as the stuffing while your main oven is occupied by something bigger like the turkey
Now I guess you know why you ought to consider getting a toaster oven as well. They are more functional and energy efficient.
With that in mind, let us look at a brief history of the toaster, so you can appreciate how far this invention has come.
History of the toaster
Electric toasters have been in existence for less than a decade. However, consuming bread has been a renowned practice over the last 6,000 years and people have been toasting their bread since the time of the Romans.
Before the invention of the electric toaster, individuals toasted bread over open fires with the help of a wide array of simple tools. Just like today, toasting bread back then was more than just a way to preserve it.
It changed its nature and the bread because crunchier, sweeter, and the surface became a great place to spread all sorts of things.
The first electric toaster wasn’t invented until 1893 by Alan MacMasters in Scotland. He called the device the “Eclipse Toaster,” and it was marketed and manufactured by the Crompton Company.