Friday, August 3, 2012

Best Toaster in the World: Toaster Oven

Best Toaster in the World: Toaster Oven: Cuisinart Toaster Oven         Choosing the best toaster requires deciding between a toaster oven and a vertical toaster like the B...

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Toaster Oven

Cuisinart Toaster Oven      

Choosing the best toaster requires deciding between a toaster oven and a vertical toaster like the Breville toaster (Click here to read best toaster review).  The main advantage of a toaster oven is that it functions as a smaller, more energy-efficient version of a standard oven.  This capability is a real advantage for single people and empty-nesters.  The other advantage of a toaster oven is size.  For many people, the best 4-slice toaster is actually a toaster oven and if you want a 6-slice toaster then a toaster oven is a necessity.
In our sister blog (NonStick Cookware Alternatives), we have strongly recommended Cuisinart cookware – not just because of performance and price, but because Cuisinart ceramic cookware is eco-friendly.  For this post, we want to first consider Cuisinart toaster ovens.  We have specifically targeted models that have roughly 200 or more reviews with a user rating of at least 4 stars on Amazon.  Other toaster ovens are compared to the best Cuisinart toasters, but only if they have a 4-star rating from 200-plus reviewers.

Classic Toaster Oven

Cuisinart Classic Toaster Oven
Cuisinart Classic Toaster Oven
Want just a good basic toaster oven?  The Cuisinart TOB-40 Custom Classic Toaster Oven Broiler is 1800 watts so therefore it will toast bread or bagels very quickly.  It does not have convection, but unless you will be doing a lot of baking, convection may not be that important.  It does have a slide-out function that pulls the rack out when the door is opened.  This is a great way to avoid spills or burns.  It also has Always Even Shade Control.  Smaller than some other ovens, if you want a space saver toaster oven than this is a good choice.  Check your countertop dimensions before ordering.

Cuisinart TOB-40 Custom Classic Toaster Oven Broiler

6 Slice Toaster Oven

Cuisinart 6 Slice Toaster Oven
Cuisinart 6 Slice Toaster Oven
Need a larger toaster oven?  The Cuisinart TOB-155 Toaster Oven is big enough (0.6 cu.ft.) to broil a chicken or bake a 12 inch pizza.  It is not a space saver oven so check your countertop dimensions to make sure it is suitable.  It lacks a tray pull-out, but has the Always Even Shade control.  Clock and oven timers are handy for baking and broiling.  This Cuisinart Toaster Oven is powerful!   Users complain that the front gets hot and can present a burn hazard.  Please remember, it is an oven, so parts of it will be very hot.

Cuisinart TOB-155 Toaster Oven

Convection Toaster Oven 

Cuisinart Convection Toaster Oven
Cuisinart Convection Toaster Oven
The Cuisinart TOB-195 is a convection oven that is the same size (16 by 17-3/4 by 9-5/8 inches as the TOB-155.  This Cuisinart toaster oven has state-of-the-art electronic touchpad controls.  Great for baking and broiling, you will use it often instead of your conventional oven.   It has been highly rated (more than 4 stars) by over 400 hundred reviewers.   The Cuisinart TOB-195 convection oven is a very functional, but stylish stainless steel toaster. 

Cuisinart TOB-195 Toaster Oven Broiler, Stainless

Highly-Rated Toaster Ovens 

In addition to the Cuisinart toaster ovens, we found three other toaster ovens that have been rated by 200 or more Amazon customers and have received 4-stars or more.  Two of these toaster ovens are hi-tech toasters from Breville.  The other is a cheap toaster sold by Oster.  We do not recommend the Oster toaster, but include the product link for your information.  The Breville Smart Toaster Ovens deserve special consideration.  In terms of design and construction, Breville toasters are extraordinary.

Breville Smart Oven

Breville Smart Toaster Oven
Breville Smart Toaster Oven
Breville always delivers the best in technology coupled with high quality construction.  Previously, we recommended the Breville Lift and Look Touch Toaster (see previous post) and we also recommend the Smart Oven.  The Breville Smart Oven is somewhat expensive compared to other brands, but it comes with a pizza pan, baking pan, and a broil rack.  Powerful, stylish and simply fabulous from a technology standpoint, we can find no fault with this toaster other than the price and even that need not be a deterrent.  Think of the money (and energy) you will save by using this toaster instead of a conventional oven.  Incredibly, at the time of this post the Breville Smart Oven had 862 reviews.  Check out the video below.  You will love this toaster oven!

Breville Smart Convection Toaster Oven

Breville Compact 4-Slice Oven


Breville Compact 4 Slice Toaster Oven
Breville Compact Toaster Oven
Describing the Breville 4-Slice Oven as a “Compact Toaster Oven” is a bit misleading – it is compact in comparison to the regular Breville Smart Oven (see above), but the dimensions of this oven are 16-1/2 by 14-1/4 by 10 inches.  It is a Smart Oven and has the great technology that is characteristic of Breville.  Techies like Breville toaster ovens, but a Breville oven is more expensive than a comparable Cuisinart toaster oven.  The Compact Toaster Oven is a nice compromise.  If you really like the technology, but do not have enough counter space (or money) for a full-size Breville toaster oven, buy the Breville 4 Slice Toaster Oven instead.  On Amazon, the Breville Compact Oven is comparable in price to the Cuisinart TOB-195.

Breville Compact 4-Slice Smart Oven


Oster Toaster Oven 

The  Oster Digital Large Capacity Toaster Oven is a classic example of a cheap toaster oven.  The price is comparable to the TOB-40 Cuisinart toaster oven.  The Oster is basically a large, but cheap toaster oven that has convection.  Reviewers complained about various parts not working properly.  Safety issues have been raised with one reviewer suggesting that there was an electrical hazard.  Beware.  Please read the reviewer comments carefully before buying this oven.

FINAL NOTE:  We plan to discuss toaster ovens in greater detail in future posts.  Bookmark this page and check back in the future for an update.  Thanks for reading!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

4 Slice Toaster

Best Toasters

The best toaster for many people is a 4 slice toaster, especially if you have a family or if you simply love toast and need to make a lot of toast quickly.  In our first post, we highlighted the Breville Lift and Look toaster as the best toaster in the world.  The Lift and Look has only two slots, but the slots are long so it will toast four slices of normal bread at one time.  However, we want to consider the possibility that for people who simply want a good 4 slice toaster, the Breville may not be the only choice or even the best choice.  This toaster review is focused only four slice toasters that have a user rating of at least 4 stars on Amazon.  We have ordered the toasters beginning with cheap toasters and ending with the most expensive.

Cheap Toasters

Waring Professional 4 Slice Toaster
Waring Professional 4 Slice Toaster

A cheap toaster, for the purposes of this toaster review, is defined as one that costs about $30 or less.  It is relatively easy to find inexpensive and highly-rated two slice toasters, but on Amazon there are only two cheap 4-slice toasters - the Waring Professional and the Hamilton Beach 4-Slice Bagel Toaster.  At the time of this post, these cheap toasters were both priced at slightly less than $30.  The Waring Professional 4 Slice Toaster comes in either black or white, has separate controls for each pair of wide slots (great for bagels!), a high lift carriage, and special bagel and defrost settings.  The H-B 4 slice bagel toaster does not have as many attractive features as the Waring does.  We recommend the Waring  Professional.

Waring Professional Cool Touch 4 Slice Toaster


Retro Toaster   

Black and Decker 4 Slice Retro Toaster
Black and Decker 4 Slice Retro Toaster
We love the look of a retro toaster and have an entire post dedicated to red retro toasters.  The Black and Decker, like the Waring Professional described above, is a bagel toaster with many of the same features.  A bit more expensive, but if you like the retro feel, the chrome styling of this toaster is attractive.


Order a Retro Toaster!

Egg Toaster

Back to Basics 4 Slice Egg Toaster
Back to Basics 4 Slot Egg-and-Muffin Toaster
College students and people on-the-go really like having an egg toaster.  The Back to Basics toaster can make an egg-and-muffin in about four minutes.  It can also be used to hard or soft boil up to 8 eggs.  Not surprisingly, both the 2 and 4-egg versions of this toaster have been very popular.   This egg toaster has all the great features you would expect from a high-quality toaster.  The  Chefscape TEMPR 4 Slice Egg and Muffin Toaster has the same features and user ratings as the Back to Basics toaster, but costs a lot more.  As they say, it’s a no-brainer.  Buy the Back to Basics toaster!



Back to Basics 4-Slot Egg-and-Muffin Toaster



Long Slot Toasters

Breville Lift and Look Touch Toaster
Breville Lift and Look Touch Toaster
Long slot toasters are often presented as 4 slice toasters because 4 pieces of normal bread can be toasted at the same time.  Obviously, when toasting long slices of artisan bread, it is only a 2 slice toaster.  Only three models currently have a 4 star rating – the Cloer Electronic Cool-Touch 4 Slice Long Slot Toaster, the Waring 4 Slice Commercial Toaster , and our favorite toaster, the Breville Lift and Look Touch Toaster.  We have thoroughly discussed all the attractive features of the very popular Lift and Look in another post.  (Click here to learn more.)  The Cloer is somewhat less expensive, but at the time of this post, had only 2 reviews compared to the 96 reviews for the Breville.  Similarly, the Waring Commercial 4 SliceToaster has only 5 reviews and is considerably more expensive.  We will continue to monitor the user experiences of these toasters, but for now we heartily recommend the Breville Lift and Look as a great “4 slice toaster” that is in fact, the best toaster in the world!

Breville Lift and Look Touch Toaster


Toaster Oven

We have not addressed one tried-and-true method of toasting multiple slices of bread: using a toaster oven.  Although not as convenient as using a conventional toaster, a toaster oven can certainly toast bread.  Why else would it be called a toaster oven?  Of course, much of the time a toaster oven is used for everything but actually toasting bread and therein lies the advantage.  A toaster oven is a multi-purpose appliance.  Because of the difference in utility and function compared to conventional toasters, we will review toaster ovens in a separate post.

UPDATE:  We have now posted a toaster oven review.  (Click here)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Red Toaster


Do You Want a Red Retro Toaster?

The best toaster should match the décor of the kitchen.  Do you like the retro look?  It is not surprising that one of the most sought-after toasters is a simple red toaster.  Oftentimes, this is because a homemaker wants a retro toaster to match the style of their kitchen.  In a previous post, we recommended the Proctor Silex 2 Slice Bagel Toaster.  The purpose of this post is to compare the best red toasters, including the P-S 2 slice toaster.  For the sake of convenience, we compare only those red toasters that have been rated by numerous reviewers (at least 20) and have been given a 4 star or better rating on Amazon.

Choose the Best Red Toaster:

Proctor Silex 2 Slice Bagel Toaster

Bodum Bistro 2-Slice Pop-Up Toaster with Cool Touch Exterior

Oster 6595 Inspire 2-Slice Toaster, Red/Black

Proctor Silex 2 Slice Bagel Toaster

Proctor Silex 2 Slice Bagel Toaster
Proctor Silex 2 Slice Bagel Toaster
 The Proctor Silex 2 Slice Bagel Toasteris still one of our favorite toasters.  The P-S is a great bagel toaster and is also one of the least expensive toasters.  Highly-rated and cherry red, it looks like an antique toaster.  Reviewers like the wide slots and the bagel function which allows toasting of the soft side of a bagel without overheating the hard shell side of the bagel.  The P-S is also a fine muffin toaster.  Cool to the touch, it toasts very evenly.  Other features include a cancel button and cord wrap to allow easy storage.

Bodum Bistro 2 Slice Pop-Up Toaster

Bodum Bistro 2 Slice Toaster
Bodum Bistro 2 Slice Toaster
 The price of the Bodum Bistro 2-Slice Toasteris
 more than double that of the P-S toaster.  Perhaps the most attractive feature is the Bodum reputation.  We have recommended other Bodum products.  (See Kitchen Items for Coffee Lovers.)  The color of the Bodum 2 slice toaster is actually more orange-red than red.  Not exactly a retro toaster, one reviewer admired the funky style of the Bodum toaster.  The large size may be of concern to some, but it can be argued that size is essential for even toasting.  It does not have a bagel setting and the slots are small, but the Bodum is said handle thick slices of bread very well.  It has a defrost setting plus a flip-up warming tray.  As might be expected from Bodum, this is a well constructed toaster with a cool touch exterior.


Oster 2 Slice Toaster

Oster 2 Slice Toaster
Oster 2 Slice Toaster
The red and black Oster 2-Slice Toasteris an attractive toaster that will handle bagels.  The Oster toaster features a frozen option and is cool to the touch.  One criticism is the plastic construction which would seem to be unusual for a toaster.  One reviewer complained of uneven toasting.  Nonetheless, numerous reviewers have found the Oster to be a very satisfactory toaster (4+ stars).


Toaster Comparisons

We still believe that the Proctor Silex 2 Slice Bagel Toaster is an excellent toaster, especially if one is interested in a “red toaster” with a retro toaster feel.  The Bodum is much more expensive and is not as suitable for toasting bagels or muffins.  For those who only want to toast bread, the Bodum may be a good choice if one values the Bodum reputation for high-quality construction.  The Oster toaster is somewhat more expensive than the P-S toaster, but might come up short in performance.  Overall, we recommend the P-S bagel toaster.  The P-S 2 slice toaster is highly-rated, it is not expensive, and it is great for bread, bagels, and muffins.  Want a red toaster?  Get the Proctor Silex 2 Slice Bagel Toaster!  

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Best Toaster for the Money

Best Toaster for the Money!


Best toaster for bagels, English muffins, extra large slices of bread - all in all, the best toaster in the world!  Learn more.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Essential Features


The Breville Lift and Look is the Best Toaster in the World!

Breville Lift and Look Touch Toaster

Breville Lift and Look Touch Toaster


Are you looking for the best toaster in the world?  Quite a number of people have asked that same question, so at Kitchen Essentials, we decided to make this a special project.   As usual, we relied on reviews and best seller lists from three of our favorite online stores:  Amazon,, and  In our experience, the ratings from these stores do not always match so cross-comparison is important.  Furthermore, like everything else, one has to consider the essential features of a great toaster:

Best Toaster for Bagels


At our online store, we included the basic no-frills Proctor-Silex 22605 2-Slice Toaster in our Basic Kitchen Equipment List.  We still like the P-S 2-Slice Toaster, but because the difference in price is marginal, we would now favor either the Proctor-Silex 2-Slice Bagel Toaster or the Black and Decker TR1256B 2-Slice with Bagel Function.  Both of these toasters have extra-wide slots and also the capability to warm the exterior of the bagel at the same time that the inner cut-side is being toasted.  Nowadays users appreciate the bagel function and it addresses another expectation:

Best Toaster for English Muffins

Black and Decker 2-Slice Toaster with Bagel Function

Black and Decker Toaster

Ideally, an English muffin should be toasted in the same manner as a bagel.  That is, the cut surface is toasted while the exterior surface is only warmed.  Toasting the hard exterior surface only makes it tougher.  Therefore, for toasting English muffins, we essentially have a choice between the two toasters with the bagel function.  The Black and Decker and the Proctor-Silex are both rated very highly (4 stars on Amazon).  The B & D is slightly less expensive and also an Amazon Best Seller.  It is available in black as well as white.  Although none of the foregoing qualify as the best toaster in the world, each is a worthy alternative.


Great Alternatives:


Proctor-Silex 22605 2-Slice Toaster

Black and Decker 2-Slice Toaster with Bagel Function

Proctor-Silex 2-Slice Bagel Toaster


Any of these toasters will be excellent purchases.  However, in our estimation, the truly best toaster in the world must have several other features:

Best Toaster for Long Bread Slices


People who want great toast often purchase sourdough and other artisan breads which are longer in length than standard bread.   Furthermore, the technology that is available on the best toasters is considerably more advanced compared to the basic toasters described above.  For example, the best toasters available today generally have a defrost function.  When toasting frozen waffles or frozen bread, the defrost function insures a more even toasting.  For this and other reasons, the "best toaster in the world" has to be the Breville Lift and Look Touch Toaster.

Best Toaster in the World! 

Breville Lift and Look Touch Toaster

The Breville has several features that set it apart from other hi-tech toasters.  For example, the Breville has the Lift and Look function which automatically lifts the bread so that the degree of toasting can be assessed.  If necessary, the degree of browning can easily be increased by another cool feature of the Breville - the A Bit More function.
 The Breville Lift and Look has a lift function that is completely automated and lifts the bread much higher compared to most other toasters.  How many times has someone burned their fingers trying to retrieve a piece of toast?  With the high lift of the Breville, the possibility of burned fingers is eliminated.  The toasting slot is also deep which makes toasting more even.  Because the slots are long, the toaster can actually do either two slices of long bread or four slices of standard bread at the same time. 
As you might expect, the Breville Lift and Look has a bagel function as well as a defrost function.  Users also appreciate the LED monitor which tracks the toasting process.  No more waiting and wondering if the toast is about ready.  Furthermore, toasting to your personal preference can be easily accomplished because the controls are electronic rather than mechanical.  In other words, once you decide what setting results in the degree of toasting that you prefer, you simply use the same setting each time and the result is always the same.   Last, but not least, the Breville is a stylish addition to your countertop. 
The Breville Lift and Look is available at Amazon,, and Wayfair.  At the time of this writing, the price was identical at all three online stores.  Breville toasters are often out of stock so it is convenient to have more than one source.  Purchase a Breville Lift and Look from Wayfair  or go to for a Breville 4-slice Lift & Look Touch Toaster  

What about a Toaster with an Egg Cooker?


Back-to-Basics Egg-and-Muffin 2-Slice Toaster

Egg-and-Muffin Toaster

One of the most popular toasters today is the Back-to-Basics Egg-and-Muffin 2-Slice Toaster.  In fact, the Back-to-Basics Egg-and-Muffin toaster is a Best Seller at Amazon and is one of the most highly-rated toasters (4.8 on a scale of 5) at Wayfair.   It is available in a 2-Slice as well as a 4-slice style.  The toaster is no doubt excellent, but bear in mind that the popularity is in large part due to the convenience of having an egg cooker incorporated into the appliance.  People who travel or students that live in a dorm really appreciate a dual function toaster/egg cooker.  However, as an alternative approach, one could simply use the Nordicware Egg ‘n Muffin to microwave an egg and prepare a toast or muffin with one of the toasters listed above.  The Eggs’ n Muffin Breakfast Pan is enormously popular and rated very highly at all three online stores.  A Breakfast Pan costs just a few dollars and you can prepare a satisfying breakfast in just a couple of minutes!
What do you think?  What is the best toaster in the world for your household?  Please write your comments below and share this post with your friends.  Happy toasting!