It is impossible to imagine the breakfast of an average American without a sandwich, it is clear even without any dough. It comes with whatever you want – porridge, salad, scrambled eggs, or trendy granola – but a sandwich is sacred!
And understandably so: the proteins, carbohydrates and vitamins in the bread are unique and absolutely necessary in order to get energy in the morning for both physical and intellectual activity.
“Charge in the morning, Lyov! Brains, they also require it”, said Savva Ignatyevich from “Pokrovskie Vorota” and he was absolutely right.
If you remember, the heroes of a movie about the fifties used to butter the fresh bread, but modern nutritionists advise it to dry or fry: in this form it is even more useful.
Especially since it’s not at all difficult to do with one of the most popular small household appliances – the toaster.
“Names of Heroes” independent testing
Toasters that took part in the test: Braun HT 600Impression, Bosh Solitaire TAT8SL, Kenwood TTM312, Morphy Richards 44234, Vitek VT-1573 SR Tasty Slice, Phlips HD 2618, C3 Compact 2-slice, Moulinex subito, Kitchenaid, Artisan 5KTT780.
What we tested?
During the test, we checked the main thing. We have no doubt that the devices from reputable companies will work, that is toasted and heated bread. We wanted to find out if the functions you buy a toaster oven for are good, and to understand the price to quality ratio for each device.
The first thing we paid attention to is, of course, safety.
heating of the case
Almost all models performed well in this regard, since many of them have thermally insulated, that is unheated housings.
And yet, if you use some devices several times in a row for example, you have guests for breakfast and need to quickly feed 4-5 people , the body begins to heat a little.
It is unlikely to get burnt on the walls, but you can’t be too careful. One of the appliances has a case that heats from top to bottom, the upper half is hotter than the lower one, and all toasters have a hotter top panel – you don’t have to touch it.
Risk of burns when removing the toast
None of the manufacturers allow toast to be taken out with metal objects. By the way, if the appliance is also plugged in – the procedure becomes very dangerous for life. If it is switched off – you shouldn’t do it anyway as it can damage the device and above all the quartz heating elements.
But not all toaster manufacturers bother to take the toast out with their hands. This convenience depends on how high the toast rises when you finish cooking. Some models have the ability to lift the slices with levers, but not all – a couple of times we wondered what was better – to risk damaging the device or burn your fingers?
Safety instructions from the manufacturers
We must pay tribute to all companies that provided us with devices – no one forgot to warn about the potential dangers of toasters. But everyone did it so differently!
In one of the instructions we found a practical guide for raising children, in another by the way, the only one! – information that the appliance must be grounded and no extension cords should be used some urge not to use the appliance for industrial purposes and not to place it on the edge of a table and all of the following recommendations without exception:
* Do not allow the appliance or its parts to come into contact with water,
* Do not let children use the toaster and do not leave them unattended near a running appliance,
* Do not use the toaster underneath easily inflammable objects such as curtains or kitchen shelves,
* Not to fry too thick slices of bread and not to pull out jammed bread with metal objects, especially if the device is plugged in,
* Do not wash the appliance in the dishwasher,
* Regularly shake out the crumbs by taking out the special tray.
We didn’t set ourselves the task of evaluating the technical characteristics and their compliance with standards, for us it was important to understand the consumer properties of devices. Among the most important qualities we singled out:
* Ergonomics, including the convenience of the control panel,
* even toasting on one of the medium modes,
* Cooking time of 1 toast,
* The work of separately declared modes and functions – defrosting, heating buns, reheating of cold toast, browning on one side,
* The quality of printing, translation, logical and clear description, coverage of the main operating principles and functions, accessibility of technical descriptions.
Thoughts and conclusions that came to our experts during our research on the consumer qualities of toasters, we hasten to share with you!
Designers have rushed into “breakfast sets.”
We saw several trends in the design of the devices we tested. First of all, the premium appliances tend to have elongated shapes.
The second, though directly related to the first, was the move away from compactness to bulkiness. Even some of the appliances that have a direct reference to compactness turn out to be too large to “live” in a standard small kitchen.
The third feature is the clear desire of the manufacturers to seamlessly “fit” their toasters into modern kitchens in the “high-tech” style. Indeed, the combination of metallic and black colors which is exactly the color of most of our models is the best option for such interiors.
At the same time, some manufacturers, using the latest technology in terms of functionality, take our imagination back to the fifties and sixties, with an emphasis on retro-style design. At the same time the devices look no less modern and fashionable than their “high-tech” colleagues.
It should also be noted that many of the tested appliances are part of special design series of small appliances – the so-called “breakfast sets”, so in the corresponding lines they also have “partners” – teapots and coffee makers, made with them in the same style.
We paid special attention to the possibility of preserving the attractive appearance of each appliance. Fingerprints were a common problem with all toasters, this plagued all devices to varying degrees. Matte stainless steel or anodized aluminum is preferable in this respect, but the beautiful red American KitchenAid Artisan toaster will often have to wipe with a dry or slightly damp cloth.
Controls, all at the top!
Of course, for the toaster is not unimportant how convenient control panel. The devices are controlled both mechanically – levers, “sliders”, rotary switches, and electronically – buttons, sound and light indication.
We find it most convenient to have at least part of the control on top of the toaster rather than on the side of the appliance which makes you have to lean over to look at the numbers indicating temperature settings. However, such convenience is usually associated with another disadvantage – the bulky nature of the device.
In addition to the control panel, an important element of ergonomics is the removable crumb tray. On all but the cheapest model, it can be easily removed by pulling a special handle and reinserted in the same way. In the economy class toaster C3 crumb tray is specially fixed, because it is also the bottom of the device – this is not very convenient.
An important point was the “connection” with the power cord. Device for its winding and length adjustment found in almost all models, and the length varies from 95 to 115 cm. The longest power cord – 140 cm – of BOSCH Solitaire model, in the presence of wire length regulator it is very convenient, the more so, that it is not recommended to use extension cord in this case.
During the tests of the toasters do not go to lunch
The week of toasters testing will be remembered by our editorial staff as the most nourishing. At first Monday morning all the toasts looked delicious and beautiful, but when the first excitement had passed, and the first hunger had been satisfied, we became more choosy, that is – we could objectively assess the uniformity of toasting in different devices.
It should be noted that for the test we bought exactly the same special bread for toasting – these were slices of equal length, width and thickness already sliced and packed – and used the medium temperature mode. Not all devices showed the same performance, there are clear leaders and outsiders in the matter of even frying. We gave each device a second, third and even a fourth chance to evenly cook the bread, but as a rule, if it burned one side, all attempts ended the same way.
Some models with electronic control have an auto-centering function for toasts. We understood that it should help to have a uniform frying. But we didn’t notice a big difference in the results between the models that have this feature and those that don’t.
Not the toast alone..
The possibility to rehabilitate in case of uneven frying was given to those models that have a defrosting mode for frozen bread.
As a rule, this function is activated by pressing one button, and the regulator frying degree should be on the right position – we again left the middle mode – for example 5 or 6.
We were very happy with the results of these tests: the bread was cooked very evenly the high humidity probably contributes to this , not dried out, fragrant and tasty – much tastier than simple toasts.
Not every toaster was separately stated mode of heating bread or cooled toast. However, our experts felt that it can be done in any of the presented models: if not by pressing a special button reheat , then simply by selecting the minimum temperature mode.
We liked the results, except that the toasts became drier. It is better to eat them immediately after cooking!
Many models have a heating mode for buns, croissants, bagels. The cakes are placed on a special shelf, which is “hidden” in the body of the device and rises with a special lever.
The most convenient and beautiful stand is a BRAUN toaster. The function proved itself well in all models – the buns became softer, more fragrant, and our figures – farther from the reference 90-60-90.
Well, the model KENWOOD TTM312 is a very wide slot for bread, which insert a special cassette, where the manufacturer recommends heating up sandwiches. However, all companies ask that you don’t reheat very muffins, buns with cream or butter – it’s dangerous!
Browning on one side is a rather rare function, the essence of which is that the heating elements only work on one side. On one side the toast is crispy and crunchy, on the other side it is hot, soft and slightly golden. This mode is used for a variety of reasons, some people find it more convenient to bite into things, some people prefer it better, and the manufacturers recommend toasted baguettes and baguettes cut lengthwise in this mode. We liked the classic confit sandwiches made this way.
So, if you make toast in the morning you’re the smartest guy in the world! It remains to choose a similarly wise helper, which will not disappoint, but on the contrary, every morning will bring both benefit and pleasure.