Do you like toast? Of course you do.
We spent hours testing toasters to come up with this final list of favorites. Believe it or not, toasters are more complex than you think.
Although all toasters toast, not all toasters are the same. The simplest toasters will quickly toast bread with the turn of a dial and the push of a lever, whereas the fanciest options will feature more ways to customize your toasting experience.
What should I consider when buying a toaster?
When it comes to buying a toaster, here are a few key things you should be keeping in mind when selecting the best choice for you:
How many pieces?
When buying a toaster, you should consider how often you’ll be making toast and how many slices you’ll be making at a time. If you’re someone who occasionally enjoys toast, a two-slice toaster will likely do the trick. However, if eat toast a lot or consistently cook for a large group of people, we recommend opting for a four-slice toaster.
During testing, we evaluated total toast coverage and even browning.
Credit: Jenna Clark for Mashable
Different toasters have different shade levels. You should do your research before buying to ensure the toaster you choose will brown the toast the way you like. Plus, some toasters direct users to select the desired shade with a dial while others may use a lever or another kind of mechanism.
A crumb tray is an essential feature you should look for as a toaster that lacks this will leave quite a mess.
A quick view feature is also beneficial for being able to check on your toast throughout the process. Not all toasters are the same, so this allows you to be in control of how much heat you’re applying to the bread and gives you the option to remove them at any time (after pressing the cancel button, of course).
For an even comparison, we tested each toaster using its highest shade setting to see which produced the darkest and most thorough toast. With that being said, our top pick is the Breville Bit More 4-Slice Toaster(Opens in a new tab) as it toasted the most evenly and had the most visually stimulating features. However, the Cuisinart CPT-520 2-Slice Motorized Toaster(Opens in a new tab) was a close second with its large button selection and ability to cater to multiple kinds of bread.
Read on to discover more about our top five toasters, and find the one that is best suited to your toasting needs and budget.
How we tested
We hands-on tested each of the toasters on this list by cooking two large slices of the same kind of whole wheat bread in each one at the highest setting or shade level.
We tested models with varying price points from the budget-friendly options to the more expensive ones.
While testing, here are some of the things we looked out for:
Toast: We compared the toasters looking at the coverage of toasting that occurred with the use of each toaster and the amount of time it took to toast them. We also looked for whether or not the toast was even.
Best bang for the buck: We compared toasters in several categories to see if we thought they delivered on the value for the price.
Cool factor/settings: When testing these toasters, we considered whether or not they had any unique features or settings that made them stand out from each other or brought something new to the table.
Ease of use and learning curve: Kitchen gadgets (yes even toasters) may feel overwhelming, especially for those newer to the kitchen. We tested these toasters to see how intuitive they are for users as well as how easy or complex their instruction manuals and user guides are to digest and navigate.
Shade levels: We ensured the toaster models we selected had at least five shade levels.
Clean-up process: We noted how easy each of the toasters were to clean up after, as well as whether the toasters had features that helped with the process.