5 Things To Look For In An Electric Toaster
A toaster is one of the most important kitchen appliances. It's your go to device for a quick breakfast in the chaos of the morning rush. Most people think that a toaster is just a toaster and you just go for the one that matches the color of the rest of your appliances and boom you're done. Well it's not that simple. If you're about to go buy a toaster, read on to find out some things to consider that you may not have thought of!
1. Control panels
Most people want a toaster that is easy to operate. A complicated control panel is usually a turn off for most people looking for toasters. The considerations for toaster control panels are mainly: First, will you use the controls? Second, will the controls mean higher chance of the toaster malfunctioning? and Finally, will the controls cause the toaster to use more power.
Most of the time, the different functions on the control panel are just presets for heat level and time so you can push one button and get the perfect result without thinking. This is definitely a time saver. However, it'll take a few uses before you become comfortable with which buttons to use.
As for higher chances of malfunctioning, unfortunately this is just a fact of life. The more moving parts something has, the higher the chances of one of those parts breaking. So if you want robust, you definitely want less buttons and moving parts.
Finally, if your toaster has a complicated control panel with LCD screen, you can be sure that it uses standby power i.e. it consumes electricity even when you're not toasting. So if you're one of those people concerned about vampire power consumers, then simple toasters with a mechanical switch is what you're looking for.
2. Size and Capacity
Standard toasters are for 2 or 4 slices. How do you decide? Well if you have a family, definitely go for a 4 slice toaster. Most modern 4 slice toasters will allow you to use only 2 of the 4 slots so you don't use all 4 heating elements unnecessarily. The good thing is if you have 4 slots available when you need it, on those relaxing weekend breakfasts where everyone in the family are gathered together, you won't end up with some people getting cold toast while others are waiting for theirs to get toasted. If you're single, or there're just 2 of you, you can consider a 2 slice toaster if counter space is limited. However, if you can afford the extra counter space, price difference between 2 and 4 slice toasters are so minimal that it's worth it to splurge a little on a bigger toaster.
Price is usually not a huge factor in choosing toasters. The reason is that most toasters are in a similar sort of price range. Even 2 and 4 slice toasters are priced very similarly. What can make a toaster stand out in price is the novelty factor. If you have a retro decor, your toaster choice is probably based on brand and style above all else. Practicality will take a second row seat. Most toasters will set you back around $30-$50 dollars. Considering they'll dutifully toast your bread for several years, it's money well spent. If you want that WOW novelty retro factor, well, price probably isn't a factor anyhow... Right?
4. Easy Clean Features
Toasters rarely need cleaning. But every now and then, you get a kid trying to toast a sandwich with a slice of cheese in the middle. Of course you're going to get a gooey mess into the delicate heating elements. Some toasters have a pull out crumb tray for easy cleaning. Others have a removable stainless steel basket for holding your bread and sandwiches. If you've got kids, the toaster with easy to clean feature might be just what you want.
5. Keep Warm Function
It's easy to get distracted with you're making breakfast. You've got the eggs going, the bacon frying and of course toast in the toaster. Click! The toaster is done, but no one remembers hearing it go click, and the toast is left to get cold while the hot breakfast is ready to serve. To solve this problem, some toasters are designed with a keep warm function. You can have it keep your toast warm after it's done toasting, while the rest of your attention is focused on making bacon and eggs. Using the keep warm function, your toast will be fresh and warm when the rest of your breakfast is ready to serve. Some toasters with keep warm functions even puts a little smiley face to greet you and your family first thing in the morning!
Some other considerations include audible controls, the color and style of the toaster to make sure it fits into your kitchen's style. If you're still undecided, feel free to browse peruse Village Bakery for more tips.