Toasters & sandwich makers buyer's guide
Commonly seen as a partner to the kettle, toasters are used by most of us on a practically daily basis. The type of toaster you buy will probably depend on how often, and for what purposes, it will be used. If it’s only toast and marmalade that you want, a simple value model may suffice.
If, on the other hand, you have a big family with individual preferences for toasting a variety of bakery favourites, a more sophisticated product may be more appropriate. And with grill, sandwich and panini makers available, why not push the boat out on one of these? To help you choose, this guide gives you an idea of some of the features to look out for when buying a toaster.
Toaster and grills
Two- or four-slice toaster
The traditional style of upright toaster, these will produce as much or as little toast as you need. A number of models also offer additional features such as bacon grills and egg poachers for a complete breakfast.
The classic sandwich toaster is still a popular device and will happily toast two slices of bread stuffed with your preferred fillings. Many new models offer dual use by providing grilling features, too.
A variation on the standard sandwich toaster – also known as a sandwich press – these appliances provide larger, flat heated panels and are perfect for dealing with panini, ciabatta and focaccia breads.
An essential feature enabling you to select the perfect level of toasting for your bread.
Toasters with this feature lift your toast out ‘high’ above the top of toaster, which is great for small slices and lessens the chance of fingertip burns.
Variable slot width
It’s not always as simple as sliced bread – the variable slot width feature allows you to have toasted crumpets and waffles, too.
Some models have extra-deep trays so that you don’t have to empty them so often; others have easy-clean pull-out trays.
This keeps the outer housing of the toaster cool in order to prevent accidental burns.
Some models offer convenient options for reheating, defrosting and bagel toasting, as well as cancel and auto-stop functions for extra safety.