Never underestimate the power of a solid toaster. While the conventional toaster oven can do a lot, there’s nothing like the convenience of popping in a few slices of pumpernickel, pressing the lever down, and preparing for your breakfast. While budget toasters are a dime a dozen, the best toasters have even heating and features that make for a better slice.
The modern toaster is a Swiss army knife of bells, whistles, and aftermarket accessories. A company based out of Vermont even specializes in personalized metal toaster inserts that allow individuals to singe their own selfie onto a slice of toast. That being said, the perfect piece of toast is no joke. Below are a few of the best toasters for getting your delicious carbs to the perfect crisp.
Elite Gourmet ECT-3100
For those looking to pamper their toast, look no further than the ECT-3100 by Elite Gourmet. Choose between six presets for your slices, ranging from lightly toasted to dark and crispy. The extra-wide toasting slots are a treat for artisan breads. Paired with the 3100’s self-centering guides, you’re guaranteed perfect toasting for every slice. There’s even a quick reheating function for getting your bagels warm without crisping them further.
If you want to heat a donut or other pastry, the folding warmer rack is the perfect companion. Cleanup is also a breeze with the easy slide-out crumb tray. The only complaint we can think of is a light design critique: The controls are on the front-left side of the appliance, away from the main push-down lever. If you’re looking to stage your toaster on the counter with the lever facing toward you, it’s a bit of a nuisance that the controls aren’t in plain sight. Not a huge qualm though, and certainly not a big enough issue to detract from how great the ECT-3100 is.
Cuisinart Touch to Toast Leverless
The Cuisinart Touch to Toast comes with seven shade settings and features slots that automatically adjust to the thickness of your bread and ensure even toasting. The most eye-catching feature on the Cuisinart is the front-mounted LCD display. Using a diminishing bar format, the display illustrates the remaining preparation time.
Even with such foolproof design enhancements, humans may still manage to forget about their toast once it’s left their line of sight. Thankfully, the reheat option allows you to revive your forgotten, cold toast without further browning. Designed to minimize heat on the uncut sides of bagels, you can say “so long” to burnt sesame seeds on your everything bagels with the Cuisinart Touch-to-Toast.
Amazon Basics 2-Slice Toaster
Back to basics
When all that matters is saving a buck (and enjoying some toast), we urge you to grab this two-slice savant by Amazon Basics, the online retailer’s trusted name-brand. The controls are simple and easy to access, with six different shade settings to choose from, ranging from lightly toasted to dark and crispy. The frozen mode quickly defrosts your favorite bread, while the bagel setting toasts the inside of your bagels without crisping the outside. The slide-out tray makes this an easy-clean, too.
The one trouble we’ve encountered is a slightly electric smell the first few times you use the toaster — an issue noted by several reviewers. Our recommendation: Run the toaster once or twice on the toaster’s highest shade preset. This is all it took for several owners to clear the stench from the appliance.
Dash Clear View Toaster
The built-in viewing window on the Dash Clear View allows you to keep a watchful eye on your precious toast. If it just so happens that the toaster has done everything expected of it and you forget about your now-cold toast, the reheat option can be quite useful. The Dash View incorporates seven browning settings, extra-long slots to accommodate bread of an array of widths and lengths, and an automatic shutoff function designed to give some additional peace of mind. The Dash Clear View even comes with access to the company’s expanding list of recipes.
Hamilton Beach 2-Slice Toaster
Perfect for bagel lovers
For such an affordable toaster, there’s a whole lot we like about this sleek Hamilton Beach model. It has those extra-wide slots that can easily toast thicker breads and bagels with no trouble, including guides that keep thinner slices from toppling over.
The control interface is basic, and it has three main modes: Defrost, toast, and bagel. It defrosts your frozen breads and bagels, and then toasts your slices to perfection. The bagel setting even toasts the cut side and warms the round side, so you get that perfect bagel shop-style bagel. Everything on this toaster is useful, and it’s hard to find a better price. What’s not to love?
Buydeem 4-Slice Toaster
Classy and smart
The stylish Buydeem four-slice will complement any kitchen with its retro-inspired exterior. But besides being a toaster you can actually show off, the Buydeem also has high-quality features for top toasting performance, including extra-wide slots, a removable crumb tray, and a 40-inch cord, letting you place the appliance anywhere on your countertop. Modes include reheating, defrosting, and bagel/muffin, with seven browning options for toast control. We also really like the little nonslip feet that help prevent it from sliding around. With a unique and aesthetic design and innovative features, this toaster sets itself apart even if it will cost you more than many of the other adequate yet standard options on this list.
Breville Die-Cast 4-Slice Long Slot
Sounds the alarm
Harkening back to the dinner bells of old, it’s a convenience and a joy to have an audible musical summons to the kitchen table. The Breville Die-Cast does just that. Once your toast is ready, an alarm sounds so that you and everyone in your house will know it’s officially time for breakfast. You can adjust the audible alarm to sound either high or low and mute it if the proclamation seems like a tad much.
Extra design bonuses include an LED toasting indicator, automatic toasting carriages, and a cool-touch die-cast metal exterior. It also has a Lift and Look feature that lets you watch the bread as it toasts, checking in as often as you like without worrying about triggering a pause in the process. It is a little bulky given its 15-inch length, but the concealed cord housing makes stowing it both convenient and easy.