Inside: The Whatthewhiz is here to help you find the BEST toaster for your kitchen! Our in-depth roundup of the best rated toasters out there right now will help you upgrade your breakfast and your mornings.
Maybe your old toaster just burned it's last slice. Or maybe you need to stock your brand new kitchen from top to bottom (yay you!). You already know that is a toaster is a must have (I'm lookin' at you, Nutella toast!) But what the heck are you supposed to look for when you're shopping for the best toaster?
You're in the right place, Mama! I'm going to explain the key features to pay attention to when you're searching for a toaster. I'll also share five pretty awesome toasters that just might be right for your family.
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Top 5 Best Toaster For Your Kitchen On The Market
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What Features Does The Best Toaster Have?
A toaster is pretty simple, right? It can be, but there have been a heckuva lot of advancements in the world o' toasters that you need to think about first. Let's get the basics out of the way first.
Type Of Toaster
There are two types of toasters. One is the top loading toaster that you're probably used to. Then you have a toaster oven. Toaster ovens tends to be more expensive and are not as simple to use, but they are way more versatile. Want to heat up a slice of that leftover pizza without heating up your main oven in the middle of summer? Your toaster oven's got you covered.
The best toaster for you will often come down to size. Standard pop-up toasters can usually either toast 2 or 4 slices at a time. If you are a single gal living in a NYC apartment you will probably want a two slice toaster. On the other hand, if you're a mom of three with counter space to spare, the 4-slice toaster is calling your name.
Another thing to think about is your bagel habit. If you just love and everything bagel with plenty of cream cheese, think about going for the extra wide slots. But if you always stick to a slice of your favorite sprouted multi-grain toast, you should be just fine with standard width slots.
Ease Of Use
I know, I know, it feels like overkill. But seriously take a minute to think about how easy your potential future toaster is to use. Are the directions clear and concise? Are the settings on the toaster itself easy to understand? The best toasters are going to be easy and intuitive to use. Remember, you might have to turn that thing on before you've even had your first cup of coffee. Also look for non-stick feet, and a sturdy way to keep the cord contained when it's not plugged in.
When you're making toast with any type of bread, it is going to have crumbs. You want to choose a toaster that has a crumb tray that is easy to remove, clean, and put back. Also, you will want to read the reviews of the toaster to see if there is a problem with crumbs collection on the ledge of the crumb tray or anywhere else on the toaster, as it could become a fire hazard.
Every toaster will have a way to control how brown your toast gets. Take a minute to really look at those settings and make sure they are clear and intuitive to you. More basic models will stick with a single dial, which may mean you'll be running it more than once to get that perfect toast. If you are leaning towards a 4-slice toaster, you may want to look for independent browning controls. That way you can keep everyone happy, even if your 5-year-old likes her toast practically burnt and your husband likes his barely browned.
Timer And Notifications
I don't know about you, Mama, but I have forgotten my toasted bread in the toaster more than once. If you, too, have found yourself in the school drop-off line with a grumbling stomach, an audible timer might be just the thing to keep your morning on track. Nobody likes cold, hard toast, and in my house that tiny little bell has been a miracle worker.
Extra Bells And Whistles
Depending on your budget, you may be interested in other useful features such as:
Now that we have covered the key features (and useful extras!) to look for when choosing the best toaster for your kitchen, let's look at a few products. You have heard me say this before, but there is nothing I love more than researching the best product to do a job. I'll give you an overview of specific features for each of my picks but we'll also get into the pros and cons of each toaster.
Most Recommended Toaster: Detailed Reviews 2020
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1. Kitchen Aid Pro Line 2-Slice Toaster - Best 2-Slice Toaster
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The Pro-Line series toaster from KitchenAid is hands-down my pick for the best small toaster. If you already own the iconic Kitchen Aid stand mixer, you'll love this toaster's coordinating style. It also has a slew of features to make getting breakfast on the table easier.
Notable Features of the Kitchen Aid Pro Line 2-Slice Toaster include:
The first thing I have to talk about here is the keep warm function. Talk about life changing! It will keep your toast nice and warm for up to three minutes if it hasn't been removed after 45 seconds.
The Kitchen Aid also includes the automatic lift and lower function. With the self-centering racks this toaster can detect when you have put bread in the slots, and it will lower the bread without having to push a lever. Once the bread has reached the level of toasty-ness you chose (from seven settings), it will raise automatically.
I love that the Kitchen Aid 2-Slice Toaster includes Bagel, Frozen, and "A Little Longer" buttons. How many times have you turned your toaster settings way down and put the bread through one more cycle to eek out one more shade of brown, and then forgotten to change the setting back for the next morning? Or maybe you had to run through two full cycles to get that bagel just right. These buttons will take care of all that fiddling around whether you want to toast a frozen bagel or another kind of specialty bread.
You might find that the toasting time on my pick for the bast two slice toaster is slightly longer. In my opinion this is a trade-off for more consistent toasting (often less expensive toasters will use higher heat for a shorter time, leading to uneven spots and burning). The Kitchen Aid toaster also does not come in as many colors as their amazing stand mixers. So if you have another gorgeous color (can you say robin's egg blue?!), you will have to consider coordinating colors rather than matching.
2. SMEG 2-Slice Toaster - Alternate Choice
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Do you absolutely adore the look of retro appliances? This toaster is available in gorgeous chrome, but if you want a sweet pop of pastel to accent your kitchen, you can get that too.
There are six colors to choose from with this toaster, making it a great option for any kitchen. More importantly though, it has non-slip feet and a hook under the toaster for the cord, so you can keep it out on your counter without it feeling cluttered.
Notable features of the SMEG 2-Slice Toaster include:
The Smeg has a stainless dial to choose the level of darkness you want. While the toaster is working the heating elements will light up, evenly toasting the bread on both sides. Within a minute you can have perfectly medium colored toast.
If you are a bagel lover, the Smeg 2 Slice Toaster has the extra wide slots you'll need. You can also use the Bagel function so that only one side of the bagel gets toasted, leaving the other side chewy and warm.
Besides being both beautiful and functional, one of the Smeg's standout features is the rewarm feature. If you're busy with the kiddos and can't grab your toast right away, this toaster will rewarm it without browning it more.
3. Breville Die-Cast 4-Slice Smart Toaster - Best 4-Slice Toaster
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If you're looking for a toaster that will help you make breakfast for your family a little quicker, the Breville Die-Cast 4-Slice Smart Toaster is a great choice. Unlike other 4-slice toasters, this one lets you control each side independently. So it works well in families where some like light toast and others prefer dark.
Notable features of the Breville Die-Cast 4-Slice Smart Toaster include:
This Breville toaster has loads of high end features that really make it stand out from other 4 slice options. The "A Bit More" setting will add 30 more seconds to the cook time, so you can have slightly darker toast without changing all of the settings. The Lift-and-Look feature lets you check the browning in the middle of the toasting cycle without having to stop the cooking process.
This toaster also has the "frozen" setting, which means you can warm things like toaster strudels easily without the center being cold.
The Breville Die Cast 4-Slice Smart Toaster will look fantastic on your counter. The best part is how compact it is, even with the four extra wide slots that can fit bagels and other specialty bread. Because of all the features and electronic parts, this is pricier than other four slot toasters. Breville is a favorite brand in the foodie world though, and they are known for their customer service.
4. Cuisinart Countdown 4-Slice Stainless Steel Toaster - best 4 slice toaster
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Let's face it, sometimes you would rather put your money towards something other than a new toaster. Don't worry, you can still find a fantastic one that is loaded with features and performs well, like this Cuisinart.
Notable features of the Cuisinart Countdown 4-Slice Stainless Steel Toaster include:
My favorite feature on this toaster is the digital display. It gives you an easier way to choose the darkness setting, but it also has a count down feature that will let you know how much time is left in that toast cycle.
The Cuisinart also has a Bagel feature, so you can evenly toast one side and leave the other warm and chewy. Definitely something you don't really appreciate until you try it - bagel lovers rejoice! You can also rewarm frozen waffles or bread with the Defrost setting.
A great extra feature on this toaster is the high lift lever which lets you raise the bread up extra high after toasting. If you tend to buy specialty organic or gluten-free bread which are often on the smaller side, this one is a life saver for your fingers.
The Cuisinart Countdown 4-Slice Stainless Steel Toaster is a great value if you want an inexpensive 4-slice toaster without skimping on features and looks. The biggest downside to this model is the beep that notifies you when the cycle is done. Frankly, it is pretty darn loud. But if you tend to get busy and forget about your toast until it's cold, you'll probably love this feature. On the other hand, if you live in a small apartment with someone who is a late sleeper, you might find it annoying.
5. Black + Decker Extra Wide 4 Slice Toaster - best toaster For The Money
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Alright, you've made it to the best budget toaster of the bunch! In fact, This toaster gives you all the settings, features, and the aesthetic that you are looking for in a super reasonably priced package.
Notable features of the Black + Decker Extra Wide 4 Slice Toaster include:
The Black + Decker Extra Wide 4 Slice Toaster has the extra wide slots you'll want to toast your favorite thick breads and bagels into crunchy goodness without them getting stuck or burning. And if you are a visual person, you'll love the indicator lights next to each function.
Even with the great price, this toaster also has the extra lift levers that will raise the toast a little higher so you aren't sticking your fingers in the slot trying to retrieve your toast. But my favorite feature is the ability to individually control each side. So if your little ones like different things for breakfast, you're all set. It is no problem to toast a bagel on one side while you heat up frozen waffles on the other, all at the same time. Total time saver.
This toaster is not designed for thin pastries like Pop-Tarts or standard english muffins ( a trade-off with the amazing extra-wide slots), so if those are in your daily rotation this model might not be the one for you. But if you need a budget friendly workhorse in your kitchen, definitely put it on your short list!
Searching for the best toaster can feel like you're searching for a needle in a haystack because there are so many options available. I hope that this buying guide was able to provide you with some insight on what to look for.
For the best digital toaster, the Cuisinart Countdown 4-Slice Stainless Steel toaster is a great option. For the best rate toaster that has everything you could look for, we like the Breville 4-Slice Die-Cast Smart Toaster.