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Heathcote Appliances

Toasters Buying Guide

The journey from bread to toast is more advanced than ever before, thanks to the way toasters have evolved in recent years. Toasters are now multi-tasking, high-tech pieces of kitchen gadgetry, and this buyers guide will guide you through all this wizardry and make toasting bread a piece of cake.

Nice & even toasting

The more elements inside your toaster, and the closer together they are, the better the results. This allows for more even toasting rather than the patchy and half-baked results you can expect from toasters with less elements. Generally speaking, toasters towards the top end of the price range boast superior internal workings for better overall toasting.

Pace and power

Breakfast time, when the whole family is demanding to be fed, is a big test for your toaster. Getting toast out quickly depends on the power of your toaster; the more powerful it is, the quicker it toasts, so look for a higher number of watts if time is of the essence.

Size counts

Wide slots allow you to toast more than just standard toast bread. You'll know the perils of forcing bagels, crumpets and thick-sliced bread into slots that are too narrow to comfortably accommodate them, so make a generous slot size a priority when buying your new toaster. This not only makes life easier for you, but can stop items becoming stuck in the toaster, which can be a fire risk.

Energy efficient

In some toasters, all the slots will heat up, even when they're not in use. You're right - what a waste of power! If you're after a toaster with more than two slots, check that it only heats up the slots that are being used at any one time. An increasing number of models now include this selective feature.

Easy to clean

No matter how much you pay for your toaster, bread crumbs will gather in the bottom. This can adversely affect the internal workings of the toaster, shortening its lifespan. Therefore, a toaster with an easy-to-remove crumb tray, and any other feature that assists in the cleaning of the appliance, has to be a good investment.


Friendly bread lifter - reaching deep into a hot toaster to retrieve a just-cooked item can be a painful experience, and a dangerous one if you use a piece of cutlery to help you prise it out. But this can happen when you toast a small item e.g. a crumpet that doesn't fully emerge once the slot carriage pops up. To avoid this finger-burning experience, look for a toaster that delivers extra lift when the cooking is complete.

A stylish appliance

Your toaster is one of the more visible kitchen appliances, simply because it is used so often. So one factor to consider when buying your new toaster is how it will fit in with the look of your kitchen, be it retro, modern, traditional, minimalist or bright. Toasters are no longer designed with just effective toasting in mind - they're also designed with one eye towards style, so aesthetics should also be very much part of your thinking.

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