The holiday sales coming up are a great time to pick up those small home appliances you’ve been meaning to purchase as a gift. Or why not treat yourself to an upgrade or replace a broken or nonfunctioning appliance. You have lots of options when searching for this type of appliance, but let’s talk about toasters and toaster ovens.
Consider these tips when shopping for a toaster or toaster oven.
1. Which one you should you buy? You may find that you want to have both available. But if you have a choice you can compare and contrast. Toaster ovens can toast up to six slices of bread, bake cookies or reheat pizza. You can’t do that with a basic toaster. But if you’re just looking for breakfast toast or bagels, or if you need to safe space, a toaster may be what you need.
2. If indeed you or the recipient of your gift like morning bagels, make sure that toaster has slots wide enough for bagels and that it has a bagel setting to heat the cut side of your bagel. You can find bagel and wide-slot toasters with either two slots or four slots.
3. Don’t be impressed with the six slice toaster if you live alone if you’re buying for newlyweds. It may be cool to toast up to six slices at once, but who really needs to do that on a regular basis? Besides, life is too rushed anyway, it’s okay to take a few extra seconds to toast more slices.
4. For a toaster oven, get the model with the auto shut-off feature. Yes, it may add to the price. The peace of mind it brings is worth it. This is essential for a family with kids, or elderly relatives. But seriously, can you really say that you’ve never rushed out the door to work only to wonder if everything was turned off? Don’t take a chance with safety.
5. Some toasters come with a lift feature that lifts up the bread when it’s toasted. This can be especially helpful if you like to toast English muffins or breakfast pastries. Don’t even think about trying to dig it out with a fork.
6. Singled people, or elderly adults can get a lot of use out of a toaster oven that bakes, broils and roasts. There’s no heating of the full oven. But don’t discount the ability of a toaster oven to bake a nice meat loaf or roast some vegetables.
7. You can consider a toaster oven with a rotisserie feature. This can beautifully roast a chicken. But don’t spend the extra dollars unless you know it will get used.
8. Snack items like frozen pizza bites are easy in a toaster oven. And in your regular toaster you can have waffles or breakfast pastries.
9. A removable crumb tray is essential as is a nonstick interior finish.
10. The best finish of your toaster or toaster oven may depend on the style of your kitchen. But keep in mind, varying finishes can affect how easy it is to keep your appliance looking clean and shiny. Don’t be afraid to try out your finger prints on a model in the store. Keep in mind that not all stainless steel finishes are easy to clean.
11. Browning control on your toaster allows you to select how light or dark you want your bread toasted.
Spending a little more for this feature will give you more even browning and control of your results.
12. You can find a relatively inexpensive toaster that will meet your needs. Plus spending a little more will guarantee that you get a longer shelf life.
Lauren Q. Hill is a freelance writer with experience in a number of different fields. She obtained her B.A. in Journalism. After graduating Lauren moved to New York City to pursue a career with a newspaper company as a journalist. After working as a journalist for several years she decided to get married and start a family.