As we all know, Toasters and Toaster Ovens are very convenient appliances to have in any Kitchen. Given the prominent place this appliance has on many countertops, style is important, but you also want your toaster to make great toast. With that being said, toasters and toaster ovens have been around for a while and there are plenty of new technologies and advancements that have been added to them over the years, so keep reading below to find out more!
For assistance selecting the perfect toaster or toaster oven for your home, contact one of our Gourmet Shop Sales Associates at 888.228.5800.
Toasters are very convenient, fast and easy to use. You can find them in a wide range of colors and styles and they can even match your kitchen and other small appliances.
When you are choosing a toaster you should consider the size of it. There are models with 2 and 4 slices, as well as ones with a Bagel feature. If you have a large family or are a toast fanatic, the 4 slice toaster might be the one to go for. You should also consider the amount of space that you have in the kitchen.
Standard Toaster Ovens
Toaster Ovens are ideal for cooking small quantities of food. They preheat quickly and are capable of toasting baking, broiling and more. These appliances are useful as second ovens or can be used in place of a large oven to reduce energy consumption.
Convection Toaster Ovens
Convection toaster ovens use a stream of power-driven air produced by a high-speed fan that swirls continuously over a standard heating element. This results in uniform temperature throughout the oven, which not only speeds cooking but also saves up to 50 percent of the energy used by conventional ovens. Convection toaster ovens are more efficient than microwave ovens for larger amounts of food, though they lack the size of conventional ovens.
Toasters currently come in either a 2 or 4 slice capacity, though some offer 2 wide slots that can easily accommodate 4 slices.
If you enjoy bagels or happen to only wish to have one side of a piece of bread toasted, you will love having a Bagel setting. The Bagel setting lets toasters toast only one side of the bagel instead of both. When using the Bagel setting, be sure to put the bagel in so that each open face of the bagel is facing inwards, otherwise your bagel will only be toasted on the outside! Most toasters that feature a Bagel setting will have an image that indicates how to properly place the bagel.
Most toasters usually have a feature that lets you select how dark you want your toast to be. Typically, the higher the shade setting the darker the toast will turn out. Be sure to pay attention to the specific model's instructions to properly select your perfect shade.
Many toasters now come with a crumb tray. Crumb Trays are extremely convenient because they easily are removed, letting you quickly dispose of any crumbs. Crumb Trays also help make cleaning the toaster a breeze.
Some toasters feature a Defrost setting that will defrost your bread and then toast it in one easy step. Defrost settings come in handy for any family that typically freezes their bread. Not all toasters offer the ability to defrost, so be sure to pay close attention to the specific models features prior to purchasing.
Toasters that feature a Reheat setting will reheat your food without any browning or toasting. A Reheat setting is a great way to warm up leftovers without losing the crunch. Toaster Reheat settings are unlike microwave reheat settings, which typically result in soggy or soft reheated food.
Most toasters both old and new feature a lift lever that lifts your food up once it is finished being toasted for easy removal. Though lift levers are quite typical in toasters, some newer toaster models feature automatic lifts. Toasters that feature an automatic lift will lift your toast with just the press of a button.
Displays are not as common when it comes to traditional toasters, however they are frequently found on toaster ovens. Toasters with displays may indicate the setting you currently are on, the shade setting, or even the time remaining. Though displays may not be common, they do offer a convenient way to ensure that you are on the desired toast setting.
If you are worried about safety, you may want to consider the toaster housing. Toaster housings that are made out of metal typically retain heat. However those that feature cool reach steel or a plastic housing are less likely to retain heat, making them perfect for any family with young kids.
Toaster Oven Features
Toaster Ovens typically offer multiple cooking functions, which is why many people use them as second ovens. These functions include: Bake, Broil, Toast, Warm, Reheat, Defrost and more. These functions are explained in detail below, however most will act similar to standard oven settings.
If you’re someone who likes to store their bread in the freezer, than a defrost cycle feature is something to consider when purchasing a new toaster oven for your home. Most toaster oven models offer a defrost cycle and have the capacity to calculate the additional time it will take when cooking food from frozen.
When a programmed cooking cycle is complete or when time runs out, some models automatically shut off. This keeps food from burning if you are not available to remove it promptly. The automatic shut off feature comes in handy for those who have to step out of the kitchen when preparing food.
Many consumers are surprised to learn that you can reheat leftovers in a toaster oven and in addition, your food will not lose its “crunch”. Toaster Oven Reheat settings are different compared to a microwaves reheat settings. The tradeoff, however, for better results is that it takes longer to reheat food in a toaster oven than in a microwave.
Most toaster ovens usually have a feature that lets you select how dark you want your toast to be. Typically, the higher the shade setting the darker the toast will turn out. Be sure to pay attention to the specific model's instructions to properly select your perfect shade.
Some toaster ovens offer an interior light, which is helpful to have when you are looking to see the status of your food. Interior lights also help prevent accidental burns that may occur when one is reaching into the toaster to retrieve food while the heating elements are still warm.
Many Toaster Oven models come with specific temperature settings. The temperature settings are similar to standard oven temperature settings, in which they allow you to choose the temperature of the oven.
A timer allows the user to specify the amount of time that they would like the toaster oven to cook for. This comes in handy when using the bake, broil, and toast functions. Not all toaster ovens include a timer, however occasionally when the timer is not added the shade setting will double as one.
Displays are a less common feature, however when they are included, displays can be extremely useful. Depending on the toaster a display can show anything such as the cooking setting, the time remaining, as well as the date and time.
Infrared Heating Elements
With Infrared Heating the toaster will automatically have instant heat, which means preheating is no longer necessary. There are also two types of infrared heating elements: Near and Far. Far infrared elements are used to cook the outside of the food efficiently, while the Near infrared elements are able to penetrate the food and efficiently cook the inside. The results leave you with evenly cooked food in a fraction of the time!