While a seemingly unimportant household appliance and something that most people generally ignore, the toaster is something that nearly everyone owns and may be essential than you think. If you are remodeling a kitchen, moving into a new place, or are just sick and tired of constantly having burnt toast, you may be in need of a new toaster. While it’s no tough feat to find a $25 toaster at almost any store, you may want to put a little consideration into your new purchase. Here are a few things to think about before buying new 2 or 4 slice toasters.

toaster buyers guide

Irregular breakfast eater or toast connoisseur?

Your meal habits will be one of the best things to consider when buying a new toaster. Depending on what you plan to do with said toaster, you are generally faced with two options — a standard two-slice toaster with basic functionality and a low cost, or something more modern and high-tech with fancy features and a heftier price tag. Additionally, some people opt for the larger and even pricier toaster ovens. Start by considering what investment you’re willing to make as well as any special features that must be included in your newest kitchen appliance purchase.

Basic toaster

Basic toasters are just that, basic. Generally only used for toast (most are not designed for larger things like bagels or English muffins), these appliances typically come in two basic types equipped for toasting either two or four bread slices. If you’re simply after eating the occasional toast with jam, these toasters are easy to purchase and shouldn’t cost you too much — especially if you just go with the smaller two slice option.

Features to look for with basic toasters are crumb trays, defrost settings, temperature/time controls, and safety components like non-slip feet.

Features, features, features

Moving beyond the basic toaster, you will find that the toasters of today offer basically any feature you could imagine. Some have LED lights that display a countdown for remaining heating time or alerts to ensure that you eat your toast while it’s still warm. For people who always jump when the toast pops up, some toasters include motorized lifts that gently raise the toast. There are even toasters equipped with the ability to cook hot dogs, fry eggs, and cook bacon. If these aren’t interesting enough to add to your kitchen, there are now also several toasters on the market that offer different designs to ‘print’ images by selectively burning areas on your morning meal.

toaster oven

Toaster oven

These larger varieties of toasters are capable of doing much more than just toasting bread. Large enough to cook the frozen pizza, bake cookies, or even broil meat, these are generally lower-energy ways to cook things. They are not only easy to use but are also easy to clean and maintain. Toaster ovens are great to own — particularly if you don’t have an oven or tend to exceed its capacity when hosting dinner parties or holiday celebrations.

Reflect your personal style with the look and design of your new toaster

Toasters today come in all different shapes, sizes, and colors. As it will be something that will most likely occupy your counter space all the time, you may want to choose one that flows well with the design of your kitchen — and house or apartment as a whole.

Coming in a variety of sizes, you’ll most likely be able to find a toaster that will fit a tiny nook in your kitchen or can proudly be displayed atop the counter. There are a variety of exterior finishes such as brushed metal, copper, and chrome, as well as a variety of colors. Some even come with clear sides so that you can watch the toasting process.

As one of the most important kitchen staples, the toaster is something that nearly every household has and tends to be one of the most used household appliances. If you’re not a fan of burnt toast or looking for a new way to add some flair to your kitchen, a toaster is an easy appliance to purchase and — following this guide — will not only look great but will also enhance your morning meals.

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