This Smart Toaster Will Heat Your Bagels, Muffins, Or Toast In 15 Seconds Flat
This Smart Toaster Will Heat Your Bagels, Muffins, Or Toast In 15 Seconds Flat
If you’ve been burned (literally or figuratively) by toasters in the past, you may think there is no such thing as a toaster that evenly toasts all types of bread on both sides. Good toasters exist… kind of. As is the case with most, if not all, appliances, they just don’t make toasters like they used to, and many expensive toasters simply aren’t worth the extra cash because of their tendency to break after 5 to 10 years.
According to Nicole Papantoniou, the Director of the Good Housekeeping Institute’s Kitchen Appliances & Culinary Innovation Lab, “Toasters are designed to give you even heating on both sides, so yes, they exist, but it gets a little trickier when you toast a single slice because of how the heating elements work. But yes, it is possible.”
Toasters are one of the most essential small appliances in your kitchen. After all, what other kitchen tools can easily elevate a slice of buttered cinnamon swirl bread, or pillowy milk bread slathered in avocado or chunky peanut butter? Or have you ever had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with toasted bread? Life-changing. But before we get ahead of ourselves, you'll need to actually pick up that toaster, and there are actually a lot of options and upgrades to choose from.
We sat down with Papantoniou, who has 10 years of experience helping home chefs like yourself find the best appliances and gadgets, to discuss her team’s tireless work to find the best 4-slice, 2-slice, and long-slot toasters on the market—a.k.a. ones that that can fit a full slice of homemade bread while looking chic on your kitchen counter. Check them out below, so you can find your favorite and get to toastin’.
Want more than just your run-of-the-mill toaster? Allow us to introduce you to the humble toaster’s more evolved cousins, the toaster oven and air fryer toaster oven. (You’re welcome.)
To find the best toaster, we turned to our friends at the Good Housekeeping Institute, who have identified the most reliable brands and highest-rated toasters and put them to the test. Their team of on-staff experts—which includes all types: engineers! data analysts! registered dietitians!—rigorously put everyday products to the test (and then more and more tests) in their New York City-based labs to determine which ones you can trust.
These Kitchen Tech Experts put a ton of toasters (over 58—that’s a lot of bread!) through rigorous tests to analyze their ease of use, consistency, surface temperature, efficiency, cleanability, slot capacity, temperature range, and performance. After reviewing their findings and discussing their road tests in-depth with Papantoniou, we’ve determined that these are the best toasters you can buy in 2022.
1) Cuisinart CPT-122 Compact Plastic 2-Slice Toaster, White
What's better than four slices of perfect, golden brown toast? Four slices of perfect, golden brown toast from a toaster you can count on. That’s exactly what you get with the Cuisinart CPT-122 2-Slice Compact Toaster, which offers multiple functions (including preheat, defrost, and cancel).
This BPA-free plastic toaster’s simple white design will complement any kitchen décor, and its high-lift carriage prevents your toast from getting stuck while the removable crumb tray slides right out for easy cleaning.
“It’s a really good basic toaster that you’ll see in a lot of stores,” explained Papantoniou. “It has really basic controls and makes good, even toast.”
Churning out consistently crisp slices every time, all it takes is a simple turn of the dial to cycle between the seven shade settings and the Cuisinart CPT-122’s two 1.5-inch wide toasting slots can effectively toast a variety of your favorite carbs—just not those super-long slices of artisanal bread you get from your local bakery.
“This one has basic controls, a small footprint, and it has some elements of stainless housing that makes it look nicer,” Papantoniou explained.
In addition to boasting a drop-down crumb tray, the Black+Decker Toaster has two extra-wide slots to accommodate all kinds of tasty toasted treats, like bread, bagels, and English muffins. In fact, it even comes with a specific bagel setting, as well as frozen food and cancel functions. Just select one of the seven available toasting levels using the selector knob, toss in your ciabatta or French bread, and get to toasting. (Though fair warning: the plastic controls are somewhat flimsy.)
Compatible with everything from bread and bagels to waffles and homemade pop tarts, this futuristic model can heat your food differently based on what it is, and do so in 15 seconds flat. Simply choose between this unit’s seven browning levels, and three toasting modes—fresh, frozen, and reheat. There’s even a panini press mode, which you can use with Revolution’s separate panini press attachment! For optimal convenience, this model also offers a countdown timer and the ability to automatically lower and lift your slices.
Calling it a “fun little toaster,” Papantoniou said the InstaGLO R180 “takes the guesswork out of toasting. It has pictures of the types of browning you can get—so you don’t have to worry about it being inconsistent—and it has a touchscreen control panel.”
This toaster’s sleek design features a stainless steel and aluminum construction, a 2-slice capacity, and diamond-shaped heating elements for fast, even heating. It also displays the dates and your choice of an analog or digital clock display when it’s not in use—gotta love an appliance that makes itself useful! And when you’re all done toasting and crisping up your favorite carbs, just keep an eye out for the clean crumb tray reminder and then wipe down the InstaGLO R180 and its removable crumb tray with a damp cloth for easy cleanup.
4) CPT-2500 Long Slot Toaster
Say “so long” to half-browned sourdough and Irish soda bread with the Cuisinart CPT-2500 Long Slot Toaster. Featuring two self-centering 10-by-1.5-inch slots, this toaster will perfectly brown any artisanal (or homemade!) bread that you'd like to enjoy with its seven customizable shade settings. Though these larger slots do of course result in a larger footprint, we appreciate this sleek stainless steel model’s versatility—with dual independent controls and multiple toasting functions, including toast, bagel, reheat, and defrost, your toasting needs will definitely be met.
“This one accommodates longer pieces of bread,” explained Papantoniou.
Per the Good Housekeeping Institute, the benefits of this design are twofold: The slots are “big enough for oversize slices from round loaves, or you can toast four regular-size pieces of bread at once.”
What’s more, the Cuisinart CPT-2500’s design also includes a high-lift lever for safe, easy retrieval of your scorching toast (no burnt fingertips or precarious fork fiddling here!), a removable crumb tray, and convenient cord storage at the base.
5) Smeg 2-Slice Toaster
Toasters take up valuable counter space, so you might as well get some eye candy out of the deal. Using its two extra-wide slots and self-centering racks (which hold your toast upright, so no slippage here!), the Smeg Toaster effectively browns toast and looks good while doing it.
Though Papantoniou hasn’t tested the Smeg Toaster, she also appreciated its curb (or, shall we say, counter) appeal, remarking “It’s really pretty.”
But don’t let the classic, nostalgia-infused design fool you; behind this unit’s retro-chic exterior is a thoroughly modern construction, with six browning levels and a backlit chrome knob with four pre-set programs: bagel defrost, reheat, and cancel.
And for added peace of mind, the Good Housekeeping Institute noted, “When you select a setting, it locks into place so you know you've set it precisely.”
Whether you love a big breakfast or live with a lot of hungry people, the KRUPS Savoy Toaster’s four slots are wide enough to toast two bagels at once and brown them to your exact preference thanks to the dual independent control panels and six darkness settings.
Papantoniou hasn’t had the opportunity to test this model herself, but she said of the Savoy: “This is good for households that like their bread toasted differently. You can leave each side to a different toast setting, so there’s less fussing around when you need it, and it has a really straightforward control panel that even has a bagel setting.”
Boasting a dial to cycle through the browning settings and pushable buttons to select one of four additional cooking functions—bagel, reheat, defrost, or cancel—this toaster also comes with blue LED lights, so early risers won’t have to fumble around in the dark. And like the Cuisinart CPT-2500 Long Slot Toaster, the Savoy’s design also includes convenient cord storage at the base and not one, but two high-lift levers to easily collect your scorching bread, buns, or rolls.
7) Breville Die-Cast 2-Slice Smart Toaster
The Breville Die-Cast Smart Toaster is the Natalie Portman of toasters—it’s got beauty and brains. This impressive gadget’s die-cast aluminum construction features two extra-wide slots, a convenient slide-out crumb tray, and a stunning brushed stainless-steel finish.
Papantoniou hasn’t tested the Breville Smart Toaster herself, but she noted, “Die-cast basically means it’s a heavier, sturdier product. It has electronic controls, and you can adjust the shade settings on the bottom of the unit with that lever.”
With just the press of a button (no need to lower a lever), this toaster can anticipate your every preference with five precise shade levels and five roasting functions, including toast/cancel, bagel, defrost, and lift and look for mid-cycle check-ins and adjustments. And if it's simply not brown enough, select the "A Bit More" feature, which automatically lowers the bread at the end of the toasting cycle to provide a kiss of extra browning.
Sure, all these features come at a (literal, and pretty significant) cost, but if loving the Breville Smart Toaster is wrong, we don’t want to be right.
8) Clear View Toaster
Nothing can ruin your morning quite like a burnt bagel. If you're prone to leaving your food in just a little too long, the Dash Clear View Toaster takes the guesswork out of making perfect toast every time with a large window built into the door and an auto-shutoff function for added safety. And when you’re done, you can slide out the removable crumb tray and wipe it down for a fully fool-proof cleaning experience.
“It’s cute, it’s fun, it’s a good price,” said Papantoniou, adding how part of the fun and convenience of the Dash Clear View Toaster is that “you can watch your bread as it’s toasting.”
Available in four classic colors to match your kitchen décor, you can toast a wide variety of dough-lectables with the extra-long slots and one-touch buttons for functions like bagel, defrost, and reheat.
However, it’s good to keep in mind that “Some reviewers note that the range of toast settings between 2 and 6 (there are seven total) is hard to differentiate but that it does a good job of toasting evenly,” according to the Good Housekeeping Institute.
We scoured the web for the best in every category (two-slice toasters! four-slice toasters! long slot toasters!). Find your favorite and get toastin'.