are at the top of the list
because they beat out the rest in the
categories of performance, versatility, style, ease
of use, choice of toasting level, and
additional, special features. Any one of these
choices makes the perfect toasting addition
to your kitchen.
2 Slice Toaster Buying Guide
What is a 2 Slice Toaster?
A 2 slice toaster is a small kitchen appliance that browns bread, bagel, pop tarts, pancakes and more. It is a fast an efficient way to get toasted items for breakfast or any other time as well. Toasters come in many different sizes and styles. In this guide we’ll provide you with the information you need to choose the right toaster for your needs.
Toaster Construction and Materials
There are many different types of toasters on the market and different materials are made to make them. Some of the more common materials that 2 slice toasters are made of include:
- Stainless steel
- Durable, heavy duty plastic
When people purchase toasters they will usually try to match the toaster to the other appliances in the kitchen and the décor as well. Most toasters are stainless steel, white, black, or red, although other colors are starting to surface.
Stainless steel toasters will look fantastic in most kitchens and you will find that they last longer, have more features and work better than the heavy plastic ones. They may be a little more expensive but it is highly unlikely that you will have to replace them every year. Below we have listed the common materials that 2 slice toasters are made or and the characteristics they have.
- Chrome Finish – chrome is beautiful and shiny but chrome toasters will show fingerprints more than the plastic and stainless steel models.
- Colored Plastic – White will look dingy and show dirt and age faster than the metal surface toasters will. It doesn’t show fingerprints as easily as chrome. The colored plastic varieties can be matched to kitchen color schemes and are popular in non stainless steel kitchens.
- Stainless Steel – A full stainless steel toaster will show fingerprints and scratches much faster than the plastic varieties. Many people purchase the plastic or plastic accented models to reduce the amount of fingerprints that show up.
- Dual Finish – Many stainless steel models have plastic accents that provide users with durability as well as color coordination. Fingerprints will be less visible on the plastic accents of the toaster.
The browning settings of a 2 slice toaster will vary according to the brand, type of unit it is and whether it is a basic model or something more extravagant. Overall, the higher the number of the setting, the browner the toast will come out. If your toaster has extra-wide slots the toasting time is a little longer for thinner items due to being farther away from the heating elements.
Toasters can have a number of special features that make it even more convenient to use. Some of the features will be geared toward cooking different types of bread items. We have listed the most common features below. When choosing your 2 slice toaster, be sure to know ahead of time which features are important to you.
- Auto Centering – To prevent uneven toasting, the auto centering feature makes sure that the bread is in the slot properly so the bread toasts evenly on both sides. There are models with auto-centering, manual centering that is adjustable and some have bread guides with no adjustment capability.
- Auto Shut-Off Alert – Once the toast has finished and pops up, an alert tone sounds to let you know. This is a great feature if you are not in the same room while the toast is browning.
- Bagel Feature – A toaster with a bagel feature will toast the bagel only on one side. It also works on English muffins and toaster pastries. The benefit to this feature is that it does not overly toast the side with the crust on it.
- Cancel Button – This button allows the user to stop the toasting process mid-cycle. This is very useful if the bread is getting over-toasted.
- Toaster Covers – This is a cover that goes over the toaster after it is used and has cooled down. (Don’t put the cover on when the toaster is hot) Toaster covers come in a variety of designs and styles so finding one that goes with your kitchen décor will not be a problem.
- Removable Crumb Tray – The crumb tray is the tray at the bottom of the toaster that catches the crumbs of bread and toast. The tray is removable and should be pulled out and dumped and wiped off regularly. There are hinged varieties as well that don’t remove but have a drop door style hinge that opens so you can empty the crumbs out. If it doesn’t have either, turn the toaster over and dump the crumbs out of the top regularly.
- Defrost Button – This feature will defrost and toast items like frozen bread, waffles and other frozen toaster items in one cycle.
- Digital Control Panel – If you want precise control over the settings of your toaster, choose digital controls rather than manual ones. They are much easier to read and are m ore accurate as well.
- Extra Wide Slots – The extra wide slots are perfect for toasting bagels, Texas toast, and other wider bread items.
- LED Backlit Displays and Indicator Lights – These are great for seeing in low light conditions and make it easy to read the displays even from across the room.
- Reheat – This feature is excellent for warming up an item that has already been toasted without over-toasting it.
- Toast Lifter – The lever lifts the toast higher than the edge of the toaster when it is done. This is a good feature for reducing the chances of getting burned by trying to fish a smaller item out of the toaster.
- Tongs – Some toasters come with tongs for removing the toasted items out of the toaster when they are done browning.
What to Look for in a Good Toaster
When you are shopping for a toaster, there are certain things you want to look for in the model you choose. We’ve outlined these things below.
- Consistent Browning – Always look for a toaster that offers a range of doneness choices from the lightest light to very dark. These ranges can be either a digital button setting or a dial.
- 2 slice and 4 slice – Toasters come in a variety of sizes but the most common are the 2 slice toaster and the 4 slice toaster. The design of these toasters can either be two separate slots that are side by side (or 2 and 2 if it’s a 4 slot) or one long slot that two slices can fit into. If you have a larger family or even 2 or 3 people in the house, you may want to opt for the larger toaster for speed’s sake.
- Safety – There are several safety features that toasters nowadays have. Two of the most notable is the auto-shut off and the cancel features. These will stop the toasting mid-cycle or alert the user that the cycle is done.
- Convenient Controls – Touch pads and dials are the two most common forms of controls. Dials are less accurate than their digital counterparts.
- Convenient Cord Holder/Storage – Depending on the model, some toasters have cord storage underneath the unit, others have removable cords that can be wrapped up and kept in the drawer.
- No pop up Feature – There are a few models of toaster that do not automatically pop the toast up when the cycle is done. It may ding and alert or turn the toaster off automatically.
- Counter Footprint – Make sure you know ahead of time how much space you have to work with when it comes to storing the toaster. Some people leave them on the counter top all the time; others store them away in a pantry or cabinet.
Toaster Safety Features
- Stay cool parts – This feature prevents the toaster’s surface and sides from getting hot and causing burnt hands and fingers. Another benefit to the stay cool features is that if an item is set too close to the toaster, it will not melt.
- Covered heating elements – In many models of toaster, the heating elements will be covered to protect the users hands
- Good Cord – The cord of the toaster needs to be long enough to cover the distance needed from outlet to toaster without having to use an extension cord. Most cords will be 12” to 48” log. You don’t want to have hanging, draping cords in the kitchen being used with a kitchen appliance that gets hot.
Toasters are one of the most commonly used small kitchen appliances that are in a kitchen. Almost every household has one and chances are, it is used on a daily basis or close to it. Choosing the right toaster for you and your family’s needs comes down to knowing what your family’s needs are and how to narrow down the choices so you can make a decision on the one that will meet all your preferences and needs.
The information found in this guide provides everything you need to make that choice and you can be confident that it is a good one that you will enjoy using for a long time.
- Cuisinart – https://www.cuisinart.com/
- Russell Hobbs – http://www.russellhobbs.com/home.aspx
- Breville – http://www.brevilleusa.com/