Believe it or not, toasters were not always considered a kitchen appliance. In fact, the first patent for a toaster was in 1869 when American John Chester Lyman invented a hand-cranked bread slicer with heating elements. The bread would be inserted between two metal plates and the crank would rotate the entire unit thus cutting off slices of bread and cooking them in an alternating current. This early design proved problematic in that a good portion of the toast made its way into crumbs which fell onto the countertop below making clean up an arduous task. A few years later, another inventor ran with this concept but added what is known as a stay warm function built into the handle which would keep cooked slices of bread warm while others were being toasted. Also, the toast could be removed without burning one’s fingers.
Of course, it was not until 1919 when an Englishman named Albert Marsh devised a primitive pop-up feature to his design that really launched the toaster into it modern incarnation we know today. A couple of years after this revolutionary development took place in England , another American by the name of Charles Champion began marketing and selling Mr. Marsh’s new invention and eventually became what we recognize as Sunbeam which manufactured electric appliances primarily targeted towards women who were just starting to venture into doing things around the household such as cooking and cleaning (remember, this is still during the 1920s). Fast forward another year or so and folks residing in other parts of Europe also started to adapt to the newly introduced electric appliance, albeit it was still pretty basic in design. More features were slowly adopted by manufacturers over time including smaller slots for thin slices of bread and eventually removable trays that allowed one to toast bagels, English muffins, etc.
However, not all these breakthroughs came easy or without controversy. Whenever there is a new product on the market that has an impact on our daily lives, it is typically met with resistance from individuals who are reluctant to change their old ways of doing things. This became evident in 1932 when Sunbeam’s Toastmaster Model 1 hit store shelves which featured a retractable cord making storage easier while also acting as a safety feature preventing children from pulling out the cord accidentally causing burns or other injuries. However, there were still lots of people who believed that leaving an electric appliance plugged in constituted a fire hazard and so the Consumer Product Safety Commission was formed and eventually forced Sunbeam to remove the retractable cord feature on their toasters after receiving numerous complaints from consumers about fires breaking out.
It was not until 1948 when another American by the name of Charles Strite devised an automatic shutoff feature that would turn off a toaster once any slice of bread had popped up thus preventing anyone from accidentally getting burned due to food sticking inside one of the heating elements which could easily happen if you left your toast unattended for too long (you know, like when you sleep through your alarm clock). The reason why we bring all this up is because we feel it is important to realize that the modern day toasters we make use of in our homes today has come a long way from what it once was and this evolution would not have been made possible without certain individuals constantly looking for ways to improve upon its original design.
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Top Portable & Small Toasters
Smeg TSF01RDUS Retro 2-Slice Toaster
- 2 extra wide slots with self-centering racks
- Automatic slice pop up
- Anti-slip feet
- Removable stainless steel crumb tray
- 6 browning levels and 3 pre-set programs: reheat, defrost, bagel
Breville Die-Cast 2-Slice Smart Toaster
- 900 watt 2 slice toaster with intelligent one touch auto lowering function; Voltage: 110 to 120 Volts
- Push-button controls for toast, a bit more, bagel, defrost, and lift and look functions. 5 Settings including- 'A Bit More', 'Lift & Look' , Defrost & Bagel. 2 Slice Extra Wide capacity to suit all bread types
- LED panel illuminates according to selected setting on variable browning control
- Brushed die cast metal housing; end of cycle beep; 1-1/5 inch-wide slots; cord wrap
- Dimensions- 11.25 x 7 x 7.75 inch. 1 year limited warranty
Hamilton Beach 22811 Keep Warm 2-Slice Toaster
- Your toast stays warm without over toasting
- Keep warm setting with ready tone and 3 minute auto shutoff
- Cool-wall, stainless steel sides
- Toast Boost lifts food higher for easy removal
- Easy-push buttons illuminate for easy view
Cuisinart 2-Slice Compact Plastic Toaster
- Slots are 1 1/2" wide and come with an extra lift feature to easily bring smaller items to the top
- Wipe clean Measures 6.5" L x 11" W x 7.2" H
Oster 2-Slice Toaster
- ADVANCED TOAST TECHNOLOGY: Designed with Advanced Toast Technology and auto-adjusting bread guides for consistent, even toasting, every time
- EXTRA-WIDE SLOTS: Made with 2 extra-wide slots to easily accommodate a variety of bread types, from bagels to artisanal breads
- 7 SHADE SETTINGS: Features 7 toast shade presets from light to dark, to make it easy to customize your toasted bread just the way you like it
- CUSTOMIZABLE TOASTING TIMES: Bagel, Frozen and Pastry settings automatically adjust toasting times, for perfectly toasted results
- LIFT LEVER: Integrated high-rise lever lifts toast out for easy retrieval
Considerations to Help You Choose the Right Toaster
The size of the toaster oven you should get depends on how much toast you want to make in one batch and how often you plan to use it. We’ve reviewed some that can fit 4 slices at once, but that would be too small for many people. Therefore, if you’re buying it mostly for your family or roommates, we recommend getting a larger unit. That way everyone gets fed on time and there’s less fighting over who has more toast (or less cleaning). It also means fewer trips back and forth from the pantry or kitchen cabinet where the good toaster ovens are kept! If all you need is a single piece of toast on most mornings, though, we suggest buying a smaller toaster oven. It’s compact and very easy to use, and you might even get a second one for yourself later on.
Size Of Toasting Slots
Bigger is generally better when it comes to slot size. If your bread slices are too big, they’ll fall inside the slots so there will be no room for the heat to reach them properly. The result? Your toast will be half-baked or almost completely raw in some areas! Invest in a model that has adjustable slots so they’re wider at their upper part. That way, you can fit in bagels without having to carefully cut off their ends beforehand. Do note that bigger pieces of bread may not necessarily produce more evenly-cooked results because of their uneven thickness.
Dial Control Or Push Button?
A dial control is usually better because it’s more intuitive to use. The only disadvantage is that you might end up turning the heat up or down by accident if your hand brushes against it when you reach for something inside the oven’s compartment. If this happens, make sure the appliance has an extra button so you can quickly press it and set things right before closing the door again. That way, your toast won’t come out burned! Some models don’t have a top handle because they’re too small while others don’t even need one since their size and shape allow them to accommodate regular-sized oven mitts with ease. There are also hybrid types with adjustable knobs and digital displays. Either way, we recommend getting a model that’s easy to clean and has non-stick interiors for convenience and hygiene purposes.
When it comes to power source, there are only three choices: cordless, plug-in or rechargeable batteries. Cordless toaster ovens can be taken outdoors so you can have toast even in the great outdoors! They’re also perfect for use when camping since they don’t need to be near a socket or any other source of electricity. One drawback is that you have to stock up on extra batteries before going on a trip – or else you’ll be out of luck once your last set runs out ! Plus, this type isn’t very powerful so you might not like the results it gives. Plug-in models, on the other hand, may not be as practical when you’re traveling but they do produce better results overall because of their higher wattage and larger heating elements. They also come in handy around holiday season, letting you prepare delicious toasted treats for your family or guests even when there’s a power outage . The third option is rechargeable batteries , which can be convenient if you don’t want to lug around something heavy just to use your toaster oven. Also, the lack of cords makes cordless units safer than plug-in ones since no one will trip over them accidentally! However, some kinds need up to six hours to fully charge so they might end up being more trouble than they’re worth.
Toaster Oven Types And How They Work
The most common type of toaster oven is the one that bakes, broils and toasts bread. It can also do more complex tasks like keeping meat warm , reheating leftovers, cooking casseroles and even making pizza! That’s why these units are perfect for anyone who wants to save time on meal preparation (and washing the dishes afterward). We also recommend getting a convection model if you don’t want your toast or other baked goods to turn out soggy since it has fans that circulate hot air for faster cooking. These are especially great when you’re in a hurry because they’re faster than regular ones! If not, then choosing an infrared style will be a better idea since they brown food evenly without having to flip it over midway.