Updated on 2nd December 2022
During our tests, the Philips HD2692/90 allowed us to toast different types of bread easily, even though the toast was not always very even. Its long slot allows both square and long slices to be inserted. Its different functions (defrost, reheat and cancel) on the front face are quite effective. In addition, this model incorporates a pastry warmer.
There are two types of toasters for domestic use: those with automatic ejection and ovens.
Toasters equipped with automatic ejectors are more affordable but have fewer features.
The optimum power for a four-slot appliance is 1600W and above.
Some thermostats have more features, such as the intensity of toasting.
Depending on the model, you can defrost your bread or simply heat it up without toasting it.
It is important to keep your toaster well maintained to avoid the risk of a burnt smell.
In our tests, we were convinced by its aesthetic design, its functionalities and its accessories. Its two slots enable you to toast up to two slices of bread simultaneously. Even if its capacity limits it to small slices of bread no longer than 13 cm, it is still a very good choice for one or two people who want an affordable, compact and light toaster. It also comes with a pastry holder and toaster tongs to hold toasted slices without burning yourself.
Smeg electrical appliances, whether large or small, have their own trademark: the 50s retro design. During our tests, we were convinced by its material quality, its efficiency (even toasting), its various functions and its ease of maintenance. On the other hand, while it has all the basic functions expected of a toaster, it does not include a pastry holder, unlike other models. Note also that it takes up some space on a kitchen counter.
Our choice, Best budget Best mid-range Best high-end Philips Daily HD2692/90 Twinzee Smeg TSF02 This model, made of stainless steel and plastic, stands out for its ease of use (three buttons on the front face) and its reheating function for reheating pastries. In addition, it offers up to 8 roasting levels. Despite its low price, this model offers good material quality and great functions. For example, it has toasting facilities and seven thermostat settings, including defrosting. This toaster for two to four people stands out for its original design (typical of the Italian brand), as well as for its large capacity and efficiency. It also stands out for its material quality and ease of maintenance.
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How did we test?
Before starting our tests, we checked that each toaster came with instructions and accessories in the box. Once installed, we judged their dimensions and capacities. We then tested all the available functions (different heating powers, defrost mode, eject part, and reheat mode). We did these tests with standard slices of white bread and long slices.
These tests also allowed us to judge its ergonomics and ease of use. Among other things, we checked whether the controls were sufficiently legible and easy to access, as well as the ease of cleaning each appliance.
How to choose your toaster?
You may have heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Like the juicer and the coffee machine, the toaster is an indispensable accessory for those who enjoy this convivial moment.
However, with so much diversity, it is important to avoid poor-quality models. First of all, for domestic use, there are two types of toasters:
- Self-ejecting toasters: they eject the slices of bread automatically once they are toasted. They are smaller, take up less space and are affordable. Most have an automatic shut-off function.
- Toaster ovens: these add other functions to the toaster function, including a real oven with which you can bake pizza, roast meat, prepare biscuits, etc. Some appliances are even convection ovens.
Therefore, some features are more important to consider than others:
- Power: the higher the power, the faster your bread will be toasted, although the type of bread is also a factor. The optimum power level for a two-slot toaster should ideally be over 800W. For a four-slot toaster, it is usually 1600W or more.
- Capacity: this corresponds, in addition to the width of the slot, to the number of slices that can be toasted at the same time. Most models are designed for two slices, but there are also models for four. Of course, the latter is larger.
- Thermostat: This is the knob/button used to determine the toasting level. Some models only have a simple thermostat with power levels ranging from 1 to 6, others offer bread toasting levels for both the inside AND the outside of the bread (who has never had bread toasted on one side?). Moreover, they not only adjust the power needed but also manage the distance between the bread and the grill.
- Adjustable browning: the heating elements inside each slot of a toaster determine the level of browning. Take a look inside the toaster: the further apart these elements are, the less likely you are to get evenly toasted bread. Some toasters even have a feature that allows them to adjust the browning intensity for both sides of the bread.
- Functionalities: the most useful is the ‘Defrost’ function (defrosting the bread first before toasting) and the ‘Reheat’ function (reheating your toast without necessarily toasting it again). Some models are also equipped with a ‘Bagel’ function (allowing you to toast bagels and other thicker slices of bread). A bread elevator can also be useful for easier access to your toast after toasting. It’s up to you to decide whether these features will be useful to you, as they often impact the price.
- Ease of maintenance: it is important to keep your toaster well-maintained to avoid the risk of a burnt smell or worse, a fire. For ease of maintenance, we recommend models with a removable crumb tray.
Other models we recommend
Philips HD2581/00 (£36.14 upon publication): an affordable alternative. This affordable Philips appliance has a simple design (plastic body) and is functional and space-saving. Its two small slots and integrated mini pastry warmer make it suitable for one or two people. However, our tests showed that the toasting was not always very uniform. In addition, the dimensions of the slots make it suitable only for small slices of bread.
Russell Hobbs RH 21396-56 (£34.33 upon publication): a model with 6 browning levels. Ideal for one or two people, this affordable model has a sleek, round design. In our tests, we liked the six browning levels, the two physical buttons for raising the grids or defrosting bread, and the included pastry holder. However, we felt that the knob and the numbers around it were a little too small.
Tefal TL365ETR (£47.90 upon publication): a full-length format. This model has a single full-length slot for one to two people. This format allows you to toast long slices of bread. It has seven browning positions, a defrost function, a reheat function and an efficient stop mode. In use, all these functions were convincing. However, this toaster does not have a pastry warmer, which is a pity considering its reheat mode.
Translated by Ramsés El Hajje