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Apr 11, 2002 07:51 PM

DECENT TOASTER? Is there such a thing?

  • t

I am ashamed to admit, that I was once so annoyed over the poor performance of a shoddy toaster, that I smashed it with a sledge hammer. Since then, I have bought two others, both of which are also pieces of junk. Can any of you fellow hounds recommend a decent toaster?

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  1. Dualit 4 toast.

    Didn't even know toast could be that toasty.


    1 Reply
    1. re: AZ

      If anyone's upstate in the area of the Woodbury Commons outlet stores, the Williams Sonoma outlet there does have the Dualit toasters for about $100. I got a red 4-slicer for $129, I think.

      You do have to warm the Dualit up before toasting four slices, which is kind of a drag, but it sure looks cool! I wouldn't pay full price for the thing, but at this price it's not bad at all.

    2. DeLonghi toaster oven (model U-88? not sure). Also bakes a 9" pie very nicely and reheats other baked goods. Self-cleaning interior walls and adjustable shelf. Have had the same one over a decade with no problems. Is one of the lowest price DeLonghi models on the market (about $60).

      7 Replies
      1. re: ScratchBaker

        I agree. I've had my de Longhi for about 8 years and it's very reliable, versatile, and makes excellent toast.

        1. re: P

          richard meier, the architect, was asked in the current departures magazine for the one item he couldn't live without - and he said a toaster oven. though he lamented the poor design and longevity of most.

          i have burned out a delonghi after only about a year. i don't remember which model. literally melted the plastic housing. i love toaster ovens but i find that when an average bread slice is toasty enough on the outside it's too dry on the inside.

          as for the dualits, absolutely beautiful but i'm thoroughly unimpressed with the toasting. especially for the price. for almost 4 hundred bucks - admittedly at the high end - i expect a transcendent toast experience.

          i like my current toaster - a cuisinart with one long wide-ish slot, with a defrost button and a one-sided toasting option. toasts well and consistently and has so far withstood toasting marathons.

          kitchenaid has a similar model. only real differences are design and colours.

          both around 50 bucks.

          1. re: louisa

            I have a Cuisinart too. Mine was closer to a hundred bucks. It's the best toaster I've had, but it's far from perfect.

            I can't predict how it will toast anything so I make a guess on the light side and stand over the second cycle to get it right.

            But, again, it's OK. Just not great.

            1. re: Win (Boston)

              i think you're right about the price. now that i recall i bought mine at bloomingdales during one of their big sales with a coupon, etc.

              and yes, i have the same feelings about my toaster. like not love. decent but still searching for the perfect one.

              remember when we were kids and toasters just toasted? i know i was just as discriminating about my toast back then too.

              now that i think about it some more there is a vintage appliance dealer at the rose bowl flea market in pasadena (california). a hardcore retro friend of mine bought a toaster and blender and says they're great. but i have no first hand knowledge of that. yet. so restored vintage may be a way to go if you don't want the bagel button like i do.

              1. re: louisa

                Why not go retro all the way. I have given up on toasters for toast. Instead, I make mine on a cast iron griddle: dark as I care to and still moist on the inside. And for such things as cinnamon/sugar toast, I can squash it down nice and thin.

                I once lived in a place with a cast iron stove; we made our toast on top of it and I've never gone back to the machines that dry it out all the way through.

          2. re: P

            I got rid of my DeLonhi because it burnt everything, even on the lowest toasting temp. I had to watch it the entire time. Nothing as exciting as watching your breakfast toast toast. I got a Krups Pro Chef and it is even worse. The door won't close and there is no consitency in how the toast turns out.

          3. re: ScratchBaker

            Oooooo....we have NOT had good luck with our Delonghi. We received the "retro" four slice for a wedding present, and it takes well over six irritating minutes to toast a bagel. Even after a full cycle at the highest setting it barely toasts the lightest of breads. Who has time for that in the morning?? It is by far the biggest piece of crap I have ever had in my kitchen.

          4. I SO understand the smashing story.

            You pay a decent amount of money for something with so simple but so essential a purpose: making toast.

            And most toasters....well, suck. Mine does too - a "Toastmaster" (sic).

            It's just maddening. Toasters are so simple. Toasters should work. Your computer is supposed to give you problems, your answering machine's drive belt is supposed to pop, your car and your plumbing and your cholesterol level are supposed to bring you non-stop aggravation, but your toaster, darn it, should spit out reasonable toast slice after slice. Mine specializes in the half-burnt, half-underdone, and cold-in-the-middle-on-both-sides routine. To make things worse, I LOVE toast. I COUNT on toast. But cruel manufacturing forces conspire to deprive me of this pleasure.

            If you can't depend on your toaster.....argh. It's just so demoralizing.

            1. There's some good toasters out there. For example, my very own brother gave an excellent toast at my wedding, and may be available for short speaking engagements.

              He won't be happy to hear that you punish poor performers with a sledgehammer, though.

              1. Personally I jsut have a middle of the road Black and Decker Toaster oven. Nothing special, just does the job, but then again, I rarely make toast.
                I recently found myself in need of replacing everything I wown, and I found to be particularly helpful for user ratings of small appliances.