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I Want to Toast a SINGLE Piece of Bread

Is there a toaster out there that will toast a single piece of bread properly, i.e. that will give toast that is uniformly dark on both sides?

Some time ago I purchased a Cuisinart toaster at Wegman's. It's great as long as you toast two pieces at once. It fails miserably with one piece. One side of the toast is brown while the other remains almost untoasted. A friend of mine bought the inexpensive Farberware FST 200 (recommended by Cooks Illustrated) and if anything it's worse than the Cuisinart at toasting one piece of bread.

If you've found that magic toaster, let me know! I'm getting tired of toasting a piece of bread at a low setting, then toasting again with the piece reversed.

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  1. Hi, ambrose,

    I just bought an Oster that has settings for toast, bagel, frozen and warm. Adjustable for darkness/lightness on a one to seven scale. Makes one "perfectly toasted" piece for my husband's breakfast every morning.

    10 Replies
    1. re: beccaboo

      With all due respect. ANY toaster will toast one piece of bread. If your toaster gets one side really brown and the other side not so much so ... you may need to have it repaired or replaced. Have you tried using a toaster oven?

      1. re: Cheflambo

        I always flinch when someone starts a message 'with all due respect'. :-))

        Actually, the problem I described seems to be fairly common. After I purchased my Cuisinart, I read a lot of on-line customer reviews about toasters. Many of them described this very problem.

        At least the Farberware hints at the problem.."When toasting a single slice, the bread or toaster food may be placed in either Toasting Well, but may toast slightly darker on the inside than on the outside." 'Slight' does not describe the difference!

        I'm wondering if there isn't a basic design problem in these inexpensive toasters. If you have one that performs well, I'd appreciate knowing the make and model number.

        And no, I have not tried using a toaster oven because I don't want one. I just want a decent toaster that will toast one piece of bread.

        1. re: ambrose

          Dualit. Works every time. You just have to remember to switch the setting to 1 slice . They are not inexpensive though but you'll have it for the rest of your life. I have had mine for about 9 years. And I know this sounds old from my posts but when you buy it at Williams Sonoma, it is a liketime warranty.

          1. re: chocchipcookie

            Thanks for this info. I find it interesting that you have to tell the Dualit that you want to toast one slice of bread. I believe this corroborates my suspicion that less expensive toasters just can't do one slice well.

            1. re: ambrose

              Yeah, I finally got so teed off at supposedly quality toasters that I sprang for a Dualit. Works great. For best results, put bread in topside down. I also reverse the bread halfway through -- easy to do since it uses a lever, not an automatic mechanism, to raise or lower. Highly recommended.

              1. re: mpalmer6c

                LOL, if you have to reverse it halfway through, it clearly is still doing something unevenly.

                1. re: CrazyOne

                  My reaction too! In fact, that's exactly what I'm doing right now with my lame Cuisinart. I haven't tried putting the bread in upside down though!

                  I think I'll wait for more information on these expensive Dualit models.

              2. re: ambrose

                LOL. I have never thought about this subject in my life and when I first read your post, I thought it a bit odd. But, yes, I must admit that if a manufacturer provides suggestions for one slice toasting then this is a highly valid question. And, if I were you, I would certainly go with the Dualit for identifiying with you! :)

            2. re: ambrose

              what about a toaster that is designed longer lengthwise to accommodate two slices in one well.
              Wouldn't that work? It would be the same application of heat whether it held one or two slices at all times.

              1. re: grnidkjun

                I've been online and on the phone for 2 hours trying to locate a Braun Multi-Toast or a Hamilton Beach 22408, both long slot models. I can't find either one anywhere. I've been on hold for Hamilton Customer Service for the past 20 minutes. Apparently they will sell them direct, but only through Customer Service via phone.

        2. Sure, get any toaster that only has one slot. I have a Cuisinart (I have two, actually, because they were $15 (refurbished) on some website, and all the reviews suggested that they were incredibly unreliable, so I ordered two so I'd have a backup) with one slot that's long enough that I can put in two normal-sized slices of bread side-by-side.

          The one I have (this one: http://www.epinions.com/hmgd-Toasters... ) has this problem where the eject mechanism gets really touchy, so half the time you go to push the lever down & it makes this scary buzzing noise & refuses to stay down.

          But it definitely makes toast that's roughly the same level of doneness on both sides. I would assume that other manufacturers' single-slot toasters might also be similarly effective.

          The reason a two-slot toaster doesn't do well with single slices is that the whole interior space is generally open (i.e. the slots aren't insulated from one another) and thus with one slice of bread in one slot, you're getting 3 sets of heat-wires irradiating one side, and only 1 set on the other. Unless, as another poster suggests, you get one that lets you disable one slot.

          Whereas a single-slot toaster only has one set of wires on each side (duh) and thus behaves the same regardless of how much bread you stuff into it.

          1. Here you go, designed to toast only one slice at a time and lets it do double duty as a post it note.

            http://www.yankodesign.com/index.php/...

            1 Reply
            1. re: Scrapironchef

              Could be the solution! Please post a photo of the other side of the toast. :-))

            2. We had been using more toast and heating up the whole big oven to make it, so were looking at toasters. I had been eyeing this Braun that has one big slot and seems to work quite well http://www.amazon.com/Braun-HT600-Imp... But I wasn't sure if it was worth it to spend 50 bucks or so on the toaster. It's just $47 now, and I think it used to sell for $60 or so.

              Anyway, broke down and bought a $20 Oster 2-slice at Costco. They had it in red, which helped sell it (we have several other red items in the kitchen). It seems to do fine, although it's hard to tell just how even it is because usually the bread I'm toasting is wheat or otherwise somewhat dark.

              Still, for 20 bucks, I'd say it's more than adequate. And with Costco, if it was horrible, I could take it back. But we're keeping it. It's probably the same Oster mentioned in the first response.

              But it does seem if the toaster only has one slot, it should eliminate the possibility that it must need two pieces side by side to work properly. Of course, it still won't work if it doesn't brown evenly in the first place, but the Braun I linked seems to be good at that. Really versatile, you can get all kinds of oddly shaped bread in there or even warm rolls on a rack you can put over top.

              1. What about just toasting it in a pan on the stove? That's what I do since I don't have a toaster. Very even browning.

                1 Reply
                1. re: choctastic

                  Well, yes.....but I do have occasions when I want to make two, or even four pieces of toast. This is not really practical for me.