Two-slice toasters review

You can’t put a price on the smell of warm toast in the morning.
 
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01 .Introduction

Toaster & toast

Test results for nine two-slice toasters, with a price range between $45 and $100

Like all modern household appliances, the pop-up toaster has evolved beyond its basic duties over time. Nowadays you’re likely to come across sleekly built machines with functions that promise to deliver warm bagels, golden crumpets and crispy café-style toasts. Splash out a little and you can even choose between a range of designer colours and finishes to match your kitchen décor.

Fancy features aside however, we wanted to find out how well these modern reincarnations perform in their single most important task — toasting bread.

We looked at out how evenly the toasters browned the bread, how consistently they produced the desired colour and how well they handle single slices and frozen bread. We also checked their toasting speed and any safety features that would stop your toast from burning in case it becomes stuck in the carriage.

Please note: this information was current as of March 2008 but is still a useful guide to today's market. 


Brands tested

  • # Bellini BTET300
  • Breville Emporia CT25B
  • # DeLonghi CT021
  • # Kenwood TT427
  • # Modern Living 130502
  • Morphy Richards 44067 Accents Dove White
  • Russell Hobbs 10618 Reflections
  • Sunbeam TA6220 Toastum 2
  • # Tefal Avanti Deluxe TT7041

# Discontinued models.

 
 

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The following models scored the best results in our test.

What to buy
Brand Price
Breville Emporia $70
Russell Hobbs Reflections $99
# Tefal Avanti Deluxe $60
# Bellini BTET300 $45

# Discontinued


About the rest

  • Morphy Richards produced good single slices but was let down by the poor frozen bread score.
  • Sunbeam also made good single slice toasts but, at three minutes, took the longest time to toast two slices of bread, compared with Tefal and Modern Living at 1 minute 50 seconds.
  • Kenwood used the least energy in the process of toasting eight slices of bread (94 Wh), but performed poorly on toasting frozen bread and crumb removal.
  • Both DeLonghi and Modern Living were let down by their low frozen bread scores
  • Modern Living also did not produce evenly brown toast.

Results table

Full results for all models are shown in the table below.

PRODUCT PERFORMANCE FEATURES
Product Overall Score (%) Ease of use score (%) Performance score (%) Toasting time (min:sec) Cord storage Reheat setting Defrost setting High-lift carriage Extra settings Dimensions (mm; W x D x H) Price ($)
Breville Emporia CT25B
www.breville.com.au
76 74 77 2:16 C 305 x 190 x 200 70
Russell Hobbs 10618 Reflections
www.salton.com.au
72 82 67 2:36 305 x 180 x 190 99
# Tefal TT7041 Avanti
Deluxe
www.tefal.com.au
72 66 75 1:50 290 x 185 x 240 60
# Bellini BTET300
www.mistral.com.au
71 62 75 2:10 B 295 x 195 x 190 45
Sunbeam TA6220 Toastum 2
www.sunbeam.com.au
68 66 69 3:14 C 285 x 165 x 195 60
# DeLonghi CT021
www.delonghi.com.au
65 80 58 2:38 280 x 170 x 205 59
# Kenwood TT427
www.kenwood-australia.com
64 74 60 2:30 300 x 165 x 200 50
Morphy Richards 44067 Accents
www.morphyrichards.com.au
59 69 55 2:55 275 x 180 x 205 85
# Modern Living 130502
www.target.com.au
58 76 50 1:57 295 x 185 x 225 50
 

Using the table

Scores The overall scores is made up of:

Performance: 70%

  • Evenness of browning 35%
  • Repeatability of colour 35%
  • Frozen bread 15%
  • Single slice 15%

Ease of Use: 30%

  • Controls 40%
  • Cleaning exterior 30%
  • Crumb removal/ cleaning 30%

High lift carriage Allows you to raise smaller items above the toaster slots.
Extra settings Includes crumpets, bagel setting.
Price Recommended retail, as of May 2009.

# Discontinued models.

How we tested

  • Performance: Our tester used both white and multi-grain bread to perform the evenness of browning test. After determining the optimum browning setting, he did four toasting cycles with 30 seconds between each run. He then looked at the evenness across the face of each slice, consistency between runs, evenness of colour of each slice, and the average toast colour. For the frozen bread test, we used bread slices directly out of the freezer and did two toasting cycles with 30 seconds between each run.
  • Safety: All toasters passed electrical safety. Toasters outer temperatures were not excessive, within the expected limit of less than 68°C.
  • Ease of Use: This included how easy it is to use the controls, the ease of cleaning (both inside and out), as well as the ease of crumb removal.

Brownie points

With a new toaster, it’s a good idea to experiment with the first few slices of bread to find a browning setting that’s best suited to your taste. Once you find your favourite setting, a good toaster should be able to reproduce the same result consistently — even if you’re using it to prepare breakfast for a large family.

To find out which model lasted the distance, we painstakingly toasted (and consumed) more than 1000 slices of bread over several weeks. Our testers found that only two models achieved very good scores for browning evenly across both sides of the bread (Breville and Tefal), while most models produced small patches that were over or undercooked around the edges. Morphy Richards and Modern Living came last in our browning test, producing slices that were unevenly toasted.

Interestingly, spending more won’t necessarily guarantee you a better slice of toast — one of the most expensive models didn’t make it into our What to buy list, and cheaper models featured at both ends of our overall ratings.

Overall, Breville topped the chart as an all-round performer — producing evenly-brown toast over repeated toasting cycles. It also scored well in our single slice test — a task that can could be tricky as the toast may absorb extra heat from the empty slot and overcook.

Useful additional settings

All nine toasters offer some pre-programmed settings. Most models, have a reheat setting (except for Sunbeam), a defrost setting for frozen bread (except for Breville) and a few have a bagel (Bellini), or crumpets setting (Breville and Sunbeam) to toast the thicker-baked goods.

Breville and Sunbeam only browned the crumpets slightly, but they were evenly toasted with some additional time. The Bellini's bagel setting is useful as it’s designed to only crisp and brown the surface of the bagel while warming the inside of it.

The reheat setting worked well in the Tefal and Morphy Richards, but for most of the rest only managed to warm the bread through, without restoring the original crispness of a fresh piece of toast. And in the case of Modern Living, the toast was overcooked using the reheat setting.

Collecting the crumbs

Crumb removal is easier with toasters that have wider slots at the bottom of toasting chambers — a feature that prevents dirt from getting trapped. You should also look for crumb trays that are easy to pull out and insert, which can be tested at the shop before you buy.

The toasters with the best crumb-removal design were Breville, Modern Living and Russell Hobbs, as their crumb trays can be easily pulled out easily and emptied. The Tefal rated poorly on crumb removal because it has a small opening at the bottom of the toasting chamber. Its angled opening also means that stray crumbs are likely to become caught inside, even when the toaster is turned over and shaken.

It’s important to clear your toasters of crumbs quite regularly so they don't become stuck to the bottom of the toasting chamber over time and and also to avoid attracting insects. Emptying the tray alone is often insufficient. All of the models tested would require a good upside-down shake for a thorough clean. On the other hand, cleaning the exterior of the toasters is much simpler, as most only require a quick wipe using a clean sponge.

Profiles - What to buy

Breville Emporia CT25B

breville Emporia CT25B Price: $70

Good points

  • Excellent cleaning score.
  • Very good even-browning score.

Bad points

  • Under-cooked frozen bread.

Russell Hobbs Reflections 10618

Russell Hobbs Reflections 10618 Price: $99

Good points

  • Excellent cleaning score.
  • Good controls, easy-to-read markings.
  • Good even-browning score.

Bad points

  • Poor handling of single slices.

# Tefal Avanti Deluxe TT7041

Price: $60 tefal Avanti Deluxe TT7041

Good points

  • Very good even-browning score.
  • Easy-to-use levers.
  • Toasts bread in 1 minute 50 seconds

Bad points

  • The wire can grab the bread before it falls to the bottom of the toasting chambers.

# Bellini BTET300

Price: $45 Bellini BTET300

Good points

  • Very good even-browning score.
  • Produced good single slices.

Bad points

  • Control lights hardly visible.
  • Bread slice tends to shoot out of toasting chambers when toasting a single slice or light bread.

 

Profiles - the rest

# DéLonghi CT021

DeLonghi CT021 Price: $59

Good points

  • Good controls.
  • Very good cleaning score.

Bad points

  • Poor frozen bread score.

# Kenwood TT427

Kenwood TT427 Price: $50

Good points

  • Good cleaning score.
  • Very good controls.

Bad points

  • Poor frozen-bread score.
  • Poor crumb-removal score.
  • Difficult to remove smaller items such as crumpets.

# Modern Living 130502 

Price: $50 Modern Living 130502

Good points

  • Good cleaning score.
  • Good controls.

Bad points

  • Poor uniformity of browning.
  • Poor frozen-bread and single-slice scores.

# Discontinued models, but may still be available in some shops.

Morphy Richards 44067 Accents Dove white

Morphy Richards 44067 Price: $85

Good points

  • Good single slice score.
  • Excellent controls.

Bad points

  • Poor frozen bread score.

Sunbeam TA6220 Toastum 2

Sunbeam TA6220 Toastum 2 Price: $60

Good points

  • Good single-slice score.
  • Good even-browning score.

Bad points

  • Longest toasting time (3 mins 14 secs)

# Discontinued models.

Essential features

An ideal toaster should toast bread evenly on both sides, and produce the same result consistently over several runs. It should also be able to produce a wide range of toast colours to suit your taste. When choosing a toaster you should consider:

  • The toasting chamber should be wide enough and long enough to insert and remove a range of breads such as crumpets, thick-sliced bread and muffins.
  • The toasting cycle should cope with being interrupted easily without the bread being thrown onto the bench top.
  • The controls should be easy to read, understand and operate, and be well positioned for access.
  • Crumbs should be easily removable. The toaster should have a slide- out or flip-down crumb tray, which has no sharp edges. Also, there should be no place for the crumbs to get stuck to inside the toaster and build up over time.
  • The exterior should be easy to keep clean and have no crevices to trap dirt, or sharp edges which can scratch when cleaning or handling the toaster.
  • During toasting, the exterior should remain cool enough to touch (less than 68°C)

For people with a disability

Some useful features for people with a disability are:

  • Easy-to-read markings, preferably with contrasting colours. The control/dial should have a large grip and should require little effort to operate using one hand or finger tips.
  • The bread carriage lever should have a large area, be easy to grip and require little pressure. It should also not be recessed or flush with the toaster so it doesn't have to be operated solely by your fingers.
  • The crumb removal method should require no more than one hand and require little skill and pressure to slide/pull out.
  • The Tefal is the most suitable as the levers and controls knobs are easy to operate, but it’s let down by the small holes on the bottom which prevents all the crumbs from falling into the crumb tray – making cleaning more difficult.
Your say - Choice voice

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