What is the advantage of a 4-slice toaster over a 2-slice one?
Why should you get a 4-slice toaster instead of a 2-slice toaster? For starters, if you have a family, the odds are more than one person will want toast, and they will eat a minimum of two slices. With four available slots, your family can save a lot of time making breakfast. 4-slice toasters are also often more technologically-advanced than their 2-slice counterpart, so you can enjoy more features and superior toasting.
How big of a toaster slot space do I need?
Unless you only eat one type of bread (and who does that?), you will need a good-sized slot for thicker cuts of bread and bagels. 1.5-inches is usually wide enough for most thick slices, though length is often an issue. Longer slices of bread like sourdough and gourmet loaves often have to be trimmed. Some four slice toasters are designed to help with this, and consist of two extra-long slots that fit either two regular-sized slices, or one large slice.
What sorts of toasting modes do they have?
Most toasters nowadays offer digital displays and control where you can select specific toasting modes. “Bagel” is a convenient feature, as it tells the toaster to focus the heat on the cut side of the bagel. Another popular mode is “Reheat”, which lets you warm up already-toasted bread without re-toasting and burning it.
Can I toast frozen foods in my toaster?
Many toasters include modes for frozen toast and bagels. This will take longer, but it will result in toasted bread that is cooked through on the inside and toasty on the outside. “Defrost” is also a common mode, and allows you to skip defrosting pancakes, waffles, and so on in the microwave before slipping it in the toaster. Unless otherwise stated, you should reserve your toaster for frozen breads like bagels, waffles, and so on, instead of frozen pizzas.
Do 4-slice toasters have timers?
The most common time features on 4-slice toasters are a countdown timer and/or a progress bar. The countdown timer is typically lit by LED and lets you know how much time is left on a cycle, which you selected when you choose “Bagel”, “Reheat”, and so on. A progress bar, which usually appears on the side, is another way to keep tabs on your toast. Some toasters even have a “Bit More” button like a microwave would, and toasts the bread a little longer after the cycle should have ended. Toasters that have this feature are motorized and don’t have a manual lift.
What if I don’t know how long I should toast the bread?
If you don’t know how much time you should toast your bread, and you don’t want to leave it up to chance, most 4-slice toasters allow you select the toast shade that you prefer. Using numbers from 1-5, or even 1-7, you can select how brown you want your toast or bagel to be, and the toaster will do its thing. As a head’s up, most people don’t use the browning dial beyond number 4 or 5, so seven browning shades might be too much and not worth the extra cost.
What features make cleaning a toaster easier?
In order to keep your toaster clean and performing at its best, a removable crumb tray is the best feature to look for. These trays are found either at the front or side of your toaster, and slide out. Just empty the tray of crumbs on a regular basis, and you keep the toaster working and safe from fires. Some crumb trays are even dishwasher-safe, so you can pop them in your washer for a more thorough clean. To wash the outside of your toaster, a damp, clean rag is usually all that is necessary.
What construction materials make a toaster durable?
The most durable 4-slice toasters are made from metal, not plastic. Plastic housing is cheaper, but it is subject to faster wear-and-tear, and the heating elements are not as high quality and can burn out after only a short time. Metal like stainless steel and brushed stainless steel are ideal, though they are prone to cosmetic issues, like scratching. Die-cast steel is another great material and is extremely hard and durable.
How big are four slice toasters?
Because they have more slots, 4-slice toasters are larger than most 2-slice toasters. They can weigh between 5-7 pounds. However, many of them are designed to be as compact as possible, and can weigh as little as 4 pounds. You don’t have to have a ton of counter space to have a 4-slice toaster, so look for the compact models if storage is an issue.
What toaster features prevent me from having to reach down for the toast?
One of the problems with toasters in general is that smaller pieces of bread like English muffins don’t pop up above the toaster threshold, so you have to reach into the toaster itself. You can easily burn yourself, and toast can sometimes get stuck. To help with this issue, many 4-slice toasters are designed with extra-high lift carriages or a toast boost, so the bread pops up higher.
What are the safety features that toasters come with?
Like any electrical appliance, toasters pose some safety issues. Leaving too many crumbs in the crumb tray is fire hazard. Another issue is toast getting stuck. You might forget to unplug the toaster before using a knife or fork to get the toast out, and you risk electrocution. To protect you, some toasters have an auto shut-off when toast gets jammed, so even if you forget to unplug it, you’re kept safe. The hot metal sides of a toaster can also be a danger, so many 4-slice toasters are designed with cool-touch sides.
How much do 4-slice toasters tend to cost?
4-slice toasters can be reasonably-priced and cost around $30-$50. These typically have some basic features like a few toast modes, dual controls, wide slots, and so on. The more expensive toasters ($100-$200+ range) might include sound alerts, a countdown timer, and more browning options, but brand name also factors a lot into price. There are also motorized toasters on the market, which means everything is controlled by one-touch buttons and there is no manual lift carriage. These can be very expensive, so you’ll need to think about what features are absolutely necessary, and which ones aren’t really worth the extra money.