Expensive doesn't mean better.
When it comes to toasters, a higher price doesn’t necessarily mean better performance.
We tested the KitchenAid KMT2116 in 2018 and are gobsmacked that it’s still available to buy. It produced nothing but warm bread, even on the highest setting. Convinced we’d bought a dud, we went back to the shop and exchanged it for another. The second one was just as bad, so we went to a different store – and guess what? Warm bread. We gave it zero for performance and slapped a “Don’t Buy” on it.
The Dualit DU2 was another expensive let-down. For $495 you’d expect more than just funky design; instead, its performance was erratic, with mostly mediocre results.
Breville’s the Toast Select Luxe BTA735 two-slice toaster was better, but definitely not enough to warrant $158. It does have a crumpet setting and an audible “toast ready” reminder, though. But those are luxuries we’d happily exchange for a decent piece of toast.
If you’re after a four-slice toaster, do yourself a favour and pass on the Morphy Richards Accents. It looks cool, but its performance was nothing to write home about. Don’t spoil your breakfast with this $139 dud.
Luckily, we’ve found a few decent models for less than $100. Check them out here.
Toasting performance (70%): As a toaster heats up it produces darker toast, so we wanted to check the consistency of colour from run to run. To do this we toasted slices of fresh white bread over 4 runs in quick succession. We also assessed the evenness of browning across each slice. Next we checked how well the toasters dealt with a single slice, as well as bread straight from the freezer. Where a toaster has a Burgen score, we also assessed how well the toaster cooked Burgen bread.
Ease of use (30%): We assessed how easy the controls were to use, whether the toasters were easy to clean or had dirt traps, and whether the crumb tray was easy to remove and empty.
We also measured the temperature of the sides of the toasters — if these get higher than 68°C they could burn you. (None of the models in this test were higher than 68°C but the metal around the slots can still get very hot.)