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There are four types of toasters: oven, smart, convection, and commercial toasters.
Understanding each type’s features, kitchen usability, installation needs, and sizes will clearly understand which type to buy.
For instance, you may prefer to get toasters versus air fryers based on the quantity of food you can cook with each appliance type. A toaster can be used to make meals for a large family, whereas an air fryer has a limited capacity and makes smaller meals.
Another difference between a toaster and an air fryer is how each appliance cooks foods. A toaster uses a fan to cook food directly, whereas an air fryer distributes hot air throughout the unit.
Knowing the different toasters available in the market, including their strengths and weaknesses, can help you determine the type to choose for your kitchen.
What are the different types available for toasters?
The different toasters are oven, smart, convection, and commercial.
The following list includes the different types of toasters available in the market:
- Oven toaster
An oven toaster is a kitchen appliance that combines the functions of an oven and a toaster.
A toaster with an oven compartment can also roast, bake, or grill in addition to toasting. It has a baking pan and a broiling grid that allow you to cook food as you would in an oven, and it also has slots on the top that will enable you to toast bread, bagels, English muffins, and other items. Some models also have a defrost function that allows you to thaw frozen food without cooking it.
An oven toaster is a small, compact appliance that can save space in your kitchen. It is available in both gas and electric models.
- Smart toaster
A smart toaster is a toaster that has additional features, such as connecting to the internet or being controlled by a mobile app. This allows you to do things like remotely start your toaster, track how long it's been on, and set different toast settings for different types of bread.
Smart toasters can also come with built-in timers and temperature sensors, so you can be sure that your toast will always come out just the way you want it.
- Convection toaster
A convection toaster is similar to a toaster oven but a convection cooking style.
A convection toaster uses forced air to cook the bread and other foods—it heats the air and circulates it around the bread, cooking it more evenly.
Convection toasters are usually more expensive than traditional toasters, but they can produce better results. They are also a bit larger. If you are looking for the best possible toast, then a convection toaster is the way to go. However, if you are on a budget, a traditional toaster will still do the job just fine.
- Commercial toaster
A commercial toaster is an industrial-sized toaster used in a commercial setting such as restaurants and cafés, built tough to handle the demands of a busy kitchen.
Commercial toasters are typically more extensive and more robust than home toasters and can handle larger quantities of bread at once. They often have multiple slots for toasting bread, and some models also have features like timers and automatic shut-offs.
Commercial toasters can be expensive, so it's essential to choose one suited for your needs. Consider the amount of bread you need to toast each day, the types of bread you'll be using, and the size of the appliance.
What are the different ways to use a toaster?
The different ways to use a toaster include the following:
- Make tortilla chips
- Reheating pizza
- Make waffles and pancakes
- Warming up pastries
- Make grilled cheese sandwiches
- Make veggie burgers
Making tortilla chips from scratch is possible with a toaster. Cut your flour tortilla into wedges before placing them in a toaster bag. Set the toaster on medium, and voila—crispy tortilla chips.
Reheating pizza toaster produces a much better taste and crunch than the microwave. Put a slice of pizza in a toaster bag before tossing it into the toaster for two minutes. You can say goodbye to sogginess—you should have a pizza slice good as new.
You can also make waffles and pancakes with a toaster. If you don’t have a waffle iron at home, place some frozen or toasting waffles into the toaster, and you should have an excellent breakfast in a flash.
Warming up pastries is best done in an oven toaster to maintain the flakiness in your croissant or pain au chocolate. Some models have warming racks, which are perfect for this. Otherwise, you can warm up your pastries on an extremely low setting.
Making grilled cheese sandwiches using a toaster is easy. Put your ingredients together, then put one slice with cheese on top into the bottom slot. Place the other slice into the top space, then toast.
Making a veggie burger in a toaster is simple. Veggie burgers are safe to use in toasters because they don't have much fat or oil, potentially damaging the appliance. So go ahead and toast the vegetarian patties for approximately five minutes if frozen and 2-3 minutes if refrigerated. You can also place the bun into the other slots so you can get your veggie burger in no time.
While there are many uses of a toaster, this kitchen appliance requires thoughtful operation and extra care to make it last longer.
What sizes do the toasters come in?
Toasters types are similar in shape and size. They typically come in approximately 32 L x 47 W x 28 H centimeters.
The ideal size of a toaster depends on the number of people in your household and how many items you want to toast at one time. Smaller toasters can only hold two slices of bread at one time. Larger toasters can accommodate more slices of bread, and convection toaster ovens can have more oversized food items, like vegetables or potatoes.
If you have 1-2 people in your household, a two-slice toaster may be sufficient. If you have 3-4 people in your family, you may want a four-slice toaster. Toaster ovens are larger and can hold more bread or ingredients and take up more counter space.
Here are the approximate sizes of each type of toaster:
Oven toaster: 36.4 H x 53.3 W x 39.2 D centimeters
Smart toaster: 32 L x 47 W x 28 H centimeters
Convection toaster: 58.9 W x 66.3 D x 58 H centimeters
Commercial toaster: 53 L x 49 W x 41 H centimeters
What foods can be cooked in different toasters?
The foods that can be put into different toasters include:
- Grilled cheese sandwich
- Sweet potato
- Veggie burgers
- Garlic toast
- Tortilla chips
What determines the best toaster type?
The best toaster type can be determined by the following: number and size of bread slots, cooking functions, smart connectivity, removable tray, pre-set cooking controls, defrost setting, shade setting, brand, and price.
The number of bread slots. Choose a toaster with the number of bread slots that best accommodate your household.
Size of bread slots. The size of the bread slots can also affect the thickness of items you heat in the toaster.
Cooking functions. Toasters have different cooking functions, including convection heating.
Smart connectivity. A connected toaster allows you to adjust settings or controls using your smartphone.
Removable tray. A removable tray easily slides out to throw out bread crumbs, helping you keep your toaster clean and in good condition.
Pre-set cooking controls. Like a bagel setting, pre-set cooking controls can help you toast your bagels to perfection.
Defrost setting. Some toasters have defrost settings that can help you defrost food items before cooking them.
Shade setting. Shade settings let you control your preferred brownness level when making toast.
Brand and price. The price of toasters varies according to the type and brand. Recognized brands are known for quality and reliability but are on the higher end of the price toaster. Consider your budget and whether you'll use toasters regularly or sparingly.
Are oven toasters safe?
Oven toasters are safe appliances when used correctly, but safety precautions are to keep in mind.
Oven toasters are considered safe to use, primarily when used correctly. However, some potential hazards come with using them.
One of the main hazards is that the toaster can quickly become overloaded with bread, causing the bread to catch on fire. Additionally, if any crumbs or grease gets caught in the toaster, it can start a fire.
It's essential to keep an eye on your food while cooking and ensure that nothing is leftover or burning. If there is a fire, remember never to try to put it out with water. Instead, use a fire extinguisher.
Always unplug your toaster after use and let it cool down before cleaning it. Never leave a toaster unattended while it's plugged in.
What is the average price for a toaster?
The average price for a toaster varies between $20-$400.
Smaller, two-slice toasters are on the lower end of the range, whereas larger toasters with more cooking functions may cost even more.
What is the lifespan of different toasters?
The average lifespan of a toaster is between 6-8 years. The frequency of use and initial quality of the toaster affects its duration. Keeping up with maintenance and cleaning also helps your toaster last longer.
The factors that affect the lifespan of a toaster include:
Frequency of use. How often you use your toaster affects how long it lasts. Frequent toaster use can wear out the lever or door hinges over time.
Maintenance and upkeep. If you maintain your toaster, it will last longer. This includes cleaning the toaster out between uses.
Initial quality. The initial quality of the toaster affects how long it lasts. Stainless steel toasters tend to last longer than plastic toasters.
Type of use. The variety of foods you cook in your toaster can also affect its longevity. If you frequently use your toaster to defrost foods or make cookies, it may wear out faster.
How does the toaster type affect the toasting process?
Traditional oven toasters work differently than convection toasters.
A convection toaster uses forced air to cook the bread and other foods—it heats the air and circulates it around the bread, cooking it more evenly than traditional toasters.
Convection toasters can produce better results and are also a bit larger than oven toasters—making them the best possible type of toaster.
Commercial toasters are used in industrial settings and have a larger capacity than the other toasters; thus, the toasting process can be more efficient, especially when requiring a larger batch.
What effect does the toaster type have on taste?
Toasters—regardless of type— change the flavor of bread when toasting.
When the bread is toasted, the heat changes the flavor of the bread. The Maillard reaction occurs, a chemical reaction between an amino acid and sugar. This reaction creates new flavors and aromas in the food.
The Maillard reaction creates hundreds of flavor compounds, which is why toasted bread tastes so much better than regular bread. Toasting changes the starch structure in bread, and it also activates enzymes that convert starch into sugar. These sugar molecules then react with amino acids, and the Maillard reaction occurs.
The Maillard reaction is also responsible for the dark color of toast. When the bread is toasted, the Maillard reaction causes the sugar molecules to break down and form melanoidins, which are responsible for the dark color of toast. They contribute to the flavor and aroma of toasted bread.
Toasting also dries out the bread, making it more crispy and less chewy.
Is it better to use smart toasters or convection toasters in the kitchen?
Deciding whether it's better to use smart or convection toasters in the kitchen boils down to kitchen space and functionality.
Kitchen usability is considered when deciding between the two types of toasters. It refers to the function and structure of kitchen appliances that make them easier to use.
Smart toasters typically come in a standard size, while convection toasters are larger.
If you have a small kitchen and limited counter space, you may consider buying a smart toaster over a convection toaster. However, if you have ample bench space or even kitchen drawers to store the appliance when not in use, you can go for a convection toaster and enjoy all its features.