Slice of Heaven
We love the aroma of toasted bread – any time of the day. And it tastes so good, too! tests LIM TSIAO HUI these new pop-up toasters.
1 RUSSELL HOBBS COTTAGE TOASTER $99.90, from Tangs and Courts DIMENSIONS 29 x 20 x 16cm. Cord length: 58cm THE TOAST One of the slots left nice toast lines on the bread. The edges of the toast were crispier – good if you like crunchy sides. CONTROLS There are four buttons on the side, and the ones to the right of the lever – to defrost and reheat – were harder to reach than the other two (to stop toasting and to heat up bagels) when the toaster was placed against the wall. Otherwise, the heat-setting knob and lever are accessible. BREAD SLOTS It has two 13cm slots that hold 2.5cm-thick country loaf slices. It gave me a thrill to see how the toast literally jumped out of the slots, without falling onto the table. EXTRAS A detachable bun warmer. VERDICT A versatile toaster that did the job. 7.5
2 KENWOOD TTM104 $129, from major department and electrical stores
DIMENSIONS 30 x 20 x 15cm. Cord length: 60cm
THE TOAST The edges and centre were the most toasted but the bread was still nicely crisp.
CONTROLS The large knob by the toaster’s side was easy to use. There are only two buttons – one to stop toasting and the other for toasting a single slice of bread.
BREAD SLOTS It has the broadest bread slots, to take 3cm-thick country loaf slices easily; the other toasters held 2.5cm slices only.
EXTRAS A great energy-saving oneslot toasting function – the other slot doesn’t heat up.
VERDICT Simplicity in a sleek package, with wide slots and a unique energysaving feature. 8
3 TEFAL TOAST N’ EGG $69.90, from major department and electrical stores DIMENSIONS 37 x 20 x 16cm. Cord length: 83cm
THE TOAST Sandwich bread had nice grill lines, but the heat got more intense after every batch, charring my soft, traditional bread even at the lowest setting. Best to rest it for a minute or so between toasting.
CONTROLS All four buttons (to toast, to toast and cook eggs, to cook eggs, and to stop the toasting/ cooking), the heat-setting knob and the lever are in front, to make space for an attachment on the right of the appliance for cooking eggs.
BREAD SLOTS They are 13.5cm long and take 2.5cm-thick country loaf slices.
EXTRAS A bowl-shaped attachment lets you cook hard- or soft-boiled eggs. It comes with a beaker (to measure the water for cooking the eggs) with a small spike to pierce a hole in the eggs before cooking them in the machine.
VERDICT A multi-functional toaster that makes a big breakfast, but it loses points for its toasting inconsistency. 7
4 BOSCH PRIVATE COLLECTION TAT6801 $99, from major department and electrical stores DIMENSIONS 45 x 22 x 12cm. Cord
THE TOAST At heat settings two and three, one side of the bread was more browned, but both slices were wellcrisped. At the lowest heat setting, the bread was still soft; it was charred at the highest setting.
CONTROLS Well designed. The heatsetting knob has indents, which make using it a breeze. The two buttons at the front (to stop toasting and toast frozen bread) are easy to access.
BREAD SLOTS It’s the only one with a single 25cm by 2.5cm slot that can hold a slice of traditional bread horizontally, or two slices of sandwich bread.
EXTRAS An attached bunwarmer rack.
VERDICT Sleek, ergonomic and easy to use – this is the Rolls Royce of toasters if you have the counter space to park it. 8.5
5 ELECTROLUX EASYSENSE ETS3200R $49, from major department and electrical stores DIMENSIONS 33 x 19 x 16cm. Cord length: 75cm THE TOAST It gave evenly toasted slices all the time – through five batches of bread. CONTROLS The buttons – to defrost, reheat and stop – sit on the rounded bend of the toaster and are easy to reach. On the heat-setting knob, an icon under the number “2” indicates the recommended setting for warming up buns – the only toaster with this simple but useful guide. BREAD SLOTS The two 13cm-long slots took country loaf slices of up to 2.5cm thick. EXTRAS An attached bun-warmer rack and a lid to cover the bread slots when the toaster is off. This toaster was the only one that did not feel hot when in use. VERDICT Reliable and consistent, it’s stylish looking and cool to the touch. 8