Growing up, I’m not sure our toaster ever had a brand name on it. It was white, and it was covered in crumbs. Today, the toaster game is different. Big-name appliance and cookware brands like KitchenAid, Smeg, Cusinart and All-Clad have toaster options on the market—and they are each pretty great for different reasons.
Lucky for you we tested all of the highest-rated four-slice toasters to figure out which ones are actually THE BEST. And because not all toasters are created equal—some are flashy, it turns out, while others are workhorses and others are crazy high-tech—we’ve classified them by what they excel at. If you’re saying, “A toaster, is a toaster, is a toaster!”…we get it. Yes, we’re splitting hairs, but that’s why we’re here—to make sure you spend your money on the best possible product that can achieve the exact results you desire. Happy toasting, fellow bread lovers.
If there were to be a Porsche of toasters, the Smeg would be it. You’re going to want to showcase this bad boy on your counter, trust me. Whether you opt for chrome, or the powder-coated steel (the red is really a sight to behold), the toaster’s sleek vintage design shines through. And it’s no flash in the pan when it comes to function, either. If you’ve got smaller pieces of bread (like cinnamon raisin, for example), the extra-wide slots could easily accommodate six slices. I also love the anti-slip feet that keep the toaster from moving around your counter.
Smeg 4-Slice Toaster
BEST FOR BAGELS
A lot of toasters advertise themselves as being bagel-friendly, but Cuisinart truly is. And if you’ve ever tried to jam a bagel half in a too-narrow bread slot, then you realize slot width is an important detail, and you’ll appreciate this toaster’s generous appropriation at 1 1/2 –inches wide. Other bagel-perfecting details: Separate controls allows you to reduce heat on the uncut side of the bagel and you can reheat without browning. Genius! The LED-screen is great too, because it has a countdown clock, letting you know exactly how much time remains until your toasting is done. Downside: It doesn’t spread the cream cheese on for you.
Cuisinart 4 Slice Countdown Metal Toaster
The saying, “It’s the little things in life,” has never been more applicable than with Kitchen Aid’s long-slice toaster. Sleek in appearance whether you opt for silver, red or black (which coordinate perfectly with the line’s other appliances), this toaster has won smart design for a few reasons. First, you can store the cord under its base. Ah-mazing. Second, the high-lift lever actually lifts higher than most, meaning you can avoid burned fingertips. Third, the long slot can accommodate a giant sour dough slices and its extra-wide width can host rough-cut homemade bread. We also appreciate the seven shade settings, where most toasters offer four to six.
Kitchen Aid 4-Slice Long Slot Toaster with High Lift Lever
MOST LIKELY TO LAST A LIFETIME
Is there anything that All-Clad makes that isn’t a total workhorse? From pots and pans to slow cookers, the brand churns out heavy-duty products, and its toaster is no different. The two control panels mean that you can toast two separate orders simultaneously—like for my daughter who enjoys a barely-toasted English muffin, and my son, who prefers his Eggos a dark shade of brown—and consistently thanks to the six browning settings. The downside: This sucker is a bit heavy at nearly 12 pounds. The upside: It will last you forever—which helps justify its hefty price tag.
All-Clad Stainless Steel 4-Slot Toaster
What makes this Breville toaster so smart? Well, for one, the motorized one-touch functionality means you’ll never have to push a lever down again to toast your bread. Phew! Second, the “lift and look” feature allows you to sneak a peek at your toast mid-cycle (the toaster raises the bread on its own) without actually cancelling the cycle. I also love the not-techy-sounding “a bit more” button that adds 30 seconds of browning to your bread…for those times when you want to toast just a little bit more. More perks: Even after multiple toasting sessions, this toaster stays cool to the touch and its cord is removable.
Breville Die-Cast 4-Slice Smart Toaster
Simply put, this toaster is the best bang for your buck when you’re not looking to invest more than 50 of those bucks. In addition to a sleek stainless-steel façade, the Krups option has six browning levels; the extra-high lever (no burnt fingers!); and slots that are both wide enough for moderately-sized bagels and deeper-than-most, allowing for full-bread coverage.
Krups 4-Slice Stainless Steel Toaster
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