If you are looking for a reliable toaster from a trusted manufacturer who keeps things affordable, Hamilton Beach is a top choice. The company’s products feature a balance of convenience and affordability that makes Hamilton Beach a go-to brand in many households.
Additionally, the company offers a wide selection of models, over 30 toasters. You can stick to budget offerings if toast is only occasionally on the menu. Still, if you regularly eat foods like bagels, toast, English muffins and frozen waffles, you’ll want a higher-end model such as the Hamilton Beach 4-Slice Extra-Wide Slot Toaster that offers toast boost, shade selection and auto-off features.
A toaster uses nichrome wire wrapped back and forth across a mica sheet to create the infrared radiation required to toast bread. Since nichrome wire has a high electrical resistance, it quickly heats up when electricity flows through it. Nichrome wire is also very durable, so it can be heated over and over without degrading.
The average toaster uses anywhere from 800-1,500 watts, which may be enough to blow a fuse depending on what other items are running on the same circuit. By comparison, the average refrigerator runs somewhere between 400-800 watts (except when the compressor kicks on, then it is considerably higher). Since a toaster only runs a few minutes each day, it is not that impactful on your energy bill. Using a toaster for roughly 12 minutes every day would cost less than $10 a year for most households.
When the bread is toasted, it undergoes what is called the Maillard reaction. As it crisps and turns brown, the flavor actually changes, making it taste better to most individuals. Additionally, toasted bread becomes firmer, making it easier to spread toppings.
Besides bread, if the slots are wide enough, you can cook frozen waffles and toast bagels and English muffins. Additionally, if you purchase toaster bags, the options of what you can make in a toaster expand considerably. Reusable, heat-resistant toaster bags allow you to make sandwiches, pastries, chicken nuggets, reheat pizza and more.
Hamilton Beach toasters have a wide range of features. However, not every model will have every feature. This list will give you a good idea of what is available. If you see something that you can not live without, make sure it is available on the model you are considering.
Hamilton Beach toasters can have either two or four slots. If you like thick bread and bagels, you’re going to want to get a model with extra wide slots.
Although the outside of all toasters will get a little warm while operating, it’s crucial to purchase a model that has cool-touch sides to reduce the risk of accidental burns.
To make it easier to grab your food after toasting, some Hamilton Beach models have “Toast Boost,” which lifts your food extra high when ready. This is another feature that can help keep you from burning your fingers.
The shade selector lets you select the level of doneness of your toast.
If you forgot to take your bread out of the freezer the night before, just use the defrost setting and you can still have toast for breakfast.
A few Hamilton Beach toasters have a “Keep Warm” setting that allows you to keep your bread in the toaster without making it any crispier.
If you need to stop the toasting cycle immediately for any reason, models that have a cancel button let you do exactly that.
Automatic shut-off is an important safety feature. If your bread ever gets jammed and you’re not around to hit the cancel button, the automatic shut-off will turn off the heat, so your bread doesn’t burn and create a fire hazard.
If you want a no-frills Hamilton Beach toaster, the lowest-priced model is only $15. The highest-priced model in the company’s current line is $60.
A. The more often you use any appliance, the shorter its lifespan will be. The average life expectancy of a toaster is seven years.
A. It is important to remember to clean your toaster regularly because a dirty toaster is a fire hazard. Once each week is usually sufficient, but you can clean after every use if desired. Always unplug your toaster and let it fully cool before cleaning. Remove the crumb tray and dump the crumbs in the trash. If needed, wipe down the crumb tray and the unit’s exterior with a microfiber cloth. Never use metal scouring pads or submerge any part of your Hamilton Beach toaster in water. If there are crumbs stuck inside, turn the toaster upside down and shake gently until the food particles become dislodged.
Hamilton Beach 4-Slice Extra-Wide Slot Toaster
What you need to know: This large, four-slice toaster is packed with conveniences to make your morning meal a delight.
What you’ll love: The deep, wide slots in this toaster accommodate thick bread as well as English muffins and frozen waffles. It features a toast boost for easy removal and an auto-off to keep your bread from burning if it gets stuck.
What you should consider: The stainless steel is not as thick as some users would have hoped.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Hamilton Beach 2-Slice Extra-Wide Slot Toaster
What you need to know: This is a stylish, budget toaster that looks good on your counter.
What you’ll love: Even though this is a budget model, it still has many valuable features. The cancel button comes in handy if you ever need to stop the toasting process immediately, and the convenient cord storage keeps the cord tidy.
What you should consider: The sides of this model can get hot to the touch.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Hamilton Beach Toaster with Bagel and Defrost Settings
What you need to know: If you like modern-looking appliances, this toaster with a digital display will suit your needs.
What you’ll love: The digital display on this model lets you see the toasting level at a glance. The unit toasts evenly, has a slide-out crumb tray for easy cleaning and a defrost feature that thaws before toasting.
What you should consider: While not a huge issue, some users do not like that this model defaults to setting 4 after each use.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.