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Just 3% of toasters make a great slice of toast, says Which?

Why you can't trust toasters to brown bread evenly


Toast is a great way to kick off the day, whether it’s part of your full English or eaten alone slathered in butter and Marmite.

But we’ve discovered that unless you like your toast burnt to a crisp or can turn a blind eye to untoasted patches of bread, it’s actually pretty rare to find a toaster that can make the perfect toast.

In fact, just 3% of the models we’ve tested in our toaster reviews can be relied upon to deliver toast that’s evenly golden brown all over. 

Toasters on trial

From Breville to Morphy Richards, we’ve tested more than 100 of the latest models. Each toaster we test is rated on how close it comes to delivering the ‘holy grail’ of evenly golden brown toast, which takes account of how much of the slice is toasted and how even the browning is. We make three rounds of toast with each toaster before we award our rating out of five.

Which? researcher Zoe Galloway says: ‘Amazingly, almost three-quarters of the toasters we’ve tested can’t make toast that’s evenly browned across most of the bread, which begs the question of why can’t toasters do their most basic job properly. 

‘Nevermind the bagel setting or bun warmer, shouldn’t manufacturers focus on getting the basics right first?’

Our test results typically range from pale and underdone to patchy and striped, with only a small percentage of toasters achieving perfectly golden toast.

Only the top models join the ranks of our recommended Best Buy toasters.

Toaster or grill?

Some Which? members told us they avoid toasters altogether – preferring the traditional approach of putting bread under the grill to achieve perfection.

Although this is a great alternative, our quest for the perfect toaster will continue…

Toasters: the facts

Our tests have uncovered a few more facts when it comes to toasters…

  • 57% of toasters scored three stars or less when it came to evenness of browning, meaning more than half were average or below in creating an evenly browned slice of toast.
  • 63% of toasters scored three stars or less for browning coverage, meaning more than half left patchy or striped toast.
  • And only 28% of toasters received four stars or five stars for both these ratings, meaning a great toaster really is hard to come by!

If you’re in the market for a new toaster, our round up of the top five best toasters will help you find a toaster that you won’t be disappointed with.

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