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Toastie makers: which ones waste the most bread?

Our toastie maker tests found some with tiny cooking plates that disappointingly won't cook your whole sandwich

Toastie makers: which ones waste the most bread?

A cheese toastie is a great snack when you’re short of time or want something quick and easy, but our tests of the best toastie makers found some won’t cook like you expect them to. In fact, half of the toastie makers we tested left some parts of the bread totally uncooked.

We got our hands on 10 of the most popular toastie makers from the likes of Breville, Sage and Russell Hobbs – and even threw a George Foreman grill in there for good measure – to test how good they are at whipping up a batch of cheese toasties.

While some toastie makers cooked the whole toastie from crust to crust, others had cooking plates so small that they squashed bread out the sides and only cooked a portion of what we put in them.

Read on to find out which toastie makers our tests found can waste up to almost a quarter of your bread.

Or see which ones cook the best toasties in our round-up of the best toastie makers.

cheese toasties cooked in a toastie maker

Which toastie makers waste the most bread?

Warburtons is the UK’s most popular bread brand, so we made all of our toasties using Warburton’s Medium White loaf to ensure our tests reflected the kind of toasties we’re likely to make at home.

As you can see from the photo above, this proved problematic for toastie makers with cooking plates smaller than the bread slices, which are about 11.5 x 14.5cm in size.

Unless you buy small bread specially for making toasties in these makers, you’ll likely find only a section of your bread will come out cooked and the rest will be crushed in the surrounding handle and frame.

Five of the 10 toastie makers we tested have smaller cooking plates than the bread we used. This is how much bread they left uncooked:

Toastie maker Typical price Cooking plate size (per toastie) % of bread wasted during testing
Argos Cookworks 2 Portion Sandwich Toaster £12.99 10.5 x 12cm 24.4%
Asda George Home Sandwich Toaster GST301B-19 £8.00 10.5 x 12cm 24.4%
Breville VST041 £22.00 12 x 11.2cm 19.4%
Russell Hobbs Deep Fill 3in1 24540 £29.99 11.2 x 12.7cm 14.7%
Wilko Black 4 Slice Sandwich Toaster 0316233 £8.00 11.2 x 12cm 19.4%

Although we didn’t factor the bread wastage into our overall test scores, we were surprised to find that some toastie makers can leave so much bread uncooked if you opt for an average-sized slice.

Other toastie makers we tested have one large cooking plate that stretches across the whole appliance, making them suitable for cooking toasties of various sizes.

Our tests scored each toastie maker on how evenly they cooked toasties, how quickly they heat up, how much mess they make, and how easy they are to use, store and clean.

If you prefer to cook your toasties the old-fashioned way, see our top picks of the best non-stick frying pans.

Cooking cheese toasties in the kitchen

Five key features to look for when buying a toastie maker

1) Detachable plates

If your toastie maker’s cooking plates can’t be detached, you might have trouble cleaning it. You can’t wash electrical appliances like toastie makers in the sink.

Some toastie makers have detachable cooking plates that can be removed from the appliance for cleaning or even popped in the dishwasher to make cleaning up easier.

However, this can come with downsides: we found toastie makers with detachable plates were more prone to having melted butter and cheese leak into the appliance thanks to the gaps where the cooking plates come away.

2) Adjustable hinges

You might enjoy stuffing your toasties full of tasty fillings, but that can prove problematic when you close your toastie maker for cooking.

The part of your toastie closest to the hinge will get squashed, which could make the toastie cook unevenly and cause fillings to leak out the front and sides.

A toastie maker with adjustable hinges will allow you to lift up the top cooking plates higher so they can lay flat on top of your sandwich. This will help it cook evenly and help prevent your tasty fillings from spilling out.

3) Other cooking functions

If space is at a premium in your kitchen, or you like your appliances to have more than one trick up their sleeves, seek out a toastie maker that can make more than just toasties.

Plenty of toastie makers can also be used as a smokeless grill or to make waffles and paninis.

4) Number of cooking plates

We found toastie makers that make one, two, or four toasties at once. Although our tests mostly covered toastie makers that cook in pairs, there are often four-portion versions of the same toastie maker available.

If you have plenty of mouths to feed (or if you just really like toasties) a four-portion toastie maker might be best for you.

5) Vertical storage

Toastie makers come in all shapes and sizes, and it’s unlikely that you’ll want it out on the kitchen counter at all times.

Our tests found some toastie makers are much bulkier and more difficult to store than others, but being able to stand them up vertically makes a huge difference to how much space they take up in a cupboard.

Make sure to look at the dimensions of the toastie maker you’re considering and work out if it’ll fit wherever you’d like to store it.

Need a new knife to slice up all that cheese you’ll be stuffing into your toasties? See our round-up of the best chef’s knives.

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