10 Best 2 Slice Toasters | March 2017
- made in the usa
- attractive and elegant design
- beeping function is annoyingly loud
- available in silver white or black
- exterior doesn't get too hot
- sometimes pops toast too high
- nonslip feet keep it in place
- stainless steel crumb tray
- browning tends to be uneven
- dual auto-adjusting bread guides
- bread never gets jammed inside it
- has a warm-only mode
- cycle progress indicator
- removable crumb tray
- takes up very little counter space
- can hold thick-sliced bread
- lifts high for easy bread removal
- provides even toasting on both sides
- illuminated led panel
- attractive brushed metal housing
- hidden cord-wrap area
From Pyramids To Pop-Ups
Toasters have become a symbolic representation of bringing families together for mealtime. In popular culture, the word toast was used in the 1400s to describe warmed bread placed into a drink. Today, the word is still used to salute to a person's good fortune and health or as an affirmation of accomplishment with a large group of people as they raise their celebratory libations during a party. But the history and evolution of the actual toasting process involving bread dates quite a bit further back in time.
As early as 6,000 years ago, the ancient Egyptians realized that if they left bread dough out to bake in the warm sun, the dough would expand and rise. If the dough was baked in an enclosed oven, it would retain its fluffiness. This process wasn't fully understood until the 17th century when the microscope revealed that yeast cells were responsible for the leavening process.
Before the invention of the electric 2-slice toaster, several other methods were employed, which included using a heated hearthstone, a long-handled toasting fork, and placing bread within a hinged metal frame to heat it over a fire.
The first electric bread toaster was invented by Alan MacMasters in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1893. Macmaster's toaster was commercialized by Crompton, Stephen J. Cook & Company of the UK as a toasting appliance and was referred to as the Eclipse. The main problem at this time of the electric toaster's development was in the construction of its heating element, as iron wiring was unreliable and a potential fire hazard. This issue was solved in 1905 by Albert Marsh, developer of Nichrome wire, which had the advantage of withstanding high levels of heat for extended periods of time. This innovation was the catalyst for the continued development of the electric toaster market.
The first commercially-marketed electric toaster was released in 1909 by General Electric (GE) and patented under the name D-12. In 1913, Lloyd Groff Copeman and his wife, Hazel Berger Copeman, developed the first toaster with an automatic bread turner. By 1919, Charles Strite patented the commonly-known pop-up toaster. Strite's patent was later marketed for home use by the Waters Genter Company as the first automatic pop-up toaster, capable of browning bread on both sides and allowing for setting its heat timer. By the middle of the 20th century, some pop-up toasters featured automatic lowering and raising functionality, thanks to a built-in bimetallic sensor that was activated by heat passing through the bread. This meant that even frozen slices of bread could be heated to the same degree as those slices kept at room temperature.
A Toast To Butter Wishes & Jam Dreams
There's something about the idea of freshly toasted bread that just delivers instant gratification to your morning breakfast routine. After all, heating an ordinary slice of bread brings out its sweetness, adds plenty of crunch, and provides an easy-to-use blank slate on which to spread a variety of things. Breads also come in many different flavors, sizes, and consistencies, so there is always something for everybody.
A toaster is a small electric appliance that utilizes radiant heat to singe or brown slices of bread. The heat is produced by conducting electricity through nichrome wire. The toasting process itself consists of reducing the water content in a piece of bread, which is typically 35% of the bread's total weight. This is why that slice of delicious toast is light, crunchy, and somewhat caramelized on its surface.
Have you ever wondered why your bread always tastes sweeter once it's been heated? The caramelization process is a chemical reaction, also referred to as the Maillard reaction in which the starch molecules break down into simple sugar molecules. That's what gives toast its sweet flavor.
Multi-slice toasters are common for households as they take up little room and offer a quick way to prepare a hearty breakfast. Many 2-slice toasters are pop-up style and with wide slots for accommodating thick items like bagels, pop tarts, crumpets, scones, and waffles. The evolution of heat-resistant plastics also affords the ability for modern 2-slice (and 4-slice) toasters to be fashioned in a variety of different shapes, sizes, and designs.
Turning Up The Heat And Keeping It Sweet
Common features built into the design of most 2-slice toasters include defrost/reheat functions, variable browning control, separate crumb trays for easy cleanup, and wide slots for heating all types of bread, thick and thin. After all, it's convenience, reliability, and great taste that really matters. That said, you just want to be sure that the toaster you buy is reliable, sturdy, and easy to put virtually anywhere in your kitchen.
Many 2-slice toasters have retractable power cords, which is a great feature if your counter space is limited. If you're really into nostalgia, other 2-slice toasters have a chrome exterior and are often painted in bright colors that are reminiscent of those old diners from the 1950s.
Easy-to-read digital displays come in handy when the toaster has automatic bagel functions or countdown timers for dealing with breads that require different amounts of time inside the unit to heat appropriately.