When is a Toaster not a Toaster?

I have witnessed in my lifetime two very old, simple, and inexpensive kitchen gadgets get worse over the years instead of better.

Normally over 50 years you would expect improvements in gadgets, or certainly no declines in the function of a gadget.

But let us explore a few items so you know what I am talking about.

The first is the common kitchen toaster (toastsus commonis). The toaster of my youth was very functional, it toasted sliced bread. It had two working parts, a knob to push down the toast, and a dial to determine the darkness of your toast. That was it and it worked well. It came in any color you wanted as long as it was chrome. It was simple and effective. The toast would pop up when it was done and it didn’t take very long.

Toasters now come in many colors which is a d├ęcor improvement. But the toaster’s ability to simply toast sliced bread has been greatly compromised. Now there are setting and thermostats that complicate this simple task.

My toaster at home has multiple settings for bagels, frozen waffles, pastries and finally plain old bread. Its primary function is making toast which it does poorly.

The problem is that they have spread apart the heating coils to accommodate fat items like a bagel. This leads to slow cooking times for skinny items like toast.

To complicate matters, I own 4 toasters. One is in my home, one in the guest house, one in the RV, and one at work.

My toaster at work is the best. It gives me the least problems and toasts toast in a fairly reasonable time.

All of the other toasters have a tendency to produce raw toast, and many times I have to re-toast my toast in order to achieve toast.

The other faulty gadget will have to wait. As we say in the south, I’m off on a “bitness” trip and don’t have time for any further comment.


Unknown said...

We do not even own a toaster, probably because of what you have stated here. If we need toast (which we barely eat) I make it in the toaster oven.

Wrap your head around that one for a minute!!!

TerryC said...

Our toaster oven exploded a few months ago and we haven't replaced it. When we cook breakfast, we have a griddle on the stove to toast the bread, bagels, english muffins or whatever. We have complete control over our toastage (unless we get distracted - "we" being Michael in this case). But we have to watch the eggs cooking anyway and it's not such a big deal to stay there until everything is "just so". :)

Michael said...

jg - um, a toaster oven is a toaster, it can toast bread

- it can also, apparently, become an explosive device and spew toaster oven shrapnel all over the kitchen

Reg - check your toast carefully on your bitness trip. I once worked in a place with one of those conveyor toasters where you prop the raw bread in little conveyor slots and it climbs up past the heating element like its on a little bread ferris wheel thats glowing in the center. It loops over the top and on the other side, out pops toast! Maybe. In the place I worked, you almost always had to run it through again to actually get toast. Another labor saving device gone awry.

Anonymous said...

I have experienced this phenomenon myself. The ancient toaster at the cabin with the fabric cord, which is, I'm sure, no longer up to code, makes the best toast EVER. And it is chrome.

Ali said...

I agree, my parent's old toaster (which was chrome with olive green legs) was the best, it made perfect toast everytime.
But with the new ones they either don't toast at all, toast unevenly, or burn everything.

By the way, I am delighted that you spelled "accommodate" correctly - a gold star for you!

Liv said...

WTF? Toasters used to last forever, and now they break so often that I actually bought the service plan at Lowes because I had no faith. Awful.

Jahooni said...

This is a Hoot! And soooo true! How about can openers?

My toaster sucks too. I will demand a refund!

Reggie Hunnicutt said...

Ahhh can openers is my second failed gadget. I ill comment on that later.

TerryC said...

Oh, don't get me started on can openers!