I have never owned a toaster. Ever. Nor do I plan on owning one in the future. Considering I’m sort of a gadget boy, I am eternally searching for a countertop device that does nearly everything. Until I find one, though, I’ve stumbled upon lots of effective ways to make toast, none of which require a toaster.
I know there’s a diehard group of toaster fans out there (feel free to chime in with your wrong opinion). But my question is, do you really eat enough toasted breads to justify the counter space and precious power outlet real estate taken up by a toaster? Or does it sit there unused for days/weeks on end, leaving you with a perpetual scorched smell and a sprinkling of burnt crumbs?
Toaster ovens put out a great and consistent piece of toast, sure, but they’re also a great multitasker for smaller batches of stuff you’d ordinarily use the oven for. They’re good for frozen items like pizza rolls and Hot Pockets (those microwave crisping sleeves are useless and I’ll die on that hill). I’ve always been enamored of toaster ovens for small portions of food I wouldn’t necessarily turn on the oven for, like fresh French bread pizza, an individual serving of baked fish, and more.
You all know how we feel about air fryers, right? They toast bread faster than a toaster oven due to their convection fans, and they’re frickin’ useful in dozens of other ways. Their ability to crisp stuff up like cold fried chicken and frozen french fries (try tater tots) is marvelous. They aren’t perfect for everything, like shredded cheese and popcorn, but you’ll be too busy roasting snackable veggies to notice.
If you’re currently in the market for a new countertop device, good news: Genius feats of engineering have created toaster ovens that also air fry! Some even have microwave capabilities. Since I’ve yet to try one of these, I can’t vouch for how well each function works. But the point is, we’re getting closer to the one countertop device to rule them all, everyone. I can’t wait to get rid of all the shit on my counter and live a zen life.
Of course, if you’re a minimalist, your conventional oven and broiler will easily do the trick as well. Your oven does a fine job at around 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes; just flip your bread halfway through. If you don’t eat toast more than every few days, this method will probably treat you just fine. When we first moved into our current apartment, we didn’t even own a microwave and were easily able to get by (happily, I may add), with just a stove and oven for months. And we ate plenty of toasted bread during that time.
Part of being a gadget enthusiast is knowing when it’s actually worth it to pull the trigger on one. Though toasters have been a staple of American homes for decades, we don’t owe them a space on our countertops in the 21st century just because they’ve seemingly always been there. I’m open to hearing defenses of toasters, if you’ve got a compelling argument. Sound off in the comments section, unitaskers. I’m listening.