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Friday, 17 May 2013

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Keep this up and you can rename TOP to TMI.

I would like to second the Dualit. I was given one for my 40th birthday. It is the 2 slot + toasted sandwich slot version. Walls stay cool, no fancy program settings to go wrong. In the UK there is a repair service so the toaster will not be hitting landfill for some time. The domestic product is a spin of from the comercial version that is almost ubiquitous in commercial kitchens in the uk. I am writing this on a lunch break and I can see two in the canteen here.

I was surprised at all of the comments about people having unsatisfactory toasters - I bought the second-cheapest toaster I could find at Robert Dyas and i think it works just fine.

Maybe I just have very low standards for toast - now I'm self-conscious. How do I pixel-peep toast for quality ... ?

[I don't think it's that hard. What I want a toaster to do is toast bread reasonably evenly, to more or less the degree I prefer, and tolerably quickly. My current toaster takes an incredibly, frustratingly long time to brown bread, and the toasting is in stripes that are darker at one end. Engineering fail! --Mike]

Am I the only one who can't stop looking for a spelling error in the words "Automatic Toaster" in the picture?

Also, I almost wrote "Automatic Poster"…

I always found that cooker grills were the best for toasting bread. You have to turn it over of course, but evenly toasted, eye-level control. And if you want to do things like toasted cheese (AKA Welsh rarebit) it's a doddle. And you don't need to reserve worktop space for another appliance

Mike,

At our house we've been using a Cuisinart CPT-120r toaster for the past 6-7 years. It simply works well.

Enough said about toast, lets make a toast to the end of toast (on TOP) so to speak. Lets talk about something even less interesting the upcoming Olympus PEN E-PL6....greets, Ed.

Greets, Ed.

Ed - the E-PL5 is toast...

Mike,

FWIW, I love these posts.

You know what they say...you can please all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you can't please all of the people all of the time...

;-)

Best,
Adam

Yup, ya should have known... (can't stop giggling!!).

I had a Dulit. I think I got it after it was used as a prop in on a shoot. They are great, other than the clockwork timer there is just this lever to eject the toast, no pop up unless you hit the lever hard enough to make the toast fly a couple feet into the air. With practice you can slam the lever with one hand and catch the toast in the other hand. Children think this is cool, house guests reconsider having you drive them places in your car, which makes it worth it for that alone. It is not that great at making toast but will last almost forever. Imagine that the Soviet union needed a militarized toaster for use in tanks and had it build in a shipyard, and the only spec was that it could be rebuilt in the field with no tools beyond a butter knife and a rock. It's Achilles heel is that every few years the heating element burns out , but with a butter knife and some resistance wire you can fix it in minutes. Of course my wife threw it out claiming it broke when I was away for the weekend and replaced it with a Krups (not to be confused with the Krupp railway gun people) which is a very nice toaster and does a good job on all sorts of bread and undoubtedly has a computer in it.

The Dualit is a professional grade tool but if you are serious about "using what the pros use" you want one of these
http://www.amazon.com/Hatco-TK-100-208-QS-Vertical-Toaster-16-Buns/dp/B004MEJMVS

It's the Kreonite of toasters, 960 slices per hour!

Oh and the most amazingly elegantly engineered toaster ever has got t0 be this
http://www.automaticbeyondbelief.org/

Avoid plastic toasters.

I hope I'm not violating the terms of my membership, but I did want to say that the one Dualit that Consumer Reports has reviewed did not score well. However, more expensive toasters in general did score better - most of the best for performance (as opposed to durability, looks, etc.) seemed to be in the $75 - $100 range, with one or two cheaper ones.

http://www.condenaststore.com/-sp/Someday-man-will-find-a-peaceful-use-for-my-machines-New-Yorker-Cartoon-Prints_i8542673_.htm

I have no useful advice on buying a toaster but this is one of my favorite New Yorker cartoons of all.

Actually, I found the whole toaster discussion very interesting!
Next should be blenders, then perhaps microwaves; talk about making a hard right!

I've got my parents classic old toaster -- all steel and Bakelite. But the problem I face is, who's going to repair it? Those shops are all gone now...

I once blew up a toaster. Not by the traditional and somewhat hazardous method of poking it with a knife when it was still switched on, but by connecting it to a cheap and nasty generator which relied on the load (whatever it was powering) being big enough to keep the voltage under control.

What I didn't realise was that even when not in use the timing circuit for the toaster was powered up, and a capacitor rated at 250 volts burned out under the 280 volts the allegedly 240 volt generator supplied, when something that only used a watt or two was the only thing plugged in.

I was very surprised to see smoke pouring out of the toaster, when there wasn't even any bread in it.

Derek, the owner, returned the generator and got his money back. I wrote a letter to the shop about how likely to cause a fire it was but I don't think I ever received a reply.

A pity it was Derek's girlfriend's toaster...

My first job was working for Oster (the blender folks) who later merged with Sunbeam. I was in the small appliance repair division and well remember that folks used to get their toasters repaired rather than send 'em to the land fill.

If there was a complaint about the quality of the toast folks could come in and complain in person.

Some things "back in the day" really were better...

Regards,

Jim


Thanks for reminding me of the Flying Toaster screen saver from After Dark Software. Of course, I liked it immensely. But I liked another screen saver better (probably because I had put off starting therapy.) In Mowing Boris, if you remember, kittens frolicked around a pleasant lawn until the evil Boris came along in his riding lawnmower. Sound effects were quite good when he caught up with a kitten. Finally the kittens would revolt, take over the lawnmower and chase Boris around the lawn. Sick, I know. But not as sick as the truly sadistic (but delightful) one called Mime Hunt. I would guess that you have some readers who might remember Mime Hunt, and that that would say a lot about them.

Hey, my Mother has a toaster that was given as a wedding gift, about 60 years ago. It still works perfectly - American made of course. I had some toast from it a few days ago, Still perfect toast.

American made, the best ever stuff, keep bringing it back with 3D printing and more.

Robert

I bake bread. For toast, I just slice off a chunk and pop it in the oven. Don't need no stinkin' toaster.

It's not rare to find a basic toaster that doesn't toast well. You'd think it would be simple.

We were given a 4-hole model with wide openings that can accommodate bagels or buns. It has nice temp knobs for each pair with electronic "soft touch" buttons for Cancel, Defrost, Reheat and Bagel.

When toasting is done, bread stays so low in the machine you can hardly fish it out. So, it toasts completely, right? No, one edge doesn't get toasted. Sold by the Food (TV) Network.

Joe Holmes

I think small appliance repair is not that uncommon in Brooklyn, if J&R on seventh won't fix it, Father & Son appliance repair sounds like a subject for one of your series like Custom Machinery or The Booth.

Roger Bradbury
Those new fangled appliances are so darn fragile. I once had a girlfriend who lived in a former garment factory in NYC. All her appliances in the kitchen were old, and she said that the outlets would kill anything that was "new". I tried plugging in a clock radio (I take "don't try this at home" as a personal challenge) and sure enough it made a squawk and started smoking. It turned out that the circuit the kitchen was on was still wired for direct current which was common in parts of NYC until a few years ago.

Mike - To disarm those who complain about your OT's, maybe you could do a "spread" (unintentional pun) of said toast and toaster, efix data and all, using your D800.

I've given up on toasters, myself. When I want bread toasted, I broil one side in the over. Imperfect, but better than the carbonized or barely warmed slices I got from the old toaster.

As I said in an earlier post, I am not expert on toasters.
This is not a toaster but it does make terrific toast along with being a very good convection oven.
Not cheap but nice. A family member has one and loves it.

http://www.amazon.com/Breville-BOV800XL-1800-Watt-Convection-Toaster/dp/B001L5TVGW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1368935172&sr=8-1&keywords=breville+the+smart+oven

The editor,
The Online Photographer,
Online

Dear Sir,

Re: Toasters

I cannot dispute that "toasters" are definitely not the topic of a photography "blog"; and, hence, are definitely OT ("off topic"). And I do believe that your toasters posts did indeed seek to edify and entertain your blogees (or, as I prefer to call us, "readers"). Indeed, I was so edified and entertained.

Nevertheless, I must complain about the quality of the editing of the comments posted by your readers.

Toasting bread is one of the more straightforward human past-times, especially in Western society where the making (and, indeed, the slicing) of the bread is generally left to qualified professionals. The process of toasting involves no more and no less than the application of a heat source to one or both sides of a slice of bread for such time as is necessary to burn some or all of the surface or surfaces presented by that side or sides of bread; the extent of the burning is - of course - wholly a matter of subjective taste.

I am aware of the tendency of photographers (especially amateur) to place more emphasis on discussing their choices of photographic tools than on the scientific and artistic processes involved in the past-time known as photography; it is generally a pleasant, and harmless tendency; and I have been known to engage in it myself.

But I must insist that the detailed discussion arising in your readers' comments to your blog of the design features of their personal choices in creating heat sources by passing electric currents through resistance and applying them to slices of bread is JUST TOO MUCH! It is neither pleasant, nor harmless; but it is banal, and boring, and moreover demonstrates nothing more than the DECLINE AND FALL OF THE VERY SOCIETY IN WHICH WE LIVE.

Are we reduced to discussing toast?

If you are unable wholly to edit out these types of inappropriate comments from your blog, I strongly suggest that your next OT post return to more sophisticated topics, which will attract an intelligent and meaningful discussion - this is for the good of society and humanity as a whole. Appropriate topics might include: motor vehicles, audio systems, and cellular telephones.

Assuming that you will follow my suggestions, I look forward to continuing to read your blog in the future.

I, sir, sincerely remain your faithful blogee,
Bear.

PS. I use a 'Sunbeam' toaster, which takes two slices only but is extra long, and takes English muffins. The 'defrost' setting is not very good, and I have to microwave frozen bread first. B.

Hugh Crawford -- Father and Son Appliance Repair sounds like it's worth a trip whether I take my toaster or not. "This is me in my younger days I have to get some new pictures." There are far too few places like that any more.

As someone who occasionally builds small furnaces for work, I now feel a certain compulsion to build a toaster. What could go wrong, aside from burning down my house?

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