Last update on 2017-08-15 PST - Details
The good thing about having a 4 slice toaster is that you can simultaneously make 4 of toasts for 4 persons at once. If you have a family of 4, that means making two batches of toast and you have breakfast.
Nobody has the luxury of time these days and if you can shorten breakfast preparation, then that is a welcome thing.
When you choose a toaster, you have to consider the width of the slots. The reason behind this is that there are lots of bread sizes and cuts. If the slot is not wide enough, your choices of bread may be limited. This also translates to limited breakfast choices and nobody wants that.
What to Look for in a 4 Slice Toaster
With so many toasters out there, there are some qualities that you have to look for to get the best 4 slice toaster. Listed below are some of the things I look for and while you might not be able to find all of these in a single toaster, having most will already make a lot difference.
Wide toaster slots
As I have mentioned, having a wide slot is a good thing. While 1.5-inch is considered “extra wide” although this might not be wide enough for some Artisan loaves. If this is your case, the solution might be to get those European-style toasters with two extra long spaces that can fit Artisan slices. You can also just slice the bread in half and make it fit the slots of whatever toaster you’ve got.
Two custom controls
This is a standard feature with modern toasters, which means that you don’t need to sweat it out to find it. The good thing with this feature is that you can control the toasting of each slot independent of each other.
For example, toasting a bagel and an English muffin at once in different settings is really handy. This is really a time saver when in a hurry to prepare breakfast.
Multiple toast functions
Versatility and a bit of intelligence are what you get when you have functions like “cancel” button, “toast” button, and “bagel” button in your toaster. The bagels button, for instance, allows you to toast the sliced side of the bagels while only heating the other side. It’s also good to have a defrost and reheat function because this makes your toaster more useful.
If you have a frozen bagel, the defrost function will toast it for a longer period resulting in a cooked-through inside and a toasty outside. The reheat basically just reheats an already toasted bread.
Toast shade controls
Again this is a standard feature but it allows you to control the level of browning on your toast giving you the perfect breakfast. This is really a smart feature especially if your toaster doesn’t have a timer because all you have to do is go by the toast color instead of tracking the toasting time.
There are usually 4 to 7 browning levels with the first four usually good for most people, but if you’re the kind who wants really burned toast, most toasters will allow you to go all the way too.
High lift carriage
If the toaster does not pop the bread high enough, it will be difficult to get smaller bread like English muffins without risking burning your fingers with the hot heating elements.
Removable crumb tray
This feature will really make cleaning easier because making toast produces lots of crumbs. Now, these crumbs stay in your toast if you have no way of pulling it out. The removable crumb tray is basically your drawer where all the crumbs in the toasting process go.
Crumbs inside the toaster is a potential fire hazard and a health hazard as well. The crumb tray actually keeps your toaster safe, but also clean. With some of it being dishwasher safe, you can just wash it for a totally clean toaster.
Body construction materials
With most toasters typically made of plastic, you can’t expect it to last for long. It would usually warp with the heat and start malfunctioning. An all-metal body is my recommendation because it’s heat-resistant and therefore long lasting.
The more popular brands use stainless steel but you have to be careful with this one because it easily scratches out. Another advantage of an all-metal body is that it shines in the kitchen and can serve as a good decoration.
Size and weight
While there are really light toasters like 1-2 pounders, there are also those that would reach to as heavy as 8-9 pounds. Often times the heavier toasters are also the bigger ones and are not ideal for smaller kitchen spaces. If you have smaller kitchen space, European style toasters tend to be more compact and space saving.
Five of My Best 4 Slice Toaster
After hours of using different toasters and soliciting comments from other reviewers, I come to the conclusion that these are the five best 4 slice toasters in the market today.
Hamilton Beach SmartToast 4-Slice Toaster
If you don't mind spending a few hundred dollars on a toaster, the Hamilton Beach SmartToast 4-Slice Toaster is for you. The price factor can easily be overlooked when you come to think of the quality and features of this toaster.
It has extra wide slots to house the and toast the perfectly oversized bagels you can find. It features “cancel” button, “bagels” button, and “defrost” button making it a versatile toaster that can properly toast even a frozen bagels. If you want your toast at different shades, it has a shade selector that will allow you to do just that.
It has high lift up carriage which will prevent your fingers from being burned even when you’re toasting smaller kind of bread. Lastly, the crumb tray is the easiest thing to clean, you don't have to sweat it out.
- Highly versatile toasters
- Has a shade selector allowing you to toast at different shades
- Easy to clean crumb tray
- Smaller bread are easy to remove with the high lift carriage
- A bit pricey
Kenmore 4-Slice Toaster
If you want to make your breakfast routine simple, you can't go wrong with the Kenmore 4-Slice Toaster. Its multiple settings allow you to customize your breakfast to your liking. With its extra long and wide slots, it can accommodate all kinds of bread including English muffins and jumbo bagels.
The dual control and its nine shade settings give you plenty of options to make that delicious breakfast that your family wants. For those who want a fast but highly customized breakfast, this is a must have gadget in the kitchen.
- Has “cancel” button, “bagels” button, and “defrost” button for convenience
- Features four wide and long toaster slots which can accommodate a variety of bread
- Dual control with nine shade to choose from makes for customization power
- Easy to clean, just wipe it
- A bit expensive for a toaster
Cuisinart CPT-340 Compact Stainless 4-Slice Toaster
If you want classic beauty and an efficient toaster in your kitchen, you can't go wrong with Cuisinart CPT-340 Compact Stainless 4-Slice Toaster. For those who like the classical culinary design, the blending of stainless steel and black painted steel makes this toaster a must have for your kitchen.
But don't let that classy look fool you, this compact toaster hides behind its beauty a powerful reheat, bagel and defrost functions which allow you to make the kind of breakfast that your family demands.
After using, you can easily clean the removable crumb tray. It even features a cord wrap under the unit to hide the unsightly view of a power cord when not in use.
- Compact design saves kitchen space
- Has 6 shade dials to choose from and customize your toast
- Features a reheat, bagels and defrost controls
- Slide out crumb tray for easy cleaning
- Wide 1 1/2-inch toasting slots
- Gets uneven results from time to time
Cuisinart Toaster - 4-slice - Brushed – Leverless
When it comes to innovation, nothing beats the Cuisinart Toaster - 4-slice - Brushed – Leverless. While I said that a high lift carriage is a good thing, this one doesn't have it at all. Instead, it uses a motorized control the lowers the bread into the slots which are extra wide, capable of holding a variety of bread.
It also features dual control panels that allow you to customize the shade of your toast. This, in turn, is timed by an LCD countdown timer with a blue backlit display making it impossible to burn your bread.
It also features the standard bagel toasting, cancel, reheat and defrost options. But the high-techieness doesn't stop there, it also features an audible alert signal when it is done toasting. A pull out crumb tray makes cleaning this toaster like child's play.
- Full of high tech features
- Compact design saves space
- Brushed stainless steel color adds to the classy look
- Sometimes the motorized control fails to bring the bread down
Cuisinart Compact 4-Slice Toaster with 1½" Wide Toasting Slots
Another quality product from Cuisinart is the Cuisinart Compact 4-Slice Toaster which features four extra wide slots for toasting a wide range of bread from bagels to English muffins. It has separate controls for each side making it a versatile toaster for fast and unique breakfast serving.
If time saving is your thing, this toaster is for you because it makes toasting super fast. The pull-out crumb tray makes cleaning this toaster really easy and with a brand that has a good history behind it, you can't go wrong if you pick this one.
- Modern looking with the brush stainless steel
- Features a variety of toasting options
- Extra wide toaster slots ideal for a variety of bread
- A bit expensive
- Some bread take a while to toast
Although the Hamilton Beach SmartToast 4-Slice Toaster is the winner in this review, you really can't go wrong if you pick any of the toasters listed here. These selections are all pricey because they occupy the higher class as far as toasters go. These are not the cheap plastic made type of toasters, rather, these are the top of the line stainless steel ones that are guaranteed to last a long time.
They all feature the standard functions of modern toasters except for the Cuisinart Toaster - 4-slice - Brushed – Leverless which really separated itself from the rest of the selection by being really techie. Although it sometimes failed to lower the bread, this is a minor hiccup which can easily be remedied by a little push.
All in all, these are all good toasters and if you're not concerned about shelling out a few hundred dollars, you will really find that these are all good buys.
If you have tried any of these toasters, why not share thoughts in the comment section below?