“ Brand: Asda / Type: Sandwich Makers „
A few months ago, when the weather was really cold, our trusty toastie maker finally went to toastie maker heaven. I was not very happy about this, so popped off to town to replace it. I decided to go to Asda and found this Asda toastie maker for a bargain price of £9.87. There was also a Smart Price one, which I contemplated buying instead due to short term cash flow issues. However, my mum started making comments about false economy, so I went for the Asda one instead of the Smart Price one. I did consider whether it was a necessary purchase, but decided it was! My sister uses the toastie bags at her house, which go in the toaster, but I still maintain that the cheese doesn't melt properly! Therefore, necessary purchase!
I took it home, took it out of the box and untangled the wire, gave it a clean and set about testing it out. When you turn it on, it begins to heat up straight away, and the light comes on to say that it's hot enough to use. You then make your sandwich, put it in and shove the lid closed. The one thing about this toastie maker is that it's not all that easy to close and snap shut. I found that you really do have to struggle to close it... or maybe I should use thinner bread!!
The plates inside are non stick, so when your sandwich is cooked, it's easy to remove. It works very well, the cheese definitely melts properly with this one! They are lovely and hot, and crunchy on the outside! I find that it cooks quickly and my toastie is often ready in about 2 minutes, although I don't like toast that is too brown... it's been called warm bread before! But the point is, it's pretty quick at toasting!
This toastie maker is stainless steel and looks much smarter than the white versions which are around. It is easy to clean both on the outside and on the inside. All it needs on the outside is a wipe with a cloth and it will stay as shiny as when you brought it! On the inside, I wait until it has cooled down, and use a bit of washing up liquid on a cloth which has kept it in tip top condition so far!
Overall, I would totally recommend this product. It makes toasties very well and for a bargain price!
1. Cheese and apple - my all time favourite toastie. I tend to use cheddar and granny smith apple - makes an amazing lunch! Peel and slice your apple and place it on top of the cheese.
2. Peanut butter and banana - ok, hands up. I'm strange. Peel and slice the banana and put it with the peanut butter.
3. Cheese and baked bean - the idea was slightly pinched from Greggs, but wow is it a yummy lunch!
4. Cheese and ham - my nieces all time favourite. The opinion of a two and a half year old counts for everything :).
At the moment in my kitchen I have two sandwich toasters and although I am very happy with my usual one this got given to me from my neighbours when they moved out and so I thought I would see if it was any better than my usual one really and I think its great so I have now relegated my old one to an already overcrowded cupboard and decided to use this one instead as it looks cleaner, fresher and newer than my other one!
Because this was given to me I didn't get this in its original box. It did have an instrution leaflet in it though which told me everything I needed to know and I'd have only slung the box anway! The sandwich toaster I have is the Asda 'Smart Price' one which is a basic white, 2 sandwich maker model.
The Sandwich Toaster:
When I found out online that this only cost £4.64 for such a thing I didn't expect much from it at all. Its fair to say its a rather clumbersome item and not as sleek as I would have liked it to be but it looks ok with its white plastic finish and large white clasp to the front of it and two lights to the right hand side of it on the top of it, one red that tells us when its heating up and green when its ready to use. The inside of it is black non stick coated and I did at first wonder how I was going to make a decent sandwich as I use regular sized slices of bread and this didn't appear to be all that large and the depth of the sandwich cut outs isn't huge either! The only slight negative I have with this apart from its chunky size is the stupid short length of power lead you get with it. To me this is rather short and I would appreiate a bit more of it!
Using it is really simple. I use butter on my bread or a combination of low fat spread and cooking oil (however if I don't use butter I have to watch my sandwich/s like a hawk as they are prone to sticking more) and so prefer to use butter usually. So my buttered sides goes on the non stick plates, my filling in the middle and then I close the machine and keep an eye on it till my sandwiches are hot and golden.
This is a bit smaller than I'm used to and I do have to ut my bread down slightly to fit in it and be careful not to overdo the fillings or I can't easily shut the machine. My favourites are cheese and onion, cheese and tomato, ham and cheese and that sort of thing. Cheese melts nicely in here though my hips hate it lol and all in all I get one or two (depending on how muh of a pig I want to be!) golden, lined, triangle sarnies which are lovely though be careful the filling relly does get hot an an burn you!
I allow my machine to cool down alot and then I simply wipe it throughly with a cloth as it cannot be submerged into water. This unit does get really grotty and the leaning is a bit of a pest but it is worth the effort to get tummy, toasty sandwiches I say!
This is a nice enough sadnwich maker and really economy without looking overly cheap or feeling it. It is a bit bigger than I think it needs to be but it does make me lovely, hot sandwiches each and every time I use it!
Available from Asda stores and from Asda.com
This review is also posted on Ciao under this same username.
Oohh, Toasted sandwiches have always been a favourite of mine, such a quick and easy meal and so many different varieties to choose from.
So when my last toasted sandwich maker broke I knew I wanted to replace it pretty darn quickly, so when I went to do my weekly shop in Asda I had a quick nosey in the homewear section as I usually do and to my delight I actually noticed that Asda do indeed sell toasted sandwich makers! WooHoo!
They had a plain white Smart Price toasted sandwich maker and a nicer stainless steel and black Asda branded one, I went for the second option as it looked nicer and went with my kitchen appliances at the time and it was only a few pounds more. I believe I paid in the region of £10 or just under for this toasted sandwich maker. The Smart Price model was around £5.
~*~*~ Appearance ~*~*~
To look at this is quite attractive, it's black with a stainless steel plate in the middle on the upper lid is also 2 indicator lights a red and a green. It's quite sleek and smart looking and is nice enough to be kept on the worktop in the kitchen if you so wish.
~*~*~ Usage & My Thoughts ~*~*~
I use my sandwich toaster quite often, I enjoy them, my hubby enjoys them as do my children so as you may be able to tell it does get a lot of use.
Opening the top lid you will see space to make 2 sandwiches, the plates are black and coated with a non-stick surface, the inside of the lid looks the same.
To make the sandwiches it is recommended that you first coat the plates with a little butter or oil but I just butter on side of the bread and use this side against the plates, I have always found this works just fine and the bread never sticks. I then go on to add the filling whilst the bread is in the machine, I then add the top slice, butter side up and close down the lid.
I quite like a cheese toasted sandwich with a side salad and I find that the less fillings added the better the machine is.
My son likes beans in his and more often than not the beans will spill out of the sides of the toaster during cooking!
To use the toaster you have to plug it in and wait for the red light to go off, this indicates that the toastie maker is ready for use, when in use the green light comes on, and when it goes off this indicates that the toastie is ready.
I have not had any problems with the toastie maker and although it can be a pain to clean sometimes it still looks pretty good. I have owned this now for about 3 years and I am very happy with it.
If you haven't used 'messy' foods inside cleaning it is very simple, it requires a simple wipe over and a routine clean with a damp soapy cloth, if 'messy' foods have been used you will need to clean the sides and plates.
Thanks for reading x
Asda offer two different sandwich toasters (toastie machines). They offer a stainless steel toaster for just under £10. They also offer a more basic sandwich toaster which is part of the Smart Price range and costs around £5. I am reviewing the Asda Smart Price version which is model HD-606.
This sandwich toaster is designed to cook 2 sandwiches at any one time. It is white and measures 23.5 x 23 x 10.5cm. The machine weighs 1.65kg.
This sandwich toaster has non-stick plates and has a thermostat controller to avoid overheating. It also has a heat insulated handle. The sandwich maker is presented in a basic white box with an instruction manual.
Set up is simple. The plates should be wiped over with a damp cloth and dried before performing a 'dummy run' of making a toastie. It is recommended that you wipe the plates over with some butter or margarine and make two toasties. These toasties should be thrown away afterwards. The machine features two lights - the red light is the power indicator and the green light is the heating indicator.
When it comes to preparing a proper toasted sandwich or toastie, it is recommended that you butter the outsides of the bread (the sides touching the plates), add your filling. Before doing this, plug the machine in and wait for the green light to click off as this means the unit is hot enough to cook your sandwich. Slot the sandwiches in and close the lid shut. Once your toastie is cooked, remove with a plastic utensil and allow to cool before wiping over.
I love toasties - they are tasty and there is plenty of filling options. Toasties are relatively cheap to make at home and are ideal for a light snack or lunch. We owned a more expensive machine when we moved into our first home and despite rare use, it broke so we didn't replace it. Last year I was browsing my local Asda and decided to buy this Smart Price sandwich toaster. At under a fiver it is an absolute bargain and has been a worthwhile purchase!
The machine itself is quite small and although not as fancy as some sandwich toasters, it doesn't look cheap and nasty. It is a good size for a small family in my opinion and is nice and compact. I have my machine sitting on my work surface because if something gets put in the cupboard, it never sees the light of day again! There is a thick cable to the back which isn't all that long and requires to be used near to a plug socket.
The lid opens fully and the hinge stays open. I was able to set this up quickly and get on with making a delicious toastie. This sandwich toaster is reliable and does exactly what it is supposed to do without any fancy gadgets. I normally use Warburtons Toastie Bread but find the slices in the larger loaf are far too big for this machine and hang out the side of the machine. When making a toastie, I now use the smaller slices that Warburtons offer as I can fit two full sandwiches in with no issue with this bread.
The manual states the machine will be ready to use within 4-6 minutes but I would say 4 is more accurate. This isn't an issue as I need time to prepare my sandwich anyway. I arrange my sandwich the way the manual states ensuring I butter the outside of the bread for a golden finish. If you are a fan of lots of fillings in your toastie then this isn't the machine for you as you will struggle to close the handle over (which remains fairly cool I may add). I have tried different fillings including grated cheese and thinly sliced tomato, ham and cheese and a few others. I try to keep the filling in the middle of the bread and flatten it down as much as possible.
The machine heats up well so care must be taken. I usually use my plastic fish slice to slot the sandwich in and remove it to avoid burning my fingers. The lid closes over well the catch closes neatly and remains closed during the cooking process. If I use cheese I can hear it bubbling away during cooking but the machine is quiet otherwise. I would say it takes 3minutes or so for my sandwiches to achieve a cooked and golden toastie status.
Once I feel my toastie is ready, it is easy to remove due to the non-stick plates. This sandwich toaster cooks the contents through, toasts the bread and neatly seals the edges of bread to give a triangle appearance. It doesn't cut the bread in the middle but this is very simple to do once cooked. I serve my toastie up with some salad and coleslaw for a filling lunch or simply alone if I fancy a late night munch. The toasties are quite small due to the size of bread this machine will take but two toasties are more than filling. The contents are roasting hot and cheese melts perfectly inside.
Cleaning the plates is very simple. Once cool I just use a damp cloth and any marks or food come off easily. I also wipe over the exterior of the machine to keep it looking fresh.
Overall this has been a fantastic purchase. It has never let me down and is well worth the price I paid. The manual is basic but very easy to follow and the machine as a whole, is simple to use.
Highly recommended, thanks for reading :)
This sandwich toaster is a little bit more stylish than the average White look models that have been coming and going in my kitchen as I grew up. We have this particular model around three years now and it cost only £10 in Asda. This sandwich toaster is actually made under the Asda name and has a surprisingly good quality feel to it.
Appearance wise it's mostly black but does have a cool stainless steel strip swishing across it's top. This little design feature makes this toaster look far more expensive than it was and blends in perfectly with our more expensive kitchen appliances. Our kitchen design and decor has change since we got this sandwich toaster yet it still looks good even though the kitchen we bought it to use it in has changed drastically.
Unlike our previous sandwich toaster this has no on off switch. In order to turn it on I have to just plug it in and to switch it off i have to either plug it out of the plug socket completely or switch it off at the plug.
Along with the silver strip on top of the toaster there are two small, bright lights. When switched on / plugged in the orange light illuminates. The other light which is red illuminates when the interior hot plates have reached the optimum temperature and are ready to use. The fact that the body of the unit is black makes the lights even easier to see. The body of this toaster stays nice and cool to the touch while heating and even toasting as some toasters can become incredibly hot during operation. The curved black handles also stay nice and cool making it very easy and comfortable to open once my delicious hot toasted sandwich is ready to eat. The cord isn't overly long but this in my opinion is a good thing as with hot appliances like this a long cord can be dangerous. It measures around 80cm, more than enough as this is the kind of appliance that sits in one place on my counter top.
The interior hot plates are non stick but the do recommend that you give them a slight coating of butter to grease them before heating. There are two hot plates one on top and one on the bottom of the unit to ensure both sides are toasted evenly. I simply use a piece of kitchen roll and give it a quick, light, rub over with butter. They also recommend that you not only butter the inside of your bread like you would normally do but also lightly butter the out side of your bread as well. The reason for this is to ensure a nice, crisp, even, golden toasted result. This is a duble sandwich toaster meaning that you can make two toasted sandwiches using four slices of bread filled with your filling of choice. This is supposed to seal and cut your sandwich, it seals it shut and does a great job at keeping the molten cheese and other stuff locked inside. But it doesn't cut it for you, it makes an indentation that you can then snap or cut in half once the sandwich has been removed from the toaster. This no big deal and wouldn't put me off recommending this machine.
Cleaning is very, very easy. Even if the worst happens and some cheese does happen to spill out on to the hop plates. I just leave it to cool slightly and wipe it off using a dampened piece of kitchen roll. The exterior can be washed by simply wiping down with a damp cloth.
Very few things are as tasty as a toasted sandwich. Late at night when hunger hits this simple appliance can be a life saver and depending on what's in the fridge the results can only be described in one word scrumdiddlyumptious!
Thanks for reading :0) 2night.
When I bought my house a couple of years ago, I needed to purchase various electrical appliances. A sandwich toaster was not an essential purchase for me and I didn't budget for one as I saw it as more of a luxury that I could pick up at a later point. However, I am partial to a cheese and ham toastie, so when I saw a sandwich toster in the asda basics range for £5, I decided that this would be a good purchase, even if it was only temporary.
My sandwich toaster differs in appearance to the picture provided above. As part of the basics range, it is just that and is plain white in appearance, no frills here. This is fine by me as I keep it in a cupboard apart from when in use, had I intended to leave it on my worktop I would have preferred a stainless steel finish to match my kettle and toaster etc. On top of the unit are two lights, one red and one green. These indicate that the machine is on, and when it is hot enough to toast the sandwich.
The machine is hinged at the back and held in place with a big plastic latch at the front. It is opened by lifting the top of the unit away from you to reveal two black metal plates - room for toasting two sandwiches at a time. These are shaped and grooved to indicate where to put the bread and to separate each slice of bread into halves to make two sandwiches.
The sandwich toaster is very simple to use. It heats up really quickly and cooks the sandwiches in no time too. As with all sandwich toasters, you butter your bread and place each slice butter side out on the toaster. You then place your chosen filling between the slices of bread and close the unit.
I have found that the latch can be quite hard to close, particularly if you are cooking two sandwiches, and needs a firm hand. Other than this, it is really easy to operate. It also lets off a fair bit of steam during the cooking process, and can get quite hot to the touch. It is not burning hot, but it is worth bearing in mind from a safety point of view, particularly if you have children.
It is also quite difficult to tell when your sandwiches are ready as there is no light to indicate a set cooking time or anything like that. You just have to open the toaster and grab a sneaky peek at the sandwiches and judge for yourself if you think they are ready yet.
I have always been really pleased with the sandwiches produced by this toaster. They are evenly toasted and nicely browned. They also hold together really well and the filling stays within the sandwich rather than leaking out of the sides (with the odd exception of a bit of cheese here and there). They are also really easy to cut in half without pulling the filling out (a problem that I have previously experienced with sandwich toasters).
The filling can get very hot, so care should be taken when eating. The unit is also really easy to clean after use - I usually just use a bit of damp kitchen roll once the unit has cooled and this cleans any leftover grease off without the need for scrubbing.
Given the very low price of this toaster, I really have no complaints. As a 'temporary' purchase, it has so far lasted me two and a half years and is still going strong - great value for money. Ok, so I don't use it that often, but it has more than stood up to the test of time. It toasts really well and produces good sandwiches, coupled with being really easy to use this makes an excellent machine in my view. I would definitely recommend it.
I purchased this sandwich toaster quite a few years ago now, so I cant quite remember the price, but to say after 4 years and its still in perfect working order then its been a very good buy.
The design of this sandwich toaster is pretty simple and basic but lets face it that's all you need really, nothing too fancy, as long as it does the job.
The bottom and half of the top is in plain black plastic, then you have stainless steel across the middle to the back of the toaster. On the back of the toaster you have a large spring which is used for when opening and closing the toaster to make it more easier to move.
At the front you have 2 lights, one green light that tells you that the power is on, then a red light which shows you that the toaster is at a temperature hot enough to make your toastie. There is no power on or power off button on this, you have to control this by turning the plug on and off, which is what I prefer, because it means I have to switch the plug off, which saves on electric at the end of the day.
At the very front of the toaster, you have a flap that is pulled up to release the toaster so it's ready to put your bread in. then when your ready to start cooking your toastie you do need to pull it down quite hard to get the flap to click into place to keep this lid down, this is one of the downfalls as I do find it a struggle sometimes to get this to fasten up.
Inside the toaster you have four metal plates with lines across which is supposed to cut your toastie but it just makes it easier it cut. There are two metal plates at the top and two at the bottom; these are to ensure that the toastie gets cooked evenly on both sides.
HOW TO MAKE A TOASTIE
On first time of using the toaster you will need to wipe it down with a damp cloth as this is recommended. I usually switch the toaster on first before I start preparing my fillings. I usually just do basic fillings on my toastie, but I have been told you can even put eggs in it, although I'm not too sure.
If you want two toasties, you will need four slices of bread, two for each toastie. Butter each slice of bread on one side, then slice your cheese and get the slices of ham ready to use.
Put firstly 2 slices of bread on the two bottom plates, make sure the butter side is touching the plate as this is what helps it brown easier. Then place your cheese on, try not to go too near the edges of the bread with it as it will leak out, even when not too close to the edge it leaks over the sides just not as much. Then place any other items on the bread you are wanting. Then place the two other slices of bread on each of the toasties; yet again butter side up touching the plate. Then pull down the lid securely fasten it and just leave it for a good few minutes. I would not recommend lifting the lid up for at least 3-4 minutes, as it will pull the bread apart, it does seal it after around this time. Then keep checking every few minutes and take out once it is your desired brownness. Cut down the line with a sharp knife to split your toastie in half. Please be careful when eating as the contents will be very hot and you may wish to leave it standing for a minute or two to cool down.
Now I do find this a bit of a pain, the plates normally only take a quick wipe down with a damp cloth but the back of it is a lot harder. As the cheese melts it does tend to drip round the back. It is quite hard to get off when it's still warm as the cheese is still greasy and its really messy. So what I do is wait till its all cooled down, then the cheese sets I just pick off the cheese, then give it a wipe down with a cloth and its as good as new.
MY OVERALL OPINION
I do like the sandwich toaster and as I said after 4 years its still going as new, my main problem with it is that its only really made for small slices of bread, so if you are like me and use warburtons, then you end up losing about an inch off the top of the bread. I usually just rip this off when the toastie is cooked as not to waste bread that it will brown off it just makes it easier. Even after that though I would still highly recommend buying one. I have never had any faults with it, and it has always made a lovely toastie. I don't think you could beat this at all for value.
Everyone enjoys toasted sandwiches, so seeing this we had to purchase one, especially for the fantastic price.
The toastie maker can make up to two toasties at a time - each using two slices of bread. To use it, after turning on, I simply margarine my two slices of bread - placing the buttered side onto the hot plates. The margarine acts as a lubricant and allows the bread not to stick. You then add your fillings (cheese, beans, onion, tomatoes, etc), place your second slice of bread on top (again, with the buttered side facing the place) and close the toastie maker. It has a clip to clip down the lid.
The lights on the top indicate when it is ready to use and when your toastie is ready. One of the lights turns on when it has heated and is ready to toast your sandwich. The other light changes when your toastie has finished cooking.
I do think the lights aren't always the best indicators, however. I often have a peak before it says they are ready and find that they look cooked and are always ready.
The toastie fillings become incredibly hot and you do really need to leave them for a couple of minutes before eating, I've burnt my tongue on these far too many times. Also, the 'plates' could do with being slightly bigger as often the bread is too big and has to be cut or hang out of the side. You also need to be careful that you don't overfill them otherwise your hot fillings will spill out and be heated, leaving quite a crusty mess to clear up!
Ultimately, the toastie maker always makes very nice toasties, but careful - blow before you eat them!
I can't remember how much this costed exactly, but I'm sure I recall it being under £10 - a bargain.
Toasties were one of those food items I remember from my childhood, when I moved out from my mums house a few years ago gone were the normal cheese toasties and in was cheese on toast sandwiched together.
My gran gave me one a few months back but it didn't work which isn't suprising guessing how old it was. Recently my mum bought me the Asda Smartprice toastie maker at a shocking £5 odds!
I only used it for the first time the other day when it was freezing cold and decided to make my 2 year old son a hot sandwich for lunch.
It came in a white box and unlike the picture the machine itself is plain white with 2 lights, a green and a red, I assume that the green means it's switched on and the red signals when it's ready although I can't be a hundred percent this way works for me!
On the handle there is a clip to hold the sandwich together to make it stick and on the inside are 2 non stick plates on both the top and bottom. These plates have a diagonal line through the middle which is meant to cut the sandwich in half but I find that it just gives a line in which you should cut but it's easy enough to run the knife through it.
The plates themselves are quite small, I normally use Warburtons bread (the blue one) and there is a good inch or so I would say left at the bottom of the sandwich. Kingsmill 50/50 the one I used today didn't have to much excess meaning you don't actually have to cut the bread to fit. Also if you use thick bread or add a lot of fillings it's pretty hard to close the clasp but I only generally do cheese and ham or cheese and chicken and haven't had any problems closing it.
I butter the outside of the bread before adding it into the toaster and by doing this the sandwich is made in just about a minute maybe 2 to make it really hot.
After cooking the plates are really easy to clean but make sure you clean all the back and sides as well as I find that the cheese can leak out everywhere after using it. It takes a few seconds to clean and I have to say I'm pretty impressed by just how simple it is to wipe it down.
Since using it for the first time last week I've used it again a couple of times, it makes perfect yummy toasties every time and apart from the problem of the bread being too big it is great for the price and I would say just as good as any costing much more than the mere pennies this does.
A definate addition for anyone who is looking for a cheap kitchen appliance for quick yummy lunches, snacks or even dinners!
Another of my student house purchases was the Asda Smartprice sandwich toaster. I loved toasted sandwiches so I knew that this was something that I was prepared to be without. Along with my Smartprice toaster, I bought this sandwich toaster for £5.49. I really like the fact that Asda (as well as other major supermarkets) have come out with extremely cheap kitchen and household electrical items so that you don't have to pay for a fortune for something so simple.
Unlike the picture above, my sandwich toaster is all white instead of the black and silver. I really don't mind the colour as a lot of our other kitchen appliances are white so at least it matches. On the top are two lights one red and one green which shows up as orange once it lights up. The orange light shows that the toaster is turned on while the red light shows when the cooking plates are hot enough. I really wish that there was a separate on/ off switch though to make things easier than having to unplug it or turn it off at the wall each time after use. The cord to the plug is quite long so you wouldn't have to have it right next to a plug socket.
As you open the sandwich toaster using a tiny white clasp, there are two non stick cooking plates on both the top and the bottom to ensure that your sandwich gets cooked fully. Each plate has a diagonal line through them which is supposed to cut your sandwich in half but I'll get to that later. Much like the toaster I bought, regular sized bread doesn't actually fit and I have always had to cut off just under an inch to make it fit without being too long. Also, if you are using very thick sliced break you may find it hard to close the sandwich toaster for a while until it has been squished down a little bit. I have found this to be a problem with every sandwich toaster I have ever had though so I wish that they would make them a little bit bigger when thinking about what fillings could be used. I only ever really use corned beef or cheese so I can imagine the problems with more fillings.
Once the plates are hot, put the whole sandwich on the bottom plates, butter side facing outwards and then close the toaster. As I said before, you may have some problems closing it fully at first but it only takes a minute or so to be able to do this. Once the toaster is closed, I have found that any toasted sandwich I make only takes about 4-5 minutes to cook but it is worthwhile to go back and check the brownness of the bread a couple of times while cooking. You will need to cut the sandwiches in half once they are cooked as the toaster itself doesn't really do a very good job of this, it only leaves a diagonal dent in the bread. The sandwiches are also extremely hot once them come out so I always use a spatula to move them onto a chopping board before cutting.
Depending on your filling, the plates and back of the toaster could get pretty gross after cooking. I have always cleaned sandwich toaster straight after eating because it will still be a little bit warm, making it possible to wipe clean easily and without a lot of fuss. As for cleaning the back of the toaster which always ends up with bits of bread and filling in it so I just wait until it is really cool and tip it upside down and give it a little shake. This gets rid of most of what was there and then it will only need a quick wipe down. I really like how easy these are to clean. You don't really need any cleaning products apart from a cloth and they really take 2 minutes to do.
I am really happy with my cheap sandwich toaster and apart from the few minor problems with bread, I would definitely buy it again. It is a fantastic price and it cooks my sandwiches really well. As it is an Asda Smartprice product, it can only be bought in Asda stores or online for the same price but with a delivery charge. I use this at least a couple of times a week and so far it is lasting really well.
It had never really occurred to me before to buy a sandwich toaster, but I have read so many reviews about them lately putting the thought into my mind, and that coupled with me stood in the small kitchen appliances aisle in Asda with the sandwich toasters staring at me, I impulse bought the Asda Sandwich Toaster (TXS-9805) which was reduced from £9.99 to £7. I toyed with the idea of purchasing the value one for under a fiver, but for the extra couple of pounds you get what I consider to be a nicer design.
The sandwich toaster is very simple in its appearance. It is mainly black plastic, but it has a stainless steel inset on the top with a curved edge which makes it look stylish and more expensive than it was. I am extremely fussy about aesthetic design of any appliances, but I will happily have this on show! There are two lights on the top - the orange light shows you that the power is on, and the red light lets you know when the plates are up to cooking temperature. There is no separate on/off switch so you power it purely by the plug switch: this bothered me at first as I generally just leave appliances plugged in and on, but as I have used it more and more I have realised that a switch would just be an extra nook and cranny to clean and is also unnecessary. The cord is just over 80cm long which is a good length - not too much wire sprawling across the worktop.
This appliance has a cool touch handle, so there is no chance that you will get burnt once the plates are hot, and the handles are held together at the front with a plastic latch which aids with the pressing of the sandwich. The latch came off when I used it for the first time, but I realised that I had twisted it slightly and it was supposed to come off - I would prefer this to be attached permanently to the top and I would ideally like there to be more than one notch for closing because it can be hard to close and lock it fully straight away if you are using thick cut bread and you have several fillings. This is a double sandwich toaster so it has two non-stick plates on the top and the bottom. We have now made a lot of sandwiches (probably reaching 100) and the non-stick coating is starting to wear slightly around the edges, so I would question the longevity of this item if is going to be used a lot.
Once the sandwich toaster is up to temperature, you can start to make your sandwich but as it only takes two minutes to reach the correct heat, it is a good idea to have your ingredients prepared before you switch it on. You simply put the bread, buttered side down onto the bottom plates and load up your ingredients of choice onto the bread. Pop on the top piece of bread (buttered side up) and squeeze the toaster shut ensuring that the top slice of bread isn't pushed forward and the bread slices remain aligned as much as they can.
It only takes three to four minutes for your sandwich to be ready (depending on the ingredients that you have chosen) and you can tell when it is ready as the sandwich should be golden brown and crispy -if you want it browned more, simply leave it in there a bit longer. I have used onions, tomatoes, peppers, courgettes and mushrooms in it and they have always cooked perfectly, although if ingredients are used which generally give out a lot of liquid (eg. Mushrooms) you can be left with a soggy sandwich! As the plates are non-stick, you have to flip the sandwiches out with a plastic or wooden utensil. If you want to make more sandwiches, wait until the toaster is back up to the correct temperature and repeat the process. It says on the box that it seals and cuts the sandwich, but it doesn't; it does seal really well, but it only leaves a diagonal indentation across the middle so you have to cut the sandwich yourself with a sharp knife. No fancy designs and imprinted on the final sandwich, just a triangle on lines which suits me fine - you are only going to eat it after all!
The reason that I had not owned a sandwich toaster before is because I could remember my Mother complaining about what a faff they are to clean, and this model is no different! You are recommended to clean the toaster with a damp cloth before you use it for the first time and this is the cleanest that it will ever be! As cheese is designed to melt and run all over the place, it is always going to drip out of the edges and make a mess all over the appliance and the worktop - no matter how little cheese is used, a certain amount always squeezes out and manages to seep into every join and crevice of the toaster.
You are told to leave the appliance to cool thoroughly before attempting and cleaning, and I find that a cocktail stick will poke out food debris and so works very well at making sure that it is cleaned properly. If you don't wipe it between uses, the non-stick plates become less non-stick and you will get in an even worse mess so the key really is to keep on top of the situation and clean thoroughly after every use. Never submerge in water; that would be simply stupid and always unplug before cleaning. Water alone is sufficient to wipe it down as anything harsher might affect the coating on the plates. I find that a dry tea towel is the best thing to use on the top to bring the metal back to a shiny finish.
Other things to know
This product is only available in Asda stores and on Asda online. All Asda appliances come with a twelve month guarantee, but that guarantee will not be honoured unless you have all of the original packaging and receipt so don't be in too much of a hurry to discard the box. The finished sandwich is extremely hot so give it a couple of minutes before serving, especially to children. Its power consumption is 700W and it is a very lightweight toaster, only ever intended for domestic use. This appliance comes with a user manual which tells you how to use the product comprehensively but does not include any recipes or sandwich ideas which might have been useful to have.
Overall I am happy with my purchase, as a family over the past few weeks we have got somewhat addicted to toasties and are very much enjoying trying out new fillings (it doesn't take much to please us!) This was an inexpensive item and within a few months I can see the novelty wearing off and it being resigned to the back of the cupboard next to the fondue set, but in the mean time I am certainly a happy toaster!