Product Type: Breville Sandwich Maker
Newest Review: ... is? So, we have a sandwich toaster, and I have to admit that when we use it it does work well. You butter your bread, you put one s... more
Top toastie maker
Breville TR52 Super Clean Sandwich Toaster
Member Name: Stephiej
Breville TR52 Super Clean Sandwich Toaster
Date: 24/09/10, updated on 02/05/11 (307 review reads)
Advantages: Makes very good toasties
Disadvantages: Plates are too shallow to allow much filling
I bought my new Breville TR52 sandwich toaster from Amazon for just under £25.00. This is a great price in my opinion; I get regular use out of sandwich toasters, unlike many kitchen gadgets which just take up space in cupboards once the novelty wears off, so £25.00 for something I use every week is a bargain. The first thing I noticed was the design. This one is a lovely silver colour, a sort of brushed steel effect, which is very aesthetically pleasing, not the shiny chrome look of many appliances which show up every fingerprint. It looks sleek, with modern curves, and a kind of peak in the middle of the lid, it's very different to my old chunky, square, heavy, red one. It is considerably lighter than my old one, and although some components don't feel as robust, I have had no problems so far, and nothing has broken after more than 6 months of regular use. The sandwich toaster comes with an instruction booklet which contains some basic safety information, instruction for use, a few ideas for fillings, and contact details. It also has a 2 year manufacturers' guarantee.
It is a sturdy appliance, with small feet underneath that have a black rubber base to make them non-slip. This means that it is very stable and safe, reassuring because it becomes very hot when in use. I also find the top of the lid becomes hot if making several rounds, not so hot that it burns me if I touch it, but definitely uncomfortably hot, so I ensure I only touch the handle when it's on. This sandwich toaster makes two sandwiches, 4 slices of bread. It toasts relatively quickly, depending on how dark you like your toasties, I find approximately 5 minutes is sufficient so it's not too time consuming when making them for a few people.
There is no on/off button; it simply starts to heat up once plugged in. As soon as it's plugged in an LED on the top lights up with a red light, when the machine has reached the required temperature to start toasting a green light shows next to it, this only takes a couple of minutes. The black plates to place the sandwiches on have a non-stick coating. The instruction booklet that comes with the sandwich toaster suggests buttering the outside of the bread, or coating the plates with oil before cooking. On the basis that I never used butter or oil with my old model, I decided to apply a light coating of oil to the plates with a pastry brush before using it for the first time. Since then I have used no oil or butter, even after washing the plates, and have not experienced the sandwiches sticking at all (except for the odd bit of cheese that leaks out of the side of the sandwich occasionally!).
When the sandwich toaster is ready to use and the green light shows it is simply a case of using the handle to open the lid. I am always cautious when I do this, and ensure my face isn't directly over the top, after having experienced an unexpected facial sauna the first time I did it - this thing gets HOT! After placing the sandwiches on the plates the top needs to be replaced, and I find a gentle squeeze is needed to squash the bread sufficiently for the clip on the front of the handle to be secured, holding the handle together and maintaining pressure on the sandwiches. This may not be required if using thin or medium sliced bread, but I always use thick sliced for toasties. The clip is the part of this sandwich maker that concerns me, it doesn't feel very strong, although it hasn't failed me yet, but I am careful not to be too rough with it. When the sandwiches are cooked they are piping hot and cannot be lifted out by hand. Because the plates are non-stick using a metal knife or other implement would be asking for trouble as it would soon damage the surface of the plates, so I use an acrylic kitchen utensil, like a short fat spatula on a stick (I've no idea what it's called) to lift them out. Although Breville states it has a 'cut and seal' function, I find that although the sides of the sandwich are usually sealed, unless it is overfilled, it does not completely cut the sandwich on the diagonal. It does create a sealed indentation diagonally across the middle, but the two halves need to be separated with a knife once cooked. I don't find this a problem, but some people may do.
After use, when the sandwich maker has cooled, the cooking plates can be removed by pressing small buttons to release the locking mechanism. The plates can then be lifted out and washed by hand, or in a dishwasher. I have never tried them in a dishwasher, because I don't have one, but I find any filling that has leaked out onto the plates lifts off really easily after soaking for a minute or two in hot water with detergent and a gentle wipe with a dishcloth.
Overall, I am very pleased with this sandwich toaster. It makes lovely golden crispy toasties, it's quick, convenient, and easy to clean. It does, however, have one major disadvantage as far as I'm concerned - the plates are too shallow. It may seem a little unfair to compare this with a 30 year old model, but my old one had really deep plates, and sandwiches could be filled with a heartily substantial amount of filling, this one is far shallower and I find I need to be far more frugal with the filling as, if it is overfilled, it tends to leak out of the sides of the sandwich before it has a chance to seal. The problem with this is that it not only leaks onto the plates, but a little can also find its way underneath the plates and into the hinge and workings of the machine. When this happened to me it was a nightmare to clean. I have avoided this happening again by ensuring that I don't overfill my sandwiches, and I don't put cheese right to the edges of the bread. This is fine as when the cheese melts it spreads closer to the edge of the sandwich anyway. I really enjoy the toasties this machine makes, but I still miss my really substantial overstuffed toasties. I think it's a great sandwich toaster, but I have deducted 1 star because in my opinion the plates are not deep enough.
Summary: Whats your favourite filling?
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