* Prices may differ from that shown
I'm not quite sure what the appeal of a toasted sandwich is compared with good old cheese on toast, but it is unquestionably there! Just something about the squidgy molten goodness inside a crispy fried shell of bread I guess!
Breville was the first name I thought of after deciding to get one, they have a good reputation for quality, and the price is reasonable too - more than the cheapest brand, but for this kind of device cehap can be a false economy.
This machine sits firmly on rubber feet, and plugs into the wall with a shortish flex - it's ok for us as we have a number of convenient sockets, but some people might need an extension. The lid hinges up to reveal two cavities, each divided in two diagonally. These spaces are fluted slightly, like a clamshell, presumably to make it easier to get the sandwiches out.
The basic idea is that you make a sandwich, usually with cheese in the middle and cover the outside liberally with margarine or butter. You then remember to switch the machine on and wait for it to heat up (optionally you could remember to do this first but I never ever do!). It takes about 4-5 minutes to be ready, which is indicated by a green light coming on (there's a red light on while it isn't ready). You then pop your sandwich(es) in and close the lid, locking it with a fat plastic tab. This makes the edges of the cavities clamp together and seal the sandwiches so that the cheese doesn't run out. You then wait a few minutes and open it and voila! - toasted sandwich heaven! We always lever them out with a wooden spatula to avoid scratching the non-stick coating. Obviously you can do one or two sandwiches (ie. 2 or 4 bits of bread) at a time, the machine copes equally well with either.
The results are generally pretty good. The cheese inside melts nicely, and the outsides crisp up nicely. Surprisingly the outside of the machine doesn't get all that hot, though the inside does get very hot and would burn you if you touched it - so best to keep small fingers away. The sealing system works pretty well. The onlytime it doesn't is when you cut the bread too thick so that it doesn't shut properly. We usually eat home-made bread (see my breadmaker review!) so this happens sometimes. The only impact is that melted cheese leaks out, usually finding its way to the work surface its on - this is a bit of a nuisance, but easily wiped up.
Our bread also tends to be a bit tall, so the ends stick out and don't really cook. However, if you use pre-sliced bought bread you get perfect results every time. I'm not sure what the moral of that is!
The machine is fairly easy to clean - I tend to wipe it while it is still warm with kitchen roll to get rid of excess grease, then give it a going over with a damp sponge. Stary bits of melted cheese do tend to accumulate in some of the recesses at the back (in the springs holding the lid on, for example), and these are harder to get clean.
In spite of our care, the non-stick has worn off in a few places - mainly at the points where the cavities join. So far this hasn't stopped it working, and it is still easy to slide the sandwiches out, but if it got a lot worse we might have to abandon it. However, we have had it quite a while, and created innumerable toasties, so can't complain too much.
You can of course put in all sorts of things as well as, or even instead of cheese - ham, sweetcorn, tomatoes are our favourites.
All in all, a toastie is a good, filling, speedy and even nutritious snack, and this model does an excellent job of making them. I've docked a star because of the issue with the gradually vanishing non-stick - feel free to view that as my high standards rather than any real issue with it.
Review of Breville 2 Slice Sandwich Toaster
A hot toasted sandwich can't be beaten as a filling quick lunch or snack in my opinion.
I first owned an electric sandwich toaster back in the 70's when they were fairly new on the market. The model I had then was a Breville and it got a lot of use. When my marriage broke down, my ex-husband claimed most of our household possessions, the sandwich toaster included. I replaced my trusty Breville with another sandwich toaster, a much cheaper, supermarket own branded version. I have actually two or three sandwich toasters since, all from the lower end of the price range. The fact that I am now reviewing a Breville sandwich toaster tells you that after several cheaper alternatives I have returned to Breville!
**The Breville 2 Slice Sandwich Toaster**
The toaster is a fairly chunky gadget, it is not the prettiest of kitchen items in my view, but it has a business-like, solid feel to it. I purchased mine from Tesco and paid £27.00 for it. I had a batch of club card vouchers to use and this sandwich toaster is what I chose to buy with them.
There did not appear to be much in the way of colour choices when I bought mine, just white and silver if I remember correctly. I was not particularly bothered about colour as I do not keep my gadgets out on display. I'm lucky enough to have a large kitchen with plenty of storage so I keep items of this sort in a cupboard bringing them out as and when I want to use them.
But I digress!
The sandwich toaster can make two toasted sandwiches at a time. The toaster is vaguely rectangular in shape with a domed top. Unlike the cheaper sandwich toasters I had owned previously, the Breville has removable, non-stick toasting plates, this makes cleaning so much easier. My other toasters ended up looking quite unpleasant as the plates were hard to clean and to be honest, try as I might to clean them, I felt they were unhygienic and stopped using them. The Breville's toasting plates can be washed in a dishwasher too.
The actual machine cannot of course be placed in water but a wipe over with a mild detergent and damp cloth is all that is needed clean the outer body of the toaster and keep it looking good.
The sandwich toaster has a useable length of flex, long enough to be practical but not so long as to cause a nuisance. There is also a flex storage so the cord does not get tangled or in the way when the unit is in the cupboard. The machine has two lights, a red one to indicate the unit is heating up and a green one which tells you the toaster is hot enough to cook your toasted sandwich.
The outside of sandwich toaster stays relatively cool in use, however the plates do of course get very hot.
The sandwich toaster has what Breville describe as cut and seal technology, this means the toasted sandwich is neatly cut into triangles and the edges sealed to prevent the filling escaping. I am very pleased to say that the sandwich toaster can accommodate most of the popular sliced bread brands on the market, as I'm sure everyone knows, slice sizes can vary enormously and my previous model of sandwich toaster could only really cope with smaller slices of bread, which could be wasteful and annoying.
The basic method of making your sandwich for toasting in the Breville is to spread your butter (or margerine!) on the bread and place these next to the toasting plates, so butter side out, if that makes sense. The sandwiches turn out beautifully, the bread being lightly toasted with a lovely golden brown colour. The sandwich has a crisp outside, thanks to the butter I suppose and the filling is usually piping hot and if using cheese, nicely melted. As to fillings, well of course, that is down to personal taste and the possibilities are endless. My own favourites are cheddar cheese and marmite or cheese and onion. My other half enjoys ham and cheese or peanut butter and marmite toasted sandwiches, the latter being a combination I just could not stomach!
I would say that you need to experiment a little with regard to the actual amount of filling you put in your sandwiches as too much can lead to spillage and too little can make your sandwich rather dry. I find a cheese based sandwich is ready to eat in approximately 4 minutes, so this toasts fairly quickly.
**My Thoughts and Conclusion**
I am really very pleased with this sandwich toaster, whilst I admit it is quite expensive when compared to other brands, the Breville wins hands down for me. It is easy to use and so much easier to clean than other models, which is a huge bonus for me. The Breville 2 Slice Sandwich Toaster is an item I use fairly regularly. These days I work slightly erratic hours and sometimes feel the need something hot and filling quickly at odd times, so the sandwich toaster is a boon to me.
I have conducted a quick 'Google' search for prices to compare stockists and was interested to see prices ranging from £22 (Amazon) to £35 (John Lewis). I would advise anyone wishing to purchase this model of sandwich toaster to shop around as prices do seem to vary somewhat.
To conclude, I consider this Breville sandwich toaster an excellent gadget, it is a good quality item and one I would sorely miss if I were to be parted from it!
Thank you for reading.
©brittle1906 December 2013
N.B. My reviews may be found on other sites under the same user name.
I am sure that many of us have grown up eating toasted sandwiches or toasties as I have always called them. A toastie is one of my favourtie snacks and for me they are a great British institution. Something that can be enjoyed by everyone from your Granny to students to kids.
I have a few Breville kitchen appliances and I have always found them to be of good quality. They are usually well designed, well built, long lasting, reasonably priced and produce good end results. The Breville VST027 Sandwich Maker for me is no different. I picked mine up for about £18 on Amazon.
There are two lights on the top of the toastie maker. There orange light indicates that the toastie maker is on. There is also a green light and when this is lit, the toastie maker is at the correct temperature for toasting your sandwich. It takes around 4 or 5 minutes for the green light to come on, which is about enough time to boil the kettle and make a brew and assemble your sandwich for toasting. I normally leave my sandwich toasting for about 3 to 4 minutes which normally insures that the sandwich is sealed at the edges and the filling in hot.
The toastie maker is made of plastic which has a polish steel shell over the top of the plastic. The white plastic doesn't look amazing and I would consider spending a little more money next time to get one which was all steel. There are non-stick plates which accommodate a 2 slice toasted sandwich. I have always found that the plates relatively easy to clean and fairly non-stick. You often have to scrub a little harder if you get something like cheese on the plates which has been left over night. Toastie makers I have had in the past I have found quite hard to keep clean, this is certainly one of the easiest to clean that I have owned. This should help increase the life span of the appliance.
A toastie is perfect for lunch or as a midnight snack after a night at the pub. For me nothing beats the humble toastie. If you haven't tried a toasted sandwich, get yourself to the shops, pick one of these us and give it a go. You won't be disappointed.
Ever since I was a lad I've always been a hug fan of hot sandwiches, or 'toasties' as they're known. Having the ability to combine several ingredients with little hastle inside two slices of bread which won't normally split or puncture, and which are guarenteed to taste great, is simply wonderful. My particular favouritre combinations are cheese and jam, and egg and baked beans, but everyone has their preference, and everyones preference can be made a reality.
I begin by admiring the aesthetics of this device and its exterior. A minimalistic pattern of white plastic with a polished metal hood, and a black plastic clipper to keep the two sections together during cooking and storage. Now, the clipper is without doubt one of the most important items on the cooker, as with so many toastie machines (which I have personally encountered) if you stuff too much filling inbetween the two pieces of bread, the added strain on the clipper can cause it to snap. With this device, despite the clipper being of a brittle, weak material in comparison with some substitute metals, I never had a problem with it automatically un-clipping, or snapping!
So how does the device work? Well, as you would expect, it is exteremely simple to set up and use. Perhaps this is because of the audience it is marketed towards (i.e. mainly older pentioners living alone who find it difficult to operate cookers and microwaves). All you do is plug it in, flick on the plug, and a red LED will appear on the top of the toastie to let you know it is now operational. When another LED lights up green, the toastie should be done. However, this is where the machine loses marks for me, as more often than not you're stuck constantly opening and shutting the device to see how cooked the bread is - and remember, everyone has their preferences with regards to temperature and texture!
Something you must remember and prepare for before operating the device is the golden rule of toasting. Always butter one side of each slice of bread, and place the buttered side against the grill inside (with all fillings placed inside the two slices, where there is no butter coating). All this does is ensure a crisp, golden coating on the exterior of the toastie when it is complete. It also helps cook the insides of the bread (the fillings), just as vegetable oil helps cook bacon and eggs on the stove.
Don't be afraid to crack an egg onto a slice and cook that within the device, it will cook to perfection guarenteed.
The Breville VSTO27 is a fine choice of toastie-making machine every kitchen class-act should wield. At the reasonable prices it is marketed (online and on the high-street), there no reason everyone can't have a toastie or two in their lives.
What could be more delicious than the simple pleasure of a toasted cheese sandwich? Imagine biting into the hot and crispy white bread, releasing a torrent of melted cheddar into your mouth - tasty!
I've owned a number of toastie makers in the past, but they've all had to be discarded due to a) mechanical failure, or b) the fact that they've become overtly greasy and ultimately uncleanable. My most recent toastie-making-investment is the Breville '2 Sandwich Toastie Maker', also referred to by its model number VST027. The machine is currently available for £19.99 from amazon, and comes complete with a one year manufacturer's warranty.
Design and Appearance
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Constructed from white plastic with a polished stainless steel top plate, the VST027 is fairly pleasant to look at, and features a power cord that can be wrapped around its base for easy storage. As a two slice machine, the Brevile is obviously going to be bigger than many of its contemporaries (11 x 24 x 23 cms) - however, when not in use, the device is able to stand up on its side, saving some potentially much needed cupboard space. The white power cord is fairly short, so the toastie maker needs to be placed no more than a metre away from the plug socket to use. The feet of the unit are specifically designed to be 'anti-slip', but actually, the device does have the potential to slide around a bit on the work surface with minimal effort.
Heating up the machine
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
To activate the VST027 you simply need to switch it on at the wall, at which point it will begin heating automatically. The orange light on the top shows that the power is connected, whilst the green light next to it will illuminate when the machine is hot enough for your sandwich to go in - the warming-up process takes roughly five minutes. I have used toastie makers In the past which take less time to warm up, but to be honest, five minutes isn't an unreasonable time to have to wait.
Making Your Sandwich
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
When preparing your sandwich, you'll need to spread margarine or butter on the outside of your bread (the side which will be touching the heating plates), or brush the plates with sunflower oil - it's your decision. If you're using larger slices of bread (for example, from hand-cut loaves) you may have to cut off the top crust, as the bread will be too big, and there will be excess hanging over the edges when you close it.
I've found that with this particular sandwich maker, you can fill the sandwich fairly full without the filling leaking out the sides during cooking - this is down to the fact that the plates close nice and tightly together, and are sealed securely by a plastic latch. Close fitting plates are especially handy when making fried egg sandwiches, as i've found that many of the lesser toastie makers that i've used can have egg running down the sides of the machine. The cooking time will depend on what it is that you're cooking in your sandwiches, and on the thickness of the bread that you use - as a general rule I leave the sandwich cooking for four minutes if i'm using medium white bread, or five minutes for brown bread (for some reason brown seems to take longer to go crisp).
Be carefully when taking the sandwich out of the machine, as when you open it a lot of steam comes out - that said, the handle remains cool during the entire process, which is especially good. In my personal experience, I have found that that sandwiches come out lovely and crispy (providing you've left them in for my recommended four minutes), and are evenly toasted all the way round. Breville's 'Cut and Seal' technology, means that the scissor action of the heating plate neatly divides each sandwich into two, resulting in a snack that's neat and ready to eat.
Cleaning the device
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
Inside, the non-stick plates make the removal of bread, and subsequent cleaning very easy indeed - you do occasionally get a bit of bread that tries to stick itself to the sides - but this can usually be removed with a damp cloth and a bit of elbow grease! The outside of the machine can be cleaned with a damp soapy sponge, and any grease build-up seems to removed with relative ease.
- - - - - - -
Overall, the Breville VST027 is the best toasted sandwich maker that I have owned to date - it's available for a reasonable price, and most importantly it makes decent toasted sandwiches! No, it's not the quickest heating machine on the market, but it's easy to clean, and the outside doesn't get too hot when in operation - highly recommended.
- - - - - - - - - - - -
Colour and finish: White & stainless steel
Size: 11cm x 24 x 23 cms
Ready to cook light: Yes
Floating hinge: No
Non slip feet: Yes
Non-stick plates: Yes
Plates cut and seal: Yes
Slice capacity: 2 Slices
Breville VST027 Sandwich Toaster is quick and easy to use and has Breville's new hygienic design hinges / This compact sandwich toaster is beautifully designed and complements your kitchen it also features the cut and seal system which suits most different sizes of bread and has power-on and ready-to-cook indicators / It is designed such that it stands upright for compact storage has non-slip feet cord storage and is finished in a stylish polished stainless steel design.2 SliceCut & seal system accommodates different bread sizesClean hinge designNon-stick plates for easy cleaningPower-on and ready-to-cook indicatorsStores upright for compact storageCord wrap and non-slip feet / Short name: Breville VST027