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After my beautiful yet useless Morphy Richards toaster finally gave up working altogether we decided to invest in a new toaster. I wasn't allowed to base my purchase decision purely on what toaster looked prettiest after the Morphy Richards disaster, so we set about looking for a decent, economical, functional toaster (boring!)
We eventually opted for this - a Breville VTT213 4 slice toaster.
It was never going to live up to its pretty cream predecessor in terms of appearance but to be honest it's not too bad to look at. It's quite sleek and minimalistic and it would be pretty easy to buy matching appliances. It has a nice shiny silver finish which looks nice, but does need a regularly clean to remove finger marks. It's quite bulky so does take up quite a bit of room but considering it holds 4 slices and the size of the bread slots are fairly wide, that's to be expected. Despite its bulk it does have a cord storage which is handy for hiding the cord out of sight and making the counter look tidier. It's not quite as sturdy and robust as I'd hoped - if you press both levers down at the same time with too much force it tips forward, but maybe I'm just picking fault because its not cream and pretty!
The one thing that was nonnegotiable when we were looking to buy a new toaster was four bread slots and thankfully this one does have that. It's so much easier and convenient to be able to toast four pieces of bread at once rather than hanging around waiting for a two slice toaster. The bread slots are wide and great for toasting things like crumpets, teacakes or thickly cut pieces of bread. Bearing this in mind, it does take longer to toast thin slices of bread and the settings may need to be adjusted. One minor complaint is that the slots aren't quite deep enough for larger slices of bread and so the tops of the bread don't get toasted properly. We find that turning the bread mid cycle resolves this problem but its still a nuisance having to do that. We had the same problem with our previous toaster so I think it's a pretty common problem.
The toaster has the usual features you'd expect such as defrost, cancel and a timer which controls how brown you want your toast. There's only one timer for all four slots which means that you can't cant toast your bread on a different setting at the same time. I like my toast to be nicely browned whereas my husband prefers his to be barely more than warm bread, and so it would be handy to have two timer dials, one for each side of the toaster.
We have found that despite the problem with the shallow slots, the toaster does brown the bread nicely and evenly. Our old, more expensive toaster, was useless and temperamental but this one is reliable and consistent. It had 6 different browning settings, and we find that for a standard sized slice of toast settings 2 and 4 are perfect for my husband and I's varying tastes. The setting does need to be turned down for thicker slices and crumpets. As well as toasting the bread more evenly than my previous toaster, it also toasts it quicker which is great when you're in a rush in the morning.
Another handy aspect is the high lift feature which prevents you burning your fingers removing your toast from the toaster. I find that it's great for smaller pieces of bread but you still need to be careful when removing small items such as crumpets and teacakes.
It does have a reheat setting, which was one of the things I liked about our old toaster. The amount of times I've made everyone some toast and buy the time I've got everyone sat down or in their highchair my own has gone cold. The reheat feature is great for times like those.
So would I recommend it? Well yes I would. I had my doubts at first but it is much better than our previous toaster and cheaper in price too. We bought ours on offer in Tesco for around £30 and I think they're currently selling it on Amazon for a similar price. It may not be as pretty as the Morphy Richards one we had but in terms of efficiency and consistency it's a much better buy.
The Breville VTT213 4 Slice Toaster looks great and will fit in with busy mornings helping make breakfast for your whole family / It has lots of features and is simple to use especially useful is the independent controls so if you are only toasting two slices you don't need to run the whole toaster / 4 slice / 4 slotVariable width toasting slotsDefrost reheat & mid-cycle cancel functionsIndependent 2 slice controlsVariable browning controlHigh lift facilityIlluminated controlsRemovable crumb trayCord storage & non-slip feet / Short name: Breville VTT213