“ Variable browning control. Cancel function. Cool touch. „
Although I have breakfast everyday it tends to be cereal and fruit. At weekends though I prefer to have toast, although even then it's usually with grilled cheese. So you can see that I don't have much use for a toaster! However there are times when I do fancy a bit of jam on toast so when I moved away from home a couple of years ago I decided I should invest in one, but didn't want anything to expensive as I would only be using it occasionally.
Browsing through the Argos catalogue I spotted the Cookworks 2 slice toaster at the bargain price of £4.97! I was a little sceptical at first as it seemed a little too cheap, but decided to give it a go as I could always return it if I wasn't happy.
The toaster itself is white and looks well made and sturdy - not cheap at all. It would blend into any kitchen regardless of the décor. It's fairly compact, standing at around 15cm wide and 10cm high. There is space for 2 toasts, though the opening isn't very wide so you'll be restricted to thin or medium sliced bread. I can usually get a sliced bagel in without too much trouble, although it sometimes gets stuck and I need to press down on the lever to force it out!
On the side of the toaster there is a dial with 7 different settings that allows you to control the temperature or how much the toast is browned. There is also a cancel button should you need to get your toast out in a hurry! The toaster has a cool wall design so it's safe to touch whilst it is toasting. There are also a couple of hooks at the base of the toaster to allow the cable to be wound round, which is quite handy as I don't use this everyday so can put it aside without it taking too much room. The cable is a little short though so you'll need to place this very close to the socket.
I have used this a few times a month for the last three years and it's still going strong! The toast always come out browned evenly on both sides. I do find the browning settings a bit hit and miss. If I set it to a low or intermediate value I find that the toast isn't browned enough but increasing this just by one setting will result in my toast being burnt. I've got around this by toasting twice at a low setting and this results in perfectly brown toast. Although this sounds like a bit of a pain, to be honest I had the same problem with my parents much more expensive Tefal toaster!
On a more negative note I have found that on occasions the lever on the side gets stuck so that even if my toast is done it can't pop out. This does mean I have to hang around watching the toast brown, which is a bit of a pain. Another bugbear is that it doesn't have a removable tray at the bottom so when crumbs accumulate you have to go and shake this upside down over the dustbin or kitchen sink. Both these are not too much of an issue and I don't think I am justified to complain about these having paid just under a fiver for this. For the cost and what it does I think this is a great little toaster. For me, as someone who doesn't eat toast very often this is great. If you were to use it everyday then you might want to opt for a slightly more functional device. All in all I'm quite happy with my toaster and would recommend it to others.
I purchased a Cookworks toaster from Argos, which cost me £5.79. It wasn't my first choice, but most of the toasters seemed to be out of stock over the Christmas period-so I opted for this one, thinking it couldn't be that bad. How wrong I was!
The toaster looks similar to most toasters. It is white in colour and all the functions and settings are clearly visible. It has a removable crumb tray, though it doesn't seem to catch the majority of crumbs and you end up with them all over your kitchen surface. It does have none slip feet and cord storage so it can be easily stored.
The toaster can cook a maximum of two slices at a time, and as with any toaster you can alternate the temperature so that the bread comes out to your preference. Since we purchased the toaster more than six months ago, I have yet to have a piece of toast where the whole slice has been toasted. I have trouble fitting in most types of bread (Warburton's is completely out of the question!), and when I can fit them in the bread often gets trapped. The toaster also has a tendency to cook the main section of the bread, and leaves the whole surrounding area completely uncooked.
The only advantages of this toaster are that it has a defrost function, so that you can toast bread from frozen, and the reheat function so that you can reheat a piece of toast without browning it. I do however find that when I do this the toast tastes a little chewy-but that's just my personal opinion.
I've normally been really happy with goods from this brand, but I certainly won't be recommending that anyone buy their KT-800 toasters. In terms of price, it looks good, but I would definitely recommend spending that little bit more so that you are actually getting a full slice of toast. I've had toasters in the past that have cost a similar price, but have lasted a good few years and have done their job properly.
Short name: Cookworks KT-800