How come I have such a nice toaster?
As many of you may have already worked out, I am rather a scrooge and accordingly the appliances in my own kitchen at home are generally purchased from value ranges. However, on a recent trip to York, I stayed at very nice rented accommodation, and this Dualit 40352 Toaster was just one of the kitchen appliances provided.
Dimensions and Price
the toaster was fairly bulky being around 32cm long and 18cm deep by around 21cm tall. It felt heavy and well built. Both Curries and Amazon currently have this toaster available at £144.99.
I must say that this toaster was a good looking item. With rounded corners and a gentle sloping shape to one end, it had a vaguely retro 1950's feel to it's shape, that to me was reminiscent of a VW camper. The High gloss stainless steel of the main body was not scratched or discoloured, indicating to me that it must be fairly high quality as I can only assume it had received high usage in the holiday home.
The one I used was not stainless steel all over as seen in the Ciao image, but had dark charcoal grey sections to either end. I am not sure if these sections were enamel or plastic.
The 4 toast slots were arranged front to back and were plenty wide enough to fit crumpets, teacakes or hot cross buns although we only used it for our morning toast, (and a couple of midnight snacks in my case).
The control switches were simple and idiot proof, To the front there was a central gear stick type knob to lower and lift the toast, to the right of this there was a dial to choose the level of toastiness required with a small red switch above to choose between two slices or four.
This red switch was the only part of the toaster that I saw as slightly unstylish, as it didn't really fit with the retro feel, although I see that this has now been redesigned. ( On the ones currently available, I notice that this switch has been replaced by a second dial via which, 1 slice, 2 slices or 4 slices can be chosen)
The toaster is held off the worktop surface by four small feet ensuring that scorching of the worktop cannot occur. and a slide out crumb tray to the front allows errant crumbs to be easily dealt with.
The toaster in use
In order to use the toaster, firstly I had to choose how many slices I required, and switch the small red switch accordingly. I could then place either two or four slices in the wide slots on the top. If I had chosen two slices then the two slots to the left of the machine were the ones to use. The dial could then be turned to select the brown-ness of the toast from 1 - 4 , or defrost.
With the gear stick type knob in the centre of the toaster, I could then lower my bread into the machine to be toasted. This knob worked opposite to what one might expect, being an upwards motion to lower the bread, and a downwards motion to raise it once toasting has finished. Much like a gear stick this stick slotted easily into the small notches at either end of it's trajectory which held it nicely in place.
The toaster toasted the bread for the required time, according to the level I had chosen, then turned itself off. The bread did not pop up as happens in many other toasters, but remained inside the machine until the gear stick knob was used to raise it up. This action raised the bread nice and high, with perhaps 2/3rd of the bread above the machine, making it easier and safer to collect the hot toast.
So does it make good toast?
Well yes of course it makes good toast, but is that toast better than a machine you can buy for £10...No, it isn't. Toast takes, more or less, the same amount of time, and comes out with the same amount of brown and crunchy texture, depending on your preference. The even-ess of this brown-ness was not more impressive either as I could clearly see the cooking lines of the elements, especially at lower toasting times. Possible the fact that the toast stays inside the machine until your are ready for it makes for crunchier toast, but it also adds to the possibility of forgetting about the extra slices you have prepared.
I have included some photos to show the toast at different levels of brown-ness, so you can judge for yourself.
But perhaps it will last longer
Yes, perhaps it will, but it would have to last 15 times longer to be good value for money. I have had my current toaster, which cost me £15, for 3 years now, this Duralit toaster would have to last me 40+ years to make me want to invest that much money. Now if that 1950's retro look is genuine, and this toaster I used really was 60+ years old, then I would be impressed, but somehow I doubt that.
I cannot of course comment on the toaster's durability, as I do not own this particular one, but I can only assume it has had a fair amount of wear and tear from unthinking ( and breakfast loving) holiday makers and it was in perfect working condition with no signs of wear and tear or discolouration whatsoever. And of course it is very stylish and would look good in any kitchen.
I personally would not ever pay this much for a toaster, but I can see why some people would be happy to have it standing in their kitchen
Pictures of Dualit 40352
thisis a great product at a very low price. a great buy for anyone in need of a new toaster! thie toaster has 4 bread slots making life easier for large families all in a rush in the morning. i found the bread slots arewide enough for home made bread as well as bread based products such as hot cross buns as well. there is also a nob that allows you to adjust the rate at which the bread is toasted which allows you to choose how burnt your toast comes out. i think this is a great feature which my last toaster lacked. there is also a cancel button which allows you to pop your toast up earlier if required! overall, i think this is a great product and at around 20 pounds you cant go wrong! this product is especially good for families such as my own one.
The Dualit Vario 4 Slice Toaster features the original Dualit styling in a premium Polished Stainless Steel finish / The Toaster includes a mechanical timer and a manually operated ejector lever to keep items warm until needed / It also has a high lift mechanism to remove small items easily and extra wide 28mm slots and adjustable inner wire guard to grip toast / / Short name: Dualit 40352