I always eat toast for breakfast everyday and so does my flatmate. Therefore the toaster is a very important kitchen item. I had to buy this toaster last year as it can make 4 slices at once saving us queuing up in the morning.
It has a temperature control turnable knob for each set of two. To depress two slices just choose a side and push down the switch. It can be put onto a defrost setting if the bread has come straight from the freezer although this takes a little longer.
This toaster is quite premature, in that it jumps the toast out before its ready, even if on a high temperature. So sometimes you need to do the bread twice before its hot and ready.
After almost a year of use this toaster is still going strong with daily use and I would hope that it continues to last as it cost around £45 which is a lot to pay for one.
It is silver all over apart from the base which is black plastic. The section that contains the operating buttons is also black. You can remove a section under each toast rack that catches the crumbs and empty it without having to shake the toaster upside down which I had to do with my last one.
I can recommend this toaster to large families, or just toast worshippers who will use it a lot and need a reliable product.
I brought this toaster just before my partner and myself moved into our first home as we wanted a 4-slice that wasnt very expensive, this was on sale for £30 and at that price I do think it is a bargain, the bread fits in nicely as long as it is on its side and it toasts quickly. Although I do not have any major complaints about this I still do not think it is worth its original price of £60.
It is important the first few times you use it to keep on eye on how the bread is toasting as even turning the knob halfway means very well done toast so watch out it doesnt burn. Also do not use it to actually make toast for quite a few times as it stunk every time it was used for the first maybe 20 times. I would also keep it away from younger children as it can get very hot and will burn if touched during or after use.
I am very happy with this for the price I brought it for but would not want to pay £60 although I think this is expensive for any toaster.
Comments on how I can improve my reviews would be useful as I've not done this before :)
......Kenwood TTM404 Chrome Four Slice Toaster......
This is a mid to low range four slice toaster from the well known manufacturer of kitchen appliances, Kenwood. You can buy these from major supermarkets, catalogues and many high street retailers for around £20-£30. The toaster's main features are two sets of controls for each 'pair' of toasts, a seperate crumb tray for each, reheat, defrost and cancel functions and adjustable timers.
......Why did I buy it?......
I had been wanting a four slice toaster for a while as we are expecting our fourth child and the mornings are already getting pretty demanding on the toast front (hubby suggested a 12 slice but not sure it would fit in the kitchen). I particularly wanted one that was capable of toasting just two slices for those occasions when I may be eating on my own (rare but blissful!), so when I saw this for sale in my local co-op at the 'bargain' half price offer of £24.99 (and made by a well known company) I snapped it up. I then returned home and proudly presented hubby with my 'catch', with which when informed of the price he was fairly approving.
......Setting up the beast......
Before I could play with my shiny new toy (which despite it being around 8pm, I could not wait to do!) we had to wrestle the toaster from it's cardboard and polystyrene prison (no mean feat, it certainly comes well packaged!) and find a suitable place for it on the worktop. This toaster is rather on the large side, even for a four slice but we squeezed it in, however it is worth noting that, like most toasters, it should not be placed under low cupboards so do think carefully about where to put it before buying one. The toaster has a neat cord storage bit underneath so you just use as much cord as necessary and tuck the rest into the clip type bits, which can be a little tricky but it does mean you have no cord trailing everywhere. Before the first use you must run the toaster empty a few times to burn off whatever may have got onto it in the factory... this stinks so open a lot of windows and prepare to cough!
......The toasting experience......
As I said earlier, I especially liked the function of being able to choose whether to toast two slices or four, I also like the fact that with this toaster you can adjust the brownness to be different for each set, so one person can have their toast more done than the other and works simply by toasting one set for a little longer. One of the first things to strike me about this toaster was how long it took to toast the bread... it seemed a lot longer than previous toasters I have owned so I am not sure quite how much time I am really saving but it does mean the kids can have their toast at the same time as Daddy and I can butter it all together. The reheat function seems to work well so I can't fault that and you can lift the levers up to make it easier to get your toast out. I have also used this to toast things like crumpets and pitta breads and it seems to cope well. My husband has moaned that the toast often seems more done on one side than the other but this isn't too noticeable most of the time. I don't tend to cook bread from frozen so I haven't used the defrost button, but even if I was I would probably just toast as normal but for a little longer as I find these things to be rather hit and miss on toasters in general.
......Appearance and cleaning......
This toaster does look very smart, I especially like the nice curve to the front and the shiny finish. As with all stainless steel appliances it will look dirty after a while unless you polish it (WD40 works really well, just rub on and off with kitchen roll). The crumb trays seem fairly effective as the toaster does not seem to hemorrhage crumbs every time it is moved slightly, like some I have owned. The main problem I have with the shape of this toaster is that for some reason crumbs seem to collect in the little nook below the levers everytime you use it, which makes it look dirty and I do find this very annoying and hard to clean.
I was rather dissapointed to find that my 'bargain' was not so great, some people have even bought these for £19.99. I would also expect a slightly quicker toasting from such a beast of a toaster, especially being made by Kenwood. I suppose I would have to give this toaster three stars, it loses one for speed and one for collecting crumbs on the front! I probably would recommend not buying this, but choosing a similar one instead.
Not only are there four of us at home, but we also all have to rush off to do different things at different times in the mornings - as you might imagine, this can lead to problems with breakfast! The most obvious solution seemed to be to size up, so to speed up the toast production line a bit we went for the Kenwood TTM404, an absolute beast of a 4-slice toaster.
No doubt about it, this is a chic bit of kit. It's stainless steel and is a nice shape, square with curved edges which slope down so you can see the toast inside it while it's cooking. The buttons and trimmings (feet etc) are all in black plastic, which looks excellent against the chrome-coloured stainless steel. It's also pretty big, so you need plenty of room on the side otherwise it'll dominate everything and look a bit 'industrial'.
Obviously, the selling point of this machine is its ability to toast four slices of bread at once. However, it's cleverly also got two separate sets of controls for each side of the toaster, meaning that you can have different degrees of cookedness of your toast - perfect if there's someone in your house who likes theirs nuked and someone (more sensible!) who likes theirs lightly toasted. Both sides of the toaster are operated by an individual push-down lever and vertically down each side of the toaster are three buttons: cancel, defrost, and reheat. The first and last of these seems to get used quite a lot in our house as I hate burnt or even too browned toast, and I can safely say that they work perfectly.
The defrost function does work, but it takes FOREVER and it's also very difficult to control how much it does actually defrost the bread - not really a good option if you just want it defrosted but not toasted, as what always seems to happen is that the bread gets toasted on the outside and stays frozen or chilly at least on the inside. Yum. I always defrost bread on a low setting in the microwave, actually, it seems to work better that way.
One thing I really like about the setup of the toaster lever is that you can use it to push the toast up to a grabbable level, so you don't have to go fishing about inside it and risking burning your fingers on the element. In addition, the slots in the top of the toaster are nice and large, so you can get proper doorstep wedges of bread in should you so wish. They're also fairly deep, so they're able to take oddly-shaped or bigger bits of bread too. There's a crumb tray in the bottom that actually works - unlike every other toaster I've owned, it doesn't spray bits of blackened bread everywhere if you move the toaster slightly.
We've had this toaster a while and it's still going strong, no problems with reliability or playing up for no reason.
So far, so excellent: what's the catch? Well, for all its good looks and nice design, it's really very slow. I haven't timed exactly how long it takes to do a slice of medium-browned toast, but it's at least 4 minutes if not more like 5. Which is really, really slow and is kind of a disappointment as the toaster itself looks powerful and as if it could toast a piece of bread in 5 seconds flat. The actual quality of the toast is always good and the settings seem to correlate well to the actual done-ness of the toast, but you do have to hang about for it.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
We bought our Kenwood TTM404 a while ago in the House of Fraser sale for £29.99, which isn't cheap, but then again isn't as much as you could pay. Having had a look on the internet, I'm now shocked at how much you can pay for it - I've seen anything from £28.99 on Amazon to £59.99. As ever, the thing to do is shop around and make sure you check prices against each other as you could well be ripped off!
A good, solid-feeling and well-made bit of kit that looks great and certainly does the job. It's slow, so it gets a star knocked off for that, but in all other aspects I can't complain so I'm going to recommend this one.
As my family is growing bigger by the day I needed a toaster that could accommodate more than 2 pieces of bread. I went on the hunt for a 4 slice toaster and came across this one in the sale on the Very website so I thought I'd give it a go.
This toaster comes in brushed stainless steel so is very easy to wipe clean and looks very nice in the kitchen. It isn't overly big so I managed to slot it into a space on the worktop where it looks great.
The toaster can cook from fresh, frozen and has a re-heat facility if you just want to warm something.
Now to the downside. The toaster takes absolutely ages to toast the bread so if you are in a hurry and need a fix fast this isn't the toaster for you. I have also found that if you toast something from frozen the middle part of the bread etc doesn't cook like the outer parts and still remains cold.
I wouldn't recommend this item purely as it takes far to long to cook the bread and doesn't defrost things well enough.
We bought this for our new house because my boyfriend loved the look of it when we were shopping and it was reduced in the sale.
After a few months it still looked great but the toast was still shockingly bad (and, if its possible, seemed to be getting worse).
We stopped eating crumpets as the middle didn't seem to defrost (the toasters we had used previously cooked everything from frozen) and the more we use the toaster the more times you seem to need to retoast everything. Also one side is always done more than the other and the bread was always 'patchy' where it had only been partially toasted.
The only pluses that I could give this product would be that it looks quite nice and that it fits in 4 slices of toast. Its a nice idea that you only had to cook 2 slices at a time and could use different settings but if its useless to begin with (which it is) then its hard to improve with a feature like this.
Personally I would steer clear! We now have a Dualit soft which I love.
As my partner and I both like to have double scramble eggs on toast at the same time very often, we decided to throw away the plain old double 2 slice toaster and invest in one these Kenwood 4 slice machines.
As with most Kenwood applicances, the build quality of this is excellent, and it is quite a nice looking machine, which blends in nicely with the rest of our kitchen.
Each of the 4 slots are very big, and will easily accommodate most sized pieces of bread without any trouble. The buttons and controls are fuss free - I particularly like the fact that there are 2 different brownness settings. Some 4 slice toasters only have 1 meaning that all 4 slices of toast are cooked to the same degree, but not with this one.
The tray to remove excess crumbs is also fuss free.
The only think which does surprise me is that it does take quite a long time for the toast to actually cook - something I would not have expected with a machine this modern and at this price.
Overall though, I would recommend to anyone.
Having a tatty toaster is something I hate and we seem to get through toasters like theres no tomorrow, much to hubby's annoyance. So when I saw this toaster on special offer in Sainsbury's I managed to persuade hubby that our old one didn't pop up as good as it used to ( being I'm the main toaster in the house then only I would know!).
Now I have been wanting a four slice for sometime now, but hubby again would say "you only need to do 2 slices at a time" which I suppose is true in a way. So here it was sitting on the shelf in Sainsbury's saying buy me! buy me!
Well once I saw the price it had to be mine at only £19.99 instead of £59.99 (so it said!), this Kenwood 4 slice toaster was quickly popped into my trolley as there was only one left. Well how proud was I when I got it home and unpacked it from it's large cardboard box, took all the polystyrene packaging off, then carefully lifted it out of the plastic bag it was in. It was a really lovely shiny silver, with a gorgeous shaped body that goes higher at the back and curves over and down at the front. With the 4 slots for the bread looking a lot wider than my usual one I supposed this one would be able to toast muffins, crumpets ect.. a lot easier.
On the front it has two independent black plastic levers, so you can do just 2 slices if you want or push down both to do 4 slices. There are 3 buttons next to the levers which are;
Top one has a slice of toast on the front which means reheat button with indicator lights.
Middle one has a slice of toast with ice flake on it which is the defrost button with indicator lights.
Bottom one has a triangle on and this is the reheat button with indicator lights.
There are 2 crumb trays that pull out well and it also has cord storage beneath the toaster which is handy.
Now at the bottom of the toaster there are the browning controls which goes up to 6, I tried mine at 3 as this seems about right in the middle.The word Kenwood is written across the front of the toaster. Now the levers that you press have Hi-rise fitted so you can lift the toast out easier when you push it up. So that makes it a lot safer than trying to stick a knife into the toaster to lift the toast out!!( I know you should never do that!).
Now for the toasting, well what can I say ................
If you buy this toaster make sure you put the toast in before you start to boil your eggs as it takes for ever.....
I've never known a toaster that takes as long as this one does, I popped in my bread and stood over it and waited and waited and waited then when it did finally decide to pop it up it had done a good job, but I probaly would have been quicker if I had put it on a fork and done it over an open fire!
Apart from the time it takes it is a good toaster and does look nice sitting in my kitchen so I will forgive it for that and take into consideration how much time it takes and allow for it when cooking up breakfast ( Just have to get up half an hour earlier!!). So if you are looking for a nice looking toaster and don't mind waiting for the toast then I would recommend this one, but be WARNED!!!
I have looked on Amazon and it is selling for £25.99, so I did get it for a good price!
I'll give this toaster 3 stars purely because it is so slow and that might put other people off.
I purchased this toaster some time ago thinking it would greatly speed up the breakfast rush because of the ability to toast 4 slices of bread at the same time. HOW WRONG I WAS.....
This toaster takes AGES to toast the bread regardless of what setting I put it on.
I did not realise before I bought this product that toast could be different in texture - but the toast produced by this kenwood toaster is not nice and crispy on the outside and soft and warm on the inside, as I am used to......
Instead you get the equivalent of a french toast type texture where it is hard all the way through - so unless you can get to it quickly and butter it immediately - that is exactly what you get - a hard, dry, brittle piece of french toast!!
I have come to the conclusion that this is because it cooks at a very low heat for such a llllooooonnnnnnggggg period of time that it actually cooks it all the way through - when actually what I really want is a toaster that gives a short burst of heat - to 'toast' the outsides of the bread - but leave the insides still nice and soft and yummy!!
I bought this toaster assuming that a well known name would guarantee product satisfaction but have been very disappointed with its performance. I use thick sliced brown bread and have tried the heating dial at all levels trying to get a satisfactory piece of toast but to no avail. The two main problems are the length of time it takes to produce a piece of toasted bread (something akin to watching paint dry) and the texture of the toast produced. It does not appear to matter if it's lightly toasted or well done the bread appears almost baked in its consistency somewhat similar to Dutch crisp bread. (I like some chewiness in my toast.) Maybe I just have a Friday afternoon model. On a more positive note it was relatively cheap and looks like a serious piece of kitchen equipment as long as you have the space to accommodate it. The 2/4 slice option is great for singletons who have visitors but when it dies I would not buy another.
This toaster is particularly good value for money in a number of ways. Costing an average of just under £25, the provision of four slices enables larger batches to be processed relatively quickly. A slight delay between the initial two slices of toast popping up and the latter two enables all slices to be maintained at a warm temperature whilst they are being buttered. A defrost button and a cancellation button are also in use, the defrost one being particularly useful for those times when the only bread available has to come out of the freezer. Kenwood have placed a blue light on the toaster as well, which allows you to confirm that the bread is being warmed up at a glance.
Two separate browning gauges have been added to this machine, one for each pair of slices. This has the advantage of ensuring that if one person prefers their toast well done and the other likes it just lightly browned, there thus needs to be no arguments over what gauge the dial should be set at.
This toaster is good for toasting bread and other bread products such as crumpets or teacakes, yet care should be taken when toasting thicker items, such as muffins, which have a tendency to stick and start burning and smoking if you are not careful. The general rule must be if you have to wedge the slices in, they should not really be in there.
The silver metallic outer casing of this toaster is aesthetically pleasing, yet results in it attracting fingerprints and other marks rather rapidly, ensuring that daily cleaning with a damp cloth is needed to maintain its appearance. Furthermore, whilst there is a crumb tray, this is not initially easy to remove.
The only other disadvantage it has is the slight bulkiness of its size, for those who are very limited in their worktop space a slimmer alternative might be a better option.
Kenwood TTM404 4 Slice Toaster Polished stainless steel body Angled chassis for easy viewing Illuminated cancel reheat and defrost settings High-rise bread lift Variable width slots to accommodate a variety of breads Variable browning control Slide out crumb tray Cool wall body Safety cord storage / Short name: Kenwood TTM404