Product Type: Kenwood toasters
Newest Review: ... 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... more
Four Slice Is Just As Nice
Member Name: luxuryliner
Advantages: Nice bit of kit, looks excellent, reliable
Disadvantages: Very, very slow!
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.
Summary: Can you be bothered to hang around for toast?
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