“ 4 Slice Toaster, Crumb Tray, Cancel Button „
Micromark is a brand which I am pretty unfamiliar with myself so when I was given a toaster brand new which was made by an unknown brand I did not have a clue what to expect.
This toaster is a four piece toaster and the slots for which you have the bread placed inside are pretty good and you even fit half a bagel inside each of the slots.
With my item I found it funny how if I turned the toast to a horizontal position I could only place 2 pieces inside and if vertical I could still place four pieces inside but half way through toasting them I need to take them out because the tops of the bread would not be done.
You have a white toaster here which is aiming to provide quick toast but rarely does that. You have on the side on a turn switch which helps you select a temperature setting and you have above that the lever to pull the toast down. I have found that the lever can be used also as an emergency if you think something is burning which I guess is pretty good.
When I place my toast on the rating which they suggest should do toast within a few minutes it never turns out that way. Your bread tends to pop up at random and then you're left amused as to why it has popped up without being completed. The toast when it is finished is nice and golden brown on top and it rarely burns toast which is a good thing.
When I have placed other items inside such as bagels and toasted teacakes they do have issues with burning because they are bigger and have other substances on them for taste so I guess that helps them cook faster.
My favourite item is crumpets and I have them most mornings and when I place them inside this toaster within a few minutes they are done and so crispy and warm they are an utter delight. I do find this item irritating because cleaning can be difficult. If you have a piece of crust which has fallen down to the bottom you find that the burning smell can linger for a long time producing plenty of smoke also. You can clean the trays which are situated in the toaster but if the crust has fallen in between it can be difficult to remove.
The item is extremely long in length so finding a suitable location can be difficult at the same time. If you hit this item even with a small object you can easily scratch the paintwork of the toaster which again proves to be a problem.
This toaster I believe is around twenty pounds which is quite a lot for a toaster which does the job it is meant to do but has many negatives attached as well.
"I toast, therefore I am"
Wise words once spoken by a celebrity in the Kitchen Appliance community, Talkie Toaster - guest star in cult TV show Red Dwarf. There's even a website somewhere in dedication!
Brian is the toaster in the previous flat where I stayed, who we were gifted with over 2 years ago when our other toaster stopped working. There's a slight chance, of course, that it was my fault for being such a toast fiend that it eventually refused to work but we won't tell the old landlord that...
What does Brian look like? Well, he's a lovely white thing, that doesn't take up that much space on the counter, with a fetching mint green button / lever thing that you push down to make the toast go down, 2 lengthways slots that can house 2 slices of bread in each, a little mint green dial at the side there numbered 1 through to 6, and a wee mint green button next to it with 'Cancel' beside it in case you want to get your toast out before it's finished and see the weird green flash that it makes. I still haven't actually asked anyone if that's normal...
Brian is amazing, he can toast anything. Bread... those daft muffin thingies... pitta bread (tore in half with a bit of cheese inside so it melts a bit - he is AMAZING at those)... it would probably toast bits of other toasters given half the chance.
To ensure that this experiment only has one variable (i.e. the toaster dial setting), it shall be ensured that the same brand of bread is used throughout this toast banquet. (some white processed crap... Mother's Pride or Kingsmill or something... this was before I was such a 'brown and wholemeal' fiend y'know).
The bread is still the same colour and it fast becomes clear that all this setting does is warm the bread and make feel it a little rough, although the crusts feel about the same. It is believed that holding a match in front of it would have yielded more of a toasted result.
As before, the bread hasn't changed appearance. A comforting warmth can be felt though, and the bread feels a little more crispy, yet still not actually toasted since the slice is pretty floppy. Crusts are a little harder. Holding two matches in front of it would have produced a better result.
Finally, a colour change! A nice golden colour with the odd shade of darker brown, especially towards one side where the edge got slightly burnt. This took a bit longer than the other two, and is substantially warmer. Toasted on the outside with just a slight softness on the inside, and emits a satisfying crunch when bitten into.
Ok so one side has patches of dark brown, which others may describe as 'the odd burnt bit'. It's fine, still nice and golden and ... ah. Right, so the other side of it is rather... bordering on black. Quite hot to delicate wee fingers too. Unquestionably toasted... a bit too well, in fact. It's still edible!
On side is half burned, I'll openly admit it's burned and not just brown. The other side is... practically cremated. Still kinda white on the inside, though distinctly crunchy when bitten into. Hell, it still got eaten. And promptly set off the fire alarm. Which is generally quite bad since it was after midnight. Oops.
Due to the fire alarm going off it was decided that the experiment should be abandoned before entering into dangerous 'Setting 6' territory where I may get acquainted with some rather handsome firemen. Actually... I *DID* eye up the '6' setting... but decided that the rock goddess must NOT attempt to drunkenly seduce a fireman... and I did not. For although the fire station was just up the road, it would not have been fair to deprive the other lovely girls of their sleep, even if it were to ogle those handsome men.
A bit of research on the Micromark company tells me that as well as manufacturing toasters they make home appliances like irons and hoovers, lighting like ... use your imagination - indoor and outdoor, almost anything you can imagine!, other things like doorbells and anything under the 'miscellaneous' category, and even security products like safes and CCTV. With such a diverse selection, doesn't one feel so completely and utterly satisfied knowing that no matter what you need, there's a good chance Micromark will be able to help you?
This toaster was pretty damn cool throughout my stay at the flat (over 2 years), and luckily we had no problems but I had noticed that if we were to encounter any that the website and instruction manual (just a bit of A4 paper folded in half into a booklet) provide more than enough info to ensure any issues are resolved. The one year guarantee was pretty good too, although never needed.
It's easy to use (as with every toaster, I imagine) but I'm still amazed at the severity of toastage from setting 4 onwards. Especially with the cancel button, was 6 variations really necessary? Although we never burned our hands whenever touching the toaster itself - big PLUS in my book - I imagine that's down to some technical jargony thing - although who goes around holding toasters?
And since we're on the topic of gripes, what is the deal with needing a screwdriver to remove the crumb tray? Granted, we could just turn it upside down and shake it but trays are better. And do you really expect every household to have a screwdriver? The only one we had in the flat was a mini one I got from a Xmas cracker ages ago.
Overall, if you want a cheap-ish toaster that'll live up to it's basic expectations (with tall bread or more than 2 slices), you can't do worse than this. It even took frozen bread and toasted it quite nicely! Although I'm deducting points for the screwdriver-required crumb try thing. That totally pissed me off, despite the amazing 'I can take tall bread sideways' thing, what with the '4 slices' slots and all. And the harsh transition from 4 onwards.
Long live Brian!
247Electrical.co.uk - £24.40-ish
clickcat.co.uk - around £27.44 including VAT and delivery
® bandcamp 2005 (when first published - onwards) - Plagiarists shall have their dirty wee fingers grilled then deep fried, and their toes too, just in case they're gifted that way.
Short name: Micromark MM9795