Toast is one of those basic foodstuffs (along with pizza and bacon sandwiches) that, whatever the healthy eating lobby may tell us, nothing else can substitute for. A mung bean and lentil curry is all well and good but it doesn't satisfy you in the same way that a couple of toasted doorsteps does after a night out.
Our toaster gets some pretty heavy usage, so when it came to buying a new one we decided to pick one that we thought would last a while. We've had out Tefal Avanti for over three years now and it's still doing the job as well as the day we got it.
It's a big beast, there's no denying that. At approximately 28 cm wide, 27 cm deep and 23 cm high it takes up a considerable amount of room on your work surface so it would be no good if you have a particularly small or cluttered kitchen. It's brushed silver metal (maybe aluminium) on the front and heavy duty black plastic on the sides. It's very easy to wipe clean although obviously you have to take care not to get any water into the electrical parts. All outer surfaces are cool to the touch so you can't burn yourself while it's working - apart from the slots where the toast actually goes, obviously. The front of the machine slopes downwards at a steep curved angle making it easier to get your bread in and out than a conventional toaster that has slots in the top.
There are four slots for bread and they're very wide so that they can handle bagels, muffins etc. They take anything but the widest doorstops really and the insides of the slot close in to grip the bread however thick it is, so that it's always toasted evenly.
It is really quick working and although it has four toasting slots, really you should think of it as two pairs of two. Each pair has a rotating dial to set how well you want your toast done (i.e. how long it stays in there for) and in the centre of each dial is a STOP button. The toast will naturally pop up when done but you can eject it earlier by pressing this button. There's also a lever for each pair of slots that lifts the toast out higher. This is especially useful for small slices or things like muffins that go deep down into the machine. One thing I should say here is that the spring that pops the toast up when it's ready is quite strong and on several occasions we've had the comedy moment where it's thrown it right out of the machine and I've been juggling hot toast, trying to catch it before it hits the floor. It only happens rarely though. I guess it has to do with the thickness or density of the bread. I've only seen it happen with thin, sliced loaves though. I just look on it as another great reason to bake my own bread at home!
There's a button that allows you to toast bread straight from frozen - this is great for when you just want to get a couple of slices out of the freezer but have no need to defrost an entire loaf. Another button will keep toast warm inside the machine without browning it any further. I have to say that we don't use this one very much, just occasionally when cooking something to go on the toast. If the toast is finished but the other ingredients aren't quite ready then pressing this button will keep the slices at the right temperature until you're ready for them.
Underneath the toaster are two pull-out crumb trays. They're supposed to catch any crumbs that come off the bread during toasting, the idea being that you can slide these thin trays out and empty them. There are two problems with this. One, the trays are very, very small and fill very quickly so when you take them out much of the contents get knocked off the tray. And two, not all of the crumbs make it into the trays. If you so much as knock the toaster there will be a flurry of toasted crumbs falling out of the bottom under the machine. I picked mine up and shook it over the sink once and was amazed at the amount of stuff that fell out. It certainly made me clean it out more often.
All in all this is a great machine and at under forty quid it's difficult to find anything wrong with it. True, the crumb trays are a bit of a hassle but, like all cleaning jobs, it's not a problem if you keep on top of it. It's a small price to pay for a quality piece of equipment like this.
I think toast is one of the most underrated foods out there. It's so easy, fast and versatile. Sweet, savoury, well done, warm bread. Yum. My partner is a toast freak, and has rather converted me to the ways of toast. We had a reasonably well working small toaster, but when we saw this model on special offer for £20 several years ago, we had to have it. It promised multi functions, multi options, multi speed, and multi toast. What more could you want from a toaster?
So of course we bought it. We got it home and found the first snag. We had a tiny kitchen in a rented cottage, and this is a slightly-unfortunately large toaster. But, a quick sort out of the kitchen cupboards and a quick rearrange (read: push everything out the way) when we wanted toast, and we were good to go. The faffing was equalised by the fact that this toaster is goooood. You can do 4 slices at once (obviously) which is fab for the toast freak partner. And fab for me when I was hungover and wanted a mountain of carbohydrate. But, you can also operate each set of 2 slots independently of one another. This is not only good if you just need a couple of slices, but saves power too. The high lift option makes getting smaller slices out nice and easy, with no burnt fingers! The slots are also wide enough to toast rolls and bagels, even muffins/scones and similar (though some things may of course need sliced in half).
There are various settings allowing you to tailor your toast to your taste. I like warm, slightly crispy bread with lemon curd, but darker crispy toast with butter. Gone are the days you need to stand over the toaster, popping it up every now and then to see if your toast is ready. You can also toast bread from frozen, which is great for saving on wastage too. You can keep a loaf in the freezer for toasting and only buy what you need fresh. In these times, I think anything that helps save money and wastage can only be a good thing. You can even heat up previously toasted bread with this toaster, further saving on wastage.
It is also easy to clean, I just tip it, gently shaking to get rid of crumbs. The outer casing is easy to wipe clean. Even with the more well done settings, this toaster is fast. Even with all the functions it is easy to use, it is obvious what each button is for. My only personal downside is the size. It is bulky, and even now in a larger house we can't have it sitting out, we have to dedicate most of a cupboard to it. However, this really is a small sacrifice for great toast.
So a toast to toast, and a toast to a top toaster that tailors your toast to your taste. Go forth and buy, and enjoy toast!
We've had this toaster a while now and it is a very used appliance in the kitchen. With a big family of hungry people the ability to toast 4 slices of bread at a time is brill however the flexibility of the toaster is good too - you can toast 2 or 4 pieces at a time, beating other toasters where you have to turn all 4 slots on.
This toaster is hard wearing and it is long lasting (for us so far anyway!) a quick turning it upside sown is a brill way to get the crumbs out and keep it clean and this has seemed to have no mal-effect on the machine.
There are 2 dials on the machine, one for each of the pairs of toasting slots. These let you turn the heat/intensity up and down in order to achieve the toast how you like it. There are numbered sections on the dial so you can easily remember which one you like and if someone else changes it to something else, you can just quickly turn it back for your toasting. In the centre of each of these dials are cancel buttons which pop your toast up as soon as you press them!
There are also two buttons but I don't really use them. One is to defrost your bread if it has been in the freezer, and the other is to warm your bread without toasting it (I think).
One of my favorite things about the toaster is the two high-lift tabs. These are like the reverse of the toast push down buttons and they let you push up something once it's toasted. No more burnt fingers for me! This lets you use the toaster easily for smaller things such as crumpets. I know that most toasters have this feature now but I have found that this one lets you lift the toasted item much higher than usual.
Overall this is a good machine. I think it costs about £35-£40 and is quite widely available. The colours look good and non-offensive in the kitchen and it is easy to wipe down and clean.
This is not the first Tefal Avanti model that I have owned. The first one lasted me over 10 years and was obtained with the help of ABC points with Safeway many years ago. Unlike this model it was only a 2 slice toaster and when it gave up on us about 3 months before our wedding, it was decided to buy a cheap Tesco value model to do us and we put this model on to our wedding list.
Luckily we received it from some family members and have been using it constantly since last summer.
***What Does It Do?***
Okay - that seems like a stupid question but toasters come in many shapes and sizes these days and they all have different functions so this needs explaining.
This toaster is pretty much a standard one really with a few special bits added on to help out. First of all, the reason we decided on a 4-slice version was because there are five of us in the house - or at least there is when my daughter is home from university - and we all love eating toast. Whether it's with our fry up on a Sunday morning or for an evening snack when we get peckish, we always seem to be fighting over it and the 4-slice version definitely helps get things moving faster.
Another reason for buying this one is that it claims to be 40% quicker at toasting than normal everyday toasters, so again we thought that this would save people waiting.
This toaster also caters for thicker or thinner slices of bread with its clamping action, ensuring the bread stays centred. You can also fit in bagels (best cut in half) or crumpets. You don't have to worry about the smaller slices or crumpets getting stuck either because this baby comes with a lift up lever, that pushes your preferred snack to the top where you can easily remove it - just try not to burn your fingers on the food.
If you are in the habit of putting the toast in, forgetting about it and coming back to find that it has cooled down then this toaster has just the thing to help. You see there is a little button that can be pressed after you put the bread back down and this will reheat your toast without burning it - clever, huh!
There is also a defrost button to help you out if you have forgotten to defrost your bread. This happens a lot in our house and there's always a shouting match to find out who has used the last of the loaf without taking on out of the freezer.
The black and chrome looks really good although does need a wipe down to keep it shiny. Drying it thoroughly helps to bring up the shine on it. This toaster also has 2 pull out crumb trays that can easily be removed from the back of it. It says that they are extra wide although I don't really think that they are that wide myself and although they are easy to remove, when you turn the toaster round, the inevitable happens and crumbs fall out all over your work surface. To be honest I think most toasters have this problem to some extent so this hasn't really put me off.
I'm more than happy with my Avanti toaster. I had a good idea that I would because my last one lasted really well through many years of use. We are especially pleased with the updated features and although we didn't really think about this when we put this one on the list, we find them really useful. Whilst I haven't actually sat down with a stopwatch timing the toast popping up, it does seem to toast a lot quicker than the other one we had. Speaking of popping up, we find that we don't really have any problems with bread jumping out and landing in various places, like with our other toaster and they seem to have this set just right.
The defrost and re-heat functions get used quite a lot and what I also like is the way the bread is put in at an angle and you can see in to get the shade of brownness just right. The toaster is separated into two sections so when you only need to do 2 slices, only 2 areas will heat up. There are also separate browning dials for each section so this helps if one person likes there toast more well done than the other and it saves more arguments about not turning the dial back after using it. There is a button on each dial that can stop and pop up your toast should you feel that it is ready before time.
The high-lift function is very useful for smaller loaves or for crumpets, which taste lovely toasted. They are also centred well with the gripping action of the metal holder inside so the edges get crunchy because of the fast cook, but the inside of the food stays soft.
The crumb tray is a little bit of a pain but quite frankly aren't they all to be honest and this is a small price to pay considering how many other great things there are about it.
Finally, the toaster looks really good on my black worktop and goes extremely well with a lot of other new things that we received as gifts. I believe that you can find this in white and chrome too so if you still have white appliances then there is no worrying that this one won't fit in.
***Price & Availability***
This was bought from Argos for us for £39.97 but it is available slightly cheaper at £38.99 from Amazon too.
We bought that Tefal Avanti 4 slice toaster few weeks ago as we need something like that in the kitchen. Seller says it has a new angled design that makes it easy access to the toast when it's done but i did not have a chance to compare as this is the first time i am buying a toaster. It has a separate two toasting chambers and you can operate them independently. There 4 slots for toasts and 7 toasting settings are available. It has "defrost setting" so that you can toast bread when it's frozen. There is a reheat setting to warm toasted breads which you toasted before but did not eat. You can cancel the operation with cancel function. And while cleaning you can remove crumb tray easily. They did not ignore the safety while designing the machine and it has "cool touch" exterior for safety. Well, its price could be cheaper but it is still at a good price to buy. I paid 99 $ to get it from Turkey. And considering my family of 6 people, it was a good choice for us..