My Cuisinart Toaster has performed magnificently over the past 10 years. It was only recently that I wondered if it was showing signs of aging, maybe not as effectively as before. At least for now, there’s nothing that can’t be fixed by toasting one more time on a short cycle.
Perhaps the potential impending decline of my Cuisinart made me linger when I recently came across a “smart toaster” with groovy-sounding bells and whistles: promises of faster toasting, a new heating element design and what the manufacturer calls “intelligent roasting algorithms”. .”
I was particularly interested in this faster toast preparation. Toast lovers tend to love when slices are cooked to their preferred doneness on the outside but still soft and chewy on the inside, not a bad slice that breaks in half when they take a bite of it . Speed could definitely help achieve that perfect balance.
Instead of the dials, levers and knobs commonly found on most toasters, Revolution Kitchen Two-slice toasters are controlled by a touchscreen and, hang in there, they’re priced from $350 to $400, which is pretty bonkers considering the top-rated two-slice toasters cost between $30 and $100.
The touch screen toasting is an interesting changer. On the Revolution, this screen is cleverly located on one of the two narrower sides of the toaster. This layout allows you to adjust the narrow side of the toaster forward, preventing it from taking up too much counter width. You choose from settings like bread, bagels, instant waffles, toaster pastries (à la Pop-Tarts) or English muffins, then the level of “toast” you want. The two-slot R270 I looked at all these options, which are more basic R180as well as individual bread-specific settings like sourdough, multigrain cinnamon swirl, and a gluten-free option.
It seemed fun. Who doesn’t want the best for their toast? Unfortunately, I had a hell of a time with the basics…like getting the $400 toaster toasty nice. Just getting strong, consistent results from store-bought loaves of white bread and sourdough—the meat and potatoes of most toast, if you will—was a little beyond the Revolution’s capabilities.
When you choose what to toast and your desired doneness level, the Revolution’s display shows what your toast should look like when it’s ready. I had some Sourdough Franz at home, and whether on bread or sourdough, it never quite looked like the picture on the screen. Typically it was undercooked (especially if you used frozen bread and the frozen setting) and uneven. Worse still, the toaster often left the bottom half-inch of a slice untoasted, and it often struggled to make one of the bottom corners. If I toasted again on its shortest cycle to fix any of these issues, my toast usually came out burnt.