If you are here, you are interested in the best cool touch toaster for your epicurean delight. Whether you love lightly browned bread or some serious dark crunchiness, there is a model just for you. Gone are the days when you are waiting to see if your toast is brown, black or unaffected by the heat.
I have tested, evaluated and compared more than 60 appliances and you won’t believe the variety available. From the lightest tan to the darkest brown, I can tell you how long it takes. This list has the cream of the cream, so you can shop smart. Read on to learn about:
- Slot size.
- Bread lifters.
- Cleanup options.
- Heat settings.
Consumer Report does in-depth research on just about everything you can buy including toasters. I started with its information as a basis for my own research.
The cool touch feature is achieved with excellent insulation. This ensures that it won’t overheat, but the outside will stay cool even if you use it several times in a row to feed a big family. Some models have ventilation holes at the bottom to let heat escape. Cool touch toasters not only toast bread quickly, but they also will not burn the fingers of little children who may reach up to touch the outside while they are working.
I’ve eaten a lot of waffles and bagels in the past few months and here are my findings for the top seven products that I can confidently recommend to you.
BTW, the following are also good, just not in the top seven:
My Top Pick
Here is the best cool touch toaster out there:
- 90 minutes or less toasting time
- Seven toasting settings
- Size 4.5 x 14.25 x 10.75 inches
- Weight 3.78 pounds
- The toast slides onto a tray for serving
The differences among cool touch toasters relate to the material from which they are manufactured and the number and type of features they have.
There are 2 great options that were just a little short of the top pick:
- Extra-wide slots 1.25 x 10 inches
- Removable crumble tray for easy cleaning
- Size 15.5 x 6.5 x 7.75 inches
- Weight one pound
- A lever for easy removal of the toast
This two-slot toaster accommodates four slices of regular bread or one slice of extra-long artisan bread.
- Four extra-wide 1.5–inch slots
- Seven toast settings
- Size 12.2 x 11.3 x 8.1 inches
- Weight 8.4 pounds
- It has a safety function that prevents burned toast
Each set of slots has a separate built-in slot lift to bring small items such as half of an English muffin to the top.
Buyer’s Guide: 4 Steps to Choose the Best Toaster for Your Lifestyle
There are four things you need to decide before you start looking at toasters. If you don’t have the answers to these questions in advance, you will get confused and may end up buying a toaster that has too many or too few of the features you want.
1. What Is Your Budget?
You can buy a toaster for $30 or $500 or more depending on the quality of the appliance and its features. If you want a lot of special features such as faster cooking times and guaranteed results, you may need to spend more to get the model for your needs. By deciding on the amount you want to pay in advance, you can narrow down your search and see what is available within your price range.
When it comes to the high-end toasters, the difference in features may not justify the wide price range. In other words, you can buy basically the same features for less money. The more expensive toaster may have one or two added features, but it may not be worth the extra price. This is why deciding on the amount you want to spend first, will reduce the confusion as you look at different models.
2. How Many Slices Do You Need to Make at One Time?
Unless you run a restaurant, your choice is usually two or four slots. It’s simply common sense that if you have a family, you probably need four slots, and if you live alone or as a couple, the two-slot model may be fine.
However, there is more to the slots than the number. Consider first the extra-wide slot. It is usually one and a half inches wide, but this can be deceptive because not all extra-wide slots will fit an inch and a half piece of bread.
This is because the grate pinches the space, reducing the usable amount to less than the measurement of the opening. When you check out the toasters of your choice, ask about the actual toasting space. Don’t simply rely on the extra-wide measurement and find out later it will not hold your artisan bread or a bagel.
3. What Are the Additional Features?
Toasters are made of stainless steel, hard plastic and aluminum. They all heat the outside of the toaster, and some get so hot they can cause burns. This list contains only the cool variety that will not heat up on the outside.
The timers decide how long your bread cooks. The longer the time, the darker the bread. Wattage and the spacing of the heating wires are also factors for how long it takes to get the results you want.
Presets are usually on the more extensive models. They offer settings such as defrost to account for frozen bread, a bagel that only toasts one side of the bagel and reheats for warming up cold toast.
Lowering and lifting the toast is commonly done with a spring-loaded lever, but technology has changed that. Some models have a button that you push to gently lower the bread, and other models sense the weight of the bread and lower it automatically and lift it when the timer says the bread is finished.
4. What Design Looks Best in Your Kitchen?
Today, you can get a toaster that matches or compliments your other kitchen features. They come in a variety of sizes, styles and colors, so you can choose one that fits the space you have or matches your blender or your color scheme. Along with the high technology on the inside, the appearance of toasters on the outside is upgraded. At the very least, they look neat and compact, but some even look like art.
Internal design features in today’s toasters include more wires and wattage for faster and more even browning, more accurate timers for the perfect browning level and more capacity for larger bakery items than a thin slice of bread.
If toasting is an important part of your breakfast whether it is waffles, bagels or pop-tarts, a well-designed toaster can make your life a lot easier in the morning as each member of the family is satisfied.
Best Cool Touch Toaster — 7 Picks to Toast Their Best!
The reviews of the best seven cool touch toasters I found.
1. West Bend 77224 QuikServe
This QuikServe model promises perfect toast from the time you put in the bread to the minute it comes out on the serving tray. This remarkable feature closes when it is not in use and can be removed and cleaned in the dishwasher.
It is a two-slot appliance with an attractive, compact appearance. The wide slot will accommodate thick artisan bread, bagels and waffles. Toasting thick bread is not the only benefit. It will not break or crack thin items such as Pop-Tarts.
It is a tall toaster and is best used in open spaces on the counter or tabletop. It’s not ideal for on a counter below cabinets where the rising heat could gradually damage the cabinets.
- Seven shade settings to get exactly the level of crispness you want.
- The gluten-free setting is programmed to take a little longer at a lower power setting.
- The bagel setting toasts your bagel only on one side.
- It is designed with the latest technology.
- The slim design takes up minimal space on your counter.
- It has an attractive black matt finish.
- The bread or bagel doesn’t slide out on the serving tray, it pops out, which means if it is near the edge, the bread or bagel could land on the floor.
- The cord can be a bit inconvenient as there is no cord storage under this model.
- The lever that pushes the toast down tends to stop working after some time.
Best for: This is a great model for a person who lives alone or for a couple who uses it for more than ordinary toast.
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2. Elite Gourmet ECT-4829
This is not called The Long for nothing. I can accommodate longer slices of bread such as sourdough and rye. The white housing is sleek and modern and will accommodate four slices of regular bread and two pieces of thick wide slices.
With the toast lever, you can lift the bread or waffle out without touching the edge. It has settings for six shades of brown and with the cancel feature, you can stop the process any time you want. The power usage is 130 watts.
Be sure to follow the included instructions before you start using it with food. The instructions tell you how to set up the temperature to high and run it without bread to burn off the chemicals that are used on the filaments.
- Extra features include defrosting, reheating and cancel functions.
- The size is 15.5 x 6.5 x 7.5 inches and it weighs five pounds.
- The slot is 10 x 1.5 inches.
- The clean white color suits any kitchen décor and is easy to wipe clean.
- The crumb tray will slide out for easy cleaning.
- It will toast up to four waffles perfectly at one time.
- If you need a model that toasts bagels, this is not the one for you.
- The toast tends to fly out with energy, so you may want to put something like a pastry rack or other grid over it so the bread doesn’t go flying around the room. Other than that, it toasts well.
- It’s a bit inconvenient that the lever that you use to push down the bread is on the same side as where the plug core exits.
Best for: With the extra-long slot, this is a good model for people who love long slices of bread such as those from a round loaf like sourdough, rye and artesian bread.
3. Zwilling Enfinigy 53102-301
This four-slot model toasts bread, bagels, waffles and muffins. In fact, just about any bakery item that will fit in the slot. It has eight separate heating elements with balanced heat distribution so every slice of bread is toasted evenly on both sides.
Two slots are on the same spring lever with separate controls, so you can toast two bagels on one side and something else on the other with toasting instructions. It delivers crispy on the outside and soft on the inside without sending the toast flying around the kitchen when it pops up.
The bottom of this model has two tabs for winding the excess cord to keep it off the counter.
The extra lift mechanism allows small pieces to be removed easily without having to dig them out of the extra-wide 1.5-inch slot.
- Included are seven settings for toasting as well as reheating, canceling and defrosting features.
- The crumb drawer slides out for easy cleanup.
- The size is 1.2. x 11.3 x 8.1 inches and the weight is 8.3 pounds.
- You get a free QR code on the packaging to download an app that gives you a database of original recipes.
- It has automatic shut-off to prevent burning the bread.
- It also has automatic slice centering to ensure even toasting.
- The settings for the degree of toasting may vary. You can choose the setting that gives you the type of toast you want by trial and error.
- If you don’t follow the instructions for cleaning the elements before you start using it, it will give your bread and house a burned chemical odor at first.
- The top tends to get hot after multiple uses.
Best for: This toaster gives consistently perfectly browned bread, waffles or bagels, and with four slots, it’s great for a family that has different requirements for perfect toast.
4. Hamilton Beach 22633
This sleek-looking two-slot toaster has extra-wide slots to fit a variety of bakery items. The bagel settings perfectly brown the outside while warming the inside. The defrost setting first thaws waffles and pancakes before toasting them.
It will toast or warm croissants, hot dog and hamburger buns and breakfast pastries including smaller items. It has an adjustable shade selector to satisfy everyone’s requirements.
There is no chance of burning your bread because this model has a cancel feature as well as an automatic shut-off feature at the end of the cycle. It’s made of stainless steel.
- Adjustable shade selector.
- High-lift booster brings English muffins to the top, so they are easy to remove without trying to reach them inside.
- The size is 11.3 x 7.5 x 7.5 inches and the weight is 2.75 pounds.
- It lets you know it won’t work if you try to push down the lever when the slots are empty and it is not plugged in. It doesn’t mean it’s broken, it means it’s not ready for toasting.
- The crumb tray is on a hinge, so it opens for easy cleaning.
- It has a narrow counter footprint, so it is suitable for small counter space or kitchens.
- The metal around the top of the slots tends to get hot.
- The cord is inconveniently placed to the bottom at the front of the model.
- It will toast bread and other items to a golden brown, but if you want it darker you need to use two cycles and cancel when the bread starts to get too dark.
Best for: This is a simple model that has the most important features without being too technical. It is a good choice for a single person or a couple where each person desires something different.
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- Check price on Hamilton Beach website →
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5. Brentwood TS-292BL
This beautiful blue, two-slot toaster has a six-shade setting feature and a reheat and defrost setting. The defrost setting is useful if you want to toast frozen waffles or pancakes before cooking them. It has extra-wide slots to accommodate bagels, English muffins, artisan bread and other bakery items. You may want to change the settings for different kinds of bread.
The color is a pale sky blue and does not appear teal blue. It uses 800 watts of energy and is a nifty little toaster for the price. It has a cancel button if you need to stop the action quickly.
- It has cord storage, so there is no excess cord on the counter.
- Automatic efficient centering for even toasting.
- The size is 11 x 7 x 7.25 and the weight is 2.49 pounds.
- The design is attractive retro made of stainless steel with an aqua blue plastic casing.
- It will reheat bread or other bakery items after toasting for people who come late to breakfast.
- It matches the aqua Brentwood coffee pot.
- The tension spring is a bit weak and doesn’t eject the toast high enough to turn off the heating element, so you need to be there when the toast is ready to remove it immediately.
- The crumb tray does not pull completely out for cleaning, it just tilts down, so you need to hold the whole toaster over the trash bin when you shake off the crumbs.
- The pushdown lever may need to be held for a few seconds to stick.
Best for:This is a simple and inexpensive model for those who like large bread slices such as from an artisan round loaf of sourdough, rye or specialty bread.
6. Sencor Two-Slot High Lift Toaster
This model comes in several colors, but this fashionable white is the most popular. Made with the latest technology, it has four functions in one, including reheating, cancellation of the cycle before the set time, defrosting and a bagel function. The reheating feature keeps the toast warm until you are ready to eat.
The top is stainless steel with two five-inch slots. The curved shape gives it a retro appearance with a European design touch that is also practical because it takes up very little space on your counter. All the controls are on the front for easy access.
The feet have an anti-slip covering, which will prevent them from sliding around on your table or counter.
- It has automatic centering for even browning.
- The crumb tray has a handle and easily slides out for cleaning.
- The size is 11 x 7 x 7 inches and the weight is 3.4 pounds.
- The reheating feature and the defrosting feature have an indicator light, so you can monitor the process.
- High lift function to remove smaller items.
- The base has cord storage and the cord is three feet long.
- After some time, the spring lever may not stay down, which means you have to hold it down until the toast is finished.
- The slots are a bit narrow and it requires a bit of pushing to fit in a bagel.
- All the controls are on the front, but the crumb tray needs to be removed from the back.
Best for: The best feature of this model is its appearance. It is good for bread, frozen waffles, pancakes and pop tarts but may not be the best for larger items such as bagels or English muffins. The price is reasonable and very nice for upgrading the décor of your kitchen.
7. Brentwood TS-265
This is another beautifully designed Brentwood appliance that will upgrade the appearance of your kitchen. It has four slots and each set of two slots have their own controls, which means you can satisfy the requirements of two different people at the same time.
The case material is white plastic, and the inside mechanisms are metal. The cord is about two feet long, so you will need to place it near an outlet.
- It uses 760 watts.
- It has six settings for you to choose the exact browning level you want.
- The size is 10.6 x 10.2 x 7.1 inches and it weighs 3.4 pounds.
- The slot is wide and deep enough to toast a bagel. You may need to increase the browning setting by a bit.
- The slots are not big enough to toast a slice from a round loaf such as sourdough, rye or artisan bread. You may have to cut the slice in half.
Best for: This model will toast bagels, but it is mainly good for regular size bread. You can toast two different items with separate adjustments.
Toasters seem like the simplest appliance for your kitchen, but, as you can see from the above list, it’s not really the case. Gone are the days when you pop the bread in and hope for the best. There are so many things to consider such as color control, slot size and types of items that it will toast.
I look at cool touch toasters because toasters tend to heat up a lot especially with multiple uses. In this list, the best cool touch toasters are presented with all the information you need to make the right choice for your lifestyle.
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