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Making a purchase of a toaster is not really a life changing experience yet it can make a significant dent in your own financial situation with new models hitting the market costing in excess of £200 because they have numerous slots and compartments to crisp, lightly toast, reheat and quite possibly self clean. I don't buy into the whole "you get what you pay for" mantra and believe that if a product is cheap enough its good enough especially when it has only one main function. Remember this as I now sell you the Kenwood TT290 a 2 slice toaster, an amazing discovery that costs less than £20.
Whilst the TT290 may not win any awards at London Fashion Week or be voted the most pleasing on the eye gadget by Which? magazine what it lacks in style it more than makes up for in terms of performance, features, safety and the ease with which it can be cleaned.
Capable of holding 2 thick slices of bread with plenty of room around the crust the spring loaded mesh that grips the bread automatically as it enters the main compartment to be toasted. The mesh adjusts itself to fit the thickness of the bread so that there are no marks or tears. This is the first of many small yet highly functional elements to the toaster as it also stops heavier pieces of bread bending which could cause uneven toasting.
The 900w powered filament does toast perfectly depending upon which of the 8 settings you use and the automatic switch off never fails to release the toast up far enough from the unit so that it can be retrieved without burning the fingertips. The toasting settings (which are controlled by a simple dial) aside, there are 3 other buttons for use depending upon what you wish to do with your bread. The first should be pressed if toasting bread from frozen, something I do quite regularly which results in toast which tastes like it has been placed in the toaster directly from the bakers. The second button is for re-heat which creates a large amount of heat within the main compartment allowing toast to be warmed without it toasting any further. A very handy feature I have found if distracted by the telephone or an interesting programme on television which cuts down on wasted bread or having to eat toast that is far too well done. The third button activates the warming rack that pops out from the top of the toaster and sits just over 8cm from the main compartment.
The Kenwood TT290 toasts brilliantly every time I use it and when you add into the equation the fact that crumbs can be removed via the sliding crumb tray really easily I just can't help but pity the poor fools who believe that a £200 toaster is really worth so much. The white plastic finish may put many people off but I urge you to overlook this minor point and remember that when push comes to shove, it is a toaster and for toasting bread I have never seen anything perform better.
Our toaster bust a while back, and we've been using a novelty toaster. It works fine, but it isn't the greatest in the world, and every piece of toast comes out with Hello or :) printed across the front of it! Jim
BawBaw 06.01.2008 00:41
£200 for a toaster? (That's $400 to me. Ouch.) I'm with you, there are better ways to spend one's cash. It looks very space age, does it not? Well done.