152 of 157 people found the following review helpful
on January 26, 2003
This is the only toaster on the market that has a differential heating button (hotter on the inside heaters, lesser on the outside heaters) to be used only for bagels. The cut side of the bagel (inside) will toast nicely, whereas the uncut side (outside) will only warm. The bagel comes out perfect, not rock hard which is often the case when it's been toasted on both sides.
My only disappointment with this toaster is how it toasts regular white bread/English Muffins. Since the bread is thin, it is held too far away from the heating elements, and it usually takes two attempts to get the bread actually toasted to anything more than just a light brown. If you want your toast darker, you'll have to adjust your setting, and then toast again.
If you are looking for a superb toaster for your bagels, this is the one for you. But if you don't eat toasted bagels that often, you would be better off with a more traditional toaster, without the extra wide slats.
82 of 83 people found the following review helpful
on May 14, 2006
I really hesitated to order this toaster because of complaints about it not toasting items completely enough (because, depending on what I am toasting and why, I sometimes like my toast dark). I bought it anyway because of the bagel function, and figured I would just "double toast" if necessary. I have absolutely no complaints about this toaster! If I turn the darkness knob all the way to the darkest setting, I get toast that is quite dark -- what I would call burnt, actually; more importantly, I no longer have to choose between bagels that are not toasted enough (but still soft inside) or toasted as I like them on the outside and dried out inside. The bagel function on this toaster works great -- fully toasted on the cut side and completely warmed throughout without being dried out! This is how a bagel SHOULD be toasted. I don't know if the company has modified the unit, or if others just got "unlucky" or if I just got "lucky", but this toaster works fine for me at whatever setting I use with just a sngle toasting.
One note, though for those of you who expect the empire red toaster to EXACTLY match the empire red stand mixer: the color match is not exact (different exterior materials). It is somewhat noticable (to me, anyway -- my kitchen gets lots of natural light) if they are side by side on the counter, but if they are not side by side, you'll never notice it.
87 of 92 people found the following review helpful
on January 26, 2003
I bought this toaster specifically for Bagels. For that, it is very good. The differential heating, where the cut side of the bagel will toast, and the uncut of the bagel will just warm, is a very good feature. The bagels come out well toasted, but not rock hard due to toasting on both sides.
I am however disappointed with the regular Toasting feature. It appears that, due to the very wide slots in order to accomodate thick bagels, that regular white bread and English Muffins are held too far away from the heating elements in order to sufficiently toast the first time. The toast setting must be reset, and then you'll need to toast a bit more in order to have your final toast "well done" which is how I prefer it.
If you are looking for the only toaster on the market which has a "Bagel" setting (i.e. differential heating) buy this model. It is superb for toasting your bagels. If you are just looking for an ordinary toaster, or don't do bagels that much, this toaster is not for you.
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on September 22, 2005
This toaster does not (and was never intended to) make toast that sounds like sandpaper scraping when buttered i.e. the toast we all grew up with.
This toaster seals or lightly braises the bread, much like a marshmallow toasted on the outside, but yummy on the inside. It is not the toast we are familiar with.
For our family, with senior parents visiting, it is marvelous. No more coughing and choking from toast crumbs.
There is nothing wrong with the traditional toast as we know it. This toaster is different altogether. It is unfair to compare the two methods of toasting.
I think the Kitchen Aid toaster is terrific. My family actually eats their toast instead of throwing it in the waste basket.
No more coughing from eating toast! Hip hip hooray!
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
If you only eat bagels, then this might be the toaster for you. It is much better made than some of the other products on the market and is easy to use. The bagel function is okay, it does a nice job of toasting the cut side. However, it doesn't heat the whole bagel sufficiently through to keep it from getting "cold" quickly and becoming "rubbery." If you eat whole wheat toast or homemade breads, then this toaster is a disaster. I turned the thermostat up to maximum browning, but the bread was barely toasted. If you have the time and inclination to retoast everything, then it will probably be fine. The toaster does do a nice job of browning evenly with two cycles. For the money, this toaster just doesn't deliver.
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on June 30, 2007
One side of each slice of bread is browner than the other and there is no cancel button.
While toasting, I can see that both heating elements on the outer sides get red hot but both heating elements in the center appear only about half as red hot. Each slice of toast comes out with the sides facing the outer heating elements darker than the side facing the center heating elements. (EDIT: To be fair, if bread is toasted to a darker golden brown, both sides almost look about the same. Lighter browned toast is when one side is obviously browner than the other.)
The only way to cancel toasting is to force the slider up (per the manual) or to pull the plug. There is no cancel button. I can't help thinking that "forcing" the slider up will eventually wear out the catch and cause the lever not to stay down when first inserting the bread.
It's hard to believe that a professional designer came up with this poor functionality and even harder to believe that the design got approved for production.
BTW, I don't know if the Cusinart toaster is made by the same company but the model I tested in the store (after buying this KitchenAid KTT340) has the same problem of the two center heating elements only getting about half as red hot as the two outer heating elements exists.
I never knew that finding a simple toaster that browns bread evenly on both sides could be so hard.
Update 3/14/08: After using this toaster for about 7 months, we found that the darker one side, lighter other side is not that much of a problem. The toast still probably tastes the same as if both sides of the bread were the same darkness. .... As far as having to force the slider up to cancel toasting, I took our toaster apart and found that the slider is held down magnetically. So forcing it up does not wear out a catch like I originally thought might happen. If I could change the star rating, I would change it to 3 or 4 stars now.
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on December 6, 2004
I admit I purchased this toaster simply because it matched the rest of my KitchenAid cobalt blue appliances.
This toaster is great for bagels, english muffins, and hamburger buns! Pop it in there and in a few minutes the cut side is pefectly toasted and the outside is warm but not crunchy. A big plus for me is the large size of the slots.
Once I got used to the settings, I have never had to double toast. I simply adjusted the darkness meter. I've never had to use either the lightest or the darkest setting. So I'm a bit puzzled about the problems others have mentioned in their reviews. Maybe they like their toast basically burnt?
The mechanism inside supports the bread, so if you have a thinner slice it gets an even toast and doesn't flop like it does in some toasters. The crumb tray that pulls out from the side is a smart and handy feature. This way cleaning the toaster does not involve holding the whole thing over the trash can. Also, this is the first toaster I've ever had that doesn't launch my toast onto the floor or counter.
In my opinion this is another solid product from the KitchenAid line and I love mine!
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on June 15, 2005
After reading all the reviews, I was hesitant in buying this toaster. I finally decided to buy it and ignore the bad reviews. To my delight, the toaster has been fantastic! It toasts rock-hard, frozen bagels to perfection and it handles bread wonderfully.
I was fearful of the bread not toasting well enough per the other comments, but I have not had that problem whatsoever. And, my husband does not swear everytime he toasts bread because the lever on THIS toaster works perfectly (whereas my other toaster's lever would never hold down the bread unless you tapped it three times and danced a little jig, which my husband refused to do).
Kitchenaid has never disappointed me!
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on October 1, 2004
I've also had problems toasting regular bread in this toaster. Continuously, I've had to toast through two cycles to get the toast golden brown. Many times on the second go-around the bread sits in for just a bit too long and I end up with burnt toast. I still have a lot of experiementing to do with the controls to come up with a good, one-cycle toast. But the toaster looks great on my counter!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on July 6, 2008
I've tried two of these toasters from two different retailers, purchasing them ten months apart.
I bought the first one and had the same problem as others here apparently have. That is, the toaster didn't toast.
On the highest setting, the toast came out barely toasted (and unevenly so, to boot), requiring two rounds through the toaster to produce toast. On the lowest setting, it came out as if it was never in the toaster at all (i.e. the same temperature it was when it went in).
10 months later, after convincing myself that the first was a fluke (and still really wanting a toaster that matched my other Kitchen Aid appliances - silly, I know), I tried again and bought the same model again.
This one works just as poorly.
I can't even describe my disappointment. As I told my wife, "I just don't understand it. It's made by Kitchen Aid!"
Apparently, FOR THE WAY IT'S MADE(tm) doesn't apply to this product.