Don't overlook the innovative potential of the toaster oven!
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Last week we brought you 6 innovative trends happening in the dishwasher market. The response was so positive we decided to do the same for another home appliance: the toaster oven. Just like with dishwashers, it may not seem like toasters are in dire need of innovation, but the variety of designs and concepts in this market will astound you.
Here are a few of them…
This idea makes so much sense you wonder why no one thought about it sooner. The designs vary, but the concept is the same: Use the heat from the toaster oven’s heating coils to warm buns, pastries, and other items not intended for low heat.
The Bodum Bistro includes a warming rack that folds out, allowing you to “grill” bagels or croissants over the toaster’s opening. You probably know Bodum for its French coffee presses, which seem to be everywhere these days; this toaster combines the elegance of the French press with the efficient design of a European appliance. And it can be found for a mere $50.
The KRUPS KH754 takes the concept of the Bodum Bistro a bit further, employing stainless steel design and a separate bun warming accessory. A bit more expensive than the Bodum toaster, this KRUPS toaster seems all about design.
The Russell Hobbs Easy Toaster is a slightly different take on the bun warming concept. It’s a two-slice toaster with two fold-down trays on the side; these are designed to warm slices of bread that have already been toasted, so you don’t have to worry abut your toast getting cold once the rest of your breakfast is finished cooking.
Burning your fingers on the hot metal of a pop-up toaster oven is a frustration as old as electric coils. But the workaround is simple: Instead of bringing your fingers to the bread, bring the bread to your fingers. Arzum’s sliding tray toaster does just that. Plus, it’s colorfully designed, with options in white, orange, green, and hot pink.
Panasonic’s FlashXpress toaster oven looks a lot like a 1980s "TV of the future." Personal design preferences aside, this unique toaster features a quartz and ceramic heating element that immediately reaches preset temperatures of up to 500°F. It also utilizes near and far infrared heating, which allows for an even cook from both the interior and exterior of the food.
Burning toast sucks. Manufacturers come up with all kinds of ways to “sense” when the bread is rightly brown. But why not take it back to the basics and just monitor it yourself? After all, everyone has a different opinion on the right level of brown. Magimix’s Vision Toaster is not a toaster oven, yet it includes transparent glass panels that allow you to watch as your toast cooks. It’s sleekly designed with stainless steel sides, but the $250 price tag may be asking a bit too much.
Here’s where it starts to get weird. There are several—I repeat, several—toasters on the market that allow you to print designs onto your toast—“print” as in, it selectively burns areas of the toast to render a monochromatic image. Inseq Design’s ZUSE toaster even looks like a printer.
According to the company’s website, “ZUSE doesn’t see itself merely as a compact toasting device but more like a print-maker of the traditional kind.” Line by line, the toaster burns black and white pictures with 12 by 12 pixel resolution onto the toast. It even includes a memory chip with multiple image options.
The ZUSE is still just a prototype. If you want your toaster to print designs onto your bread right now, you can check out the Pop Art Toaster.
Toasters don’t have to be for bread only. Just look at this retro-inspired toaster from Nostalgia Electrics. It’s only $20, and perfectly fits two hot dogs and two buns. We have to assume, though, if you’re the type of person who eats enough hot dogs that you’d actually find this thing useful, you should probably be concerned about your diet—not your toaster.
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