Posted 20 hours ago

Philips Eco Conscious Edition 5000 Series Toaster, 100% Bio-Based Plastics, 8 Settings + Integrated Bun Warming Rack, Removable Crumb Tray, Reheat & Defrost (HD2640/11)

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High lift saves you from burning your fingers by pushing the slots up so you can retrieve your toast safely. It’s also available as a four-slice model, which should perform similarly to this one and has the advantage of two great big slots (rather than the more common four smaller slots) so that you can toast longer items with ease. We think timing is important too, which is why we assess how long single slices take to toast using the same setting on every model, again for testing consistency. Once all the toasting and tasting is done, we look at build quality and style, and whether these reflect a model’s price tag. Your toaster should be as functional as it is stylish, which is why our testing takes everything into consideration.

A defrost setting is useful for frozen bread. First, it defrosts bread then switches to the toasting cycle. Each model is different: on some models, you need to press the defrost button before you push the bread carriage down, while others are pushed once you’ve activated the toaster. A reheat button usually activates a short (one-minute) cycle to heat up cold toast. Note that on some toasters, this function is marked on the timer dial instead of being a separate button. Similarly, the “a bit more” button gives your toast an extra 30 seconds. The results were impressive: toast was evenly done, and it’s faster and more power-efficient than anything we’ve seen at this price. The slots are really wide, too, so getting bigger items to fit isn’t a problem. Speaking of which, there’s a bagel mode so you can get them crunchy on the outside and doughy on the inside – as nature intended. During testing, the Elegancy performed well. We were able to achieve a nice even brownness using all the settings for the most part, although sometimes the level of browness did vary – something we see a lot on mid-price toasters. The defrost setting works best on a lower setting and doesn’t dry out bread too much. What’s more, we found it very easy to clean thanks to crumb trays that are easy to remove. All in all, this is a nifty little toaster with some great functions at a decent price. While a two-slice toaster will only have a single browning control (timer), on a four-slice model you may be provided with one or two such controls. A single control means the timer is set for all four slots, which is fine if you all want your toast done the same way. Two timers means you can set each pair of slots separately so you can toast, say, crumpets on one side while doing toast on the other, or have “his and hers” slots set to your personal preferences. What features should I look out for in a toaster?A bagel setting is handy for anything, like bagels or English muffins, that you want to toast on just one side. Perfect for smaller and solo households, the catch is that it only comes in white with a grey panel, so colour fans will have to look elsewhere. It’s also easy to clean, but it’s better suited to standard-sized loaves, so probably not your best bet if you use homemade bread. And the shiny look shows up every mark.

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