It was bound to happen. Our toaster decided that it did not want to work anymore and just played dead. It was a very convincing performance, so convincing that I knew I didnt need an encore. I received a $25 gift card to Circuit City for Christmas. Heres the kicker: I never shop at Circuit City. However, I knew I couldnt let the gift card go to waste; therefore, why not use it to get something that we needed for the household. While browsing through the Circuit City website, I saw something that caught my eye for a really good price. Thats when I saw the Hamilton Beach Toaster and decided it was what we needed.
Recommend this product?
The Hamilton Beach Toaster is sometimes a toaster and sometimes an oven. Thats right. Its a two-in-one deal. The 10x17x10 frame fits nicely on any countertop without taking much room. Its a great space-saving unit that stands upright like a toaster, but it also has a door and a rack to place items in the oven. I like the brushed silver finish with black front panel. It makes it feel like a modern appliance for the kitchen and plugs in nicely into the wall.
The toaster part is wide enough to fit two bagels, slices of bread, or English muffins. A lever on the top lets you switch between the toaster and the oven. Keep in mind that you can only use one or the other at a time. There are also two dial switches. One controls the temperature, ranging between 200-450 degrees Fahrenheit. The other switch controls the toast colour ranging from 1-6.
The oven itself is a bonus for us. There are many times that we want to use our conventional oven but not for little things. This unit changes all of that. If we want to re-heat pizza slices, we do so with this toaster oven. It can fit two large pizza slices at once by placing it on the removable crumb tray. Its also great for frozen hashbrowns, personal-sized pizzas, chicken nuggets, or anything small in that nature. Because it is smaller than an oven, it cooks faster than normal so the timing of the temperature needs to be reduced in order to avoid burning. This also means that the unit becomes hot everything from the base to the glass window except for the oven handle. This is a good thing especially when you need to open the oven door.
I do love the automatic shut off safety feature in the toaster mode. Once the toast carriage pops up, the unit will shut off when its complete.
The toaster oven is not so lucky in that department. As I mentioned before, it heats food quicker than usually because of its smaller size so its best to keep an eye on the oven operation. There have been a few times when I have underestimated the baking time. The downside really is the size of the toaster oven. Remember, only small items can fit into this space. Do not try to force something larger in it at all. It wont fit properly and you can really do some damage to the unit if the item burns. Also, the removable crumb tray gets very hard to clean when food crumbs, especially cheese, burns onto the tray. It can be quite annoying at times.
I was lucky to get the Hamilton Beach Toaster for $30 with a limited one-year manufacturers warranty. As a two-in-one unit, we definitely make good use of it. Its very convenient and easy to use. Even our teenage son is starting to, dare I say it, make food for himself because he knows how to use the unit. I know, its a shocking development. Maybe one day he might actually make us a meal. Okay, I was getting ahead of myself that time.
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Amount Paid (US$): 30.00