Kenmore KTES8 Toaster Over Can't Toast
Jul 3, 2004
Review by quasar
Rated a Very Helpful Review
I don't think I'm asking too much of a toaster oven to expect it to actually toast bread or bagels. Ostensibly this is the main function of a toaster oven, its raison d'etre. Unfortunately it's not something many of them seem to do very well.
Recommend this product?
The Kenmore KTES8 is, unfortunately, particularly bad at this task. It regularly takes forever to even get a light toast (often two or three long "dark" cycles) but it makes up for this by every once in a while burning the bread beyond all recognition more quickly than you can shake a stick at it. In addition, although it usually turns off automatically every once in a while it doesn't. This inconsistency means you have to always watch the toaster which, when in slow mode, is really painful.
The KTES8 has one of the stranger control setups I've seen. It has a 60 minute timer that can be set to 10 minute increments (and only 10 minute increments) on the top. Below that is a dial with Toast, Bake, Broil, and Warm options. Below that is another dial with light, medium, and dark settings on the left and a temperature range of 250 to 450 on the right. Below that dial are two rocker switches, one that turns on the toaster and one that turns it off. It's very easy to accidentally hit one of these switches, either turning off the oven while it's in use (annoying) or, worse, turning it on when you think it's not in use (dangerous). The dials have some problems too. In addition to restricting the timer to exact 10 minute increments, it's a bit difficult to determine which side of the dial pointer is actually the one that points to the engaged option. There is a small black dot on the pointer side but unless you really pay attention it's really easy to miss. I've tried toasting at 400 degrees rather than dark before.
The oven is fairly small for a six slice toaster but I have seen six slices of bread or two bagels toasting inside. It has a white plastic casing that tends to collect smudges and at first glance lacks a handle to open the door. In reality the handle is there but it's a plastic ridge that extends out slightly from the casing at the very top of the door. In addition to blending in, it's very easy to accidentally hit the top of the oven when you're trying to grasp the handle.
This doesn't sound like much of a problem except the outside of the oven gets rather hot. It's not nearly as bad as the Black & Decker TRO-2100 oven I've used in the past which could melt butter, but this casing does get hot enough to burn your fingers slightly.
The inside of the oven is actually very well designed. It's very easy to remove food from the racks and the crumb tray is among the easiest to remove and clean I've ever seen. It's essentially a cookie sheet that slides along the bottom of the oven area. It's removed through the main oven area and doesn't need to be fed through special tracks or do anything beyond sit on the bottom of the cavity.
I haven't tried using the Kenmore TES8 Toaster Oven for anything but toasting bread and bagels. It doesn't do either very well. When you add in its inconsistent behavior and the odd, easily accidentally engaged controls I simply cannot recommend its use.
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