Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay put his name on a toaster for Kmart. And the Food Network put its name on a toaster sold at Kohl's. Consumer Reports tested those toasters along with dozens of others to see which deliver perfect toast.
Consumer Reports' testers found it's actually not so easy to find a toaster that turns out evenly browned toast. Testers evaluate how well a toaster makes light toast as well as dark. They test whether the pieces of toast come out evenly. And they check to see whether successive batches produced the same color toast.
Gordon Ramsay's toaster didn't do well. The slices of toast are pretty dark. It is the worst toaster in the ratings. And the Food Network's toaster wasn't great at making multiple batches either.
Then there's the Nostalgia Electrics Egg'n'Muffin Toaster that lets you cook bacon or fry an egg while it toasts! Unfortunately, the Nostalgia's griddle is pretty slow. It took more than 10 minutes to fry bacon and cook eggs.
When all the tests were done, the $80 Cuisinart CPT-420 topped the ratings. It consistently delivered evenly toasted bread with the push of a button. For much less, the Hamilton Beach 22502 is a Best Buy for $35. Though it has fewer features, it rated excellent for toasting evenly. If you are making toast for a crowd, Consumer Reports says a very good four-slice toaster is the $50 Hamilton Beach Digital 24502.