Do’s and Don’ts of Using a Toaster

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Last year I started a series of posts about kitchen equipment. So far we’ve looked at dishwashers, food processors, sandwich presses and the pressure cooker. So today I’m focusing on a smaller, simpler machine in your kitchen – the humble toaster.

It seems like a pretty easy machine to work out, right?

Toast in the top, push the handle down, and the toast pops up when done. Well, while it’s simple to use, there are a few things to keep in mind when using the toaster, so today I’ve set them out for you as a reminder.

You might have a two slice toaster, or a four slice, but either way, you do need to have a certain amount of healthy respect for the toaster, because like any other piece of cooking equipment it can get hot and you can get burnt easily if you’re not careful.


  • Do be safe around toasters.
  • Check the cable to make sure its not frayed or sitting under the toaster when the toaster is on.
  • Put the right sorts of foods into the toaster: sliced bread, split English muffins, cut bagels.
  • Empty out the crumbs at the bottom of the toaster once a week or after every time you use the toaster.
  • Do use the size toaster that fits the size slice of bread – for instance a 4 slice toaster is better for larger slices of bread such as sourdough.
  • Buy a toaster with a defrost option – it’ll save you time in the morning and means you can go straight from frozen bread to exactly-how-you-like-it toast in minutes.
  • Always check the number on the dial – especially if you share a toaster with friends, flatmates or colleagues. It’s likely someone else will have used the machine who likes really crispy toast and you won’t want your toast as crispy.
  • Be aware that different toasters heat to different temperatures, and often the same toaster will gradually get hotter the more its used – therefore your first slice might need to be on 3 on the dial, but the 5th slice can be on 2.


  • Don’t stick a knife (or anything else) into the machine to get the toast out or you’ll electrocute yourself.
  • Don’t put whole bread products in the toaster as they don’t fit in the holes or will burn if you try to squash them in.
  • Don’t use the toaster for making toasted sandwiches as melted cheese or other ingredients will burn onto the elements and could start a fire.
  • Never leave your toaster unattended.
  • Don’t touch your toast straight away, it will be really hot and you could burn your fingers.

Want some ideas about what to put on that toast after it’s perfectly done? Here’s 34 ideas that aren’t your usual breakfast fare.

Image courtesy of holohololand and

How do you like your toast?

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