Touchscreens are appearing on more and more of the appliances we use every day, but I admit, I would have never imagined one on a toaster. But much like the selfie stick, the Cuisinart 4-Slice Touchscreen Toaster is one of those things that you don’t know you need until you give it a try.
Not only does a touchscreen provide some unexpected benefits to a toaster, but Cuisinart doesn’t rely on it as a gimmick. This boxy powerhouse is packed full of toasty features that can truly take your toasting to that next crunchy level. And it’ll look darn good doing it, too.
A touchscreen for style and easy cleanup
Let’s start with what you’re most curious about: that touchscreen. What purpose does a touchscreen have on a toaster? The answer is surprisingly simple: super easy cleanup.
Unlike a typical toaster with traditional buttons, this one is much easier to keep clean. Just give the touch controls a quick wipe now and again, and any crumbs or splatter come right off. You don’t have to worry about any gunk getting stuck along the sides of the buttons, or about accidentally letting liquid inside during your cleanup.
Another surprise benefit is that touchpad buttons are just easier to press. They require just the tiniest graze of your finger rather than the full press traditional buttons require. And sure, that’s probably a pretty minor benefit, but you’d be surprised how quickly you get used to getting your morning toast with a couple quick taps.
Of course, probably the biggest benefit of the touchscreen is simply that sleek, modern look it gives to your countertop. When not in use, the toaster sits with only the power button illuminated. But I can’t describe to you the childlike wonder I felt once I pressed it and saw all the other buttons suddenly light up at once. And as you can see in my photo, the surface is reflectively shiny. I mean, it looks like you’re making toast in a spaceship. What’s more to love?
Features that let you toast to perfection
But there is more to love! This isn’t one of those toasters that just looks fancy but can’t handle an everything bagel.
The Cuisinart touchscreen toaster has all the essential features you’ve come to know and love from modern toasters: a Bagel setting, Single Slice setting, Defrost, and a High-Lift Lever to retrieve your toast safely and easily. But it gets better.
This toaster has 6 levels of darkness to get your toast to the perfect shade: from just adding a light crispiness, to that super dark crunch. If your toast finishes and you find it’s not quite as dark as you like it, there’s also a +30 Seconds button to let it brown for a bit longer, and get it just right.
Darkness levels aside, I was delighted to find that the 6 darkness settings act as a countdown clock for your toast! If you select level 5, the 5 on the touchscreen will blink as your toast browns, before moving down to 4, all the way down to 1 before popping up. If you’re like me and sometimes get startled out of your wits when your toast unexpectedly pops, keeping an eye on this will give you an idea of how long you have, and when to expect that terrifying pop.
Still not satisfied? Do you need an absolutely perfect toasting experience? Well, buckle up.
After all those features, I was sure that this toaster had everything covered. So you can imagine my excitement when I discovered something incredible: the High-Lift Lever isn’t just for getting your toast out easily. Unlike a typical toaster, you can use this lever during the toasting process.
When I was unsure if my chosen darkness setting was right for my bagel, I just lifted it up to check on it every now and then to make sure it was browning to my liking. Fancy touchscreen aside, between 6 levels of darkness, adding 30 extra seconds, and being able to check on it whenever you want, this is truly the toaster of the future.
Putting it to the toast-test
So, it has the cool touchscreen and all the fancy features, but when it comes to a toaster, it all boils down to one, simple point: how does it toast? To find that out, I put the Cuisinart touchscreen toaster to the toast-test, and here are the results.
I tried out Cuisinart’s touchscreen toaster in a few ways. First, I toasted a slice of bread on each of the 6 darkness settings to find its toasting range. As you can see, it resulted in this beautiful rainbow of toasty darkness. It ranges from a crunchy, light toasting, to that almost-burnt darkness. Unless you’re a toast connoisseur, you’ll probably find your perfect level somewhere on this spectrum. I personally found level 4 to hit that perfect golden-brown that most of us hope for.
But maybe you are a toast connoisseur, and 6 darkness settings just aren’t enough for you. Maybe your toast wonderland lies somewhere between 4 and 5. You’re in luck, because that +30 Seconds feature is always handy to add that little extra bit of time to get the perfect browning between darkness settings. And of course, the ability to lift your toast up to check on it will ensure that you can always keep a close eye on your precious toast as it browns.
As for foodstuffs other than bread, I also tested the toaster with bagels and frozen waffles. It handled both well, and I was able to get delicious browning in either scenario. And the Bagel function helps to keep only the inside of your bagels toasted.
The only downside I found was that only one slot out of four is equipped with the Single Slice function. So if you and your partner both want a single slice of toast at different shade settings, you’ll have to do it one at a time. Or you can toast at the same time, but you’d have to use all four slots for just two pieces of toast, which isn’t very energy efficient. That said, it’s a pretty minor issue compared to everything else this toaster has to offer.
The toaster of the future
There you have it: the Cuisinart 4-Slice Touchscreen Toaster in all its toasty glory. With all the innovative features packed into this thing, there’s no reason you can’t get perfect toast, bagels, and more every single time. And while the touchscreen itself might not add much to the quality of your toast, it certainly helps keep your kitchen tidy, while looking modern and stylish.
If you’re in the market for a new toaster, I don’t see how you could go wrong with this one. If 4 slices sound like too much for your counter space, it also comes in a 2-slice model. But if the toaster of the future just isn’t your cup of tea, you can still check out all of Cuisinart’s small appliances to find one that works for you on BestBuy.ca. Stay toasty, my friends.