For those who remember the coffee maker debacle, here is an update and a toaster oven review. I know, weird, but stay with me.
Five days after I returned my two defective Everyday Essentials coffee makers I got a call from Loblaw to apologize for my scary coffee-making experiences. Then I got a call from a representative from my particular store, who also apologized. I found out that even though I stressed to the customer service person that they were dangerous products that should be looked into, they were immediately destroyed… unexamined.
Then I got a phone call from the people who actually manufacture the coffee makers and was assured that it was just a “fluke” and that they would replace mine with one of their expensive top-of-the-line coffee makers.
Note he did not say he was sorry. Also note, my coffee makers were under $30. As nice a gesture as this was, it did not seem like a fair trade and… I had already bought a Black & Decker Coffeemaker. I did not need two!
I suggested instead that they send me their Everyday Essentials Toaster Oven that was only $19.99. That was comparable (one coffee maker I bought was $10 and the other $25).
And he sent it to me! Since then, I have mercilessly been putting it through my test kitchen. My number one worry was safety so I spent a lot of time with this toaster oven.
It is my first toaster oven actually and I have to say that setting it with time and temperature, having the clicking going by in the background, made me feel like I was working with an Easy Bake Oven which was kind of cute but a little weird.
I first used it to just melt cheese and butter onto bagels. No burning, yes!
Since it is a “toaster” oven I had to make toast, of course!
Not browned evenly but it tasted like campfire toast which I really liked.
And it was easy to clean. Just pull down the bottom panel and swipe!
There were some things I wanted to make in it I couldn’t because it was too small. No muffins, loaves or cakes being made in this product.
An important test was baking Reg’s favourite cookies in the toaster. Normally I abandoned baking in the heat of the summer so the idea of still being able to make these without heating up my kitchen too much intrigued me. The toaster oven actually baked them perfectly! Not too brown, exactly the way we like them. Awesome!
I even made dinner in it one night. I can not say it does not heat up the kitchen at all, I could still feel it quite intensely but obviously a fraction of what my old oven generates.
The only problem is the lovely roasted browning you get from an oven is not there. Everything was cooked through just fine but I probably will not be making roasted veggies in there again.
The big test of faith was slow-baking this butternut squash at 250F for my Roasted Butternut Squash Soup. I was shocked it actually fit in the toaster oven! I wasn’t surprised I had to cook it a little longer than usual but I could do it. And I did so… unattended! At this point I felt it was safe to do so.
The toaster oven fits nice and snuggly in my kitchen cubby hole. It is very light! Even I can take it out and about easily which rocks.
It is also thinner (although longer) than my toaster oven.
After putting this product through the ringer that is my test kitchen in just about every way I could dream up… I have to conclude that it is pretty darn awesome! Nothing is going to replace my oven but being able to make a small batch of cookies in the summer rocks. In the fall I will be able to roast potatoes at a high temperature in my oven and slow-baked chicken breasts in my toaster oven at a much lower temperature. That is convenience I have never known before and I am seduced.
There were no signs of safety issues at all. In fact barely putting my hand in there to pull out my food is a hell of a lot safer than taking stuff out of my oven. I love being able to really see my food roast and bake, take it out exactly when I think the food is ready. Having a timer that turns off the oven when it is done also saved my butt from over-baking food many times when I was not in the room.
I love my toaster oven and would not want to live without it now. I am an official convert and give this toaster oven four and a half out of five wooden spoons.