Plus, 5 reasons to buy a slot toaster beyond Pop-Tarts (but also Pop-Tarts).
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Toast is super important to me. I have a single slice of sourdough toast every morning, will sometimes toast bread, bagels, or English muffins for sandwiches, and breakfast for dinner is a pretty regular thing at my house. A dinner of stewed beans or a hearty meaty ragu served over a thick slice of toast is the ultimate in autumn or winter comfort food. Great toast is a thing of beauty, and not to be trifled with.

I have written for you before about my lifelong commitment to being a toaster oven person. And I stand by all my reasoning for having a toaster oven if you are to choose only one toasting appliance in your kitchen: It remains the more versatile option. But I also realized recently that there have been some major developments in slot toaster technology, and with my daily investment in toast, it made me wonder. If a toaster only must perform one job, does it do so in a superior way to the ones that have to do so much more?

I embarked on some testing of slot toasters. And I am pleased to report there are some seriously amazing new slot toasters out there right now. Below, find my 6 top choices for slot toaster. And if you're on the fence, check out these top 5 reasons to consider purchasing a slot toaster (although toasting Pop-Tarts might be reason enough).

Credit: Getty / tashka2000

The top 5 reasons to buy a slot toaster

1. If you really do only make toast

I know I have been a loud and proud proponent of all the things a toaster oven can do. With only two of us at home, it is often more convenient and faster to do small things in the toaster oven. But if you really just need a machine that makes great toast and prefer to use your full-size oven for oven things, a slot toaster will likely give you the best and most consistent results.

2. If you are super picky about your level of toastiness

While you can get great toast in a toaster oven, they have a tendency, like your regular oven, to have hot spots, and often the bottom and top elements are not in sync, so you can get toast that is significantly blonder on one side. Toast purists will always get better control with a slot toaster.

3. If you have limited counter space or storage space

A slot toaster, even one that can do four slices, will always take up far less room than a toaster oven. So, for all you apartment dwellers and those with shared kitchen spaces, a slot toaster will give you toast at about half the footprint of even a compact toaster oven.

4. If you need to regularly make multiple batches of toast fast

We are only two in our house and we tend to eat max one to two pieces of toast at a go, so any toaster oven works well. But if you are a larger family and therefore making toast for a crowd, slot toasters tend to be a little bit faster than their oven counterparts, and even saving a minute or two per batch adds up.

5. If you or someone you live with is celiac or has allergy issues

Cross contamination is a bear for anyone suffering from intolerances like these and for some, even the tiniest speck of wayward gluten can cause real suffering. Having a designated slot toaster that is only ever used for gluten-free products ensures that whoever needs it can safely toast their bread without worry.

Whether you want to upgrade your old slot toaster, or just add a slot toaster to your current arsenal, here are the toasters that came up tops in my super scientific testing. And by that, I mean, I made a LOT of toast.

Chefman Toaster and Black and Decker Toaster
Credit: Courtesy Amazon

Best Budget Slot Toasters: Chefman and BLACK+DECKER

There are some super affordable slot toasters out there that still do a perfectly great job with your toast. My pick? You can't go wrong with these Chefman and the BLACK+DECKER models that toast up two slices at a time. At nice, reasonable prices, you you'll get a lot of bang for very little buck with either of these countertop workhorses.

Buy it: Chefman 2-Slice Pop-Up Slot Toaster ($29.99), 

Buy it: BLACK+DECKER Slot Toaster ($34.90), 

Dash Red Toaster
Credit: Courtesy Amazon

Best Upgrade Slot Toaster: Dash

Dash is the only toaster I tested that has a glass window for watching your toast get toasty. You'll never have to guess if your toast is getting too toasty again (you'll have 7 browning levels to play with on this model)! Even better, it comes in seven colors, so something for any kitchen décor.

Buy it: Dash Clear View Toaster ($39.99-59.95), 

Zwilling Toaster
Credit: Courtesy Food52

Best Investment Slot Toaster: Zwilling

If what you want is a toaster that just gives you consistent results with terrific quality, and are willing to invest a little more, you can't go wrong with the German engineering in a Zwilling appliance. Sleek design in either matte black or matte silver, two and four slot versions available, and slots that are wide enough to accommodate the thickest bagels, but still handle the thinnest toaster pastry with ease.

Buy it: Zwilling 2-Slice Toaster ($100), 

Smeg Toaster
Credit: Courtesy Amazon

Best Investment Slot Toaster for Counter Appeal: Smeg

If you love that midcentury look and want a toaster that is as beautiful as it is functional, upgrade yourself to the Smeg toaster. The toasting experience is equal to the Zwilling in terms of excellent toast, but you get that curvy look that just screams style. Available in seven different pop-art colors, including a chrome version so shiny it could be the bumper of a '57 Cadillac. This toaster practically purrs.

 Buy it: Smeg 50s Retro Style Aesthetic 2 Slice Toaster ($169.95), 

Revolution Toaster
Credit: Amazon

Best Full-Out Splurge Slot Toaster: Revolution

Before you faint at the price, hear me out: First, this smart toaster operates with a super intuitive touch screen interface, and you can set your specific breadstuff (bread, bagel, English muffin, waffle or toaster pastry) by tapping the photo of that item, then indicate whether it is fresh, frozen, or just a gentle reheat. Choose from seven levels of browning, which changes the shade in the picture to let you know what to expect. But how the Revolution truly sets itself apart is the combination of speed and consistency. This toaster heats in literally two seconds, which means that you get toast in some cases more than twice as fast as any other toaster in this lineup, and it gives an even toast on both sides. Even dark levels of toast don't dry out the interior of the bread because of the speed. The preset bagel setting is designed for grocery-store bagels, but there is a toggle for the larger bakery bagels, to ensure that the machine self-adjusts for every option. It even reminds you when it is time to clean the crumb tray. And as a bonus, when idle it displays the date and time in either digital number or clock face style. Full disclosure: I went into this test something of a slot toaster skeptic, and now the Revolution sits proudly right next to my toaster oven. Apparently, there is place for both in my life.

Buy it: Revolution Cooking 2-Sliice High-Speed Smart Toaster ($300),