Breville Smart Toaster BTA840XL Review


PROS:
The Smart Toaster includes a sleek modern design, motorized functions, digital displays and LED shading selectors.

CONS: The weight of this toaster makes it difficult to move on and off the shelf.

VERDICT: The modern sleek design, motorized functions and wide toasting slots help you toast bread perfectly every time.

Doing something consistently, even something simple, is not as easy as it appears to be. Toasting bread should be easy. Yet, the more features that manufactures place inside their toasters the more it seems they forget the basic overall purpose of a toaster, toasting bread. That is why we are so impressed with the Breville Smart Toaster. The Breville engineers have seamlessly blended modern functions and designs without lowering cooking performance.

The brushed die-cast aluminum, tapered top and digital display makes this the best toaster if you’re looking to add a modern flare to your kitchen. The toaster is fully automated, so whether you want to use the Lift and Look function or add time to a toasting cycle with the A Bit More feature, you need only press a button. Although the Breville Smart Toaster is designed with many impressive features and controls, its primary purpose isn’t neglected – toasting bread. Whether you want to toast thick bagels, oddly shaped artesian bread pieces or plain white, the Smart Toaster consistently provides even toasting. Because of the automated toasting function, the Lift and Look function, the A Bit More feature and its modern die-cast aluminum design, the Breville Smart Toaster is our Top Ten Reviews.

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Features

Breville calls this toaster a smart toaster because of its automatic and motorized functions. There are no levers to press down. You simply place whatever bread you wish to toast into a slot and press the toast button. The motorized cage lowers the bread down to the heat element for the toasting cycle and raises it back up when it's done. The Breville Smart Toaster comes in both a two- and four-slice version. Each of the toaster slots has a self-centering function. This is great because it will automatically place your bread in the optimal toasting position without requiring you to reach down into the unit. The LED display provides a progress meter, letting you know how much longer your toast has in its cycle.

The Lift and Look feature and the A Bit More function are both very handy on this toaster. The Lift and Look feature lets you check on the browning mid-cycle. You just press a single button and the bread automatically pops up, stays up for a few seconds and lowers back down. This feature works hand-in-hand with the A Bit More function. The A Bit More button allows you to add an additional 30 seconds to the toasting time without changing the main shading dial. Using these functions helps take the guesswork out of your toasting. You can get the perfect toast on any bread without having to tap a shading dial a millimeter to left or right or trying to peer down inside a toaster and manually stop it at the perfect moment.

Toasting Functions

This toaster does only have five general shade settings, which is fewer than other toasters. However, the LED light dial gives you more control of the shade settings between the five standard settings compared to toasters that use a simple knob. This is why Breville claims to actually have 12 available browning options. You will enjoy this precision shade feature, as different dense breads take longer to brown than white breads with more sugar. The variable settings allow you to pick the perfect doneness for the breads you wish to toast.

This toaster also includes standard features. It has a bagel setting that only toasts the cut side of bagels. You simply place the bagel with the cut side towards the middle coil and the toaster will provide extra browning power to that side. The cut side browns to your liking and the heel side isn't overly tough from the process. If you freeze your bread, you will find the defrost setting useful. The setting allows you to toast your favorite bread without having to first thaw it out. The Smart Toaster does include a warming function that reheats your bread should it become cold after toasting.

The four-slice Smart Toaster models include dual controls with two LED shading dials. With multiple controls, you can toast two bagel slices and two bread slices at the same time with different settings.

Design

Selecting a kitchen appliance goes beyond functionality. The design and appearance of your appliances provide decorating accents for your kitchen. While the Breville toaster isn't made of stainless steel, the brushed die-cast aluminum gives it a sleek and modern look that fits in any kitchen. In addition to its pleasing aesthetics, the Breville engineers made sure to pack this toaster with design functions. The slots are extra-wide – perfect if you enjoy toasting bagels, artisanal breads or pastries. Although this toaster does have a metal case, it has cool-touch technology that ensure the sides will be cool when the toaster is in use. This is great because you don't have to worry about burning yourself while using the toaster’s controls. You also don't have to fear your children using it and burning themselves on the hot sides.

The removable crumb tray makes cleaning the toaster simple. Instead of having to flip the toaster over and shake it clean, the crumbs fall down into the tray underneath the toasting element during use. You then remove the tray and empty the crumbs. The hide-away cord is also great. You can coil the cord inside the toaster for easy storage, on or off the counter.

At 12 pounds, this toaster is on the heavier side. This can be a burden if you plan to take it on and off your kitchen counter. Yet, the die-cast aluminum and hide-away cord add to its pleasing modern appearance, making it a mainstay on any kitchen counter.


Help & Support

Breville includes a one-year warranty with this toaster. There is also email support for any questions or problems you may encounter, and there’s a toll-free help line if you would prefer to talk to someone in person. There are digital copies online for all the manuals in the Smart Toaster series. Breville also has a living manual on its website, which consists user questions and responses from the online help forums that the company has put in a user manual format This lets you quickly reference frequently asked questions or advice not included in a standard user manual.


Summary

The Breville Smart Toaster is loaded with modern features, and the sleek design will enhance any countertop. The Lift and Look feature and the A Bit More function help you to get perfect toast every time. The automated controls make toasting bread simple – and fun, too. The combination of design features and controls make this one of the best toasters we reviewed.


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