The Breakfast Set is a solid performer at a reasonable price. In fact, it is the only reasonably priced model we tested that can make decent bagels. You'll still get much better bagels from a toaster oven, and even better bagels from the pricey Smeg 2-Slice. However, if you're looking for a more inexpensive slot toaster for making bagels, the Breakfast set is a decent choice.
KRUPS Breakfast Set Review
Pros: Decent bagels
Cons: Relatively poor defrosting performance
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Our Analysis and Test Results
Here we further detail how the Breakfast Set performed in each one of our tests.
Bread toasting Quality
The Breakfast Set made relatively good toast during our testing. It had some trouble toasting crust-adjacent areas, but otherwise browned fairly evenly across the face and both sides of the toast. It lost a few points because we thought its medium shade settings were a bit weak. It has great range, the highest setting produces very dark toast, and the lowest setting made extremely light toast (so light, in fact, that it's debatable whether it qualified as toast or not). However, engaging the middle setting, with the shade knob straight vertical, did not produce a piece of toast in between those 2 extremes. It was noticeably darker than toast made on the lightest setting, enough so that its status as toast was unquestionable, but it was still very very light. This even toasting combined with weakness at some settings earned the Breakfast Set a score of 7 out of 10 on our bread toasting test. This makes it a slightly above average performer, as scores in this metric fell between 5 and 9.
Ease of Use
The Breakfast Set features pleasant controls and a shade knob that clicks into each setting for easy repeatability. The mode buttons must be pushed after the cycle has begun. We found this somewhat counterintuitive, but easy to get used to. The buttons light up to indicate that they have been pressed, eliminating any guesswork on that front. The crumb tray is easy to remove and slides out from the front for easy access. The Breakfast Set's major ease of use issue is its seemingly non-linear shade setting. As we mentioned in the bread toasting section, the lowest setting makes exceptionally light toast, the medium setting makes very light toast, and the highest setting makes very dark toast. This means that toast made on the 3 setting is only slightly darker than toast made on the 2 setting, but toast made on the 6 setting is much darker than toast made on the 5 setting. The Breakfast set is consistent between cycles, so once you find your ideal setting it is easy to get your ideal toast. However, these odd jumps in darkness between each setting make it difficult to initially find your figure out your preferred setting.
We thought the Breakfast Set's user interface was more pleasant than most, but it's hard to initially decipher shade settings lost it a lot of points. Ultimately it scored a 5 out of 10 on our ease of use test, making it an average performer in a field with scores ranging from 3 to 8.
Bagel Toasting Quality
This is where the Breakfast Set shined in our testing. Well, maybe shined is a strong word. It scored an 8 out of 10, which well ahead of the low score of 3 (excluding the model that couldn't fit bagels in its slots), but it still falls short of the elite Smeg. It produced some of the more even bagel toasting we observed, with only some small white spots towards the edge, and its bagel function left the backside untoasted but warm. These bagels looked good, and they tasted pretty good, but they just lacked some je ne sais quoi when compared to bagels that came out of a toaster oven or the top scoring Smeg. If you want to make bagels in a traditional slot model and don't want to spend $150 on the Smeg, the Breakfast Set will serve you fairly well, but we'd still suggest you check out our toaster oven review.
Frozen Food/Defrosting Toasting Quality
The Breakfast Set received one of the lower scores in our defrosting test, receiving a 4 out of 10 in a metric that saw scores spanning from 3 to 8. This is mostly because our testing revealed the defrost setting to be a bit weak. Even using the higher shade settings frozen bread was transformed into thawed bread, but not something we would call toast. This can be remedied by running another cycle, but we don't think that should be necessary. It fared a bit better with frozen waffles. They came out of the defrost cycle toasted all the way through, but again even using higher shade setting were very light.
The Breakfast Set lists for $50, offering reasonable performance at a reasonable price. It is a particularly good value if you want to make bagels in a traditional slot model. However, if you're more concerned about bread toasting and defrosting quality the Oster Jelly Bean offers better performance in both metrics for a $35 list price.
The Breakfast Set offers solid performance at a decent price, though there are other models that provide a better bang for the buck. It took home the best scores in our bagel toasting test, so if you want to make some good bagels and don't want to shell out the extra money for a toaster oven, the Breakfast Set is a good choice.
— Max Mutter and Steven Tata