Bella 2 Slice Review
Pros: Budget-friendly, compact
Cons: Limited heating options, poor unfreezing
Compare to Similar Products
Bella 2 Slice
$24.99 at Amazon
$29.95 at Amazon
|Check Price at Amazon||$40 List|
$34.99 at Amazon
|Pros||Budget-friendly, compact||Strong toasting, small storage, easy to use, budget friendly, good strudel||Budget-friendly, easy-to-use, great strudels||Inexpensive, toasts 4 slices at once, toasts bagels evenly||Good toast, decent bagels, inexpensive|
|Cons||Limited heating options, poor unfreezing||Mediocre bagels, waffles||Subpar bagel toasting||No specific bagel mode, toasting can be slightly inconsistent overall||Hard to clean crumb tray|
|Bottom Line||A simple and small toaster that gets the job done but sacrifices quality when it comes to heating frozen foods||It may not be the most aesthetic, but this toaster is compact, practical, and budget-friendly for its high performance||An easy-to-use toaster that is also easy on the wallet, and great for strudel lovers, but not for bagel lovers||The best option we've found for people seeking a 4-slice or long-slot model on the cheap||A good, inexpensive option that does just about everything well|
|Rating Categories||Bella 2 Slice||Cuisinart CPT-122||Oster 2 Slice||Elite Gourmet ECT-3100||Black+Decker TR3500SD|
|Bread Toasting Quality (35%)|
|Ease of Use (35%)|
|Bagel Toasting Quality (15%)|
|Frozen Food (15%)|
|Specs||Bella 2 Slice||Cuisinart CPT-122||Oster 2 Slice||Elite Gourmet ECT-3100||Black+Decker TR3500SD|
|Weight||2.4 lbs.||3.7 lbs.||3.5 lbs.||6.4 lbs.||2.7 lbs.|
|Dimensions (L x W x H)||9.7" x 5.7" x 6.5"||6.5" x 11" x 7.2"||11.7" x 6.9" x 7.3"||14.7" x 7.1" x 7.7"||10.0" x 6.5" x 7.4"|
|Standard / Long Slot||Standard||Standard||Standard||Long||Standard|
|Available with Long Slot?||No||No||No||Yes||No|
|Available in 4 slot?||No||No||No||No||Yes|
|Color/Finish Options||Silver||White, Red, Black||Gray||Black Plastic/Stainless||Stainless Steel|
|Exterior Housing Material||Stainless Steel||Plastic||Stainless Steel||Stainless Steel||Stainless Steel|
|End of Cycle Indicator||None||None||None||None||None|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Bella 2 Slice is a budget-friendly option that generally provides decent performance, despite some interface shortcomings and less than stellar frozen food preparation.
Bread Toasting Quality
Our first test metric evaluated how well the Bella 2 Slice prepared toast on each of the three available settings. On the lightest setting, the Bella achieved a nice texture but hardly any perceivable golden coloration. We did achieve the quintessential evenly distributed golden color you expect to see on a piece of toast when using the medium setting.
When we tested the darkest setting, we produced a deep gold to light brown coloration with zero burns. What did become apparent was that the topmost end of the bread did not cook as much as the rest of the slice. Overall, the Bella consistently made good but not great toast, making its performance OK but not our favorite.
Ease of Use
This metric is one area where the Bella 2 Slice could have been better in a number of ways.
The removable crumb tray on the back of the toaster is a little bit easier to access and remove than other models, but not nearly as smooth as the highest-performing models we've tested. Fortunately, in our surface temperature tests, the body of the toaster was warm but not hot to the touch.
Where the Bella was really lacking was in its interface. Six heat settings and a reheat setting are controlled by a dial. There is only a cancel button, and activation is controlled with a lever. While it works, it's certainly lackluster compared to other, easier-to-use products, with an increased number of settings and selections.
Bagel Toasting Quality
After our ease of use testing, we moved on to testing this model's ability to toast bagels. Unfortunately, there is no bagel setting on this model. The lack of a bagel setting hurt this model's performance in our ease of use tests as this tends to be a main feature on many of today's high-performing toasters.
Unfortunately for the Bella 2 Slice, our tests resulted in uneven coloration and incomplete toasting. In a repeat test, both the exterior and interior of the bagel turned an even gold and produced a desirable toasty texture. Still, the results weren't the best in general, nor were they consistent.
Frozen Food/Defrosting Quality
The Bella also did poorly in our frozen food and defrosting test compared to the other appliances we tested. In our waffle tests, the resulting waffles were mostly golden in color, with a pleasant and crunchy texture. However, this toaster struggled to heat evenly, which should be a basic requirement of any toaster.
This model also did very poorly in our frozen bread test. While it added some toastiness to the texture of the bread and imparted a slight gold coloration to a small portion of the slice, the heat did not evenly spread across the entire slice.
This model lacks a defrost setting, and as a result, it struggled to cook strudels in our third and final frozen food test. Its performance was generally disappointing, doing slightly better in the preparation of a strudel than it did with frozen bread. The strudel produced was crispy and golden on the outside but cool at its center, and not what we characterized as a good strudel.
Should You Buy the Bella 2 Slice?
Considering the rather unexceptional overall score that the Bella 2 Slice achieved, we can't recommend buying it over many of the other products we tested. We strongly suggest looking at our other reviews for better performance at a similar price.
What Other Toaster Should You Consider?
At a similar price point, we suggest getting much better performance out of the Oster 2 Slice or the Cuisinart CPT-122, which also offers a great value and solid performance.
— Genaveve Bradshaw and Benjamin Hickok
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