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Elite Gourmet ECT-3100 Review

The best option we've found for people seeking a 4-slice or long-slot model on the cheap
Best Buy Award
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Price:   $70 List | $42 at Amazon
Pros:  Inexpensive, toasts 4 slices at once, toasts bagels evenly
Cons:  No specific bagel mode, toasting can be slightly inconsistent overall
Manufacturer:   Elite Gourmet
By Max Mutter and Michelle Powell  ⋅  Oct 19, 2020
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70
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 11
  • Bread Toasting Quality - 35% 7
  • Ease of Use - 35% 6
  • Bagel Toasting Quality - 15% 9
  • Frozen Food/Defrosting Quality - 15% 7

Our Verdict

The Elite Gourmet ECT-3100 is a reasonably priced 4-slice toaster than manages to make good toast, nice frozen pastries, and fantastic bagels. If you have a family that requires lots of toast to be made quickly in the morning and you're on a budget, this could be the perfect toaster for you. Sure it lacks some of the bells and whistles of many of the more expensive models on the market, but it does all you need and then some for quite a wallet friendly price. To boot it has a built-in warming rack for heating up croissants and other pastries, and its classic metal styling easily fits into most kitchen decors.

Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Elite Gourmet ECT-3100 is both one of the most effective and one of the least expensive 4-slice toasters we've come across, making it great for families shopping on a budget.

Performance Comparison



Bread Toasting Quality


In our bread toasting tests the Elite Gourmet ECT-3100 did quite well. In general the toast was evenly browned on both sides and was fairly consistent across the faces.


Oddly the middle of the toaster seems to be a bit colder than the edges, so each piece of bread tended to have one slightly darker half and one slightly lighter half. However, these minor inconsistencies didn't affect our enjoyment of said toast. Additionally, if you end up toasting just a single slice of bread and putting it in the middle of one of the slots as the manufacturer suggests, that toast often has darker ends and a lighter spot in the middle. Again, we didn't find that inconsistency to be distracting to our overall toast eating experience.

We generally enjoyed the toast we made with the Elite Gourmet ECT-3100.
We generally enjoyed the toast we made with the Elite Gourmet ECT-3100.

Finally, the includied warming rack for croissants and other pastries is simple, works well, and makes you feel downright fancy when using it.

Ease of Use


The Elite Gourmet ECT-3100 is fairly easy and straightforward to use, but lacks some of the extra user friendly touches that some other models have.


The interface of the Elite Gourmet ECT-3100 is simple — a dial to select the shade setting, two buttons for the defrost and reheat functions, a button to cancel the cycle, and a lever to start everything off. The crumb tray slides out so you can empty it without moving the actual toaster. In our experience the surface of the toaster also stays at a relatively mild temperature, even when running multiple cycles in a row.

The included warming rack lets you warm pastries and other items.
The included warming rack lets you warm pastries and other items.

What the toaster lacks in its user experience is the ability to check in on the toast mid cycle and then resume the cycle if it doesn't look quite done, a specific bagel setting, or the ability to save different settings — all options that some of the more expensive models offer. However, for many people those extra features may be superfluous, so their absence is certainly not a knock against the Elite Gourmet ECT-3100.

Bagel Toasting Quality


This is one area where many slot toaster tend to struggle, but where the Elite Gourmet ECT-3100 did surprisingly well given its low price tag.


Bagels tend to be quite difficult to toast evenly, and the Elite Gourmet ECT-3100 managed to do that quite well in our testing. The one flaw is that it doesn't have a bagel setting. In most models the bagel setting turns one side of each slot down a bit so you can toast the face of the bagel while keeping the backside still a bit gooey. This isn't an option with the Elite Gourmet ECT-3100.

The Elite Gourmet ECT-3100 easily accommodates 4 slices of bread as well as irregularly shaped artisanal bread.
The Elite Gourmet ECT-3100 easily accommodates 4 slices of bread as well as irregularly shaped artisanal bread.

Frozen Food Defrosting Quality


The Elite Gourmet ECT-3100 did well on most of our frozen food tests, but struggled a bit when it came to more unique items like frozen toaster pastries.


The Elite Gourmet ECT-3100 handled both frozen bread and frozen waffles beautifully in our tests, completely thawing each and then imbuing a fairly even and crispy browning across their faces. Frozen toaster pastries, however, were another story. Many of these pastries started to borderline burn around the edges while the centers were still quite gooey.

Value


It would be hard to find a 4-slice toaster that performed as well as the Elite Gourmet ECT-3100 for less. Therefore we think it's a great value for those who need a 4-slice and/or long-slot toaster.

Conclusion


The Elite Gourmet ECT-3100 is both one of the best and least expensive long-slot 4-slice toasters we've tested.

Max Mutter and Michelle Powell