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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
Elite Gourmet ECT-3100
Credit: Elite Gourmet
Best Buy Award
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Price:   $40 List | $34.99 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  ⋅  Jan 26, 2022
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70
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 16
  • Bread Toasting Quality - 35% 7.0
  • Ease of Use - 35% 6.0
  • Bagel Toasting Quality - 15% 9.0
  • Frozen Food - 15% 7.0

Our Verdict

The Elite Gourmet ECT-3100 is a reasonably priced 4-slice toaster that 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 and other kitchen appliances.

Editor's Note: This Elite Gourmet review includes new sections designed to help readers make a final buying decision that is best for their budget. This product review was updated on January 26, 2022.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Best Buy Award Best Buy Award    
Price $40 List
$34.99 at Amazon
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Pros Inexpensive, toasts 4 slices at once, toasts bagels evenlyStrong toasting, small storage, easy to use, budget friendly, good strudelBudget-friendly, easy-to-use, great strudelsGood toast, decent bagels, inexpensiveGood toasting, inexpensive
Cons No specific bagel mode, toasting can be slightly inconsistent overallMediocre bagels, wafflesSubpar bagel toastingHard to clean crumb trayMediocre defrosting, poor cleaning access
Bottom Line The best option we've found for people seeking a 4-slice or long-slot model on the cheapIt may not be the most aesthetic, but this toaster is compact, practical, and budget-friendly for its high performanceAn easy-to-use toaster that is also easy on the wallet, and great for strudel lovers, but not for bagel loversA good, inexpensive option that does just about everything wellThis toaster delivers the best bagels you can get at such a low price
Rating Categories Elite Gourmet ECT-3100 Cuisinart CPT-122 Oster 2 Slice Black+Decker TR3500SD Amazon Basics KT-3680
Bread Toasting Quality (35%)
7.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
Ease of Use (35%)
6.0
8.0
8.0
6.0
4.0
Bagel Toasting Quality (15%)
9.0
5.0
5.0
7.0
8.0
Frozen Food (15%)
7.0
7.0
6.0
7.0
5.0
Specs Elite Gourmet ECT-3100 Cuisinart CPT-122 Oster 2 Slice Black+Decker TR3500SD Amazon Basics KT-3680
Weight 6.4 lbs. 3.7 lbs. 3.5 lbs. 2.7 lbs. 2.5 lbs.
Dimensions (L x W x H) 14.7" x 7.1" x 7.7" 6.5" x 11" x 7.2" 11.7" x 6.9" x 7.3" 10.0" x 6.5" x 7.4" 10.7" x 6.4" x 7.6"
Standard / Long Slot Long Standard Standard Standard Standard
Available with Long Slot? Yes No No No No
Available in 4 slot? No No No Yes No
Color/Finish Options Black Plastic/Stainless White, Red, Black Gray Stainless Steel Black Plastic/Stainless
Exterior Housing Material Stainless Steel Plastic Stainless Steel Stainless Steel Plastic
End of Cycle Indicator None None None None None

Our Analysis and Test Results

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

Performance Comparison


Elite Gourmet ECT-3100 toaster
Credit: Laura Casner

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 pretty consistent across the faces.


Oddly, the middle of the toaster seems a bit colder than the edges, so each piece of bread tended to have one slightly darker half and one somewhat 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 distracting our overall toast eating experience.

Elite Gourmet ECT-3100 toaster - we generally enjoyed the toast we made with the elite gourmet...
We generally enjoyed the toast we made with the Elite Gourmet ECT-3100.
Credit: Laura Casner

Finally, the included 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 relatively straightforward to use but lacks some of the extra user-friendly touches that some other models have.


The Elite Gourmet ECT-3100 interface 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 toaster surface stays at a relatively mild temperature, even when running consecutive cycles.

Elite Gourmet ECT-3100 toaster - the included warming rack lets you warm pastries and other items.
The included warming rack lets you warm pastries and other items.
Credit: Laura Casner

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

Bagel Toasting Quality


This metric is one area where many slot toasters tend to struggle (giving toaster ovens a leg up), but where the Elite Gourmet ECT-3100 did surprisingly well given its low price tag.


Bagels tend to be quite challenging 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 function isn't an option with the Elite Gourmet ECT-3100.

Elite Gourmet ECT-3100 toaster - the elite gourmet ect-3100 easily accommodates four slices of bread...
The Elite Gourmet ECT-3100 easily accommodates four slices of bread as well as irregularly shaped artisanal bread.
Credit: Laura Casner

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 reasonably 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.

Should You Buy the Elite Gourmet ECT-3100?


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

What Other Toaster Should You Consider?


If you don't need four slots or long slots, then the Elite may not be the best appliance for you. The Amazon Basics KT-3680 is less expensive and earned similar results for toast quality and better bagel toasting results in our tests. Why spend more if you don't need to? If bagels or good basic toast is your goal, we like the Amazon. If you want the absolute best, then the Smeg 2-Slice is the option to consider with impressive toast and bagels and an unbelievably cool aesthetic.

Max Mutter and Michelle Powell

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