Smeg 2-Slice Review
Pros: Great toasting performance, incredible bagels, stylish looks
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|Pros||Great toasting performance, incredible bagels, stylish looks||Great user interface, lift and look function, aesthetically pleasing||Inexpensive, toasts 4 slices at once, toasts bagels evenly||Good toast, decent bagels, inexpensive||Good toasting performance, good bagels, inexpensive|
|Cons||Expensive||Expensive||No specific bagel mode, toasting can be slightly inconsistent overall||Hard to clean crumb tray||Mediocre froze pastries, difficult crumb tray access|
|Bottom Line||The best bar none, particularly if you're a bagel aficionado||Great aesthetics and construction and user friendly features, but not the best bagel maker||Impressive performance at a low prices makes this a compelling 4-slice model||Not a bad budget option, but certainly not the best budget option||Impressive toast and bagels at a bargain price|
|Rating Categories||Smeg 2-Slice||Die-Cast 4-Slice...||Elite Gourmet...||BLACK+DECKER...||AmazonBasics KT-3680|
|Bread Toasting Quality (35%)|
|Ease Of Use (35%)|
|Bagel Toasting Quality (15%)|
|Frozen Food Defrosting Quality (15%)|
|Specs||Smeg 2-Slice||Die-Cast 4-Slice...||Elite Gourmet...||BLACK+DECKER...||AmazonBasics KT-3680|
|Dimensions (L x W x H)||12.7" x 7.7" x 7.6"||15.3" x 7" x 7.8"||14.7" x 7.1" x 7.7"||10" x 6.5" x 7.4"||10.7" x 6.4" x 7.6"|
|Available with Long Slot?||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Available in 4 slot?||No||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|Color/Finish Options||Cream, Red, Black, Chrome, Pastel Blue, Pink, Pastel Green||Stainless Steel||Black Plastic/Stainless||Stainless Steel||Black Plastic/Stainless|
|Exterior Housing Material||Coated Steek||Stainless Steel||Stainless Steel||Stainless Steel||Plastic|
|End of Cycle Indicator||None||Beep||None||None||None|
|Manufacturer Warranty||One Year Limited||One Year Limited||One Year Limited||Two Year Limited||One Year Limited|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Read on to find out how the Smeg fared in each of individual tests.
Bread Toasting Quality
The Smeg 2-Slice was the top model in our bread toasting tests, earning a score of 9 out of 10. This put it a good bit ahead of the worst performing model, which scored a 5.
The toast that the Smeg produced in our testing was near perfect with nice crisp outsides that yielded to slightly softer insides as we bit through them. Bread faces were toasted almost perfectly even, with just a hint of a cold spot towards the bottom of most slices. Additionally, the Smeg was able to produce everything from just lightly browned toast to blackened all around. So whether you like to make your toast with a delicate touch or a heavy hand, the Smeg has you covered.
Ease of Use
The Smeg has a simple, easy to use interface that earned it a 7 out 10 in our ease of use testing. This was a solid performance in a metric that had scores ranging from 3 to 8.
The Smeg has six shade settings that are selected with the use of a knob on the front of the toaster. Within the knob is a prominent 'Stop' button for when you want to cancel the toasting cycle. Two buttons on either side of the knob let you turn on the bagel and defrost modes. Both of these buttons clearly light up to indicate which mode is on. The lever feels solid and can easily be engaged. We wish that you could use the lever to push items a bit further out of the slots, but alas you cannot. This can make it a bit difficult to get short items out of the toaster, but generally is not a problem. The crumb tray is sturdy, easy to clean, and has a push to release latch that secures it in place.
Bagel Toasting Quality
The Smeg was nothing short of a revelation in our bagel testing. It earned a rare perfect score of 10 out of 10, well ahead of the low score of 4 (excluding models that can't toast bagels).
In our testing the Smeg took plain old grocery store bagels and turned them into mouthwatering ambrosia. The toasted faces were almost perfectly even and the backsides were nice and warm, but remained doughy and chewy. Slap on some cream cheese and you've got a spectacular, indulgent breakfast. This is the only slot toaster we've found that can make better bagels than a toaster oven, and is the only model we'd suggest to the pickiest of bagel aficionados.
Frozen Food/Defrosting Qaulity
The Smeg was one of the top scorers in our frozen food testing. It shared the top score of 8 in a metric that saw scores as low as 3.
The Smeg maintained its high toasting quality when preparing frozen slices of bread, still producing absolutely stellar toast. It also met all the challenges associated with toasting frozen waffles. It made the waffle pockets nice and crispy and perfectly browned the ridges, all without burning a single square inch. Our only complaint was that the defrost button didn't seem to add that much time to the cycle, so we often had to adjust the shade setting up a bit when making frozen items. This is certainly not a deal breaker, but was a slight annoyance to some of our testers.
The Smeg 2-Slice is on the extreme high end of the price spectrum, but this price feels worth it if you covet quality and stylish design. If you want something high-end that would fit into a kitchen with a more modern aesthetic, you would find a better value in the Breville Die-Cast. If you're not fussed with aesthetics and just want a good piece of toast, the Oster Jelly Bean is a much better value.
The Smeg 2-Slice offers top notch performance and Paris runway quality looks, at a correspondingly high price. Those not concerned with aesthetics could get nearly the same performance at one-fifth the price with the Oster Jelly Bean.
— Max Mutter and Steven Tata