Small Kitchen Appliances
ORC-229 Color: Orchard Features: -Designed for living, made to last. -Oven, freezer, microwave and dishwasher safe. -Beautiful and practical tableware, designed for modern life. Material: -Stoneware. Pattern: -Solid color. Dimensions: Overall Height – Top to Bottom: -3.5″. Overall Width at Top – Side to Side: -6.7″. Overall Depth at Top – Front to Back: -6.7″. Overall Product Weight: -1.28 lbs.
The Seren toaster (GBP60) is designed to fit a range of different-sized breads. In fact, its unusual side-loading toasting rack is claimed to let you toast almost anything, including ciabatta, crumpets, sausage rolls, samosas and toasties. But can it blow other toasters out of the water, or will it end up ruining your breakfast?
Few things are more British than sitting down to a cup of tea and a piece of toast, and for more than 100 years, not much has changed with the trusty toaster. We often see high-end toasters with unusual features, but the Seren offers a completely different way to enjoy toast, and more besides. We put it through our standard toaster tests, to see how it compared on the essentials to other leading toasters.
But we also tried out some of its more unusual features, including toasting bagels, sausage rolls and fish fingers. You can see it in action below, or head to our YouTube channel to watch the full Seren toaster challenge video.
Why buy a side-loading toaster?
According to Seren, the side-loading rack allows you to fit a much wider range of foods in the toaster, making it a more versatile appliance. It’s also meant to be quick and easy to check on progress, and remove smaller items, such as crumpets, without burning your fingers.
Feature-packed two-slice toasters
Not convinced by the side-loading toaster? Our most recent tests also included traditional two-slice toasters with some handy extra features, such as the three models below.
Lakeland Crux 2-Slice Toaster CRUX008, GBP70
If you follow a gluten-free diet, you’re probably more often than not disappointed with your afternoon snack. Gluten-free toast can get burned to a crisp on standard toast settings, so this luxury Lakeland toaster could be just the ticket. It has a dedicated gluten-free setting designed to toast slower and for longer to suit the denser crumbs of gluten-free bread.
It’s all very well offering something different, but a toaster needs to produce great toast time after time to win our recommendation. Find out how this model fared in our tough tests in the full Lakeland Crux toaster review.
Next White Facet toaster, GBP20
It’s rare to find extra features on a cheap toaster, but this GBP20 Next own-brand model comes with its own warming rack, and has trendy rose gold and textured accents, too. If you love a croissant in the morning, or want to quickly warm up a burger bun for dinner, you can simply pop them on the rack to get them toasty.
Russell Hobbs Elegance 23380, GBP55
If you buy tall toastie-style loaves or like to make your own in a bread maker, you may end up frustrated by traditional two-slice toasters. If the slots aren’t quite long enough, you could be left with unappealing strips of raw bread along the top of slice.
The Russell Hobbs Elegance 23380 tries to solve this problem with one long slot for toasting taller slices on their sides. Find out how well this worked, and if the bread was toasted properly, in the full Russell Hobbs Elegance toaster review.
Which toaster is right for you?
Extra features can add value to your toaster, making them more versatile or easier to use. Beware, though, as sometimes added extras add up to less than the sum of their parts. We’ve seen toasters that seem to have the whole package, but just can’t toast an entire slice evenly.
To get straight to one of our most recent reviews, click on the individual links below:
Prices correct as of 3 August 2018.
- ^ full Seren toaster challenge video (www.youtube.com)
- ^ Seren toaster review (www.which.co.uk)
- ^ Best Buy toasters (www.which.co.uk)
- ^ Lakeland Crux toaster review. (www.which.co.uk)
- ^ Next White Facet toaster review (www.which.co.uk)
- ^ Russell Hobbs Elegance toaster review. (www.which.co.uk)
- ^ toaster reviews (www.which.co.uk)
If you have specific dietary requirements, whether by choice or necessity, you’ll know it can be an expensive pastime finding free-from foods. You only have to look at supermarket shelves packed with everything from almond milk to gluten-free pizza bases to know that the range of options for those with intolerances to ingredients such as dairy, nuts or gluten has never been better. However, free-from versions of staples such as bread and milk can be pricey, and if you have several dietary needs to contend with, you might find supermarket options limiting.
To make life easier, we’ve rounded up the best kitchen gadgets to help you prepare your own free-from foods at home, whether you’re vegan, coeliac, lactose intolerant or have a nut allergy.
Top five kitchen gadgets for specialists diets
1. Make homemade gluten-free bread with a bread maker
Supermarket gluten-free bread can be disappointingly small and holey. If you have coeliac disease, or are gluten intolerant, making your own gluten-free loaf at home could be a better option.
And if you don’t have the patience to spend hours baking, a bread machine can produce a freshly-baked loaf for your morning slice with minimal effort. Most bread makers have a dedicated programme for making gluten-free bread. It doesn’t get the same rise as regular breads due to the heavier flour, and therefore needs a slower and longer bake.
Making your own bread means you can ensure that you’re cutting out wheat, barley, rye, and oats – all of which contain gluten – as well as any dairy or nuts, if need be.
2. Get perfectly crunchy gluten-free toast
Gluten-free bread can have a very different consistency to regular bread and can dry out easily, so it will toast at a different rate.
Most toasters will only crisp the outside while leaving the inside untouched. But some toasters, such as the Lakeland Crux 2-Slice Toaster (above), come with a dedicated gluten-free setting. This toasts more slowly and for longer, so it should help your gluten-free bread to achieve golden-brown, crispy perfection.
GBP70 is a lot to spend on a toaster though. Read our full Lakeland Crux 2-Slice Toaster CRUX008 review to find out if it impressed in our tests. If you’re on a budget, just make sure you switch to a lower heat setting when toasting gluten-free bread.
3. Mix up nutritionally balanced smoothies
Blending your own smoothies gives you freedom to mix and match the perfect combination of fruit, veg, proteins and extras to suit your dietary needs. However, it can be easy to overdo it, and glug down a pint of smoothie without realising how much you are actually consuming.
Enter the ‘smart’ blender: Nutribullet’s Balance blender allows you to track the nutritional content of your smoothies via an app on your smartphone. This could be useful for anyone who needs to monitor how much sugar they are having – particularly as the natural sugars in fruits are counted as free sugars after blending. The app also lets you filter hundreds of recipes by specialist diets such as vegan, lactose-free and more, as well as create and store your own recipes.
It is open to all, regardless of whether you own a Balance blender or not, meaning even if you don’t want to shell out for a new blender, you can still use it to access and create your own recipes. Read the full Nutribullet Balance first look review to find out more and get our verdict on its blending abilities.
4. Make veggie pasta substitutes with a spiralizer
Spiralized vegetables can make a quick, easy and healthy substitute to pasta and noodles – and are an easy way of banishing the egg and gluten from your dinner plate if needed.
The most popular vegetables to use as a pasta alternative are courgettes, but parsnips, butternut squash, celeriac and sweet potatoes are good alternatives if you want a bit of substance to your fake pasta. Basic spiralizers start from less than GBP10, and a good one will quickly transform veg into neat spirals. We’ve put a wide range of spiralizers to the test to find the models that are versatile, easy to use and don’t butcher your veg.
5. Try your hand at homemade vegan milks
Dairy-free milk alternatives such as soya, rice and nut milk can be pricey, and full of additives. But you can rustle them up at home.
Some soup makers – including the Morphy Richards Soup and Milk Maker and the Tefal Ultrablend Cook BL962B40 High-Speed Blender – come with a multi-grain milk setting, to make the process easier. This programme will boil the grains and water, whether you’re using almonds, soya beans, rice or oats, and blend them once cooked. You can do this on the hob, too, by boiling the ingredients in a saucepan and then blending when cooled.
You’ll need to sieve out the pulp once blended. You can do this by placing a double layered muslin cloth over a fine sieve and straining the milk through.
Homemade vegan milk – nutrition advice
It can be really satisfying to make up your own nut, grain or soya milks, but bear in mind these alternatives lack some of the essential nutrients found in dairy milk, so you’ll need to make sure you take this into consideration. Our nutrition expert, Shefalee Loth, explains: ‘Dairy is an important source of calcium, iodine and other micronutrients in our diets.
Store-bought plant-based milks don’t naturally contain these nutrients, so they are often added in order to make the milk nutritionally mirrors cow’s milk.’
‘If you’re making your own plant-based milks at home it’s important to recognise that many of these nutrients will be missing.
If they’re not replaced from other sources in the diet this can lead to deficiencies.’
- ^ bread maker reviews (www.which.co.uk)
- ^ Lakeland Crux 2-Slice Toaster CRUX008 review (www.which.co.uk)
- ^ Best Buy toasters (www.which.co.uk)
- ^ Nutribullet Balance first look review (www.which.co.uk)
- ^ top five best spiralizers (www.which.co.uk)
- ^ Morphy Richards Soup and Milk Maker (www.which.co.uk)
- ^ Tefal Ultrablend Cook BL962B40 High-Speed Blender (www.which.co.uk)
- ^ Best hand blenders for 2018 (www.which.co.uk)