According to Consumer Reports, using a basic pop-up toaster instead of a countertop oven toaster is one of the best ways to ensure that bread, English muffins or waffles evenly brown and toast to the specific darkness the consumer chooses. While some breakfast foods, such as frozen breakfast burritos and breakfast scramble wraps, need a countertop oven toaster, many breakfast choices can be heated and toasted within a standard pop-up model. Various pop-up models are available with two to six toasting wells to use on a busy work or school morning.
Pop-up toasters, created by Charles Strite in 1921, were invented to toast bread. Toasting wells are designed to fit the shape of average sandwich-loaf slices, which are found in the bread aisle of most grocery stores. For long slices, which are cut from a flattened oval of hearth-baked loaves from a bakery or specialty company, cut the slice in half to fit into each side of the toaster. Place each half slice into a toasting well with its crust side down to avoid burning the freshly cut side, by putting it too near the heating element.
English muffins are a breakfast food known for the slightly soured, chewy consistency they exhibit when raised and baked properly. This type of muffin, shaped like a flattened hockey puck, is a great size for toasted breakfast sandwiches and is easily sliced in half to fit within a pop-up toaster. The chewy texture and added stability of toasting the muffin — as opposed to leaving the muffin in its original softer form — better supports the weight of added breakfast meats, cooked eggs and melted cheese.
Heated Breakfast Toaster Pastries
A pre-made breakfast food available in any major grocery-store aisle that fits well and heats quickly in a pop-up toaster is the pre-baked breakfast toaster pastry with fruit or flavored fillings. These toaster pastries are made by several major breakfast cereal companies. Children enjoy the different flavors of the pastries, which are rectangular in shape and can be frosted. Two pastries arrive in each individually packaged serving within a box and should be reheated with one pastry in each individual toasting well.
Pre-baked and frozen waffles — whether store-bought or homemade — are a quick breakfast food that can be cooked in a pop-up toaster. Place either plain, buttermilk or fruit-flavored frozen waffles into each well until desired browning and crispness has occurred. Top this quick breakfast with fresh fruit, butter, honey, and maple or fruit syrups.
Bagels, sliced in half, can easily be toasted in a pop-up toaster. Some pop-up toasters, which have extra-wide and deep toasting wells, are designed to accommodate larger bagels, such as the New York boiled and baked variety. Avoid toasting miniature-sized bagels, which get caught and burn on the element. Toasted bagel sandwiches with cream cheese, lox and tomato are nutritious breakfast choices. If a bagel proves too large, slice through the bagel twice, creating two crusty end slices and a center-sliced O-shaped ring with less crust. Toast the three slices individually to taste and then build the breakfast lox-and-cream-cheese sandwich in two layers.
References and ResourcesConsumer Reports: Toasters
Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Lemelson-MIT Program: Inventor of the Week: Pop-Up Toaster
ResourcesMr. Breakfast: 351 Ways to Enjoy Toast
Amazon: Countertop Ovens and Toasters