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The KitchenAid Artisan model is a sophisticated statement gadget that over-performs, but is expensive. Read our review of this investment toaster.
KitchenAid's distinctive designs are statement investment appliances, built to catch the eye and last. Priced at £289, an investment is exactly what this toaster is.
The brand is known for its premium functionality, and this Artisan toaster is the most sophisticated model we've tested, packed with functions and accompanied by extras (like a sandwich rack) that add to the toaster's versatility.
Read our full review of the best toasters to buy
At 34.8 x 30.4 x 20.5cm, the Artisan toaster is a work surface hog, and would be best in kitchens with deep surfaces. Once unpacked, you can see why. Its curvy, die-cast metal construction protects two pairs of independently controlled toasting slots that are wide and deep enough to hold a variety of bread slices.
There are both button and slider controls, with diagrams that are clear enough for you to choose without having to flick through the large instruction manual. The slider indicates seven shade settings.
There's an option to defrost and toast with the 'frozen' function, toast one half of your bagel while the other side warms, or make toasted sandwiches with the help of the sandwich rack accessory.
Loading your bread is an experience in itself. The slots are sensor-controlled and lower with a gentle 'ping', like you'd hear in an elevator. Once the bread is toasted, the toaster will automatically activate its keep-warm setting for up to 3 minutes if you don't take it out within 45 seconds. We find this works well.
All the bread slices in the test are easily accommodated and brown evenly. Unlike the majority of toasters on the market, each setting under-toasts rather than overdoes the bread, meaning trial and error doesn't easily result in burnt, wasted bread.
Level five produces evenly browned slices of large toastie bread, thickly cut artisan slices and a halved bagel. The specific bagel function's 50 per cent reduction in temperature leaves the outer edges just nicely warmed. The fruit bread is best on level four, which results in browning without catching.
If you have money to spend on an investment toaster and the space for it to sit without completely dominating your kitchen, this model over-performs.
It's a serious-looking gadget, but there's a sense of whimsy to using it that's enjoyable. For quality, the browning is even, and although it's not particularly quick, the LED countdown timer makes it easy to see how patient you have to be.
KitchenAid Artisan toaster specifications:
Cancel button: yes
Browning settings: 7
Extra features: reheat, defrost, bagel function, automatic slice lift
Dimensions: 34.8 x 30.4 x 20.5cm
This review was last updated in February 2021. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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