Revolution Cooking InstaGlo R270 Toaster Review: Losing Your Dough

My Cuisinart toaster has performed wonderfully over the past 10 years. It was only recently that I wondered if it was showing signs of age, perhaps not toasting as effectively as it used to. At least for now, there’s nothing that can’t be fixed with another short cycle toast.

Perhaps the potential impending demise of my Cuisinart made me hold back when I recently came across a “smart toaster” with some great-sounding bells and whistles: promises of faster toasting, a new heating element design, and what the manufacturer calls “smart toasting algorithms.”

I was especially interested in this faster toastie. Toast fans generally like it when the slices are cooked to their preferred level of doneness on the outside, but still moist and chewy on the inside, rather than a nasty slice that breaks in half when bitten into. Speed ​​can certainly help achieve that perfect balance.

Instead of the dials, levers and buttons usually found on most toasters, Revolution Cooking’s dual-slot toasters are controlled by a touch screen and — brace yourself — come with a price tag of $350 to $400, which is pretty crazy considering competing top-rated dual-slot toasters cost between $30 and $100 .

The touchscreen on the front of the toaster asks you to select the type of bread, whether it’s fresh or frozen, and how dark you want it. There’s also a switch for gluten-free bread.

Photo: Revolution Cooking

Toasting a touchscreen is an interesting change. On the Revolution, this screen is cleverly placed on one of the two narrowest sides of the toaster. This arrangement allows you to place the narrow side of the toaster forward, thus preventing it from taking up too much of the counter width. You choose from settings like bread, bagels, instant waffles, toaster pastries (à la Pop-Tarts) or English muffins, then the level of “toasty” you want. The two-slot R270 I looked at there are all these options that are more basic R180plus individual bread-specific tweaks like sourdough, multigrain cinnamon and a gluten-free option.

It sounded like fun. Who doesn’t want the best for their toast? Unfortunately, I had hell of a hard time with the basics…like getting the $400 toaster to toast well. It’s just that getting strong and consistent results from store-bought bread and sourdough—the meat and potatoes of most toast, if you will—was a bit beyond the Revolution’s capabilities.

Toast test

I tried bagels.

Photo: Joe Ray

When you choose what you’re toasting and your desired level of doneness, the Revolution’s screen shows what your toast should look like when it’s ready. I ate some French sourdough at home and whether on a bread or sourdough setting, it never really looked like the image on the screen. It was usually undercooked (especially if using frozen bread and the freeze setting) and uneven. Worse, the toaster often left the bottom half inch of the slice uncooked and often had trouble cooking one of the bottom corners. If I re-toasted on its shortest cycle to correct any of these issues, my toast usually came out burnt.

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