Fits artisanal slices with ease
Easy to increase toasting time
Sleek and beautiful
Smart features aren't that impressive
"Four slot" claim is a stretch
We purchased the Breville Die-Cast Smart Toaster so that our reviewer could put it to the test in her kitchen. Keep reading for our full product review.
Toasters have long been kitchen staples, and like everything else in the world, they’ve come a long way since their inception. With modern engineering, the Breville Die-Cast Smart Toaster is one of the most advanced and elegant options out there, but it also comes with a price tag that may raise an eyebrow. Is it worth the extra cash, or are you better off investing in a different smart appliance? We tested it with white bread, an artisanal loaf from the farmers’ market, and frozen bagels to find out its capabilities.
Design: Sleek and sexy
You might not think “sexy” is the right word for a toaster, but the Breville Die-Cast Smart Toaster will change your mind. Unlike other toasters that can look kind of clunky, I didn’t mind keeping this one on my countertop. The stainless steel finish is beautiful, and when the toaster sits on your counter, it looks like it’s intentional rather than just sitting there because it has no other place to go.
It’s a four-slice toaster, but instead of four consecutive openings, it has two long slots that are extra wide. Not only does this allow you to fit thicker Texas-style and artisan breads, but it also gives the toaster a narrower (albeit longer) footprint that makes it more streamlined.
In lieu of your standard notches and spring levers, it has five buttons on the top face that have an LED border that lights up when you press them and a horizontal lever that you can use to manually control darkness. In short: It looks really good.
Features: Smart, but not a genius
The Breville toaster isn’t a smart appliance in the way you might imagine it—or at least not in the way I imagined it. When I hear the word “smart” I think of advanced features like the ability to automatically sense and adjust toasting time. But this toaster doesn’t have any of that. That’s not to say it doesn’t have a handful of convenient features, though.
In addition to pretty standard bagel and frozen functions, the most notable features are the “A Bit More” and the “Lift and Look” buttons. Like it sounds, the “A Bit More” button automatically adds a little time to the toasting cycle without having to start the process over. The “Lift and Look” button triggers the motorized carriage to automatically raise and lower without interrupting the toasting cycle. In other words, you can check on your bread as it toasts without stopping and having to start over—something that I think sets this model apart from others.
It also has an LED progress indicator that lights up as your bread or bagel toasts. The indicator sits on top of the browning control slide so you can see where your bread currently stands on a brownness scale between one and five.
Performance: Good, but not blown away
As far as performance goes, the Breville Die-Cast Smart Toaster did a good job. I toasted plain white bread, frozen bagels, and thickly sliced artisanal bread. All were evenly toasted and had that crusted outside but still-a-little-soft inside. However, the results weren’t significantly different from some of the other less expensive toasters I’ve used.
I’m also not entirely convinced that this can be called a four-slot toaster for modern times. The extra-long slots do comfortably fit four slices of regular-sized sandwich bread, but most bread I buy from the grocery store is heartier and considerably bigger than the plain slices my grandmother used to have. If you use these smaller size loaves you won’t have a problem fitting four slices, but if you don’t, you’ll have to stick to two slices at a time.
The two things I enjoyed the most were the “A Bit More” feature and the motorized carriage. With my previous toaster, I always found that when the regular cycle was done, I wanted the toast to be just a little darker, so I would start the cycle again and then manually stop it when I thought the toast was ready. With this toaster, I could just hit the “A Bit More” button and it was always the perfect additional toast I wanted.
The motorized carriage also made things quieter—and it was just a cool feature. Rather than a spring-loaded carriage that operates on a lever, you press a button, and this toaster positions the bread and slowly lowers and raises it, alerting you when it’s ready.
You can check on your bread as it toasts without stopping and having to start over—something that I think sets this model apart from others.
Cleaning: Standard and straightforward
The cleaning process for this toaster is pretty standard. It has a crumb tray that’s easy to pull out and rinse off when you’re done toasting. If there are any crumbs left behind in toaster slots, you simply turn it over the sink or trash and shake them loose to dispose of them.
If the outside of the toaster body gets dirty, you can wipe it down with a mild cleaner that’s suitable for stainless steel. Because the finish is brushed stainless steel, it didn’t show any fingerprints or smudges, something that I appreciated.
Price: Up there
At a retail price of around $180, the Breville Die-Cast Smart Toaster is definitely one of the most expensive toasters out there. It had some standout features, but with toasting capabilities that are similar to other toasters, I’m not sure it’s a price tag I can justify.
The motorized carriage also made things quieter—and it was just a cool feature.
Competition: Plenty of options with similar features
KitchenAid 4 Slice Long Slot Toaster: If you like the idea of a long slot toaster but aren’t sold on the Breville’s price tag, KitchenAid offers this model for about $80 less. While it doesn’t have any smart features, it does have pre-programmed settings for different toast levels and an “A Little Longer” setting. It also has a high-lift lever so you can toast smaller pieces of bread without worrying about losing them in the toaster forever.
Cuisinart 4-Slice Toaster: This model from Cuisinart doesn’t have the long slots of the other two options, but it does have four classic slots that you can control independently, thanks to dual panels and temperature knobs, and an extra lift lever that allows you to toast smaller pieces. It is lacking smart features and doesn’t have any “a little longer” or “a bit more” settings like the other two, but it retails for $100 less than the Breville.
A good, but costly option.
The Breville Die-Cast Smart Toaster has some standout features, like a motorized carriage and a “Lift and Look” function, but without additional smart features, it might not be enough to justify the higher price tag. While it toasts well, the results weren’t significantly different from other less expensive toasters I’ve tried so you have to weigh the pros and cons to decide if it’s worth the extra cost.
- Product Name Die-Cast Smart Toaster
- Product Brand Breville
- Price $179.95
- Weight 8.25 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 7.7 x 14.9 x 7.5 in.
- Wattage 1,600
- Finish Brushed stainless steel
- Warranty 1-year limited