My beloved Toastmaster Toaster Oven died yesterday. To the best of my recollection, my sister gave me my Toastmaster as a housewarming gift nearly 15 years ago. As you can see, it served me well. In our household the toaster oven is an integral part of cooking, so I decided to snoop around online and comparison shop. I love being able to shop from home, don't you? Especially with the cost of gas these days!
I came across a website called Wize. This consumer research and product review site provides a wealth of knowledge on just about any type of product you could ever want or need. Wize.com provided me with 132 toaster oven reviews.
You can narrow your search by clicking on various parameters such as price range or manufacturer. The first thing I did was check to see if Toastmaster still offered the model that died. Unfortunately, they do not, but they do have a toaster oven nearly identical. The Toastmaster TOV200 offers convection cooking, which is a feature I have oftentimes said I wish the old unit offered.
The reviews weren't all that favorable on the Toastmaster brand, so I decided to see what other options were available. Being cheap, I started out by looking at toaster ovens in the "Less Than $40" category. This yielded 19 results, but none had a very high WizeRank.
Wize.com has a rating system and each product displays a button showing how consumers rank their product. According the site, a rank of 90-100 means you can buy with confidence. 75-90 means the product might meet your needs. I was looking for a toaster oven that fell into the 90-100 category.
After reviewing the various price categories, I noticed a "New Releases" link. I clicked and there it was... the perfect toaster oven! First of all, this toaster oven is manufactured by Cuisinart. I LOVE Cuisinart products and have never had a bit of trouble with them. This stainless steel beauty can bake, broil and toast AND offers the convection oven I longed for. It has room for six slices of toast, which is perfect for my family. Now I'll be able to toast bread for our BLT's and no one will have to eat cold toast ;-)
Once I decided on my toaster oven, I was provided with three places where I could buy it online. Prices ranged from $99 through eBay to $139 through Amazon. Which do you think I chose? I clicked on the eBay link, entered my info and poof, my toaster oven will be on its way next week.
Although it cost a bit more money than I anticipated paying, I feel I got a pretty good deal. The Cuisinart cost $123.19 including shipping. If it lasts as long as the last one, the amortized cost is about $8.20 per year. That's quite a bargain, eh?
It was sad to dump my Toastmaster in the trash can. I felt as if I should have given her a proper burial considering all the years of service. So, I placed her in a trash bag and tied the handles in a bow.
Next time you need a toaster oven or want to research a variety of products, check out Wize.com. It's a really cool community where you can chat with a live representative and ask questions about the products or leave a review of your own. Overall, I give it 5-stars and will definitely use the service again.