The toaster has become an essential kitchen appliance in the world today. Most households eat bread pretty often, if not every morning, and toasting bread has been known to lower its glycemic index and slightly lower its fat content.
Besides, who doesn't enjoy the taste of crispy, slightly crunchy bread? Toasted bread makes it easy to slather butter on the warm crisp surface.
Aside from bread, people use bread as a side to many meals, especially in Italian, Greek and Mediterranean food. The toaster is an easy appliance to use because all you need is to place the bread slices inside, set the browning mode, and you're good to go. Want to understand how to use a pop-up toaster better? Keep reading to find out.
How Does a Pop-up Toaster Work?
An electric toaster uses infrared radiation to heat your slices of bread. Infrared radiation is similar to the heat we get from the sun. The inside has a mica sheet wrapped up in nichrome wire that is used to cook the bread. Nichrome wire is a good heat conductor because it has a high electrical resistance compared to other metals.
Nichrome is an alloy of nickel and chromium, and the combination doesn't oxidize when heated, meaning it doesn't rust. The electric current passes through the chromium wire when you turn on your pop-up toaster. Still, unlike copper, chromium doesn't conduct electricity well, and some of the energy changes to heat are evident in the red flames you see on a toaster.
When you place the bread slices into the toaster, the heat cooks it. Each toaster contains a lever that you can push down so that the slices can have better contact with the infrared heat. After the toast has cooked for your desired amount of time, the toaster's release mechanism triggers the latch to release the toasted slices which makes the infamous popping sound.
How to Use a Pop-up Toaster
Place the Bread Into the Toaster
A pop-up toaster usually has two toaster slots. Insert one slice of bread into each slot. You can insert the slices anyhow you'd like, but most people place it starting from the bottom.
Adjust the Toasting Level
Toasters come with knobs to adjust things like temperature and time. Usually the knob for heating has five options depending on what you're toasting. One is slight heat all the way up to five which is the highest heat setting. Choose one of the middle numbers, so you don’t burn your bread.
Toast Your Bread
The toasting process takes a short time, and you may need to be close by so that you don't eat burnt toast. Lower the lever for complete coverage and wait. You'll hear the pop-up sound after each slice is done cooking.
Sometimes your heat setting backfires, and you end up with burnt toast. You need to rely on your sense of smell. If your slices get burnt prematurely, you will have to remove them manually, and you'll have to use the lever to remove the burnt substances.
The toaster is hot at this point. If you burn anything, use an oven mitt to hold the top of the toaster before lifting the lever. Lifting the lever pops the burnt food up, and you can now remove the piece of toast.
If you're just getting the hang of using a toaster, first, you need to understand that toasting isn't all or nothing. You can start toasting your bread on the lowest setting, and if the bread isn't cooked enough for you, replace the same bread slices and set the heat setting higher.
What Do I Do if My Pop-up Toaster Is Not Working?
Like any appliance, your pop-up toaster can decide not to work that day. These are the steps you need to follow.
Check the Power Supply
Your electric toaster will need to be plugged into a power source before it will work. Check whether you have electricity and whether your toaster is connected to a working outlet. Check the toaster's power cable for any exposed wires, rips, or burn marks as well.
What Are the Best Practices for Using a Toaster?
Remember that the toaster will be hot whenever you're toasting slices of bread, and you may burn or hurt yourself if you touch it with your bare hands. If you're forgetful, use oven mitts when cooking with your toaster.
Don't try removing any food items in the toaster with metal objects such as forks and spoons. You may get burnt or, worse, electrocuted.
Remember to clean the toaster frequently. Don't clean your toaster if it's on or still hot.
What Can I Use a Pop-up Toaster for?
Pop-up toasters are well-known for toasting bread, but did you know that you can use it for cooking other things? You can grill a cheese sandwich in a toaster. If you're afraid to make a mess, use a toasting bag to hold your sandwich as it cooks.
You also don’t only have to toast white or wheat bread. Garlic bread can also be toasted in a toaster. First, find a thick slice of bread, apply your garlic butter on it, and then place it into a heated toaster.
You can also reheat yesterday's pizza and leftovers in your toaster.
We hope that from reading this article you now know how easy it is to use a pop-up toaster. Remember, you need to be careful when placing the bread into and removing it from the toaster as it may be hot.
Don’t be afraid to explore the other options that come with your specific toaster as well. Happy toasting!