Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Kitchen Hacks, Volume III: Unapproved Toaster Uses

Frankly, no matter how enjoyable proper toast--with its chewy inside and crispy outside, something we eat at our house every breakfast and many dinners--can be, I see no reason to dedicate a whole essay to it. Toast is simply a basic meal item that everybody knows how to make and can appreciate. This is not about toast. This is about the upside to buying cheap toasters.

When I throw a piece of bread, covered in minced garlic, butter and Parmesan cheese under the broiler, I always get what I want on the top: lightly browned cheese and toasty top. But the underside of the bread is usually soft and almost soggy. Needless to say, nobody likes a soggy bottom.

Enter the cheap toaster.

My current toaster is a good brand (GE) but I just bought the least expensive one I could find at Wal-Mart. Which is like a cheap double-whammy. It does not make four pieces of toast at one time. It does not cook an egg while it toasts. It does not have glass walls so that you may watch it toast. It does melt the plastic of any bread bag you leave too close while toasting. It does burn your hand if you reach over it to turn the kitchen light off. It also fixes the soggy bread bottom problem.

Step One: 
Place food item on top of toaster, turn toaster on.

Step Two: 
Check often and remove when food item has reached desired level of toastiness.

Step Three: Enjoy!

I also use this technique for crisping up the bottom crust of leftover pizza.

If you want to get really crazy about it, you can make a little pouch out of parchment paper, slide your slice into the pouch and put the whole mess into the toaster and toast. Also great for a toasted cheese sandwich! Just make certain the edges are crimped (preferably stapled) darned tight so that you aren't dribbling cheese into the machine and do I need to mention that this is not one of those things you can just set and walk away? MONITOR CLOSELY OR YOU COULD SET YOUR TOASTER ON FIRE.

And since we're talking about toast, if I might share with you the quintessential musical toast tribute, courtesy of the Bob and Tom show (and like all great things, remembered with YouTube).


  1. Oh my word, great idea about crisping up pizza crust! Never thought of that before.

  2. Hi Christy, thanks for reading! I loved your post on BlogHer about the new generation of narcissists. I like to think I'm a pretty open-minded eater but I cannot handle soggy pizza crust. I've even tried frying it in a dry non-stick skillet. As long as the cheese doesn't melt into the toaster this works like a charm.


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