Kitchen 176

    Published on October 18th, 2006 | by Greg


    Oster Sleek and Sexy

    Kitchen appliance. An awkward phrase, kind of like “toaster oven”. And while toasters have earned their place in the pantheon of design over their history, the toaster oven has yet to rise to those ranks.

    Maybe it’s time to start. It’s not only that Oster’s toaster oven is sexy in it’s own right, but it beats their toaster too. Of course, it’s a much larger device and is not perfect, but it’s hard to go wrong for $120 or so.

    But we get ahead of ourselves. The Oster Counterforms series aims to to combine design and functionality, but then what in your house doesn’t these days? The Luminart finish that appears on all items in the Counterforms series is indeed nice- a bit reflective, but mostly appearing like some sort of silver-swirl metallic-plastic.

    Toaster first: it’s a two-slicer, which is fine, but it is a bit large for a two-slice toaster. It also has more buttons than you need (pastry, toast, bagel, the mysterious “frozen”, and waffle)- which would be fine if they all worked consistently and appropriately. Unfortunately, Eggo waffles cooked with “waffle” were overdone, and Toaster Strudel pastries cooked using “pastry” were sometimes underdone. There is the ubiquitous dial that allows you to change the settings, and it does it’s job well enough. Two other strange things that made us a bit annoyed: you don’t lift up on the handle, you hit the cancel button; and when your item pops up, it often doesn’t get lifted high enough to get out without burning your fingers. The crumb tray works fine, and the toaster is pretty- but the odd functionality prevents this from being a definite recommendation at $50.

    The toaster oven on the other hand- what a difference a word makes! No real issues here- it can fit a pizza, seemed to work consistently, and the rack pulled out of the oven for easy removal of foods. The rack can change positions, and the oven can range in temperature from 150-450. We weren’t that impressed with the light, but the oven was easy to use and the LCD panel fairly readable. The Oster Counterforms series seems to be a fairly high-quality, reasonable-value way to get your appliances to look nice and fit a variety of decor. And they also stay cleaner than a lot of finishes!

    About the Author

    Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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