Published on October 18th, 2006 | by Greg0
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!