Breville BTA840XL Review – Die Cast Smart Toaster

When you see the word ‘smart’ in an appliance’s name, you can already guess that it will be full of electronic features. The Breville BTA840XL 4-Slice Die Cast Smart Toaster is indeed a kitchen appliance that will please those who are fond of gadgets and the likes. There is no lever, only buttons to press. You just have to check out this toaster to see what it can do and the details are in the review below.

Breville Die Cast Smart Toaster Review

Breville BTA840XL

The model we are highlighting here is the 4-slice one, i.e. BTA840XL. You can also get the 2-slice BTA820XL model which has the same features. Although the bigger toaster will offer more convenience for family use, you will have to pay about $30 more than the 2-slice model at the time of writing.

The features for the Breville BTA840XL are:

  • 1800-watt
  • Brushed die cast metal housing
  • Dual independent controls
  • Push button controls
  • Lift-and-Look function
  • A Bit More function
  • Bagel and Defrost options
  • Variable browning control
  • Toasting progress LED
  • Removable crumb tray
  • End of cycle beep
  • Size (approximate): 11.75″ (W) by 11.75″ (D) by 7.75″ (H)

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All toasters are more or less the same but the Breville Smart Toaster does have some extras. For the 4-slice model, there are 2 independent controls so that you can choose different settings for your 2 sets of toasts. Then, the toasting begins by pressing the Toast/Cancel button. This will automatically lower the carriage and start the toasting cycle. In other words, there is no lever to work with. Everything is controlled electronically as you press the buttons. Press the same button again and it will raise the carriage as the toasting cycle is stopped.

2 other functions that deserve a mention is the Lift-and-Look and A Bit More, which is also a feature of its BOV450XL Toaster Oven. The former allows you to check on the progress of your toasts without having to cancel the toasting cycle. When you press the button, the carriage will lift up and then goes back down to complete the cycle. The A Bit More button will add 30 seconds more to the toasting if you feel that you want your toasts to be a bit darker than what you have originally set.

There is a LED progress bar indicator towards the bottom of the toaster. When you move the browning control slide which is just under the indicator, the progress bar will align with the browning setting and will begin its countdown when toasting begins. The timer for the toaster ranges from 30 seconds to 5.5 minutes. When the cycle is complete, the carriage will rise up automatically and the toaster will beep. The slots for the bread measure 1.2″ wide and 5.2″ deep.

Should You Buy The Breville BTA840XL Smart Toaster?

Pros
  1. Convenient – The A Bit More and Lift-and-Look makes this toaster very convenient to use. While most high-end toasters do have a function to check on the progress of your toast, not many will have the A Bit More feature. The OXO On Lever-Free Motorized Toaster is perhaps the only other toaster with this convenience of adding extra time to your toasting cycle. When getting the preferred shade is very much a trial-and-error thing, these 2 functions of the Breville Smart Toaster is what set it apart from its competitors.
  2. Browning control – Most toasters have a knob to set the shade like the KitchenAid Long Slot Toaster. But the Breville uses a lever which you slide between 1 and 5 to set the darkness level for your toasts. This gives you more control and accuracy than fiddling with a small knob. The range for the darkness level is also quite big from very lightly seared to near charred to accommodate different preferences.
  3. Consistent results – Once you have found the perfect setting for your toasts, the Breville Smart Toaster will give you the same results each time. Many buyers have also commented online that the toaster gives them evenly shaded toasts on both sides.
  4. Independent controls – The dual-control is a practical feature that allows for 2 different settings to accomodate different tastes. During the morning rush hour, this will be a time saver too for couples rushing off to work.
  5. Set and forget – The toaster will switch to standby mode if it is left idle after 30 seconds from the last toasting cycle. That means, if you forgot all about your toasts, you can be assured they won’t be burnt and cause a fire hazard.
Cons
  1. No reheat – The Cuisinart CPT-440 offers a reheat function to warm up forgotten toasts. You don’t get the same feature with the Breville BTA840XL. However, you can use the 30-second A Bit More feature as a substitute although it is not exactly the same as a Reheat function.
  2. Expensive – Although a Breville is not as expensive as a Dualit toaster, the cost is still on the high side. When you can get Cuisinart and KitchenAid toasters for less than $100, to fork out about $160 at the time of review for this small kitchen appliance may seem extravagant.
  3. Doesn’t last – There are a few complaints online from buyers about the heating elements failing within a year of use. That means you will have to turn your bread to get it toasted evenly on both sides.

For the price, the Breville Smart Toaster is indeed a solid appliance that looks well-built compared to the cheap plastic models. If we are to look for a reason to spend so much money on this instead of other toasters, it would be because of the 2 practical functions of Lift-and-Look and A Bit More. Therefore, if you think these 2 functions are necessary for a toaster, then it may be worth the price to you. Add in the motorized mechanism, push button controls and sleek look to complete the package, you will have a cool toaster on your counter top.

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