Pros: Easy-clean interior; easily removable crumb tray; versatility; decent amount of space; has lasted well so far
Cons: Don’t turn both timers on at once or the auto shut-off will be disabled; not spaced for six slices
Rating: 4 out of 5
First posted 8/18/2000
The KPCP claims to fit 6 slices of toast. This is only true if you mean very itty-bitty pieces–perhaps from those long, slender baguettes. That’s all right though; it can usually fit 4 slices of our homemade stuff or store-bought bread, and that’s not bad.
The toaster setting knob has a long range from light to dark, followed by pizza reheat and top brown. It works great, easily giving us plenty of range from slightly-dried-out to burned-to-a-crisp. It’s pretty steady, too, so once you find your ideal setting you can just turn it to that nearly every time.
One note: it’s a dial that winds down like a timer, rather than having one setting dial and a separate on-off thingy. This means you can’t just pick your perfect setting and leave it there. However, I’ve found the dial is “loose” enough (i.e., you can set it a bit off from what you wanted and you won’t see much of a difference) that it isn’t a big deal. It’s pretty easy to remember the rough area where you set it before.
Oh yes, and this toaster oven has a very convenient little crumb tray. Just wait till the toaster cools, pull it out of the oven, and toss the crumbs. No trouble at all.
The oven part
If you do lots and lots of cooking, like us, and if you like to hold holiday feasts, like we do, you’ve probably been desperately waiting for an extra oven. This one doesn’t have huge amounts of excess room, but you can certainly use it for small baking and broiling jobs (yes, it broils!). It has a nifty little reversible tray that gives you two different tray settings, effectively. The accompanying manual will tell you which tray setting is best for which sort of activity – mostly it boils down to having the tray up for toast and down for most other things. It’s very easy to reverse, too.
The toaster oven comes with a nice easy-clean black drip tray/pan with a cover with holes in it (so you can cook things on the cover and let the drippings run off, like a broiler pan in a regular oven). I love the chance to have an electric broiler. Our oven is gas, and while the over-eager high-flame broiler works great for meats, I won’t let a creme brulee dish near it.
You set the function of the toaster oven (toaster, or broiler, or the temperature of the oven) with one knob. If you’re using the toaster you then use the dial I mentioned before. If you’re using the oven or broiler you instead use a second one, which functions as timer and auto shut-off. You can set it for up to two hours. One of our favorite uses for the toaster oven is roasting nuts for baking.
The inside of the toaster oven is coated with a very easily cleanable non-stick coating, which frankly is what makes broiling in here feasible.
The dial system may sound complicated at first (one for setting/temperature, one timer, one toaster timer/setting), but it’s surprisingly intuitive. The only thing you don’t want to do is turn both timers on at the same time as that may deactivate the auto shut-off, but when you think about it, turning two timers on at once is fairly unintuitive, and we’ve certainly never accidentally done it. The temperatures are handily marked in both C and F.
We’ve been very happy with this little appliance. In fact, it’s the one Krups appliance we’ve used that has held up well and hasn’t managed to get broken over the course of use, storage, or moving (6 years, 2 moves and counting!).