A four slice toaster is an enormous help at breakfast time as it serves twice as much toast as its two slice cousin. And the Buckingham is reckoned to be one of Russell Hobbs fastest toasting models yet. But does it live up to expectations?
The Buckingham measures 27.5cm x 25cm x 19.7cm and weighs 2.26kg. With stainless steel casing it’s more robust than similar models in the upper-middle price range. It has been designed in a simple box shape with slightly rounded edges. The polished stainless steel exterior adds a touch of elegance to my kitchen. The blue light that glows at the front of the base when the toaster is in action makes it look particularly sophisticated. At the front the slider controls have discreet black handles and the function modes are illuminated. The heating dials are neatly positioned beneath the sliders.
The defrosting feature is a boon if ever you forget to take a loaf out of the freezer the night before. I’ve had more than one opportunity to test this feature and must say the finished toast compares favourably with bread that’s never been frozen. The browning control lets you customise your slices to look a pleasing shade of brown without actually burning them. The toaster reheats cold toast in a short routine that revives its crispy texture without burning or ruining the taste. The twin crumb-collecting trays are relatively shallow and benefit from regular emptying. There is also a button for cancelling the toasting process.
Effective Toasting Slots
The toaster has two twin slot carriages that operate independently of each other. The approximate measurements of the slots are 13cm by 14cm which easily accommodates slices from a medium-sized 400g loaf. Larger slices slide in to the extra wide slots without any difficulty but if they don’t always fit below the rim turn them sideways. The Buckingham copes well with favourite tea-time treats of fruited teacakes, bagels or muffins if you split them through the middle.
Does the Buckingham Make Good Toast?
There are six versatile heat settings, although I tend to always choose number three which makes perfectly crispy toast. When toasting extra thick sliced bread the speed the Buckingham toasts at doesn’t always make it crispy all the way through. If you have time try toasting the bread on a low setting before repeating the process on number three. Toasting on the two higher settings causes the bread to burn. When toasting more than one batch you can save electricity by turning the dial to the next setting down as the elements are already hot. The toasting process is remarkably fast.
Is the Toast evenly Golden?
I find the results vary depending on the bread I’m using. Mass-produced sliced bread has a moistness which does turn into crispy toast although it sometimes appears less cooked on one side. If you are using only one half of the toaster the side adjoining the vacant slot cooks slightly more than the other side. Traditional bread that’s baked rather than steamed toasts very quick so it’s best to turn to a lower setting or use the cancel button once it’s toasted the way you like it.
The Buckingham offers more versatility than most toasters in a similar price range. It’s a sturdy model that performs reliably and has a casing that becomes warm rather than hot. It toasts speedily to produce crispy toast. There may be an occasional uneven tone but practice with different types of bread to find what suits you. The browning facility takes a little getting use to but it’s well worth persevering to achieve toast that has an appetising appearance. The Buckingham is a reliable toaster that also looks stylish.