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Gadgets

Is the stand-alone toaster an endangered species?

So many appliances pair a toaster with another function, I wonder whether there's room for a humble stand-alone toaster.

Team Toaster/Coffee Maker

Pity the poor toaster. Like a single person surrounded by married couples, it seems destined to be fixed up again and again, with the promise that this coupling will be the match that lasts.

The latest pairing to come to my attention: a Breakfast Set from Team Appliances, which combines a two-slot toaster with a five-cup drip coffee maker. All the expected features are here, from a removable crumb tray and adjustable darkness settings on the toaster to a reusable filter and automatic shut off on the coffee maker. What's missing? A timer to start your coffee brewing before you wake up in the morning. But it's a forgivable omission, given the product's space-saving design (hello, dorm room) and $50 price tag.

If you're not a coffee drinker, fret not: there's a toaster combo appliance for you, too. We've already seen a combination toaster and teakettle from Breville. I've long been a fan of the toaster and egg poacher that a friend acquired several years ago; it lets you prep all the ingredients for a breakfast sandwich at once. (Tefal makes a similar product.) LG makes a $140 microwave oven and toaster combo that's available in black, white, or stainless steel finishes. (So does Daewoo.)

Each of these pairings seems like such a good fit, I have to wonder if the humble stand-alone toaster is an endangered species. Tell me: would you go for any of these hybrids? Or is there any other appliance you'd like to see fixed up with the toaster?