Posted by: lornasass | August 20, 2010

ODE TO THE VINTAGE TOASTER OVEN

It’s a truism that we travel to experience new things, but it’s also true that while traveling we miss some old things about home.  (Few people talk about this part, at least in my company.)

While I’ve been delighted to be back in the UK after a 30-plus year absence, I haven’t felt too pleased at breakfast time.  You see, the Brits haven’t discovered the toaster oven.

Here’s what happens every morning, the inevitable:  the toast gets stuck.

Why hasn’t the toaster oven make it across the pond?  I’ve asked a few people and they’ve never even heard of the thing.

I love my toaster oven, not only for toasting bagels and other chubby slices that would otherwise get destroyed in a pop-up toaster.  I love using it for making melted cheese sandwiches and re-heating a slice of pizza.  I often bake sweet potatoes in it when it’s too hot to turn on the oven.

I will confess that it’s getting harder and harder to find a really good toaster oven, one that is aluminum rather than plastic, one that doesn’t ding and tick, one that doesn’t require a few hours of reading to figure out how it operates, one that really lasts.  So I’ve resorted to buying vintage GE toaster ovens on E-Bay, and I’ve been really happy with them.

If I were at home, I’d photograph my current toaster oven and show it off to you, but I’m still on the road, so I’ve taken this image from google to give you some idea of the pleasure and convenience not only of using a vintage toaster oven, but of looking at it.

This tiny image doesn’t do it justice, but look at that shine!

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Responses

  1. There seems to be a good selectionof S/S T ovens on Amazon and even a book on things to do in same, not, however, written by the gorgeous and talented Miss Sass- shame

    • You deserve your knighthood for letting me know!

  2. This old style GE toster had the bert design for compactioness – the lid swung up out of the way rather then down – very nice feature that kept the window from getting full of crumbs – I would love to get another. I guess GE’s financial problems prevent them from producing top quility appliances in this day and age – far cry from my younger days when an honest days work got you a honest contraption to inprove ones life.

    • Yes, I have a very old GE. It’s slim and trim and will probably outlast me!

  3. I have a toaster-oven just like the old GE in your picture. A lot less shine, and a lot more rust, but it works as well as ever. I forget where it came from… either the flea-market or the dump. :)

  4. We had bought the original in 1966 while living in the USA, of course 110 V. Later we found a similar one in Cork Ireland running on 220 V. GE used to produce both versions. Unfortunately I have only one left and I would very much like to find another one as todays models are not nearly as good and easy to use…

    • Good luck finding it. We are staying in a friend’s house this week and missing our toaster oven!

  5. One of my most prized possessions is an old-style Munsey toaster, a forerunner of your toaster oven. I had one many years ago; it was an antique even then. I was thrilled to find my present one still in the box on eBay. Someone seemed to have a garage full of them. Alas, no more. I can’t find one to give to a friend who probably doesn’t realize it but she sorely needs one.

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