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Oster toaster goes a long way toward making perfect slices

Burning toast is a time-honored tradition in my household, so you can imagine how surprised I was to learn that getting toast, bagels and English Muffins toasted properly is now just another problem solved by technology.

Oster, the folks who have made toasters and other kitchen gadgets for years, have come up with a line of technologically advanced toasters that allow you to dial through buttons and an LCD display how dark your slices of bread should be when toasted. The Oster Perfectionist (Model 6322, $80), which can handle two slices at once, goes a few extra steps beyond its less-sophisticated cousins - the Signature line, Models 6320, $50, and 6321, $60 - in creating culinary perfection.

You can choose settings based on the bread you're trying to toast and the appliance will determine the amount of time the bread should toast. The toaster enables users to warm toasted food without significantly browning it more. The bagel button sets up the toaster to toast each slice of bagel on one side while simply warming the other.

The "frozen" button sets the toaster to defrost, say a piece of frozen French toast, then toast it.

A display on the side of the toaster provides feedback on which buttons you've pushed, ensuring that your toasting experience doesn't become as complicated as setting the clock on your VCR.

The slots are extra wide to handle a sliced bagel. And you can store an extra electrical cord under the toaster when you only need a few inches to stretch to the outlet.

Information: 800-334-0759 or www.oster.com.

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