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Toaster Cooking Too Slow? Here’s Why (+ How to Fix)

In the mood for an English breakfast, you put the bread inside the toaster, prepare an omelet, baked beans, and some bacon, but what’s that – your toast still isn’t ready? You go do some chores, then remember the toaster is still on and hurry back to find the bread only slightly tanned. So what gives – why is your toaster so slow? 

Your toaster is so slow because you’re using the wrong toaster setting e.g., toasting thick bread with high moisture content takes longer on a low setting. Besides this, hardware faults like control board failure, a malfunctioning thermostat, and old components can also result in a slow toaster.

In this article, I’ll cover the various reasons your toaster is taking so long to make your toast and discuss potential fixes. By the end, you will have the necessary information to help you toast your bread more quickly. 

Why Is Your Toaster Taking So Long To Make Toast?

Your toaster is taking so long to make toast because of one or more of the following reasons: 

  • You’re using the wrong toaster setting. 
  • The toaster is cold and needs more time to warm up. 
  • The toaster is old. 
  • The control board or thermostat is faulty. 

I will expand on each of these points in the following sections to help you better understand what makes your toaster work so slowly. 

You’re Using the Wrong Toaster Setting

Do you use the same setting on your toaster to toast every type of bread? If yes, you’re doing it wrong. 

Some types of bread need more heat than others to “toast.” If you don’t adjust the settings accordingly, they will take forever to caramelize into that sweet golden brown color and crispy texture. 

For instance, white bread and sweet bread will toast quickly. It’ll barely take more than a few minutes on a low-moderate setting. 

However, if you’re trying to toast a thicker variety of bread, it will take longer at the same temperature. You need to dial up the toaster to a higher setting to get the toast done at the same time. 

Moisture content also plays a significant role in the time it takes to prepare toast. For example, fresh bread with a high moisture content takes longer to toast than the same bread if it’s a few days old and dried out. 

Unfortunately, toasters don’t offer a guidebook telling you which setting is optimal for toasting what type of bread. As such, you need to play around with the settings until you learn which setting works best with what kind of bread. 

The Toaster Is Cold and Needs More Time To Warm Up

If you’re just turning on the toaster, it can take longer to make your toast. This becomes most apparent during the cold winter months when you try to use a toaster that’s been sitting in the kitchen all night, freezing. 

What happens is that the toaster and its heating elements are all cold and, in some cases, frozen up. Now, when you turn on the toaster, it first needs to heat itself up, after which it’ll start to toast the bread you popped in. 

As a result, the same slice of bread at the same toaster setting will take longer to toast in winter compared to other, warmer seasons. 

However, this is only for the first toast. When popping in subsequent slices of bread, it should toast much faster as the toaster is already heated up. 

The Toaster Is Old

Over the years, toasters got more affordable but also more fragile. That said, even expensive toasters are equally fragile. It only costs more because it provides extra features, not necessarily better components or enhanced durability. 

Currently, the average lifespan of a newly bought toaster is around 6-8 years

With time, the toaster heating elements start to wear out, resulting in a drop in its heating capabilities. Eventually, your toaster will take 10 or 20 minutes to make toast, something it could accomplish in under 2 minutes when you first bought it. Soon it won’t be able to heat at all, and you’ll need to get a replacement. 

As such, if you’re using a toaster that’s been serving you for over 5 years, it’s most likely too slow because of age, and you are better off buying a new one. 

The Control Board or Thermostat Is Faulty

If you have a fancy toaster with different settings for preparing different types of bread, it most likely has a control board and a thermostat. 

The control board is like the brain of the toaster, controlling different components and mechanisms inside the appliance to ensure you get the best toast. It can control the following:

  • How hot the heating elements get 
  • Which heating element to turn on 
  • How long they should stay on 
  • When the toast should pop out 
  • and much more.

The thermostat is a temperature sensor. It informs the control board how hot the heating elements are, so it can decide whether to heat up even more or stop the heating process altogether. 

Now, if the control board or thermostat gets damaged or becomes faulty, it can interfere with the heating process. As a result, it can take a long time for your toaster to toast. 

Unfortunately, diagnosing the issue on your own can be a bit difficult. As such, if the above reasons and solutions didn’t apply to your toaster, consider taking it to the repair shop. They can tell you if the control board or thermostat is faulty and if so, install a replacement to fix the issue. 

Key Takeaways

The most common reason your toaster is taking too long to make your toast is that you have it in the wrong setting. 

For example, you need to have your toaster on a higher setting when toasting a fresh piece of thick bread compared to when it’s a thin and dry piece of bread. 

Other than that, hardware faults can make your toaster slow. For instance, if the control board is faulty or the thermostat is not working, the toaster won’t be able to heat properly and will potentially take longer to make toast. 


  • Steve Rajeckas

    Steve Rajeckas is an HVAC hobbyist with an avid interest in learning innovative ways to keep rooms, buildings, and everything else at the optimal temperature. When he's not working on new posts for Temperature Master, he can be found reading books or exploring the outdoors.

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