This seems to be the case with most multi-purpose products. The photo shows a combination toaster oven and toaster. It has resided in my kitchen for a while, but tomorrow it will change its residence to a “free” pile in front of one of my kid’s houses. It has been in my kitchen because it theoretically takes up less room than a separate toaster and toaster oven, was the same color as my wife’s favorite and classic Kitchen Aid mixer , and sported the name of a long established maker of appliances.
But it has a number of problems. The least important one is that the heat generated within has faded the color so that it no longer matches my wife’s mixer. Most of the important ones are in the electro-mechanical details – I’ll say the design. Ideally, one could choose between using it as a toaster oven or as a conventional, drop-the-bread-in toaster. It works okay as a toaster oven, but it is taller than the usual toaster oven, in order to make room for lowering the bread slices to the heating elements, and the usable space is smaller. The especially wide slots seem attractive, but it only holds two slices of bread, and when the handle is pushed down to toast them, a wire frame closes in to hold the bread, thus making the wide slots no longer wide.
Worse yet, the wire frame work does not go all the way to the bottom of the bread slices, because if it did, it would take up necessary room in the toaster oven volume. The result is that when the holder at the bottom of the bread slices is lowered, there is room at the bottom of the wire frame-work, which does not hold the bread or other material to be toasted tightly, to allow it to slide out of holder down into the toaster oven, which, if the removable pan is not installed (usually), causes it to snuggle up to the heating elements, thus turning a very dark brown and producing smoke.
Should this happen (often) it becomes very challenging to remove the remains, because they become caught between the wire frame and the rising holder, and eventually become a pile of charred fragments stuck various places within the device, which usually burns one when trying to remove the fragments, because by then one has become a bit impatient with the whole mess.
At one time, it was possible to remove the bread in early smoking condition by moving the control from “toaster” to oven, but that option failed early in the life of the device, leaving no option but to watch the process in action. Happily, there is a sign on the front of the device that helpfully proclaims “If Contents Ignite, Keep Door Closed and Unplug Oven”.
As to the maker of the appliance, I am not worried because I have lots of options. Hopefully they do too.Soon we will have a separate toaster oven and toaster. I can hardly wait.