I got a new toaster recently as a gift. Before I tell you about it, I need to give you a little backstory on my relationship with toasters. A couple of years, when I was living with Mike and Joe, Mike and I figured we needed a toaster to fill our occasional toasting needs. So we went to Target or something and bought the cheapest toaster we could for $6.
It was piece of shit.
It had a dial that went from 1 to 7 for toasting strength. 1 through 6.5 did all about the same thing—didn’t really toast your item. Turning it to 7 burned the shit out of it.
So, on to this new toaster. It’s a Black and Decker Infrawave toaster, model ST9999. For some reason it has an LCD screen and push buttons. It’d be nice if it had a dial instead, but I’m not going to argue. Anyway, it toasts pretty fast. Like under a minute for the settings I’ve used so far. So what gives?
Well for one, the little tag attached to the toaster had some humorous text. “Speed Toasting… Toast at the Speed of Light™” Seriously. At the speed of light? And it’s trademarked. Now, notice the toaster is marketed under the Infrawave moniker. As in infrared waves or infrared radiation. Which is a form of electromagnetic radiation, with a slightly longer wavelength than light, also a form of electromagnetic radiation.
Ok, so that is technically correct. The toaster does use infrared radiation in part to toast things. Which can be classified as light. So you are toasting at the speed of light if you want to think of it that way. But so does every other fucking toaster on the face of the earth. That’s how they work. You run a bunch of current through the heating element, it heats up resistively until it glows red hot. When something glows red hot, it gives off a lot of infrared radiation. That heats things. So does the fact that the heating element is fucking hot; that can heat up the air which then heats up the toast, but most of the heating is radiant, i.e. infrared radiation heating the toast directly. I don’t know for sure, but the heating element probably gets up to 1000-1500 °F. That’s hot.
As I said, this toaster does toast pretty fast. After using it a couple times, I noticed it lit up my kitchen. This thing is pretty serious. So maybe there is something to the marketing. In any case, it’s a hell of a lot better than the $6 toaster Mike and I bought. I just hope it doesn’t burn down my kitchen…