Toaster Egg Poacher

Brand: Back to Basics
Model: TEM500
EAN: 0759284091050
Category: Home & Office
Price: $150.00  (127 customer reviews)
Shipping Wt: 0.00 pounds. FREE Shipping (Details)
Availability: In Stock.
Average Rating: 3.7 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

Toaster, egg cooker, and meat warmer--this innovative unit combines all three functions into one easy-to-use appliance. The unit can be used solely as a full functioning toaster, or it can simultaneously toast bread, poach or steam-scramble an egg, and warm a pre-cooked slice of meat--or any combination of these three functions--to make the ultimate breakfast sandwich at home in just four minutes. Simply add 2 tablespoons of water to the heating tray using the included measuring cup, lightly coat the poaching tray with oil or nonstick cooking spray, and crack an egg into the poaching tray. Then place a slice of pre-cooked meat onto the warming tray and replace the lid. Add bread, an English muffin, croissant, or bagel into the wide toaster slots, select "egg/toast" from the control panel, and push the lever down to begin the cooking process. In addition to making breakfast sandwiches, the unit can also be used to boil up to four eggs at a time. Other convenient features include light to dark toast settings, automatic shut-off, an easy-to-clean control touchpad, a removable crumb tray, and handy cord storage. To clean, simply wipe out the heating tray and poaching tray with a damp paper towel. The toaster measures 7-1/5 by 15-1/4 by 8-1/6 inches and carries a one-year warranty.

Features

  • Innovative 3-in-1 appliance functions as toaster, egg cooker, and meat warmer
  • Makes a breakfast sandwich in 4 minutes; wide toaster slots; light to dark toast settings
  • Automatic shut-off for individual toasting and poaching functions; cancel button
  • Easy-to-clean control touchpad; removable crumb tray; cord storage; measuring cup included
  • Measures 7-1/5 by 15-1/4 by 8-1/6 inches; 1-year warranty

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Top Reviews

Good while it lasts...and that's not long! Not 1 but 2 died suddenly!
by Frita Bandita (1 out of 5 stars)
June 5, 2013

I bought two of these around the same time about 2 years ago- one for a vacation home and the other for my regular home. I don't use my toaster all that often (maybe a couple of times a month). We used the egg cooking portion of it only a handful of times and it's a pretty nifty little device if you want to make your own egg & English muffin sandwich. The different settings are nice so it times everything perfectly (i.e. just toast, egg & toast, egg, etc.). The settings were great and the egg cooking option was nice to have for something different for breakfast.

The worst part about these, they just don't last.

As little as I used both devices, they both died. Just completely stopped working all of a sudden. One of them died about 6 months ago (after a year and a half of barely being used) and the other died tonight, almost two years after purchasing. The toaster I replaced this one with was a cheapie but had been going for probably 10 years. And the only we decided to replace it was that it looked 10 years old, not because it stopped working. This is extremely disappointing considering the light use.

When the first toaster died, I chalked it up to maybe a faulty unit. I was a little annoyed but no big deal. Being that the second one died a few months later, it seems something is defective about these devices.

Alas, I bought another toaster. And it wasn't this one.
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Best thing since sliced bread.
by ClairisaCSmith (5 out of 5 stars)
May 1, 2019

This is something I use often. Easy to make a breakfast sandwich. I do not always use meat on my sandwich but the toaster toasts fine and cooks an egg almost anyway you like it. I use this most to boil a few eggs quickly. Boiling eggs seems simple but never was for me. The holder and measuring cup takes the guess work out of egg. The only downside is that the openings for the bread of your choice is set to one size. If you use Texas Toast or a bagel that is uneven parts will brown more than other. Unlike most toasters that open at the bottom to clean this does not. If it gets too dirty you most likely have to junk it and buy a new one.
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Now maybe I won't burn the house down making breakfast!
by Diane Kistner (4 out of 5 stars)
February 5, 2008

Before buying this, I read all the reviews, and I'm only going to add what hasn't been noted by others except to say "Yes, you really should read the instruction booklet cover to cover before you use this the first time." Why? Because some of the complaints people had about this product were clearly due to the fact that they did not read the instructions! Be sure to flip to the badly placed "Cleaning" part first!

The best thing I like about this sleek appliance is that it shuts itself off. Control freaks might not love it (although, to me, I'd think the Cancel button would afford them the requisite control). Those who don't read the instructions might break it by manually forcing the toaster arm up to stop it from toasting instead of pressing Cancel. Other than that, the trickiest but most fun part is playing around to see what water amounts and food combinations appeal most to you.

The programmed auto-shutoff feature is greater (and safer) than I imagined. I'm not completely adle-pated just yet, but I'm very bad about sticking a skillet on the stove, walking off to do something else, then returning only when the smoke alarm has gone off and the house is filled with smoke. So having this little "bot" toaster/egg cooker that knows I've forgotten all about it protects me from myself. The worst thing that can happen is my food will get cold before it dawns on me to check on it.

Another thing: I'm not the type to leave well enough alone. Whether it's software or hardware, I'm always pushing things past the limit of what they were designed to do. I soon discovered that I can have a healthy little lunch of a slice of whole-grain bread and a handful of nicely steamed fresh broccoli or frozen brussels sprouts. Toss in a piece of fresh fruit from the fruit bowl, and I can feel like I've been so good without having to drag out the steamer, wait for the water to boil, etc.

Another thing I tried, after one reviewer mentioned using a ramekin in hers when the teflon peeled off her egg tray, was to fill the smallest (1-cup) pyrex bowl in my round storage set with Excalibur-dehydrated cooked brown rice (my version of healthy "quick" rice) and the requisite amount of water to reconstitute it, then steam it using a little more water than is required for four hard-boiled eggs. This makes enough for two side servings of rice for me and my husband, and I could have thrown in other dried veggie flakes and chunks if I'd wanted to. Because I'm into dehydrating foods for long-term storage and want to be able to reconstitute cooked foods in only cold water if I have to, this is a real boon. I'm far more likely to use those dried stores on a day-to-day basis if I can very quickly reconstitute measurable servings without having to use the microwave oven (which I don't want to do).

The recipes in the manual, as one reviewer mentioned, also confused me. Can you poach TWO eggs at once, I wondered? Well, yes; yes you can. You just have to add more water than it calls for if you want them medium-poached and not runny. That little teflon skillet-tray holds two medium (and maybe even two large) eggs just fine. You just have to experiment with how much water you need to cook them McMuffin-firm.

I can also boil enough eggs for quick egg salad sandwiches, and they do peel very easily when you use that sharp poker thing on the plastic water-measuring cup that comes with this. But I can't seem to remember to avoid that poker, and that thing can make you BLEED. So I quickly measured out how much water is required for my various egg-cooking and veggie-steaming tasks and transferred those amounts to my little OXO angled stainless steel measuring cup. Now, if I'm going to boil eggs, I'll pull the plastic measurer/poker out of the drawer and poke, then put it right back in the drawer so I won't forget and stab myself with it.

So, what's not to like about this B-to-B "bot"? The footprint is considerably smaller than our older four-slice "wide slot" overkill toaster, and the bot's two slots are actually wider than on our old one. I like that it sits longways toward the back of the countertop, leaving me more room for doing other things. The black-and-stainless look matches our Keurig coffee maker. The materials are cheaper than the Keurig's, of course, but it didn't cost several hundred dollars either.

If Back to Basics ever decides to redesign this neat little critter, I hope they'll make the stainless steel portion of the water tray removeable and dishwasherable. If they wanted to release a higher-end special edition of it, making the various cooking trays out of stainless steel with a tempered glass top, I'd buy one in a heartbeat. This is going to be one of those "use all the time" items in our household.
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A MUST for all kitchens!
by JACharron (5 out of 5 stars)
August 28, 2012

I bought this as a gift for someone who is very difficult to buy for. I know he likes going out to a certain fast-food chain and getting a breakfast sandwich a few times a week, but he often complained about the cost and the calories. I bought him this and he laughed, which made me think he didn't like it. After a month, he called me and asked me where I got it because he had so many compliments on it from people asking where he got it! He said he uses it every day and has a much healthier egg sandwich for breakfast. It's also saved him money!

I decided to buy one for myself as well and it's so easy to use and easy to clean up after! I haven't used the meat warmer tray because I'm a vegetarian, but I've been told that it works great for heating up ham or already-cooked bacon.

A few things I like about this toaster:
1. Ridiculously easy to use.
2. Easy to clean after...just a quick wipe of the egg pan daily and the occasional sweep of the water tray below it once a week.
3. It cooks breakfast while you get ready for work! Once you put the toast and the egg in, you don't have to worry about burning either...it pops the toast up once the egg is done!
4. It can be used for just toast, just the egg, or both.
5. It's not that much bigger than a regular toaster, so it doesn't take up much space on the counter.

LOVE this thing!
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Improved Poaching Dish
by T.J. (3 out of 5 stars)
April 23, 2010

I'm not going to tell you about how great this toaster is because there are over 600 reviews that have done that; believe the reviews.

My issue with the toaster is that after a year of nearly daily use, it broke. The toaster still works, but the egg cooker on the side no longer works. It wasn't broken for an hour before I had already ordered another one, if that tells you anything about how much I can't live without this little jewel.

They just started making this toaster in a stainless steel model so that's the one I ordered (it's $15 more.) Since that's the newest version of the toaster, I'm hopeful that whatever problem my previous toaster had (I had the black single egg version) has been fixed in the updated model.

If you want to get the stainless steel version, search for "Westbend Toaster". If you search for "Back to Basics Stainless Steel Toaster" you'll see the same toaster but listed under a different name (it costs more and they charge for shipping, but it's the exact same.)
------------------Update Sep 5, 2010--------------------

A friend of mine recently ordered the black toaster and there have been some minor, but good changes. The plastic attachments have a glossier finish to them which makes them easier to clean. To be fair, they weren't too terribly difficult to clean before the change, but now they're even easier. If you throw the parts in the dishwasher, well, the change makes no difference.

The biggest change though is in the design of the egg poaching dish which I choose to wash by hand. They made the bottom of the dish just a little curvier to remove a right angle on the bottom the dish where sometimes you'd get egg leftover in the crease. This little amount of egg would sometimes prevent the poached egg from falling out of the dish easily. That's changed though and the poached egg falls out more easily and the dish is easier to clean as a result. All-in-all, a GREAT change!
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Great, when it works
by Aj (3 out of 5 stars)
May 10, 2011

I have mixed reviews of this TEM500 toaster. I LOVE the convenience of making egg muffins in the morning, really speeds up breakfast and tastes better than McD's. When it works, it works great. However I'm on my THIRD unit. The first one lasted about 11 months before the egg cooking part of the toaster died (could still make toast, just not eggs). Back to Basics replaced the unit since it was still under the 1 year warranty. That replacement lasted about 13 months (same issue, egg cooking mechanism stopped working but could still make toast). That was out of the 1 year warranty and they couldn't help me and only said that they have a less than 3 percent failure rate and to unplug the unit. So I bought a 3rd unit, 4 months into it (with light use, twice a week), yet again the egg cooking mechanism stopped working.

I have a hard time believing that I'm using it wrong, it's simple to use. This is either a design defect, or I'm one unlucky consumer. I'm going to try the bigger 4-slot version of this, the TEMP4500, in hopes that they improved quality. Please note that the West Bend brand toaster is the identical unit, sister companies. The only other brand option right now is the Chefscape egg and muffin toaster. These toasters are such a wonderful morning convenience when it works. I would recommend this item, but hang onto your receipt.
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Not as expected
by PDUBSNY (2 out of 5 stars)
March 4, 2016

We have own this toaster because of it's really cool concept of getting your eggs at the same as toasting your muffin or bread. The fact is that it really take a long time for your egg to cook. You are way better off getting it done on a frying pan. We have own this toaster for about 5 years until it completed broke on us. Having said that, the egg part of it only worked for a couple of times so we ended up just using it as a regular toaster. So for the price of this, you are better off just purchasing a regular toaster and frying your own eggs. I unfortunately have to rate this 2 out of 5 Stars as it is really expensive piece of toaster that has a great concept that does not function well.
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Great Quick Breakfast Or Snack - But Doesn't Last
by Frank Dutton (2 out of 5 stars)
March 15, 2008

When I originally reviewed this item, I gave it 4 Stars. Since then, I'm less enthusiastic about it. While the idea is great - the egg cooking part died not so long after I got the toaster and it hadn't been used much. If the quality and durability were as good as the idea, this would be a winner! Unfortunately, not the case. I'd recommend waiting until they get better at designing something that will hold up more than a few months.

This toaster is excellent! I highly recommend it.

TOAST: Makes almost perfect toast - on some standard sliced breads the top 1/2 - 3/4 inch is not toasted because the slots aren't quite deep enough. That being said, the toast is PERFECT - completely evenly toasted on both sides, though the side toward the center of the toaster does tend to be just a bit darker.

MEASURING CUP: The measuring cup is for adding the correct amount of water to poach or boil eggs to a given doneness. It is extremely accurate as to what measurment should be used. However, it is also extremely difficult to read (to see the markings) and that could easily be corrected... I put a little piece of adhesive tape on the most frequently used mark to make my like easier.

HARD BOILED EGGS: I didn't like this feature. The measuring cup has an egg piercer that pops a tiny hole to keep the eggs from exploding when they are hard boiled. However, I found the egg wants to ooze out the top at the hole and it becomed more difficult to peel and is unsightly and, if stored, that parts dries out quickly and gets hard.

POACHED EGGS: Absolutely excellent - perfect every time once you determine the amount of water to use to make the eggs just right for your taste. They recommend cooking spray in the no-stick egg pan - I recommend a tiny dab of butter spread around (much healthier), though have found it isn't generally necessary to use anything.

MEAT TRAY: Steams pre-cooked bacon, sausage, ham, etc. It comes out with the eggs - hot, moist and delicious! Some drippings can go down on to the eggs... adds barely a touch of flavor and you will probably want to pour the liquid off before putting the egg on the plate.

EGGS & TOAST: The only downside to this whole unit. The toast is done first and by the time the eggs are done the toast has cooled somewhat and the butter doesn't melt as well on it. Though not a big issue, this is the only thing that makes the eggs / toast combo less than perfect.

OVERALL QUALITY: The case is pretty cheap plastic. I happened to bump it with a cigarette and it put a scar on it instantly. The parts for the egg cooking are well made and should last a long time with reasonable care. The toaster adjusts to the bread size and seems well made. Everything is easy to clean up and an occasional wipe or scrub handles the hard water residue on the water boiler plate.
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Still in love after all these years...
by Rebecca St George (5 out of 5 stars)
August 9, 2017

I bought this back in 2012. It still works beautifully, and I still love it. I often use it just for soft-boiled eggs, or just for toast, but about a quarter of the time I use the toaster and egg poacher to make a sandwich. Pro tip: put the bread or bagel in a couple of minutes after you start the egg; otherwise, the toast gets done enough faster than the egg that the toast is sort of cold when you put the egg on it. Other than that, this is one of my favorite household appliances. And no, it is not sad that I have favorite household appliances. It's perfectly normal and healthy and hip and cool and great.
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Coolest Toaster I've Ever Purchased!
by SCJaredJ (5 out of 5 stars)
August 8, 2012

So we had a friend stay at our house for a month while they were moving and transitioning jobs, and they asked us why we didn't have a toaster. You see, for the past 10 years, no toaster could be found in our house. Why? Who knows, we just never really needed one. We just used the oven.

Well, that question led to me looking around amazon for a good, cheap toaster and I came across this little beauty. For someone who hasn't owned a toaster in over a decade, I really was hoping to find something that interested me and got me excited to "buy a toaster," and this sure fit the bill.

I haven't had any issues with the "toaster" portion of this guy. Plug it in, put the toast in, slide the handle down, wait a bit, and poof - great toast. Just as expected. No issues here on desired hotness or cooking settings for toaster. It's a toaster, it toasts. Enough said.

I'd imagine if you're reading the reviews you're trying to figure out about that whole egg poacher thing. Well, works great. We like our egg and muffin sandwiches with scrambled eggs, so we scramble up the raw egg, put it in the egg thing, drop in the toast, and about 4-5 min later you have a great egg and muffin sandwich. The first couple of times I made them I scrambled up the egg in the egg tray thing, but it's a bit shallow, so I worried about spilling the egg in the cooker. Now I honestly just scramble it up in a cup and poor it in. You don't really have to do this, but it makes me feel better.

The eggs cook based on how much water you put in the bottom of the egg cooker thing. More water = more well done eggs. Since we like scrambled, the goal is for them not to be runny. This comes with a measuring cup with markings for suggested water levels. I typically put it at the higher poaching level and haven't had any issues with them being runny at all. My brother has put lower amounts of water in and noticed that they can be a bit runny, so just pay attention to the water level and you're good to go.

Speaking of the measuring cup, on the bottom is a pointy thing that's supposed to be used to punch a hole in eggs if you hard boil them with this toaster. Yes, it can hard boil up to 4 eggs at a time. Apparently you punch a hole in the top of the egg to prevent it from exploding during the boiling process. When I read that I immediately wanted to see if I could get them to explode, but my wife wouldn't let me try that. Please add your comments/pictures to this review if you are able to accomplish this feat!!

The layout of the egg cooker is pretty simple. At the bottom is a basin for the water you put in. Essentially it cooks by steaming the water. That's why the water level drives the cooking level on the eggs. As an added bonus, if you're cooking toast with your eggs, it heats the toast up like you wanted and then basically keeps it warm until the eggs are done so that they pop up when the eggs are finished. On top of the water basin is a tray for the hard boiled eggs. There are four spots for eggs. Next is a pan-like thing for poached or scrambled eggs. On top of that is a tray for pre-cooked meat (ham, bacon, salmon, whatever), and then it's all topped off with a clear case to keep the steam in.

One suggestion...don't forget the Pam/non-stick cooking spray for the egg pan-like thing if you're scrambling/poaching eggs. It really helps if you have it, and can be a mess if you don't.

Overall, we love this thing and have used it pretty much everyday of the last week and a half since we ordered. I would totally order this again and recommend it to others. In fact, I kind of wish I had found it earlier.
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The little toaster that could...poach!
by Paul S. Sedwick (5 out of 5 stars)
December 24, 2010

This is our 2nd toaster/poacher, 1st one lasted many years of daily use before the poacher gave up the ghost. So why 5 stars...the way i figure - the many hundreds of perfectly cooked poached eggs over the years was well worth the price.

These things live in a pretty tough environment. The way it works...by completely boiling off a carefully measured amount of water (measuring cup included) a thermistor (temp sensor) goes over the limit and triggers shutdown.

This thing cooks fast and is fairly easy to clean-up compared to a stove-top poacher. Yes, it only poaches one egg at a time. Fine for us, maybe not a family of three or more all on the same schedule.

The toaster also works better than most we have had. The only downside i can think of is that the toast finishes a little before the poacher and will not pop-up until the egg is done leaving the toast a little cooler for spreading butter. I would like the toast to pop-up when complete so about the time the toast is buttered the egg is ready.

You can press 'cancel' releasing the toast, re-press the egg button and resume accomplishing this process but it is does require two more steps.

All in all it works very well. I just hope this Back to Basics holds up as well as the 1st. I don't mind buying one every 4-5 years. Who knows, this one may last longer!

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