Using a Toaster while on Its Side: Risks, and Alternatives

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Last Updated on October 2, 2023 by Seymour Scary

If you’ve ever found yourself trying to toast a larger item or save counter space, you may have considered using your toaster on its side.

Doing so can pose serious risks and cause damage to the appliance. In this article we’ll explain why it’s a terrible idea and to never do it, And alternatives that would be safer.


The Risks of Using a Toaster on Its Side

Certainly. Toaster ovens and traditional toasters are designed with heating elements located on the sides that distribute heat upwards towards the bread or other items being toasted.

The crumb tray is located at the bottom of the appliance to collect any fallen debris. Using a toaster on its side can cause the heat to distribute unevenly, which can create a fire hazard.

The excess heat may cause the toaster to overheat and damage the internal components, which can result in a potential fire hazard.

Additionally, placing the toaster on its side can cause crumbs to fall directly onto the heating elements, which can also create a fire hazard.

It’s important to use toasters and toaster ovens as intended and not place them on their side to prevent these risks.


Why People Might Consider it

Using a toaster on its side may seem like a convenient solution for toasting larger items or saving counter space, but it is not a good idea and can lead to several issues.

If you need to toast larger items, such as bagels or thick slices of bread, consider purchasing a toaster with wider slots or a toaster oven with a larger capacity.

This will allow you to toast a variety of items without compromising safety or quality.

If you’re looking to save counter space, consider investing in a compact or space-saving toaster.

Many toasters are designed with a sleek and slim profile that takes up minimal counter space.

Alternatively, you could store your toaster in a cabinet or pantry when not in use to free up counter space.

Alternative Toasting Methods

Toaster AlternativesProsCons
Toaster OvenGreater control over the toasting process, can accommodate larger bread items, versatile for other cooking needs.Takes longer to toast bread, can be more expensive than traditional toasters.
BroilerCrispy and golden brown crust, good for thick bread items.Requires careful monitoring to prevent burning, not a dedicated toaster.
Griddle or PanCan be done with basic kitchen equipment, easy to control the toasting process.May not work well with thicker bread items, requires careful monitoring to prevent burning.

Keep in mind that these are general pros and cons, and the best toasting method for you will depend on your personal preferences and the types of bread items you typically toast.


I know it can be tempting to use a toaster on it’s side rather than right side up using the feet that come with it, But don’t do it! You shouldn’t even use a toaster if it’s slightly angled let alone completely horizontal.

Consider the alternatives instead, Or getting a more compact toaster.

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