While the Revolution InstaGLO R180B Toaster is undeniably sleek and more high-tech than your average appliance, we expected better performance from the gadget given its ultra-high price tag. Many of the items we tested came out unevenly toasted, and the brownness settings were inconsistent between different types of food.
Toasts fresh and frozen foods
Optional panini maker
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One of the best toasters is a must-have for your kitchen. These appliances make it easy to prepare toast, bagels, waffles, and more, making them an integral part of many people’s morning routine.
While many toasters are basic and inexpensive, there are also high-tech models like the Revolution InstaGLO R180B Toaster available. One of Oprah's favorite things, this cool gadget has a sleek, modern design, complete with a touchscreen display, and it offers a variety of pre-programmed food settings, allowing you to toast both fresh and frozen bread, English muffins, bagels and more with a single touch—but is it really worth the high price tag?
We wanted to see how the Revolution InstaGLO R180B Toaster performed, so I tested it in my kitchen for several weeks. I used it to cook a wide range of foods, even trying it with the brand’s Panini Press, to see if the appliance is worth the splurge. Here’s what I found.
Camryn Rabideau is a freelance writer and product reviewer who has been testing small kitchen appliances (as well as other home goods) for several years. She’s tested everything from toasters to juicers to oil infusion machines.
Camryn does her product testing from her small homestead in beautiful Rhode Island. When she’s not tinkering around with the latest home gadgets, she spends her time tending to her animals, working in her garden, or crafting.
Revolution InstaGLO R180B Toaster Specifications
Unboxing the Revolution InstaGLO R180B Toaster
The Revolution InstaGLO Toaster came packaged in a nice box, and it was secured with two pieces of foam. The toaster itself was wrapped in a thin plastic bag, and it only took a few seconds to unbox.
Right away, I loved the appearance of the toaster. It has matte black sides and chrome accent trim, and its touchscreen takes up the whole front of the appliance. I immediately noticed that there’s no lever to lower food—the toaster does it automatically when you press start.
Once you plug the toaster in, the display has a default “sleep” screen with the Revolution logo on it. However, if you go into its settings, you can change it to display a digital or analog clock face, which I liked.
Using the Revolution InstaGLO R180B Toaster for the first time
After setting up the InstaGLO Toaster, the first thing I cooked in it was a bagel for my breakfast. I get bagels from a local bakery, so they’re a bit larger than ones you’d buy in the store, but after it was cut in half, the pieces fit into the toaster slots just fine.
Using the touchscreen, I selected the bagel setting, as well as the fifth “brownness” level. From there, all I had to do was press “Start,” and the toaster automatically lowered the bread down for cooking. I’ll admit that it smelled a bit like burning plastic while my bagel was cooking, but this is fairly common for new appliances so I wasn’t too concerned. (There’s often residue on the inner components that’s left over from manufacturing, and you should generally run toasters and other appliances empty before using them to cook for the first time. Learn from my mistakes!)
While the bagel was cooking, the screen displayed a countdown wheel, and it played a little tune when the cooking time was finished before raising the bread back up. I like that your food doesn’t shoot up dramatically with other toasters—the InstaGLO definitely won’t startle you when it’s finished. The bagel came out lightly toasted, but the top portion must have been too high up in the toaster slots, as it was barely even warmed. One half of the bagel was a bit darker than the other, and overall, I definitely expected more browning considering I selected a fairly high setting.
Testing toast in the Revolution InstaGLO R180B Toaster
Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t make regular toast in the toaster. For breakfast one day, I wanted a slice of toast, so I popped a piece of white bread in the toaster on the fourth brownness setting. After I pressed start, I noticed that the bread had gotten caught halfway into the slot, so I had to use a knife to push it the rest of the way into the toaster.
When it finished cooking, the bread was evenly toasted, but I did expect it to be a bit darker, considering I had selected one of the higher settings.
Testing toaster pastries in the Revolution InstaGLO R180B Toaster
The InstaGLO also has a special setting for toaster pastries, so I used it to cook a Pop-Tart for an afternoon snack. This setting gives you the option for fresh or frozen, and I selected fresh, as well as one of the higher brownness settings. When my pastry came out, it was nicely toasted, but it had cooked fairly unevenly. The bottom of the pastry was significantly more toasted than the top, which was disappointing.
Another day, I also used the toaster on a frozen pastry. I selected the frozen option, as well as setting four, but this combo didn’t quite cook the frozen pastry enough—it was still a little frozen in the middle. I ended up putting it back in the toast for another half cycle. Again, the bottom of the pastry came out more browned than the bottom for some reason.
Testing frozen waffles in the Revolution InstaGLO R180B Toaster
To test the toaster’s waffle setting, I cooked two frozen Eggo waffles for breakfast. I selected the frozen option, as well as brownness level five before pressing start. When the toaster finished, one waffle was perfectly browned, but sadly, the waffle from the other slot was slightly burnt.
Testing paninis in the Revolution InstaGLO R180B Toaster
The Revolution InstaGLO Toaster has a special panini maker that you can purchase separately, and we decided to test that out, as well. The Panini Press (opens in new tab) is quite simple and lightweight, featuring a slot where you can insert a sandwich, as well as a handle that lets you put it right into the toaster.
I used the panini maker to toast a ham and cheese sandwich for lunch one day. The press was the perfect size to accommodate a standard slice of bread, and I loaded it up with a slice of cheese and two pieces of ham before closing the press. From here, I put the press into one side of the toaster, then selected the special panini setting, which you can find under the bread option. I chose setting three because I wasn’t sure how much it would cook the sandwich.
Overall, I was pretty impressed with the panini maker’s performance. After a few minutes in the toaster, the exterior of the sandwich was slightly browned and the cheese inside was melted. The press efficiently contained any mess, but I would have preferred slightly more toasting, so I’ll likely choose a higher setting in the future.
Cleaning the Revolution InstaGLO R180B Toaster
Like most toasters, the Revolution InstaGLO has a little tray in the bottom that collects crumbs. To remove the tray, you press on the front of it, and it pops out, allowing you to bring it to the trash for emptying. The toaster will even display an on-screen reminder periodically so you don’t forget to empty it.
Beyond that, this appliance doesn’t require much cleaning. Its chrome accents don’t really smudge, so the exterior really only needs a wipe-down once every few weeks.
Should you buy the Revolution InstaGLO R180B Toaster?
The Revolution InstaGLO R180B Toaster isn’t a cheap appliance—it retails for $350, and if you want the Panini Press, too, it’s an additional $80. Given the toaster’s extremely high price point, we were disappointed in its performance. Many of the foods we tested came out unevenly cooked, and the brownness settings were often inconsistent. For instance, setting four barely toasted a piece of bread, yet setting five burned one of our frozen waffles.
While the toaster is incredibly sleek and high-tech, we simply don’t think its performance is reliable enough to justify such a high price point. There are plenty of other high-end toasters available for significantly less, or you could even get a versatile appliance like the Breville Smart Oven Pro (opens in new tab) for a cheaper price.
Camryn Rabideau is a writer and product reviewer specializing in home, kitchen, and pet products. In her five years as a product tester, she's tested hundreds of items first-hand, including many, many kitchen appliances for Homes & Gardens. Camryn does her product testing from her small homestead in beautiful Rhode Island.
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