In addition to fast, precise heating, the Krups FBC4 Convection Toaster Oven is supposed to deliver “expert controlled cooking functions” and an “illuminated LCD control panel with easy to use controls.” However, we observed glitches with the appliance’s control panel on four separate samples. As a result, we’ve rated this $200 appliance a Don’t Buy: Performance Problem.
Our toaster oven tests include measuring how well each unit makes full batches of very light and very dark toast. The Krups had no trouble on the lightest setting. So we set it to the darkest setting and loaded in four fresh slices of bread. (Krups calls this a six-slice toaster oven, but we could fit only four without squishing the bread.) The LCD display indicated that our toast would be ready in about six minutes. All went well until roughly the two-minute mark, at which point the LCD display went blank.
The toaster oven did shut off at the end of the toasting cycle, which is why we haven't judged this to be a safety problem. But it was another minute or two before the display came back on and the toaster oven could again be programmed to the desired setting.
We experienced the same display failure with our second sample. With the third sample, the display malfunctioned and never worked again. Once that happened, the toaster oven’s convection fan began operating and stopped only when we unplugged the unit. Upon plugging it back in, the fan started up again, but the toaster oven itself would not work. Our fourth sample exhibited a defective display during formal testing. It then suffered catastrophic failure, similar to sample three, during filming of the video below, which was not part of any formal test.
If you own the Krups FBC4 Convection Toaster Oven, contact the manufacturer. The product is covered by a one-year warranty, including free repair or replacement if the unit is defective. In our case, we were told to return the unit for repair, which would take four to six weeks. Our advice: Insist on a replacement, or even a refund.
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