Off-the-Grid: How Many Watts Does a Toaster Use?
A toaster is a very popular kitchen appliance, commonly found in most homes, and is used for toasting bread or various toaster pastries.
Since toasters need just a few minutes to toast 2 or 4 slices of bread, their impact on energy bills is almost negligible. But, in case of blackouts, it is very important to know their power requirement if You wish to power your toast via power inverter, power station, and/or power generator.
Published: June 14, 2021.
Bread Toasters - Features and Power/Energy Requirements
2-slice bread toasters are usually rated between 800 and 1500 Watts with an average rating of 1200 Watts.
4-slice bread toasters are somewhat larger and stronger and they average 1400 Watts, although this can vary.
In order to check the actual power requirements of your model, check the specification label on the unit, which is usually on the back side or on the bottom side.
When compared with toasting bread and pastry in ovens, toasters are very energy-efficient appliances, since they heat a relatively small area (and volume) and as soon as they are done, they pop up the toast and they are cooled rather quickly - compare that with an oven ...
Toaster Energy Requirements
If You use your toaster on a daily basis, and You are toasting 4 slices using a 2-slice bread toaster that is rated at 1200 Watts and requires 3 minutes for every 2 slices, then your toaster average 6 minutes of operation per day (0.12 kWh per day).
Annually, that would be 2190 minutes of operation, which is ~37 hours.
Since we are using an "average" 1200W toaster, this means that it would consume ~44 kWh of energy per year, or on average ~ 3.7 kWh per month.
Since the average price for electricity in the United States is 13-15 cents per kWh, this 2-slice bread toaster, toasting 4 slices per day, every day, and operating 3 minutes per 2 slices, would increase an electric bill by 50-55 cents per month.
Off-the-Grid: Power Station, Power Inverter, Power Generator
When being off-the-grid (camping, hiking, fishing, etc. or simply there is a blackout), the toaster can be powered using a power station, power inverter, or power generator.
It is important to know that the Starting Watts of the toaster are very similar to its Running Watts, although certain models draw somewhat more power while their heaters heat up.
Also, most of the toasters have mechanical switches and their idle power is practically zero.
But, it is generally a good idea to monitor the toaster while it operates and as soon as it is done, to unplug it from the wall power socket ... better safe than sorry ...
Power Stations are all-in-one devices that feature high-capacity lithium batteries, power inverter, and required power output ports.
In order to be able to power a toaster, a power station must feature maximum continuous output power somewhat stronger than the toaster power rating is.
For example, if You have a 1200W toaster, a 1500-2000W power station is recommended.
For example, the very popular BLUETTI AC200P power station is able to provide 2000W continuously (pure sine wave), 4800W surge, and stores 2000Wh of energy.
Since toasting 4 toast slices with a 2-slice 1200W bread toaster (6 minutes of operation) requires 120 Wh of energy, BLUETTI AC200P Power Station (Amazon link, link opens in the new window) can make at least 13 breakfasts (52 slices) of toasted bread (assuming power station efficiency of 80%, which can be even higher, depending on many things).
The operating time of the power stations is limited by the amount of energy stored in the onboard battery.
Power inverters convert the energy stored in the external battery (or battery pack) into electric energy suitable for powering various household appliances and tools.
For a 1200W toaster, a 1500-2000W power inverter is recommended.
For example, if You have a 2000W 24V power inverter with 85% efficiency, connected to the battery pack consisting of two ExpertPower EP12200 Lithium 12V 200Ah Lithium Deep Cycle Battery (Amazon link, link opens in the new window) connected in series, then the batteries must provide ~57-58 Amps current.
And ExpertPower EP12200 Lithium LiFePO4 Deep Cycle Battery can provide 57-58 Amps for at least 3 hours, with some energy still left in the battery, just in case.
So, such setup can toast at least 30 breakfasts (120 slices) using a 2-slice 1200 bread toaster.
No wonder that deep-cycle lithium batteries are getting more and more popular in RVs, for camping, and similar.
Power generators convert the chemical energy of the fuel into electric energy and can operate much longer than power stations or power inverters connected to deep cycle batteries.
However, power generators MUST operate outside, since they emit Carbon Monoxide during operation.
Again, for a 1200W toaster, a 1500-2000W power generator is recommended.
Simply, turn on the power generator, let its engine warm up, connect the required cables, and toast some bread. Very easy, although not the most efficient solution.
Long Story Short: An average 2-slice bread toaster requires 1200W and a 4-slice bread toaster requires 1400W. But, just in case, check the label on the toaster or its Owner's Guide/User Manual.
When being off-the-grid, especially in emergencies/blackouts, making a toast may seem like something luxurious. But, having few slices of warm toast with coffee/milk/juice can boost energy levels and morale and can help You and others go through the day more easily ...