A Letter to Hamilton Beach … Toaster Department, Please

Dear Hamilton Beach,

I am writing you today about this toaster (model #22504, series A5201DM)


My husband bought it on Friday, October 25 from Kmart. Don’t judge. We hate Kmart, too. But it’s the closest superstore to my home, and we were having a Pop-Tarts emergency.

Your shiny silver model was intended to replace the old white one we’ve had since 2006. (She served us well and died peacefully in her sleep.) And, since we had just finished our kitchen renovation, we were happy to “upgrade” our old white toaster to yours.

Upgrade. (snort)

Let me just start by saying we use our toaster quite a bit … as we are firm believers that bread should be both warm and rigid. We’re also frequent consumers of bagels, waffles and (the aforementioned) Pop-Tarts. Thus, we count on our toaster to do THE ONE THING it’s supposed to do. Without the need for a babysitter. Or a firefighter.

Let’s take a look a recent breakfast experience we shared with your machine, shall we?



  • Both breakfasts were prepared by me, one immediately following the other.
  • Both plates contain two Kellogg’s Brown Sugar & Cinnamon Pop-Tarts.
  • Both were prepared on your toaster setting #2.

Thus, despite the uniformity in preparer, ingredients and cooking method, the two end results (charred versus looks-like-it-just-came-out-of-the-foil-packaging) are vastly different.


As mentioned in the last section, the product burned when cooked in your toaster on its #2 setting. And yet the machine goes up to FIVE!

20131118-093132.jpgLike some microwave models, my old toaster actually had recommendations listed next to its different settings so you knew where to turn the dial for various toastables. I would encourage Hamilton Beach to do the same with this toaster.


  1. WARMER – Think fries at McDonald’s. Or Kmart desk lamp.
  2. TOASTER – But it’s a roulette wheel. Expect anything from tartare to blackened. And be prepared to meet your local fire department.
  3. KILN – I hope to make some lovely pottery pieces for family and friends this holiday season.
  4. CREMATORY – I have no immediate need for this appliance but I appreciate your thinking of my future at this difficult time.
  5. THE UNDERWORLD – What are you trying to tell me, Hamilton Beach?

What do I hope to accomplish with my letter? Well, I’ll be honest. I would LOVE a new toaster on which I could rely and not feel compelled to stay within twelve inches of its very necessary “Cancel” button. Alas, having trusted in you implicitly from the start, I did not save my receipt. I’m quite familiar with your company and naively cast it away assuming that all would be right with the world and my new toaster.

Stupid me.

Finally, in the interest of fairness, I want to inform you that I host a blog at olddognewtits.com and this letter will be featured there, uncut for anyone who stops by to read it. I’ve actually posted many letters just like this one on the website. And I always post the replies I get there as well. So perhaps you’ll consider writing me back.

Thanks for your time,

Michele Robert Poche

Click here to read the next installment of the Hamilton Beach Toaster Chronicles 



19 responses to “A Letter to Hamilton Beach … Toaster Department, Please

  1. cracking up….good stuff – thanks for the Monday laugh. xo

  2. So take a bite of one, then the other, and average it out to perfect!
    Also, caramelized is the new burned.

  3. OH see I am picky about my stuff that I put in the toaster. I got one a few years ago from a giftcard I received from Wayfair for a post. It does 4 slices and I LOVE it. Have never had an issue with it. I think were it to do what yours was doing I would be tossing it at someone.. I hope they make it right hun.

  4. My toaster (a Sunbeam) sends the bread, waffle, whatever flying through the air! You need to stand and wait with a catcher’s mitt. But it does toast well.

  5. Caramelized is the new burnt – LOVE THAT!!!

  6. First, you have a great sense of humor. You do deserve some attention from HB for your troubles. It is unsettling just how unsafe products can be, and what a major pain in the ass it is for customers when this kind of problem happens (it seems like too often to me, but I don’t know the statistics). It pisses me off when we have to wonder was it made in America, or some other country, because it was cheaper, etc. etc.etc. And doesn’t some of this go back to a lack of regulations on products imported (or parts of the products imported and then assembled in the US). Is it about politics, influenced by lobbyist and payoffs, campaign contributions, etc. Could it be someone somewhere along the line of this chain wants more profit than they actually deserve for what they are selling? Just askin’.

  7. Rule #1…NEVER let a man do your small appliance shopping for you!

  8. I’m snorting. SNORTING! You make me laugh.

    Here’s my immediate thought…(brace yourself) We should have done a pottery craft while we were visiting. YES…I know you just got a new pretty kitchen and countertop. FINE! No crafts INSIDE. Maybe we could have done a pottery session in your driveway. Then put it in your toaster on KILN setting. Our Christmas shopping would have basically been done.

    This year’s theme: PINCH POTS!!!

    Think about it. 🙂 Great post, girlfriend!

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