As part of our recent trip away we decided to pop over to Go Outdoors and have a quick browse to see if there was any good value kit we could pick up. Whilst looking round the cooking section we noticed the TF Gear Sandwich Toaster at the very reasonable discount card price of £10 and thought this might be a cheap alternative to the RidgeMonkey that we’d heard a lot of good things about. At the moment a RidgeMonkey is around £30 so we picked up two of these instead and set off to see if they would be any good.
The grill plate measures approx. 18 x 20cm and both sides are coated with a non-stick material. Usage is very simple; pre-warm the plates if required, open them up, place your food inside and close. The top plate means that heat is trapped inside the toaster and really helps to keep fat from spitting all across the van when cooking bacon or other fatty foods. We also found it meant that food cooked a lot quicker than with the small frying pan that we had used before.
What we didn’t realise when we bought them was just how useful they would be. In the couple of days we were away we cooked burgers, bacon for breakfast, cheese toasties and even mini pizzas all using the toaster. Clean up was easy thanks to the non-stick however I’m not sure how long the coating will last and it may not be as durable as a RidgeMonkey due to the lower price.
The handles have a lock that keeps them firmly closed however they are not detachable and this may be a storage issue depending on your particular camper. It was not too big a problem for us as they slot in one of our storage pockets under the hob but I can definitely see the benefit of detachable handles when storing or taking them to the washing up area.
Another feature I’d like to have is the utensil storage set that is available for the RidgeMonkey as that looks a perfect utilisation of space especially when travelling in a small camper.
Overall for the price we paid we were very impressed with the toasters. We would definitely recommend one per person if you have the space, when we used them it was nice to have burgers cooking on one while we could toast buns on another rather than waiting and food going cold.
If anyone has used these or has a RidgeMonkey we’d love to hear what your thoughts are so please leave them in the comments below.