The Absolute Best Way To Toast Bread Without A Toaster

A toaster can be an undoubtedly quick and convenient way to heat up foods and turn them crispy, but it's also quite clunky, crumby, and, let's be honest, a bit of an eye sore on the kitchen counter. Most of all, it takes up space — precious space if you're the proud owner of a small kitchen. And, the truth is, the toaster is pretty much obsolete as it is ... because there are other ways to toast bread without one.

The electric toaster wasn't even invented until 1893, meaning the world got along just fine before then, so we can too, right? If your toaster is on the fritz, you're thinking about getting rid of it, or if you just don't have the energy to pull the darn thing out of the back of the cabinet every time you want an English muffin, it's time to turn to your trusty stovetop instead.

The best way to toast bread, sans plugging in the appliance, is to simply throw slices on a skillet over heat and let them crisp up to your desired texture and browned finish. It's not only extremely easy to do, but this method comes with a slew of other benefits, too.

How to toast bread on the stovetop

The process couldn't be simpler for using your stovetop to toast bread. To do so, just heat up a pan or skillet on your stovetop over medium heat, and, once it's not and hot, place your slices of bread on top. Let the bread toast and brown to your liking, and then flip the slices over and repeat for the other side. It shouldn't take more than a couple of minutes per side, and this method will give you nicely browned, crispy toast every time.

The best pan for the job is a cast iron skillet, which will give you a nice char and a bit of seasoning to go along with it. But you can also toast bread on any non-stick frying pan, a pancake griddle, or even a grill pan if you want the added aesthetics of fancy grill marks.

The beauty of this method is that you don't even need butter or oil to do the trick, but you can certainly slather it on if you prefer. Spread a bit of butter, olive oil, and any desired seasonings on the bread before you toast it to encourage more even browning and flavor, or you can simply cook the slices dry and then add whatever you like once it's done warming up.

Why stovetop toast is better

The stovetop method may take an extra minute or require a tad more attention, but the payoff will be well worth it. Toasting your bread on the stovetop gives you so much more control than you get using a toaster, which has often finicky settings. With a skillet, you can heat, toast, and flip your bread for as little or as long as you want to achieve your ideal finish, and see it in real time, whether that's a subtle outer crisp or a deeply browned, crunchy char.

Depending on what kind of bread you use, it can also be awkward getting bigger slices or loaves into a toaster — sometimes part of the bread will stick out and you need to flip it to toast both ends, doubling the time required. Sometimes it just doesn't fit at all. But, unlike the toaster's size-confining slots, a frying pan or skillet gives you the freedom to toast your favorite bread every time, no matter its shape or size. Classic sandwich bread, English muffins, thick hunks of homemade sourdough, pita bread, bagels, tiny slices of baguette ... the possibilities are endless.