Maximatic EBK-200Finding a decent toaster oven for less than $50 isn’t easy. I was therefore surprised to come across the Maximatic EBK-200 for less than $40. Arguably the most ambitious kitchen appliance that I’ve ever tried, it promises a toaster oven, griddle and coffee maker all in one.

Is it the ideal breakfast solution or a recipe for cold coffee and half cooked toast?

The first thing that you’ll notice about the EBK-200 is that it looks a little strange and more than a little cheap. I personally purchased the blue version and it clashes with just about everything in my kitchen.

The controls consist of two dials and a single switch on the front. Given the fact that it’s basically three appliances in one, it’s surprisingly easy to use. The catch however is that each appliance only really has two settings, namely on or off.

If you like your toast done a particular way, the only option available to you is to change how long you leave it in the oven.

I tried the coffee maker first and was pleased to see that it at least did one thing right. There’s just about enough room for four cups and provided you don’t want anything fancier than percolator coffee, it gets the job done.

Arguably the biggest limitation of the EBK-200 is the size of the oven. Measuring approximately 6 by 4 by 6, it’s clearly been designed with a single person in mind. Don’t expect to toast more than one slice of bread at a time without overlapping.

If you do overlap two slices, and switch positions half way through, it’s possible to cook two slices of toast in the same amount of time it takes to make an egg. It’s obviously not ideal but it can be done.

The griddle on the top is six inches in diameter and again, the only option is on or off. Despite this fact, I liked it. It heats up fast and can therefore cook a single egg faster than a frying pan. The tray is both removable and dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.

Reputation

Customer reviews for the EBK-200 are generally favorable but there were a few durability complaints. At the time of writing, it’s been reviewed 77 times on Amazon for an average rating of 4.0 stars out of 5. The most popular feature seems to be convenience and how it looks. I say it looks cheap, some other people, however, seem to mistake that for cute.

The durability complaints are a little worrying given both their number and severity. Multiple people complained of the dial falling off after just a few uses. Given the low price, and ratio of positive to negative reviews, however, I’m happy to recommend it.

Verdict

Given the price, the EBK-200 is ten times better than I expected it to be. It’s limited in size and limited in temperature control. But what it does, it does well.

If you already own two of the three appliances built in, it’s a pretty pointless purchase. If you don’t however, and you want to save space and/or money, it’s well worth considering. It would be an ideal gift for a college student, for example. It’s also ideal for anyone who just wants a simple, small appliance for early morning breakfasts.

Click here to see the latest prices.