14 Ways To Toast Bread Without A Toaster

Considering all the ways you can toast bread without a dedicated gadget, you may start to wonder why anyone has a toaster. Just look around your kitchen for inspiration. You probably already own several appliances that are more than capable of turning bread into toast. In fact, we would argue that most other appliances do a better job of making tasty toast than a mere toaster.

Consider one of the tastiest ways to make toast, which is to fry it in lots of butter on the stovetop. And if you're in a time crunch, we'll explain how to make a 30-second toast that will redefine your view of the stuff and may even convert you into a lover of artisanal toast. Of course, sometimes, making toast without a toaster is about using what you have at hand to make a meal, so we'll also explore making toast with more unconventional methods. If it can heat your bread, it can toast it (eventually).

1. Oven toast

The nice thing about putting your toast in the oven is that, unlike in a toaster, you can add toppings like butter or cheese without making a mess. When making toast in the oven, you should set the temperature to at least 300 degrees. This ensures that your toast gets brown and has a better flavor thanks to the Maillard reaction (via King Arthur Baking Company). However, since oven temperatures aren't always accurate, we suggest setting the oven to 350 degrees to ensure optimum toastiness. After you've pre-heated the oven, It will take about 10 minutes to toast the bread (via New York Times).

If you want to make toast in a hurry, you can always use the broiler setting to heat it quickly from above. According to Consumer Reports, you should preheat your broiler for two to five minutes. Place the bread on the top rack immediately under the broiler heating elements or flames. Then, you only need to toast the bread for three to four minutes. Broiling is an excellent option for cheese toast because the broiler can make the cheese satisfyingly brown. Just make sure it doesn't burn (via Reddit).

2. Toaster oven toast

Using a full-sized oven isn't always practical, so many people purchase toaster ovens for their smaller baking and toasting needs. If you prefer toast with toppings, a toaster oven can be just what you need. Most toaster ovens offer the option to toast from all sides or to focus on the top with a broiler setting.

Some toaster ovens allow you to set an actual temperature, while others offer less specific parameters. If you have the luxury of being able to set the temperature, you will want to set it to at least 350 degrees. While it's tempting to throw your bread into a cold toaster, you will get better results from preheating, which will provide a more even toast. Heat the bread for 10 minutes, checking it at two to five minutes to see how it's doing, as toaster ovens can be overly efficient.

If you find that your toast is turning out more burned than evenly browned, try using more heat over a smaller length of time. To heat your bread quickly, use the hottest broiler setting from the beginning. Watch closely through the door and remove your toast when it reaches your desired brownness (via Reddit).

3. Air fryer toast

Using the air fryer is one of the fastest ways to toast bread without a toaster since it will be done in only two to three minutes, assuming that you air fry it at 350 degrees. Some people have had better luck with air fryer toast when they preheat the air fryer first (via Reddit).

Air fryer toast can be tricky to get right because the air sometimes causes the bread to move and even get stuck at the top of the device, where it can get seriously burned. This method works best if you want plain toast without any toppings. While you can try securing cheese to the bread, you're still likely to end up with cheese melted all over the air fryer instead of on the bread. The Air Frying Foodie suggests using toothpicks or a small baking rack to keep the toast down. Putting the bread between trays, placing it on the lowest air fryer rack, or crowding bread into the air fryer can also help prevent pieces from flying around.

4. Stovetop toast

You've been making toast wrong your whole life if you haven't tried making it on the stovetop. Not only is it the best way to make toast, but it can also be the fastest. Chef Carrie Baird became known for her artisanal toasts during her stint on Top Chef. As she told the Frederick News Post, "We have a saying that we don't eat dry bread in this family." She makes sure her toasts are drenched in fats like olive oil or butter. She also suggests using sturdy bread, like sourdough, that can support fancy toast toppings.

British chef Jamie Oliver suggests using high-quality, room-temperature butter on the bread before toasting. To get perfectly crunchy bread at a lower temperature, he places a heavy item on top of the bread after he's toasted the first side (via The Guardian).

You'll need to add one to two tablespoons of butter per side to make our favorite 30-second toast. Start by adding butter to a scorching-hot pan on high heat. When the butter stops popping and the foaming slows, place the bread in the pan to toast for only 15 seconds per side (via NPR). If you add avocado, sea salt, and everything bagel seasoning on top after toasting, you'll instantly understand the avocado toast obsession.

5. Electric skillet toast

Electric skillet toast combines the wonders of stovetop toast with the power of specifying a temperature. Plus, an electric skillet is usually larger than a stovetop one, so you can fry up a lot of tasty butter-drenched toasts at the same time. They also prevent the dreaded presence of hot spots in the pan, so you end up with a more uniformly toasted piece (via Mashable).

Even though electric skillets are usually non-stick, you'll get better results by preheating the skillet and adding a tablespoon of butter to the pan first (via Quora). We suggest setting the temperature at a minimum of 300 to 350 degrees to ensure that you get nice browned toast rather than soggy, warm bread (via King Arthur Baking Company). At that temperature, you only need to toast it for one to two minutes per side. Turning the temperature up will allow you to toast the bread in seconds rather than minutes, though be sure to watch carefully unless you want burned toast.

6. Dehydrator toast

Using a food dehydrator to make toast demonstrates what happens when you don't allow the bread to get hot enough for the Maillard reaction to occur. Since the dehydrator temperature will only be around 200 degrees or below, the resulting toast will be pale and will have a texture similar to a crouton.

As with other toasting methods, start by warming up the dehydrator. Within about an hour, the outside of the toast will have become more crunchy. The longer you leave the slice of toast in the dehydrator, the more moisture it will lose. As the moisture disappears, the toast will shrink somewhat, such that you'll notice a change in size by hour four if you decide to dehydrate it that long (via The Dehydrator Guys). While this may be a unique way to make toast, it's seriously time-consuming and may not give the results you were hoping to get.

7. Blowtorch toast

Blowtorch cooking had become popular in restaurants lately, but it can also be an entertaining way to toast bread at home. When NPR tested the blowtorch toast method, they found that it provided extremely even results. So, if you must have evenly-browned toast, blowtorching is worth exploring. However, there's a big tradeoff: the results are closer to black than beautiful golden brown.

Unfortunately, NPR's experiment revealed that, while there wasn't any residual flavor of propane left behind, the bread did taste seriously charred. So, while using a blowtorch might be a flamboyant way to impress your breakfast guests, it might not be the best-tasting or best-looking method of making toast without a toaster. One Quora user argues that blowtorch toast doesn't technically fit the definition of toast, given that this method doesn't heat the bread. Instead, it merely creates a piece of bread with a browned (or blackened) surface.

8. Coffee maker toast

If you've ever been stuck in a hotel room or dorm without a toaster, then you may have been tempted to try making toast on the burner of your coffee maker. Swedish blogger Katja Wulff has an entire blog devoted to using her coffee maker to cook everything from toast to birthday cake (via VICE), so the idea isn't all that far-fetched. NPR decided to give this method a try and found that it surprisingly only takes 20 minutes to achieve toast.

One of the challenges of making toast this way is ensuring the bread comes into even contact with the cooking surface. NPR's experimenters attempted to weigh down their bread, resulting in a piece of toast that was slightly squashed. Plus, the heated surface of a coffee maker isn't non-stick, so you will need to add fat like butter or oil (and clean it afterward, of course). Ultimately, this method is far from perfect, but using a coffeemaker to toast bread will work in a pinch.

9. Rice cooker toast

Using a rice cooker to toast bread may seem like a far stretch. However, any cooking appliance is fair game for toasting bread if you're desperate enough. So long as it provides some amount of heat, it might just work. So, if you only have a rice cooker at hand, you don't necessarily have to deny yourself toast.

A YouTuber who has been making toast in his rice cooker for a while says that you need to use one that can hold at least six cups of rice, given that anything smaller won't hold a slice of bread. First, add butter or a margarine spray to the bottom of the rice cooker. You may need to put the lid on if the cooker needs to be weighted down to work. Then, toast the bread for about five minutes per side. You may have to hold the power button down while you toast the second side of your bread, at least if the rice cooker thinks you're finished cooking. In the end and with a bit of effort, you can have a lovely, golden piece of toast to eat.

10. Iron toast

If you ever watched the 1993 movie "Benny & Joon," you may fondly remember the scene where Johnny Depp's quirky character toasts his bread on an ironing board with an iron. Plenty of people have given this method of toasting bread without a toaster a try, especially when they're stuck in a hotel room with nothing but an iron and coffee maker as possible cooking appliances. But how does it turn out?

You can iron your toast by putting the hot iron directly on the bread (via YouTube). However, to keep the iron clean and keep the hotel housekeeping staff on your side, it's best to put a layer between the bread. You can do so with a brown paper bag, a toaster sandwich bag, or foil. If you use bags or foil, you can even get fancier and make toasted sandwiches or grilled cheese rather than just plain toast. Just don't forget to turn off the steam setting before getting started. Otherwise, you will end up turning your sandwich into a sad, soggy mess (via Irish Times). Pick the iron up occasionally to see how the toasting is coming along. Done right, it should only take a few minutes to create tasty toast with a clothes iron.

11. Grill toast

One of the things you've surely never thought to make on the grill is toast. But when you've already got the grilled fired up and a hankering for toast hits, why not give it a try? After all, there are a few unique bonuses to this method. First, a grill has got plenty of space to make quite a lot of toast all at once. Coincidentally, some people like to cook toast first when they're grilling, which they claim helps them find the grill's hot spots before they start grilling the main course (via Reddit). If things don't get burned, this is a tasty way to make toast for a bruschetta or crostini appetizer while everyone is salivating over the grilled foods to come. And, if you're grilling hamburgers or hotdogs, you can toast hamburger buns or hotdog buns on the grill as well.

Weber suggests grilling toast at 350 to 400 degrees. It will take six to eight minutes per side to cook. Since different areas of the grill will be hotter than others, you will want to watch the toast to determine when it's time to flip each slice. However, keep the lid closed as much as possible.

12. Radiator toast

If you have a radiator, you may have wondered if it's possible to use it for cooking. According to Plumbing & Mechanical, the average water temperature inside a radiator is only 180 degrees, which heats the room to around 68 degrees. So, a radiator is simply never going to reach a temperature that will allow your bread to brown. However, putting bread on top of a radiator will allow you to make toast eventually, assuming you've got plenty of time and like pale toast. According to one radiator toast experimenter on Reddit, it is possible to make "toast" by leaving bread out overnight on the radiator. Honestly, it's more like stale bread than toast, but at least it's warm. 

Some Victorian-era radiators come with a cast iron cabinet built in for warming bread (via Reddit), though it's a rare sight nowadays. If you end up leaving your bread in the bread warmer all night, you may end up with a poor approximation of toast by morning.

13. Camp stove toast

There's no need to deny yourself toast when you go camping, given that toast is one of the easiest things to cook on a camp stove. Simply put bread in your skillet with some butter or oil and toast it on both sides (via Reddit). Since every camp stove is a little different, routinely check on it to prevent burning.

Another option if you need to make a lot of toast is a camp stove toaster. This device can accommodate several pieces of bread at once and doesn't require a separate pan. Keep in mind that the camp stove cooks more slowly than your stove at home, so you'll need to have a little patience. One Reddit commenter says that the trick to not burning the toast with this method is to preheat the camp stove to make the base red hot. Then, turn it down and toast your bread. Because the bread closest to the bottom will toast fastest, rotate and flip the bread as you toast it.

14. Campfire toast

People have been toasting bread without a toaster at least as far back as Roman times. In that era and many others, it was popular to toast stale bread over a fire to give it new life. The word "toast" comes from the Latin "tostum," which means "to burn or scorch" (via Frederick News Post). Sure, you're likely to indeed burn or scorch your bread when toasting it over a campfire if you're not careful, but we still think that everything tastes better flavored with campfire smoke.

When NPR tried to make "caveman toast" by putting a piece of bread on a stick over an open fire, they found it difficult to prevent the bread from falling into the fire. When they finally found a way to get the bread close enough to toast without falling, their results were uneven, with some bits burned and others barely toasted. So, it's no wonder that the Romans referenced burning and scorching their bread. One Redditor suggests that you toast bread with campfire forks over embers rather than a full flame for best results.

Many campers on Reddit recommend cooking toast over a campfire in a cast iron skillet on top of a grill rack. Some put it in the pan dry, but you can also butter your bread first. Just remember to get a silicone handle holder or some other heat-resistant sleeve to keep your hands safe.