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Review: Revolution InstaGLO® R180 Toaster & Panini Press

Note: We received this product for free. No other compensation was provided, and as always, all opinions are our own. We may earn money from links on this page, but we only recommend products we back. Learn more.

If you’re in the market for a toaster that will change how you see toast–the Revolution InstaGLO® R180 Toaster will likely be a forerunner in your hunt.

However, if you’re spending more than $300 on a toaster, you want to know that it will live up to your expectations. I will admit, as someone that often skips the frills, I was skeptical when I saw that I was reviewing this toaster along with the Cooking Revolution Panini Press.

How does such a fancy toaster earn its keep, after all?

I judged the toaster and press based on:

  • Ease of use and setup
  • Design and appearance
  • The quality of the toast it produces
  • Convenience and time-saving
  • All of the features you won’t find in a $30 model at your local big box retailer

I can confidently say that this hands-on review will help you understand if this Revolution Smart Toaster will give you the best toast for your buck.

First Impressions

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The Revolution R180 Toaster and Panini Press arrived in bright and fun packaging. The packaging immediately got me excited about the products. Revolution Cooking does a phenomenal job of showing you exactly what the product will look like from every angle.

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Within the boxes, the products were well-packaged and protected from damage. The toaster and panini press both come with user manuals. The R180’s Quick Start Guide also got me started on the right foot.

Design

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This toaster is attractive. I tested the stainless steel and chrome model, and it truly shines. Not only does the toaster look modern, but the angle of the face adds to its flair.

The panini press is more utilitarian in appearance, but the design is straightforward and intuitive.

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The screen is bright and the images and text are very clear. The images of the different bread types make getting breakfast going in the morning easy. If you have little ones, they can easily toast their own breakfast once they’re old enough to safely use the unit.

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Setting Up the InstaGLO® R180

Many of us have had bad experiences with setting up smart (and overly smart) devices. The R180 toaster is not one of those devices. Set up only takes a few minutes. To get started, all you have to do is plug it in, select your toast settings, and get toasting!

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To set the clock, brightness, and volume, you simply tap the gear icon and select the settings you prefer. It took just a minute or two to adjust these settings.

The R180’s Performance & Features

I whole-heartedly love this product. I didn’t realize it was possible to like a toaster as much as I like the R180. It truly does a wonderful job turning bread into toast. After using this toaster for several weeks, I feel guilty for not giving my bagels the proper toasting they deserve.

And, the experience of using the R180 is fun. The toaster is quick and takes the guesswork out of how well-toasted your bread, bagel, waffle, or English muffin will be. Houseguests love to watch the R180 automatically lower the toast into the unit. And with the countdown clock, you can walk away and time your toast perfectly.

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Adjusting the toaster for different bread types and brownness levels is also a cinch. All of the buttons are responsive.

The only little hiccup you may find is that you have to reselect the toast icon before hitting start between toasts. However, this is a built-in safety feature to prevent accidental toasting.

This toaster eliminates that toast frustration of having to re-toast your bread until it’s brown enough… or being alerted that your toast is burnt by that blackened toast scent.

The R180 Difference

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The R180 InstaGLO® heating system does a superior job. It warms your bread through without drying it out. I hate toast and bagels that scrape and cut the roof of my mouth–and this toaster didn’t disappoint. The roof of my mouth remained uninjured slice after slice! The R180 keeps the gluten-springy softness of toast intact while warming the bread all the way through.

Even on the darker levels of toasting, my toast never burned.

Some of my favorite design features of the R180 include:

  • The crumb tray emptying reminder notice
  • The easy-to-clean crumb tray
  • The images of the bread types changing to reflect the browning level you select
  • The countdown clock to when your toast is ready
  • The clock display looks sleek and comes in handy–and the toaster keeps the time if you relocate it or the power goes out for a few minutes, so you don’t have to reset the clock over and over.
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Other features you may appreciate:

  • The toaster allows you to select different start points of your bread: fresh, frozen, or reheat. I didn’t find myself using the frozen or reheat options often, but I could see how this would be nice.
  • The auto lifting and lowering is a nice touch that makes the toaster feel high-end
  • A gluten-free option to better toast gluten-free bread which can be tricky to toast properly

via GIPHY

Capacity

So, one of the obvious aspects of this toaster that may come to mind is that it only toasts two slices or two paninis at once. I didn’t find this a problem since the unit is so efficient. When we had houseguests, it didn’t pose an issue, either. However, we’re a family of two. This may be a bit of an issue for large families.

Care and Clean Up

The toaster tray is an unspoken hero. When the toaster lets you know that it’s time to empty it–it’s as simple as sliding out the tray and emptying it into the trash. I wipe mine down, too.

I have noticed some cheese from my paninis sticking to the coils, but the residue brushes off easily.

I have noticed the screen and the stainless steel tend to accumulate fingerprints. I use a soft, dry cloth to wipe them off. I have used stainless steel cleaner on the sides of the toaster, as well. With a small amount of effort, the toaster looks brand new, again.

The Panini Press

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This accessory is an excellent investment. I use it all of the time. It’s a great way to dress up a simple sandwich for lunch or create an easy-cheesy dinner. I’ve used it for melts, grilled cheeses, and paninis. All of which have turned out delicious. As someone that gets bored with the basic sandwich, the panini press is a game changer. I could see others that work from home adoring this addition to the R180.

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Using the panini press is simple: put your sandwich in, clip it closed and put it into the righthand slot of the toaster. The handles stay cool and the closure secures with a snap.

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It does take a little more pressure to get thicker sandwiches secured in the press.

I also did have a slight learning curve when it came to getting the bread as dark as I wanted. The R180 does not have a panini mode, but the press still worked fine on a slightly higher toast setting.

Cleaning the press is also easy since it’s dishwasher safe.

A Toasty Take on a High-End Toaster

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If you’re someone that eats toast, bagels, or other breakfast bread often, the Revolution Cookie R180 is an excellent choice. As for the value, it truly earns its keep–especially if you frequent chain donut shops for toasted bagels or lunch sandwiches.

The R180 isn’t just a toaster you can be proud of displaying on your countertop, it’s also a kitchen MVP. This toaster is worth the investment and is a reliable, easy-to-use product. It will transform your breakfast routine. If you’re looking to maximize your use of this smart toaster, the panini press will inspire lunch and dinner creativity with simple ingredients and minimal time.

Amanda Brahlek

Amanda is a staff writer at Durability Matters.