Usually, I put slices of bread in my toaster. Sometimes, I toast bagels. On my toaster, there's a little button that says "bagel". How does this setting toast the bagel differently?

  • 30
    The question we've always wanted to know but have been afraid to ask.
    – Jason C
    Commented Jul 18, 2016 at 23:17
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    Cross-cultural comment: perhaps in more British-influenced parts of the world, the equivalent is known as the "crumpet" setting, and achieves similar results. Commented Jul 19, 2016 at 3:48
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    @MichaelMacAskill - Speaking as a British toaster-owner, I've had toasters with bagel settings, but never one with a crumpet setting.
    – Jules
    Commented Jul 19, 2016 at 7:00
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    I think that prevents the toaster from throwing an exception when it reaches the hole. It's necessary since tney started programming embedded devices in Java. (For those not in on the joke, a toaster is slang for an embedded device that doesn't have any I/O (the toast doesn’t count).)
    – JDługosz
    Commented Jul 19, 2016 at 23:31
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    Some things man was just not meant to know.
    – marsh
    Commented Jul 20, 2016 at 13:21

4 Answers 4


Unfortunately, the function depends on the manufacturer.

While turning off a set of elements may be common, another option is that the setting may just increase the cook time. Bagels are thicker and have more mass than sliced bread, so a longer toast time is necessary to have a similar level of toasting.

In particular there are Cuisinart toasters where the bagel button only lengthens the time of the toasting and does not change the pattern.

From Cuisinart PDF manual

Bagel button

The bagel feature adds extra time to the toasting cycle to allow for thicker breads. You may also use the bagel button for English muffins and other thick breads.


The bagel setting deactivates or lowers the power on the outer heating elements. This has the effect of toasting the cut surface of the bagel while only warming the outer surface. Generally it's the inner elements that get up to toasting temperature.

  • 2
    It depends on the toaster if its inner or outer; there will be a picture of a bagel in the way to insert it.
    – Batman
    Commented Jul 18, 2016 at 19:50
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    @JesseTG : the smooth texture of the outside of the bagel makes it so you're really likely to burn your fingers if you touch it after heating it up.
    – Joe
    Commented Jul 18, 2016 at 20:56
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    @Batman Huh. I don't think I've ever actually seen a picture of a bagel on "bagel mode" toasters. Commented Jul 18, 2016 at 23:00
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    @KyleStrand On my parents' there's just a "D" (and inverted "D" for the other side) shape; it's not clear it's representing a bagel unless you know. See this image for an example
    – Random832
    Commented Jul 19, 2016 at 5:40
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    You don't want to toast the outside of the bagel because sometimes there are seeds, raisins, etc., that coat the outside. They may burn.
    – Lor
    Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 22:49

I have a Dualit toaster and the 'bagel' setting switches off elements on specific sides of each slot, allowing you to toast only the cut side of a bagel or English muffin, which is the norm. If you wish to toast both sides, just use the normal setting.

  • Does your toaster indicate which side will get toasted? Mine (different brand) doesn't.
    – Dronz
    Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 15:41
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    @Dronz - yes - it's indicated on the body of the toaster.
    – Steve Ives
    Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 19:55

The bagel setting toasts on one side only. Usually the inside coils so the cut side of the bagel gets toasted while the outside stays soft and warm.

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