Unitasker Wednesday, er, Tuesday: Toastie Knife

All Unitasker Wednesday posts are jokes — we don’t want you to buy these items, we want you to laugh at their ridiculousness. Enjoy!

Here in the United States, we’re celebrating our nation’s Independence Day tomorrow. Most people will light up the barbecue, pop open a beer, and set off a few fireworks. I’ll spend at least part of my day running a four-mile race with some friends in this dastardly heat, which already seems like a poorly conceived idea. Whatever it is you’ll do to commemorate the day, I hope it is fun and safe and filled with as little stress and clutter as possible.

Since we won’t be in the office on the Fourth and most of our readership won’t either, we thought we would mix up the schedule a bit and run our Unitasker feature a day early. We know how much you all love unitaskers!

This week’s selection comes to us from across the pond and could easily have been one of the reasons our fore fathers seceded from British rule. (I jest.) It’s the perfect tool for those of you with consistently torn toast from spreading too cold butter. HOW TRAGIC! Introducing, the Toastie Knife:

Sure, instead of buying this probably-not-safe-to-wash-without-electrocution Toastie knife, you could set the butter next to your toaster to warm it up while your toast toasts or you could zap the cold butter for a few seconds in the microwave or you could simply store your butter in the door of the refrigerator where it doesn’t get super cold or (and this one is FAR out there) you could let your pat of butter sit on the warm toast for about five seconds and then spread it. But why do that when you can own a knife that takes a couple minutes to heat up to 107ºF (41.8ºC), which is the perfect temperature for your kids to brand each other at the breakfast table?!

Sadly *now is when you groan* this device is not yet available in the U.S. or apparently in Britain. I’m a little confused on the details of its availability. This is probably a good thing.

If you have the day off from work or have a few seconds to spare, I recommend checking out the full press release for the Toastie Knife on its manufacturer’s website. My favorite part of the press release is where it states that some people (all men) reported in a survey that they heat up their butter in the morning with a hair dryer. I’ll have to concede that maybe the folks currently warming their butter with a hair dryer should buy the Toastie Knife apparatus. And quickly. For the safety of mankind. (British folks are certainly an eccentric lot.)

If the idea of a heated knife is not taking things far enough for you or you consider the Toastie Knife too small and you’re looking for an even larger unitasker to gobble up space on your kitchen counter, be sure to check out a competing product with the industrial Heated Butter Spreader. This alternative, monolithic device could be yours for just $95! Owning it will leave you feeling like you live in a busy diner or banquet facility each and every day.

Thanks to Deane and the others who made the Toastie Knife suggestion!

26 Comments for “Unitasker Wednesday, er, Tuesday: Toastie Knife”

  1. posted by ME on

    It could not be yours for $95!
    From Warburton’s website

    “Voted as ‘Most Desired Breakfast Innovation’ in a poll of just under 3,000 people, Warburtons has worked with leading British designers to design The Warburtons Toastie Knife in order to solve this common breakfast-time dilemma….
    It is not yet certain to go into production; however anybody wishing to register their interest in potentially having a Warburtons Toastie Knife of their own one day can tweet @Warburtons using #ToastieKnife.”

  2. posted by Erin Doland on

    @ME — The $95 is for the Heated Butter Spreader, a different product: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obi.....tterer-20/

    And, as I explain in the fifth paragraph of this post, the Toastie Knife is not yet available in Britain or the US.

  3. posted by Mark on

    Surely it’s not available because it’s clearly not designed to be available? It’s a blatant PR gimmick.

  4. posted by julie on

    the nerd in me wants one. lol.

  5. posted by Jodi on

    What kind of butter do you use? Tearing my toast is one of the reasons I don’t eat much toast! I’ve never met a butter that spreads when cold, even letting it sit on the toast for a few seconds.

  6. posted by Kathy on

    The odd thing is that the British seem to like their toast cold (why else have toast racks?). I suppose that’s why they need the butter warmer.

    My method? Cut very thin slices of butter if it’s cold, lay them on one piece of warm toast, cover with the other piece, wait a minute or two, and voila! Soft butter.

  7. posted by JC on

    Or, you could simply store your butter in a butter bell which keeps the butter both fresh and spreadable. Of course, the butter bell is a unitasker designed specifically to store butter, however, it does its assigned job very well.

  8. posted by eccoyle on

    I rarely eat toast so I don’t have this problem myself but a friend just leaves a stick of butter out on the counter.

  9. posted by biggerbox on

    I’m with JC. This seems like a whole lot of complicated technology to solve a problem the French solved in the 1800s with some water and clever pottery design. Vive le French butter keeper!

  10. posted by Elizabeth on

    Just run your knife under the hot tap for a second or two (or if you’ve using a grill hold it under that for a short while) and it will heat up the metal which will then melt or soften the butter as it spreads.

    If there is more than one person then a jar of hot water with knives standing in it will suffice.

    Softening butter in the microwave works for recipes where you’re working with a larger amount.

    But the problem rarely occurs with toast because (as others have suggested) the heat of the toast softens the butter. Now normal bread, that’s another matter!

  11. posted by Chula Vista Storage on

    I found excellent tips on storage/cleaning here

  12. posted by Jude on

    Being eccentrically British, I’d like to add that it’s very common here in the UK to use either margarine, margarine with buttermilk for a buttery taste or spreadable butter.

    @Kathy – Only time I’ve ever seen a toast rack is in a hotel when they’re toasting on an industrial scale. I wouldn’t say that in my experience the British like their toast cold. But then I’ve only met a small percentage of them.

    I agree with Mark, it’s PR and marketing, nothing more. They were probably hoping it would make a slot on a daytime lifestyle TV program and get them some airtime.

  13. posted by Candace on

    Take the butter out of the fridge when you first get up in the morning, and it should be spreadable when you need it, unless the first thing you do is make toast. Leaving it on the counter won’t hurt it, unless, like me, you have cats who will lay claim on any butter they can get to. I put it in a cabinet, and I’m good to go.

  14. posted by Ellis Godard on

    That’s among the goofiest you’ve featured, but doesn’t beat the “one-trip bag holder” for which there’s currently a Groupon. That’s right, the retail price of $40 has been slashed to $13 for an ABS device that holds the same number of bags that your bare hand could, with the added inconvenience of needing to attach them to the device.

  15. posted by Michelle on


    LOOKS REAL! The Corona Extra Lime Bottle Opener. The ULTIMATE ASSOCIATION to Corona Extra and Corona Light! Has built in Magnet for catching caps and for storing on Fridge or Cooler. Corona Extra Logo etched into Stainless Steel.

  16. posted by Mary Kai on

    Um, you could just leave the butter out all the time. We did this growing up and I still do it.

  17. posted by Cathy on

    I have a unitasker for this. A butter dish. It was $1 at the grocery store and it keeps my butter nice and soft on the counter.

  18. posted by Jesslyn on

    This is a simple yet innovative invention. Having said that, I am not sure if I would pay $95 for a knife like this. One simple trick I did was to cut the frozen butter into small slices and store them in the fridge. When the bread is about to be ready, spread a few slices of butter on top. Once its melted, serve!

    @Candace- I tried putting the butter the night before. However, it turned bad the next morning. I suppose cause its diary product and spoils easily!

  19. posted by Gabe on

    Hah! Good luck getting the pat of butter to your toast with that hot knife. Due to the melting butter lubricating the blade, the butter pat will slide off faster than you can transfer it to your toast!

    My butter stays on the counter in a butter dish –ready for action.

    Butter takes quite a while to spoil, It’s basically milk fat and salt and water.
    Two weeks on the counter is no problem.

  20. posted by Cari on

    I just use spreadable butter from a tub. No tearing of bread here! 🙂

  21. posted by Shalin on

    haha! I’m sure the DIY version is something like $9.50 (be careful when working with electrical devices like that though!)

    Although, this reminds me of the electric ice cream scooper from one of the Cosby show episodes…

  22. posted by Laura on

    I’d be wary of leaving butter on a counter. I have the French butter bell crock that works well, but butter … especially unsalted butter … can go bad within a few days.

  23. posted by EngineerMom on

    We just leave our butter in a glass butter dish (with a lid) out on the counter all the time. We only use butter, olive oil, and canola oil for cooking for a family of 4, so the salted butter on the counter (why on earth would you spread unsalted butter on your toast??) is used up within a few days.

    We go through about a pound of butter a week, between buttering bread and muffin pans when I bake, greasing the skillet for cooking, and toast in the morning. Between going through a stick of butter in 3-4 days max and generally keeping the house around 70-73F, I’ve never had butter go bad.

  24. posted by EngineerMom on

    Butter does discolor a bit of the outer surface when left completely uncovered on the counter, but it shouldn’t be sour or moldy after less than 24 hours on the counter! Oxidized butter isn’t unsafe to eat – it just looks a little different.

  25. posted by priest's wife (@byzcathwife) on

    I make my own spreadable butter- let your stick of butter soften (not melt)- then mix in 1 part grape seed oil to 5-6 parts butter- it will stay spreadable even when cold

  26. posted by Christine in Australia on

    I will admit to having a special knife I use to spread stuff on bread and toast – it has a very thin, wide blade and no serrations; I do find ordinary table knives tear the bread. But I use this knife for nut butters, jam, Vegemite – basically anything you spread on bread as well as butter. The idea of a knife with a heating compartment is just silly. As people say, just get a blended butter, or leave it out for a bit to soften!

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