A device for making toasted sandwiches. Every home should have one.

They consist of a pair of hinged electric1,2 heating elements, each of which is shaped to hold either one or two slices from a normal loaf of bread. Some models have a diagonal ridge along each to cut the bread in two.

Sandwiches are prepared as normal, except the butter is spread on the outside. When the sandwich is put in the machine, and the elements are closed over it, the bread is almost fried in the butter, and the contents is heated through.

The best savoury toasted sandwiches have got plenty of cheese.

Also fun are the Egg Toastie and the chocolate toastie.

1. Ouroboros tells me that he has a gas powered one, that is basically an aluminium clamshell on sticks. I am skeptical; it sounds like the ramblings of a madman.

2. la petite mort tells me that she has one for use over an open fire which involves a hinge and long handles.

3. belgand tells me "Mine has never worked very well. It often overbrowns a bit, the middle is overly hard, and the edges never quite crimp right so the cheese spills out. My girlfriend actually holds rather strong feelings against it." But all is not lost! He continues, "Personally I find that a good cast-iron skillet does a much better job."