Does It Matter Which Way You Put Bagels In The Toaster?

The great bagel debate: to toast, or not to toast. Toasting a fresh bagel may not be ideal because it can impact the texture and flavor (via Insider). When a bagel is properly baked, the goal is to achieve that fluffy inside with a crispy crust, and toasting it may ruin that perfect balance. On the other hand, toasting a less-than-fresh bagel that has been frozen, or just sat out on the counter too long, could be a great way to revive it. 

If you don't have the opportunity to make a bakery run for fresh bagels, you can try making your own bagels at home, completely customized to your preferences – check out this easy way to shape them. Warm bagels are a great option for a workday morning. It's easy to pop one in the toaster (if you opt to go that route) while you get ready and grab it to eat on the go. But did you know you might not be toasting your bagels correctly?

How toasted should a bagel be?

Ideally, your bagel should be slightly crispy on the outermost layer and toasting it can be a great way to restore that oven-fresh crispness if the bagel is pre-packaged or a few days old. Between Rounds states that toasting a bagel can help to improve the flavor, as well as to firm it up, creating a sturdier base for your favorite toppings.

Does your toaster have a bagel setting? If so, the New York Post states that you should place the bagel with the sliced sides facing in and against the hot wires. This toasts the inner bagel while keeping the outside soft and warm. Since bagels are thicker than bread, they'll take longer to toast, and the bagel setting can adjust the cooking time accordingly, states Oster.

Of course, buying fresh bakery-made bagels is always ideal, but not always convenient for the work week. If you buy bagels to last you throughout the week, check out this guide to keep them fresh.