Whether you run a bakery or a burger joint, a commercial toaster can be a great addition to your kitchen. They provide a quick, efficient, and easy solution to get breads and pastries ready for customers. If you are looking to upgrade your current toaster or if you are ready to stock your kitchen with new appliances, here’s a quick guide that will help you make the best decision for your needs.
Types of Commercial Toasters
First, let’s break down the different types of commercial toasters that are commonly used.
When you think of a toaster, this type probably comes to mind. A pop-up toaster works just the same as the one you have at home. Usually fit with two to four chambers, you lower your bread into the toaster and it pops up once finished.
This can be a great addition to lower volume kitchens, as they conserve more energy. They emit heat when the food is lowered into place, while other toaster types constantly emit heat.
Because of the limited cooking chambers, this style of toaster might be best for low or mild usage.
A conveyor toaster is a great addition to kitchens that constantly need items toasted. A conveyor toaster works by feeding bread into the front of the unit and having it run through a heated chamber using a conveyor belt. The food cooks as it moves through the unit and is completed when it exits out of the back of the unit.
If your kitchen handles multiple types of bread and needs a fast, constant toasting surface, this is a great addition. Unlike the pop-up toaster, there is no limits on size, and multiple items can be cooked at a time.
Vertical Contact Toaster (Bun Grilling)
A vertical contact toaster is very similar to a conveyor toaster but uses two griddle plates on both sides white being forced downward with a belt or conveyor system instead of a flat surface. This gives off the coveted toasted grill lines and a caramelized finish that can add flavor and texture to your foods. Ideal for fast food chains or high volume restaurants that need buns finished in under 30 seconds.
Now that you understand the basic types of commercial toasters, you’re one step closer to making your decision. Before you do, here are a few more things to consider when deciding on the perfect type of toaster for your kitchen.
The heat that the toaster emits will determine how your food is cooked. If you need your foods to cook at a specific temperature, you must consider this when shopping for a commercial toaster. Units like the pop-up toaster have very limited temperature control, while others allow you to control many different elements in the unit.
Your commercial toaster is supposed to add convenience to your kitchen. Finding a toaster that gives you the quickest toasting time combined with the best results is key. The conveyor and pop-up toaster manage their toasting time differently. With the pop-up unit, the cooking time is controlled by a timer. The longer the timer, the more the item cooks. With a conveyor unit, heat is controlled by the speed of the belt. The slower the belt, the more the item cooks.
Finding a unit that combines the heat control with the toasting time your kitchen needs for fast, thorough cooking will give you the best possible unit for your space.
The pop-up and conveyor units operate with different styles of opening. The pop-up unit has limited space for bread, while the conveyor unit has a larger, open space. If your business operates with different types of bread, the conveyor style might be a better option, as there are really no space confinements. The pop-up unit uses a cage to lower the bread into the heating chamber. This cage can be a bit restrictive and can damage the integrity of larger breads if forced into the unit.
Manufacturing Sales Tool
Many manufacturers use a “Slices per hour” qualification that helps end users better predict the volume of toast they are going to need. Heavy duty Pop-up toasters can yield an average of 350 slices per hour. Conveyor Toasters can average between 300-800 slices per hour. Vertical Contact Toasters can do well over 1000 slices per hour. Many pride themselves on a 10 second pass through time from bread to toast.
Finding the Right Toaster for Your Kitchen
If you are still struggling with finding the right type of commercial toaster for your space, consult with a professional. They will be able to assess your menu, your space, and your needs to recommend the right style that will give you everything you need for a fully functioning kitchen. Not only will they be able to help you find the right style, they can also suggest the best placement, maintenance, and use preferences to help you get up and running in no time.