While the first electric toaster was built in 1909 by General Electric, the first toaster (a pop-up toaster) was invented in 1919 by Charles Strite, a mechanic in Stillwater, Minnesota. He wanted to do something about the burnt toast that was served at his company’s cafeteria, so he started to experiment with springs and a variable timer until he got it right.
Now, almost 100 years later, the pop-up toaster is not much different than the original, but the types of toasters have expanded to fit the needs of every kitchen becoming more economical and efficient than ever before. Here are four types of toasters commonly used in commercial kitchens.
Pop-Up: Commercial pop-up toasters typically have four slots of equal width so you can quickly toast bread, waffles, bagels and muffins. Smaller in size, pop-up toasters are useful for hotels, bed and breakfasts or even school cafeterias. The Waring Commercial Pop-Up Toaster has four slots and the capacity to toast up to 380 slices per hour. The four slots toast both sides of your bread product and it also features a removable crumb tray (which is dishwasher safe). The toaster also has electronic browning controls and carriage control lift levers.
Conveyor: It’s appropriate that these toasters are called conveyor toasters since they toast breads, muffins, bagels, tortillas and other bread-like items on a moving conveyor belt. This gives you fast, even results every time you use it. These toasters have 10” to 14” wide belts as well as top and bottom heat controls. Since it heats from both the top and the bottom, the conveyor belt keeps your bread items moving so they don’t burn. There are two types of heat that you can choose from when picking out a conveyor toaster…
- Quartz Heaters have minimal pre-heat time and are typically instant heat with less operating expense. The Star Holman Commercial Conveyor Toaster is a good example of a Quartz Heater. This unit can toast up to 350 slices per hour and will toast both sides of the slice using quartz infrared heaters.
- Metal Sheathed Elements are more durable but take longer to heat and have more operational coasts. The Hatco Toast-Qwik Commerical Conveyor Toaster is a Metal Sheathed Elements toaster that is great for fast-paced kitchens. It is able to toast up to 840 slices per hour and is meant to be used with bagel and buns. It also has a power save mode to help you save energy and money during slow periods.
Contact Toaster: Add the perfect finishing touch to your signature burgers or sandwiches with the help of a contact toaster. Used for toasting the underside of a bun, the bun slides down an opening against a heated surface to caramelize the surface and creates a barrier between the condiments of the sandwich, eliminating a soggy sandwich. Roundup makes a Commercial Vertical Contact Toaster that can process at a 25 second toast time. Plus, you can place three buns on it without separating the heel from the crown on the two-sided heated platen.
Toaster Oven: Think of a toaster oven as a mini version of your conventional oven. More energy efficient than your regular oven, these compartment-like ovens have heating elements located in the top that create the browning of bread products, and can fit oddly-shaped items inside that other toasters can’t handle. And you don’t have to limit your toaster oven to toast and personal pizzas, you can bake everything from mozzarella sticks to kabobs in this compact kitchen appliance. The Equipex Commercial Electric Toaster Oven Double Shelf is made from heavy duty stainless steel and has an open front for easy access to both racks. It also comes with removable rack handles that are heat resistant.
If you can’t decide which toaster is right for your kitchen, contact us and we can help you pick out the perfect fit for your needs.