Become the Toast of the Town: An Expert's Guide to Buying Commercial Toasters

Become the Toast of the Town - An Expert's Guide to Buying Commercial Toasters

Most food establishments need a commercial toaster to cater to the evergreen demand for bread-based foods. The key to serving a delectable slice of bread inevitably involves toasting it. With restaurants and cafés looking to rapidly fulfil the appliance demands of their growing menus, a commercial toaster oven comes in handy for quickly toasting multiple slices of bread. To help you make the best choice for your commercial oven, we take a close look at the types of toasters, the best in the market, and how you can maintain a clean machine for your operation.

An introduction to Commercial Toasters

A commercial toaster is used to toast slices of bread, buns, bagels, and other baked foods. Available in various sizes, commercial toaster ovens can help you mitigate the requirement for toasted bread, based on the size of your establishment.

The commercial toaster oven comes in three different varieties:

  • Pop-up toaster
  • Conveyor toaster
  • Bun Grilling/Vertical contact toaster

Based on their voltage requirements, production rates, and sizes, toasters come in further varieties. Read on as we discuss the three main types of commercial toasters and their features in the upcoming section.


Types of Commercial Toasters and the Best in the Market

The three categories of toaster ovens are:

Pop-up Toaster

Commercial pop-up toasters are space-saving.

They're compact and contain anywhere between two and four slots. Pop-up toasters can have a production rate between 60 to 400 slices an hour. Based on the production rate, pop-up toasters are categorized as:

  • Light-duty
  • Medium-duty
  • Heavy-duty

Pop-up toaster ovens are best suited for slices of bread, muffins, bagel halves. Certain models even support Texas toast. If you're running a small operation, the pop-up commercial toaster is your best bet.

Conveyor Toaster

These toasters are meant to take larger loads than the humble pop-up toaster. With a production rate ranging between 200 and 2000 slices of bread, the conveyor toaster is the choice for large-scale establishments.

As the name suggests, the commercial conveyor toaster has a loading tray that places the bread onto a conveyor belt. The belt takes the bread to the main area of heating, after which the toasts are delivered onto a tray through a chute. Commercial conveyor toasters are suited for several pieces of bread, including special dishes.

Vertical Contact/Bun Grilling Toaster

The bun grilling toaster is primarily built to toast bun halves and rolls. This commercial toaster also comes with special Teflon plates and griddles to help you prepare buttered delights. The non-stick surface aids in caramelizing the bread and prevents sticking. While the output can be slightly lower than the commercial toaster conveyor, bun grilling toasters are capable of toasting any variety of bread that'll fit through the slot. Bun grilling toasters deliver between 500 and 1600 slices an hour and are a good fit for establishments specializing in buttered, cheese-filled, and stuffed bread.

Based on market reviews, performance, and durability, here are some of our favorite toasters:

Best Pop-up Toaster – Medium Duty

Waring WCT800RC Commercial Toaster

Waring WCT800RC Commercial Toaster

Waring's WCT800RC produces over 300 slices an hour. The model has 4 x 1.12" slots to toast a range of bread-based items. The device has control levers and temperature settings to ensure uniform and crisp toasting. The heating elements are programmable to heat either or both sides. Quality and ease of cleaning are addressed by the stainless-steel finish and a dishwasher-friendly crumb tray. Fitting into a compact 14in x 11in x 15in, it is bound to save you some essential space in the kitchen. Running on a 120V and 15-amp supply, this commercial toaster oven is perfect for small to midsized operations. You can get the WCT800RC from Chef Buyer, with a year's parts and labor warranty included.

Best Pop-up Toaster – Heavy Duty

Hatco TPT-240 Pop-Up Toaster

Hatco TPT-240 Pop-Up Toaster

With 4 x 1.25" extra-wide slots present in this commercial toaster, it's perfect to toast bread slices, bagels, waffles, and even English muffins. A sleek stainless-steel body with a crumb tray makes cleaning up simpler. It provides even heating with vertical heating elements on all slots. Advanced controls include toasting options such as single or double-sided heating, temperature control, and timers. All of this is packed into merely 13in x 12in x 16in of compact space. Hatco's TPT-240 runs on a 240V, 10.9-amp supply and is capable of producing over 400 slices an hour. This model is perfect for diners, breakfast inns, and restaurants hosting breakfast buffets. This item includes a year's parts and labor warranty fulfilled by Hatco.

Best Conveyor Toaster

Hatco TQ-800HBA Horizontal Conveyor Toaster

Hatco TQ-800HBA Conveyor Toaster

Armed with Toast-Qwik technology, Hatco's TQ-800HBA is capable of toasting between 800 to 1800 slices an hour. The conveyor belt is fitted with the most advanced rotary components to ensure balanced toasting. Instead of relying solely on the heating filaments, the belt speed is adjusted to ensure crispness and texture. With a 3" opening, the commercial toaster conveyor facilitates room for variety and can handle even larger bread. The model comes with a storage area, helping you keep the prepared toasts dry and warm. ColourSense technology and temperature controls modulate uniformity in the preparations. Chef Buyer ensures a quality product from Hatco. You also have the option of getting an add-on power saver during the purchase and can get an included parts and labor warranty lasting a year.

Best Bun Grilling Toaster

Star Mfg. HCTE13S Ultra-Max Contact Toaster

Star Mfg. HCTE13S Ultra-Max Contact Toaster

With an average passthrough time of about 25 seconds, the HCTE13S produces nearly 1400 slices of toasted bread per hour. The device comes with nonstick sheets to prevent cleaning trouble. A deep toasting bay allows bread up to 7" long. Its controls are completely electronic and can be programmed to include presets to save time. The delivery tray has a large and convenient space to enable greater storage and easy collection. One can choose between a wire mesh conveyor belt or a silicone belt at the time of purchase. A large slew of buns, bread, bagels, and muffins can be toasted along with buttered surfaces. This device is perfect for busy establishments that have a high demand in both quantity and variety. Chef Buyer lists the HCTE13S, which comes with a company assured 1-year parts and labor warranty.

Factors to Consider Before Making Your Purchase

Chef Buyer highly recommends making informed purchases while browsing our catalog. Here are a few general features and facts related to different types of commercial toasters for your reference:

Commercial Pop-up ToasterCommercial Conveyor ToastersCommercial Vertical Contact/Bun Grill Toaster
SizeAn average of 13–14" wide and 14–15" deepBetween 14" to 25" wide and 18" to 27" deepRange between 21 to 25" wide and 12 to 19" deep
They also have a vertical/depth range up to 30" in certain models
Output60 to 400 slices per hour200 to 2000 slices per hour500–1600 slices an hour
Power source120 V for light and medium-duty models, whereas heavy-duty models utilize 208–240 V suppliesLight and mid-range models utilize 120 V, while heavy-duty models depend on 208/240 V suppliesThese models commonly require a 208/240 V source
Number of slotsPop-up toasters come in 2 and 4 slot varieties
Size of openingBetween 1.5 and 3"Often large, certain variants also come with self-adjusting conveyors to facilitate larger bread toasting
Heating filamentMetal components take time on startup, however, glass components are flimsy despite immediate heatingThey utilize either metal coils or glass filaments for toasting
Belt speedBelt speed determines the speed of toasting. Most commercial toaster conveyors take between 25 and 30 seconds to toast a slice
Temperature controlsThough older models lacked temperature controls, newer variants do include themBoth analog and digital variants are availableMost models are available with digital and thermostatic controls
TimerTimers are being included in newer models, in case the model you're buying doesn't have one, use your culinary judgment to make your preparations perfectModern commercial toaster oven convection depend on sensors. The toasting timers rely on sensors that judge the color of the toast over timeWhile analog models come with fixed periods marked on the knobs, digital models have programmable presets
Nonstick sheetsCommercial bun grilling toasters come with Teflon sheets to prevent deposits on the cooking surface
Perfect forBread, bagels, and English muffinsBread, gourmet items, bagels, muffinsBuns, rolls, bagels, bread, and specialty items

Cleaning & Maintenance of the Commercial Toaster 

With day-to-day operations, your commercial toaster can accumulate both crumbs and grease. Here are a few general guidelines for cleaning your toaster safely and to prolong its operational lifespan:

  • Always unplug the toaster and wait for it to cool down before cleaning.
  • Wipe the exterior with a damp washcloth to remove stains.
  • Use brushes to clean crevices and tiny joints and spaces.
  • Do not tilt or flip the toaster upside down.
  • Empty the crumb tray regularly and clean the tray either using a dishwasher (if compatible) or with the dish soap and water.

Chef Buyer offers quality commercial toasters at the best prices. Make sure to go through our catalog for premium quality products and the best deals. If you have further questions on commercial toaster ovens, you can contact Chef Buyer support either via email or on our customer support number during business hours. You can also read our blogs and buying guides here to make a calculated decision regarding your commercial toaster purchase.

Posted by Damon Shrauner on 
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