For businesses or households that are frequently required to toast breads and bagels throughout the day, a commercial toaster may be a necessary purchase. The term commercial toaster is not extremely specific and therefore may refer to any toaster used in a commercial environment. It is typically used in reference to heavy duty models with the capacity for a high output. A commercial toaster offers a number of upgraded features over most standard toasters aside from a larger capacity, such as a faster toasting ability or longer product lifespans. Deciding on which commercial toaster is appropriate depends largely on a combination of needs and budget.
A commercial toaster has many advantages over standard models, including heavy-duty steel construction and higher voltage ratings, as well as more efficient and longer-lasting heating elements along with higher production rates. As a rule, commercial toasters are designed to take up a minimal amount of counter space while maximizing production rates. Most commercial toasters are built so that the metal housing of the unit is not hot to the touch, a necessary and critical feature in busy kitchens.
When deciding which commercial to purchase, the intended use of the toaster is the first consideration. If the toaster is intended for use in a household or small restaurant setting, then a slotted toaster may suffice. For a larger restaurant, a conveyor belt toaster may be necessary. Within each category, cost may also be a factor as each type offers basic models as well as more expensive models with additional features.
The least expensive, and, therefore, most common, type of commercial toaster is the slotted type. Slotted commercial toasters have four or six toasting slots with individual temperature controls to allow different products to be toasted simultaneously. These toasters operate much the same way that standard home toasters do, with the added benefit of heavy-gauge steel housings, longer lasting heating elements, and four or more toasting slots.
Conveyor belt-type toaster ovens take toasting to the next level with outputs of over 1,000 slices per hour. These toasters employ a heating element that runs continuously as slices of bread or bagels are drawn through the heaters on a belt. After the bread has passed through the heating area, the conveyor belt drops the toast into a warming area that keeps the bread warm until it is removed. These toasters are often not any larger than slotted types, with smaller models measuring just 14 inches (35 centimeters) wide.