A conveyor toaster is a piece of kitchen equipment that toasts bread slices, English muffins, bagels, tortillas, and other bread-like items. The heating elements in the conveyor toaster work to produce the heat on the top and bottom of the toast, while the conveyor belt keeps the bread moving so it does not burn. Typically, when the bread reaches the end of the conveyor belt it drops down a slot at the back of the conveyor toaster and falls into a feeder area. At that time, the toast may be picked up and eaten. A conveyor toaster can range from rather inexpensive, consumer models to very expensive, commercial-grade models.
The least expensive conveyor toaster models are typically designed for home use. These models are great for large families who need lots of bread toasted in a short period of time. Many residential models allow several pieces of bread to be toasted at a time, taking approximately 90 seconds or less. More bread also can be added to the moving belt as pieces drop down into the feeder area.
Commercial-grade conveyor toasters, on the other hand, can be quite expensive but generally are of much higher quality and capable of much higher productivity. A restaurant-quality conveyor toaster, for instance, commonly will toast 600 to 1,200 pieces of bread an hour. In addition to restaurants, commercial-grade toasters often are used in large offices, by caterers, and even at convenience stores.
The more expensive conveyor toasters often have several additional features not found in the less expensive toasters. For example, the temperature emitted by the heating elements in the toaster may be adjustable in some models. In addition, the speed of the conveyor belt might also be adjustable. Some models have a special feeder heater to keep the toast warm as it sits in the feeder area as well.
In some toaster models, the bread can be pre-buttered, before it enters the conveyor toaster. This allows the butter to melt as the bread moves down the conveyor belt. In most cases, though, the bread should only be buttered after it is toasted to prevent damage to the toaster.
New conveyor toasters can be purchased online, at restaurant supply shops, or at local shopping centers. In some cases, a used conveyor toaster may be available that will fit the needs of a consumer. Used toasters usually can be found online — a restaurant, for example, may want a newer or faster model. In that case, the restaurant owner may be looking to sell an older, slower one for a reasonable price.