Bun toasters are a valuable addition to any kitchen that requires toasted sandwich buns for their menu. There are several different options available, and the best choice will depend on volume and personal preference.
- Pop-up – Several manufactures offer traditional pop-up style toasters with extra wide slots to accommodate hamburger buns, bagels, sandwich rolls, and Texas toast. A four-slot model can typically batch toast about 250 slices per hour (125 complete buns). They tend to heat evenly on both sides using electronic heating elements. While this is ideal for toast, many operators prefer toasting only the cut surfaces of their hamburger buns.|
- Conveyor Toasters – Several manufacturers such as APW/Wyott and Star offer conveyor style toasters with high openings that accommodate thick item like hamburger buns, bagels, and sandwich rolls. Slices are loaded from the front, and heating elements mounted above and below toast the buns as they pass by on a horizontal conveyor belt. Independent heat controls allow, for example, cut surfaces to be completely browned, while heels and crowns are merely warmed. Finished buns roll off the conveyor and into a collection tray at the bottom.
Conveyor toasters rely on both heat and conveyor speed to regulate browning. They provide a continuous supply. Depending on make and model, they may require less than 15 inches of counterspace to produce 500 to 1800 slices per hour (250 to 900 complete buns).
- Bun Grill – Bun Grills, or Contact Toasters, are loaded from the top. On one side, they feature an adjustable electronic heating element to toast the crowns and heels of hamburger buns. On the other side, they feature a vertical heated platen, or “griddle plate.” A vertical conveyor belt holds the cut surfaces of the buns against the hot griddle plate to mimic the cooking action of a flat top grill. Finished buns fall into a collection tray at the bottom.
Most units feature a standard or optional butter wheel or “bun dresser” that applies a thin layer of melted butter or margarine to the cut surfaces of the buns before grilling. This produces a more savory bun with crispy caramelized edges. It also seals out moisture from condiments and meat juices. Bun grills can produce 500 to 1400 slices per hour (250 to 700 complete buns). They are available from manufacturers such as APW/Wyott and Star.