Joe and Deborah reached out to us quite some time ago. They have an electric Toas-Tite in their family! Deborah’s family had five in their restaurant and one of those has stayed in the family. Joe reported that “that one has been traveling the country…spending a year or two at a time with each of [Deborah’s] family members.” Their family was in the hunt for more electric Toas-Tites, given their rich history of loving those toasted sandwiches. Joe said,
We would, at family gatherings have 15 or 20 people lined up, all choosing their own fillings or combinations thereof, from a variety that the host family had prepared and presented in a buffet style. When it was our turn we would go through the line and put our creation in the machine; and a 45 second eternity later (Really! Once it was warmed up it turned out one sandwich every 30 to 45 seconds!) we would have a steaming hot, toasted, delectable, sandwich. We called the little gems that the industrial Toas-tite produced “flying saucers”.
In their hunt, they found something very similar to the electric Toas-Tite, called the WISCO:
Well it’s not quite a Toas-Tite but I did find the next best thing…Found mine used for $180 and after a little clean up and repair it is in good shape.
It is a WISCO 321 and it is made right here in Wisconsin and is pretty similar to the one you saw on Ebay that went for over $900. There is one of these WISCO model 321 press machines on Ebay right now for $325 and current bid of $199.
Works just like the commercial model our family has been sharing for the last 20 years or so.
This link will get you a picture of the WISCO 325 double pod press which is really cool.
You asked where the machine came from…I bought it from a man in the state of Oregon. He was planning on starting a food truck business; but, it never got on the road… so to speak so he was selling off the equipment.
Anyway, he had this machine posted for sale on Craig’s List. After talking with him for a while about it, I decided to buy it. Sadly, it suffered in transit but I was able to fix it up and now it is nearly as good as new.
Pictures are attached and show the machine from the side profiles and the front (note “on – off switch” and “temperature control dial” on front panel). There is one pic of a sandwich just coming off the press and one on the plate. This one was a mix of Wagyu beef, onion, tomato, kraut, colby cheese, some ketchup, a touch of mustard and oh boy, bon appetite! Oh, and the part of Vanna White was played by my lovely wife Deborah.
Without further ado, here are those pictures!
After pursuing the hunt farther, here’s what Joe reported in their collection:
There is the first one, the original Toas-Tite that was made in Ohio. There are two WISCO machines made in Oregon, Wisconsin. And, there is one other machine that I do not remember the name of, but it was made in Saint Paul or Minneapolis MN.
Of the three types, the WISCO is the largest (22″ tall when open, 11 1/4″ tall when closed. With a footprint that is 16 1/2″ long by 9″ wide). Next is the Toas-Tite which is roughly 75% of the size of the WISCO and the smallest is the one from the Cities in MN which is about 25% of the size of the WISCO. That one is about as wide as the pod that presses the sandwich and maybe about 13″ long. When closed it is about 4″ high and when open about 15″ tall. These sizes are approximate for the Toas-Tite and other brand but I measured the WISCO.
All three make the same sandwich. They are about the same diameter as the camp fire Toas-Tite presses that you are use to using; but, they are bit thicker so they hold about a third to half more filling.
And here’s a tidbit about their latest addition:
Deborah and I bought another machine. This is one is the double WISCO 325. I found this one on eBay. The person that sold it was a former WISCO employee so she bought it at a discount, and just did not have the space to store it anymore. It is about 1 and 1/2 times the size of the WISCO 321.
Makes the same sandwich…just two at a time. It is so cool. Now with the first one, we can crank em out 3 at a time. Sure makes short work of a loaf of bread. But great for parties!
Huge thanks to Joe and Deborah for all the pictures and information on the Toas-Tites and WISCOs in their family. That’s definitely one sandwich party I’d love to go to!