Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Barometric Toaster

With apologies to [xenzag] and Rudolf Diesel
  [vote for,

Here at the Mitxela Co. R&D department we have developed a toaster of such luxurious magnitude that only the most dedicated of toast fanatics will be able to justify its extravagance.

Visually the Barometric Toaster lies somewhere between a steam hammer and a giant, upside-down single cylinder engine. At the base of the cylinder wall there is a small metal door about the size of a letter box. When you have inserted a slice of bread, close the door and wind the locking handle to form a tight seal. A lever on your right will engage the belt drive to start pumping energy into the cast iron flywheel. When you are ready to make toast, disengage the safety catch and pull the big red lever labelled 'toast'.

With a clunk, the clutch grips the flywheel and dumps its momentum into the crankshaft. The piston slams down and the sudden adiabatic compression instantly raises the internal temperature to just -- just below the autoignition temperature of bread. Voila, toast.

In theory it should be possible to fine-tune the peak pressure and thus exactly control the degree to which the bread gets cooked.

mitxela, Nov 16 2015

Fire Piston https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire_piston
Compression ignition, possibly the inspiration for the diesel engine [mitxela, Nov 16 2015]

Anson engine museum http://www.enginemuseum.org/
Full of inspirational items [8th of 7, Nov 16 2015]

Similar, but completly different from my toaster Evil_20Toaster
Shameless self promotion [evilpenguin, Nov 16 2015]


       [+] Toast made immediately and braised internally as well as on the surface.   

       I heartily endorse this product and or service.
FlyingToaster, Nov 16 2015

       Magnificent Dieselpunkery [+]   

       // Voila, toast. //   

       Sp. "Et Viola ! Toast !"
8th of 7, Nov 16 2015

       I think there are only three possible outcomes of this device, none of them good.   

       (a) If the bread is a largely closed-cell foam, the rapid compression will collapse it. What you will get is hot matzo.   

       (b) If the bread is largely an open-cell foam, the result will be hot bread. Toasting relies on the evaporation of water from the outer layers of the bread, and on the partial oxidation of those outer layers, to produce a crunchy exterior and a still- moist interior. By heating the bread uniformly and under high pressure, you will eliminate most of the evaporation and will fail to achieve that crunchy outer layer.   

       (c) Spontaneous ignition.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 16 2015

       when xen and rudolf give it the ok, I'll + it too.
pashute, Nov 16 2015

       A variation of this Idea would not subject the bread to the pressure, but would subject the bread to heat produced by the pressure. That is, an ordinary toaster uses electric resistance to make wires radiate heat; here equivalent amounts of heat could be radiated from tubes containing compressed gas.   

       If the gas is ordinary air, then when the toasting is done you would want to dump the expanded/cooled air, and intake another batch of room-temp air. Main drawback: Ice crystal formation and possible air- liquefaction as the HUGELY compressed air expands (it needs to be hugely compressed to make the radiator tubes glow red). (Another drawback, of course, will be the danger of the radiator tubes exploding.)
Vernon, Nov 16 2015

       By reigning in the compression ratio a little (an offensive concept, I agree) you could avoid totally crushing the bread. To keep the temperature in the toasting range, perhaps a flammable gas could be introduced, at an opportune moment? My chemistry is a little rusty, but I believe a high pressure environment is conducive to rapid combustion. The short, intense conflagration would be ideal for superior surface browning while the pressure should resist the undesirable evaporation of core moistness. The rather wonderful side effect, would be that the piston would automatically reset. For high throughput toasting applications. I feel research in to fuelling the "toasting engine" with a very rich butter:air ratio will be needed. I'll leave it to better minds than mine to work out the details of a functional butter carburetor.
bs0u0155, Nov 18 2015


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