A salamander broiler is a small oven often used in professional kitchens to brown or toast foods. Choosing the best salamander broiler involves knowing both the environment in which it will be used and the cooking style of the people who will be using it. The size of a salamander broiler should be considered, because there is a wide range. Features such as the number of positions for the internal rack and the type of power that drives the grill also need to be looked at. A good salamander broiler will work as expected and provide consistent results every time.
One of the first decisions that can help in choosing the best salamander broiler is what the source of heat will be. Electric infrared heat allows the unit to be mobile, with little need for complex installation. A gas-fired salamander could provide more heat faster but will need to have a gas line hooked up to the unit. This aspect of choosing the right unit is very dependent on the setup of the space in which it will be installed.
The next part of choosing the best salamander broiler is to consider where it will be used. These ovens are traditionally part of a commercial restaurant setting, although several types designed for the home also are available. If being used in a commercial setting, then the oven might need to be one of the wider varieties, so several dishes can be placed in it at once. If used at home, the salamander might not need to be as large and might not need the intense heat that a commercial unit generates.
The position of the salamander broiler also needs to be considered. They are most commonly mounted above a range or counter, sometimes included as part of another oven. There also are models that can be used on a countertop, and there are some that can be used either way. The salamander that is chosen should be able to be mounted or rest in an area where moving food in and out of the unit is convenient and comfortable for the cook.
Most salamander broilers do not have a door on the front, allowing dishes to be moved quickly in and out of the heat. A few units do have doors on the front. Safety might be an issue when using an open salamander at home. There also are models that provide racks and trays that come with handles that hang outside the oven, making it easier to load and unload food. The type and available positioning of the racks inside should be taken into consideration when choosing the best unit, because a salamander that does not have a repositionable rack inside could have trouble with taller dishes.
Finally, performance is vital for a salamander broiler. The best units will have a way of distributing the heat evenly across the food while it is inside the cooking unit. This often is a ceramic grate, but it could be a fan or steel strips. A salamander that simply has an open flame above the food might not cook food evenly, leading to overdone or underdone food.