Salamander ovens are small broiler ovens that are helpful with a number of food preparation tasks. While it is possible to bake or cook in this type of oven, the appliance is more commonly employed to melt, toast or brown the top layer of various dishes. Sometimes referred to as a salamander broiler, this oven is ideal for accomplishing quick tasks without having to heat up the larger baking oven, such as melting cheese on the top of a hamburger patty.
There are both home and commercial versions of the salamander oven. Around the house, ovens of this type work very well for baking canned biscuits or croissants without heating up the entire kitchen. The oven is also handy for browning the top layer of a casserole, or melting a layer of cheese on the top of the dish. When it comes to preparing entrees, the oven is especially great for preparing fish filets, as the oven cooks the fish thoroughly without drying it out. A salamander oven can also be adjusted to a very low setting to keep a plate of food warm without burning the entrée or sides.
Commercial versions of the salamander oven often constructed with two open ends and placed in a space between the kitchen and the serving area. This works very well, since the chef can prepare the basic presentation on a plate and slide it into the oven at one end. The server removes the warmed plate at the other end and transports it to the table.
There are several advantages to owning a salamander oven. One has to do with efficient energy usage. This smaller broiler style of oven requires much less energy than a full sized oven. This means that if the task at hand is to prepare a couple of simple entrees with a vegetable or two, the food can be placed in shallow containers and prepared in a salamander oven. Not only does the process use less energy, it also does not heat up the kitchen anywhere near as much as running the larger oven.
At the same time, it is important to remember that a salamander oven is not the proper medium to cook a whole turkey or ham. The oven is also typically not the best option if the food needs to cook slowly in order to be fully cooked. However, when the task involves adding a glaze or melting the top layer of a prepared dish, it is an excellent option.