What Should I Consider When Buying a Salamander Grill?
When it comes to buying a salamander grill there are a few basic considerations to keep in mind. In general, one of the most important aspects of this type of purchase is how it will work for you in regards to temperature and size — the function of the machine in other words. You should also consider the form of such a grill and make sure you have room for it. This means thinking about wall grills as well as countertop grills. The potentially high cost of a salamander grill may also be a consideration for you.
A salamander grill is a type of kitchen appliance intended to apply extremely high heat to a piece of food during cooking. In design, it typically looks like an oven, though often it will not have a door and it may not be as tall as a traditional oven. The grill will typically only have one heating element, placed at the top of the oven, and this element can usually generate tremendous amounts of heat, often in excess of 1,000° F (over 530° C). A salamander grill is typically used to top grill or broil foods quickly and easily, often used for grilling meats, melting cheese or toasting bread on sandwiches, and even preparing crème brûlée.
As you choose the salamander grill that will be right for you, you should typically begin by considering the function of a machine and how it will work in your kitchen. You want to make sure your grill will produce enough heat for your purposes and that it will be large enough to fit the food you want to prepare in it. Obviously, these needs will likely differ a great deal depending on whether you are cooking in a home kitchen or a professional restaurant kitchen. A salamander grill will usually rate the cooking temperature as energy in terms of British thermal units (BTUs) and a rating well over 10,000 is not uncommon.
You will also want to be sure that a salamander grill you are interested in will fit in your kitchen. There are a number of styles and sizes of grills, from those that can be mounted within a wall like a standard oven to countertop models. You should consider what type of grill will fit best in the space you have and be sure that you will be able to use the grill safely. The type of salamander grill you choose can also depend on your budget, and the price range can vary widely, though just about any grill is quite expensive.
I thought about installing a salamander grill in my kitchen a few years ago, but the price tag was a little intimidating. I really don't do enough cooking at home to justify having a commercial grade broiler. But I have seen the prices come down on salamanders lately, so I may reconsider my position later.
I really like the final results of a salamander grill. I can't duplicate that level of even browning with the broiler in my oven. If I'm cooking a meal for a potluck dinner, I like to make it look like something out of a magazine.
I used a salamander grill quite a bit when I was a line cook, but I don't know if I would want one in my home kitchen. A salamander grill is great for creating "presentation" food, and it also gets results much faster than a standard broiler. However, most home cooks really don't need such a powerful piece of equipment at home. The broiler element on a standard oven usually works well enough for browning or melting the top of a dish.
The salamander grill I used at work was installed at just about the level of my head. I could stick a dish in it and watch it while I did other things on the burners. The thing about a salamander is that your timing needs to be nearly perfect. The difference between nicely browned and burned to a crisp could be a matter of seconds. This is why I think most home cooks would not benefit from a salamander grill unless they were very confident in their cooking skills.
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