Uses for a Salamander Broiler

Save

Salamander broilers are a standard feature of most restaurant kitchens and a luxury feature of gourmet home kitchens. The broiler cooks with an intense infrared heat from above, in the same way that a barbecue grill cooks from below, but without the risk of fats and juices dripping onto hot coals. While a large proportion of a salamander’s culinary career is spent simply bringing dishes up to temperature before service, the broiler deserves greater credit for its versatility.

Browning

  • Since the salamander is capable of delivering searing temperatures of up to 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit in some cases over a concentrated area, the broiler excels at providing short doses of ferocious heat to the surface of a dish for a short enough period that the dish can be removed before the heat penetrates the lower layers. Typically, therefore, salamanders are ideal for browning the breadcrumb mix on top of a dish to make gratin, or as a subtler alternative to a blowtorch for caramelizing the sugar on top of a crème brulee.

Melting

  • One of the reasons why salamanders are rather dismissively referred to as “cheese-melters” in commercial kitchens is for their ability to finish off dishes containing cheese. An open sub sandwich that needs a melted cheese finish, for example, requires only a perfunctory pass under a hot salamander to melt the cheese, while pizza can be brought back to life in similar fashion. Without the salamander, the bubbled, crusty grated cheese finish on a French Onion soup would also be more difficult to obtain.

Crisping

  • If a roast bird emerges from the oven with a skin that seems underwhelming, the salamander picks up the slack by crisping the skin in a flash, without drying out the meat, since the cooking time is so short. Likewise, the broiler’s dry heat will quickly crisp up pork crackling, giving the skin a bubbled texture, especially if the skin is basted first in olive oil and salt and scored with a sharp knife to increase its surface area and expose the subcutaneous fats.

Grilling

  • Whilst not an automatic choice for cooking steaks, broiling under a hot salamander does have the advantage over direct grilling that the fat renders away from the heat rather than onto it, eliminating the risk of flare-ups that will char the meat and give it a bitter taste. Nevertheless, the merciless heat from a salamander will cook the outside too quickly and leave thicker steaks raw in the middle, so it is only appropriate for thin-cut steaks. For fish, on the other hand, the salamander retains the juices in the fish, but is too robust for thin, flaky fish such as sole or flounder, which will dry out. Baste the skin in oil and the salamander will also crisp up the skin.

Related Searches

References

  • Photo Credit idealistock/iStock/Getty Images
Promoted By Zergnet

Comments

Resources

You May Also Like

  • Safety Rules for the Kitchen

    The kitchen may be the soul of many a home, but statistically it is the most dangerous room in the house. The...

  • How to Grill Tuna Steak

    We all have evenings when we just can't decide what to cook for dinner. The next time you're in this situation, grill...

  • How to Catch a Salamander

    There are many of different species of salamanders. Salamanders are amphibians that have smooth, moist skin. Salamanders do some of their breathing...

  • How to Cook a Perfect Steak

    A great steak makes for a very satisfying meal. But a steak that is overdone can be tough, dry and very tasteless....

  • How to Broil Without a Broiler Pan

    Broiling is a healthy cooking method in which heat is applied from above the food, often at close range. It is a...

Related Searches

Check It Out

13 Delicious Thanksgiving Sides That'll Make Turkey Insignificant

M
Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!