Salamander Ovens

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Southbend P36-RAD 36" LP Gas Radiant Salamander Broiler

Southbend P36-RAD 36" LP Gas Radiant Salamander Broiler

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Vulcan 36ESB-24036" Commercial Salamander Broiler

Vulcan 36ESB-24036" Commercial Salamander Broiler

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Southbend P48-RAD 48" LP Gas Radiant Salamander Broiler

Southbend P48-RAD 48" LP Gas Radiant Salamander Broiler

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What is a Salamander Oven?

Although it has a strange name originating from an old belief that salamanders were fireproof, the salamander oven is actually a pretty straightforward kitchen appliance designed to do one simple thing — cook hot, and cook fast! A salamander oven, or salamander broiler, browns, caramelizes and finishes foods by using hot heat generated from the heating element at the top of the unit. 

You’ll find salamander oven units in restaurants and commercial food businesses everywhere because they’re extremely useful for giving dishes a little extra pizzazz. Which is not to say they are for fine dining only; they can melt cheese on nachos, too.

If you want the dish on a salamander, don’t talk to a biologist — talk to our experts at Eleven36. We will help you find a salamander oven solution that fits your unique kitchen, giving you the same extra bit of care and love that a salamander does to a plate. Check out our quick guide below or connect with a specialist fired-up about firing up a salamander for you.

How to Speak Salamander

Not sure where to start in translating what salamanders can do in your kitchen? There are two main salamander oven types:

Overhead Salamander

An overhead salamander is the most common type of kitchen salamander in commercial establishments. It’s a standalone unit that is placed on the wall above a cooking area, like a range, griddle, or a stove. That makes it easy for chefs and cooks to pop food in for a very intense, quick heat that can brown or finish a meal. It also means ventilation is usually taken care of, as the hood over the oven will also vacuum out the smoke from the salamander.

Countertop Salamander

A countertop restaurant salamander is a smaller version of the salamander broiler unit that you can put on a countertop. Some establishments like to place these in areas near where the food will go out, as a reminder to add a final flourish to the dish.

Either type of salamander allows you to do something we at Eleven36 are passionate about — making the best version of the food that you make. 

Within these two basic choices, you have an option of how the salamander generates its high heat. The most common types of heating elements in commercial salamanders are ceramic heat and infrared heat.

Ceramic heat in a salamander oven distributes evenly and helps keep costs down.

Quartz or infrared heat in a salamander broiler offers more intense, focused heat, and heats up the quickest of all. It can be pricier, but is a more reliable option for restaurants using a salamander oven frequently.

Other heating options include gas and electric; these options may be a bit slower to heat.

Translating all these options into what actually works for you is our job at Eleven36, so please reach out and ask us any questions you have about salamander setup and use. Real relationships and communication are at the heart of how we approach our business and make all the difference to finding the right piece of kitchen equipment.

Broiling, Melting and Browning, Oh My!

The ability of a salamander broiler to quickly heat dishes with a blast of intense heat makes it a versatile piece of equipment and a pleasure to use in your kitchen. We have a soft spot for the salamander here at Eleven36 because it does to your dishes what we strive to do for your business — take it to the next level by enhancing your creativity and your menu. Here’s just a few of the ways its powers can be applied:

Retaining heat: Just because you can use a salamander broiler to finish dishes at high heat, doesn’t mean you have to! You can also set the salamander broiler to a low temperature so that it can retain the desired temperature of dishes while you wait to get them out to a table.

Browning and finishing: The high heat of a salamander broiler caramelizes the top layer of dishes, adding a crispy and nutty flavor, as well as a signature brown color. The added texture gives depth to dishes. After all, when you think of a good casserole or potatoes au gratin, you think of that initial bite; a salamander broiler provides the finishing touch that makes that happen.

Quick broiling: Toss meat or seafood into the salamander broiler for a quick sear and a delicious crust on top of the meat without losing tenderness below.

Melting cheese: Melting cheese, even browning it, is a big part of what makes nachos, potatoes au gratin and other au gratin treatments, and pizzas so delicious. In fact, melting cheese is so important that there is actually a separate piece of kitchen equipment known as a cheesemelter! But a cheesemelter is generally a much simpler type of broiler without the same dynamic range of applications as a salamander broiler. 

Cheese Melters are made to melt cheese, and have the heating power, size and rack capacity for just that. A salamander broiler is generally larger and more powerful, with a wider range of temperatures within its reach to achieve perfect browning and finishing, along with a metal rack to produce grill marks while searing. A salamander broiler can do all a cheesemelter can do and much more; a cheesemelter, on the other hand, can’t do as much as a salamander oven.

Fitting a Salamander into Your Kitchen

Now that you’re sold on all the fun things you can do to expand your menu and level up your kitchen, here are a few things we at Eleven36 consider that will help you find the (literal) right fit.

Layout and placement: Bigger restaurant salamander ovens are generally mounted on the wall near the range or oven. It may also be easier for your workflow and space needs to purchase a countertop salamander, if you want staff to use it primarily to keep dishes warm, or to put finishing touches on a dish, or other uses you don’t need staff being in front of the range to do.

Depending on your setup and your restaurant salamander output, you may also need to think about ventilation, and making sure you have an appropriate setup. Putting a salamander directly under your exhaust hood for a range or oven can be really helpful for that very reason. A restaurant salamander placed above your range allows you to stack kitchen appliances vertically, potentially saving you thousands of dollars in ventilation and other equipment planning. A countertop salmanader will need a ventilation solution as well.

At Eleven36, we are experts in all manner of restaurant and operational setups, so don’t be shy like a salamander: talk to us and we will find the salamander oven that does what you need it to do — then support you with it over the long-haul.

Measuring Up To Your Menu (for today and tomorrow)

This is the fun part to think about! You can use a restaurant salamander for a huge range of dishes. If you will mostly be melting and browning, a simple model can probably handle your needs for pizza, nachos, cauliflower gratin, potatoes au gratin, etc. If you are thinking of using it for broiling and searing, it is probably wise to look at models with a larger size capacity, grill racks, easy cleaning features, and highly adjustable settings for temperature.

How fast you want your restaurant salamander to heat up is something to consider, as well. Of course all salamanders heat up very fast, but matters of seconds can make a difference in a fast-paced environment. Investigate ceramic heat, quartz heat, and infrared heat (which can be based off ceramic, quartz or metal). You can also look into gas or electric options if time is slightly less of the essence.

Don’t forget to buy a reliable restaurant salamander from a high-quality brand to head off any issues before they arise — at Eleven36, we can pair you with the premium restaurant salamander that will work for what you want to do.

Finishing Your Salamander Setup

Once you’ve been paired up with the perfect kitchen salamander, how will you make the most of it? Here are a few ideas.

Salamander mounting kit: If you want to put your unit above your range or on a wall nearby, a mounting kit will help you do so affordably and easily so your kitchen salamander is at your convenience.

High-temperature plates and utensils: You need to be careful that what you put in the salamander can take the heat. Cast-iron pots and pans will work; broiler-safe implements will work. Metal is usually a good choice.

Heat lamps: If your use of a kitchen salamander exceeds your expectations with all its broiling, browning, searing goodness, think about picking up a few heat lamps to help keep food warm so you can free up your salamander for more gourmet stuff.

Exhaust hood/ventilation systems: If you aren’t putting your kitchen salamander directly over a range, you will want to come up with a small ventilation solution for the salamander. If you are starting from scratch and including a salamander and range in your planning, you definitely need to look at an exhaust hood.

Range/stove: Optimize your kitchen salamander setup by making sure you have a top of the line commercial range from Eleven36 as well! 

Engage in a conversation with one of our Eleven36 experts, and we'll link you with the perfect salamander solution tailored not just to your operational needs but to your culinary dreams, and how you want to see your business take off and grow. Our selection includes top-notch options sourced from the most reputable manufacturers with whom we have rock-solid, established relationships. Don't hesitate to get in touch with us today.