Available in commercial as well as home models, broilers subject food to direct radiant heat. Fueled by natural gas, liquid propane or electricity depending on the model, broilers give certain foods a distinct quality. Oven broilers are used to give already-cooked meals a browned top, melt cheese on sandwiches or keep foods warm from the top down. Char broilers are primarily used in restaurants but not always. These are useful for searing steaks, burgers and seafood quickly while keeping their inside tender and juicy. Other commercial broilers include vertical and conveyor units, while consumer-grade toaster/broiler/convection cookers are a popular countertop appliance.

Oven Broilers

Depending on the model oven range, oven broilers may be a feature of the main cooking compartment or be found below the cavity, doubling as a storage drawer. Broilers are standard on most ovens and are perfect for keeping cooked food warm, browning or toasting the top. Broilers are found in gas, electric and dual fuel ovens, in both freestanding and built-in varieties.

Commercial Broilers

For commercial applications, broilers are used to cook burgers, steaks and other foods, as with a char broiler. Char broilers are most commonly gas fueled and come up to 84 inches in width with a multitude of individually-controlled burners. Construction materials include a stainless steel exterior and burners, welded structural steel and cast iron grates. Components are removable and/or adjustable for easy cleaning. Features include multi-position cooking grids, electronic ignition and grease/crumb trays. Conveyor broilers send food like pizza and sandwiches along a track underneath a series of infrared elements. Vertical broilers are found in gyro restaurants and feature an upright, pivoting skewer that rotates a large cut of meat, half surrounded by electric elements or gas-fueled burners.

Countertop Broilers

An alternative to using the oven broiler, countertop broilers often double as toasters and sometimes as convection cookers. Perfect for quickly preparing frozen pizza, cookies or even rotisserie chicken, their tempered glass lids allow for easy internal viewing, while the enamel, nonstick interior makes cleanup fast. Countertop broiler toaster combos typically feature operational conveniences like auto shutoff, programmable timer and multiple temperature settings.