Used in restaurants everywhere, a salamander broiler is a particular type of commercial kitchen appliance. Although select consumer-grade ovens are sold with optional salamander attachments, for the most part, they are used professionally. Chefs love salamander broilers for their controlled, adjustable radiant heating elements and their compactness. Smaller than many commercial broilers, salamander units are commonly used to put the finishing touches on a dish, whether it's melting the cheese on top, browning the surface, toasting or keeping the food warm before it's served.
In the restaurant world, food that is put through the salamander broiler is said to be "overfired". This is in contrast to food that is "underfired" or placed on a grill with the heat coming from below. Salamander units are available in both gas and electric models. Heat transfer is accomplished by means of several infrared radiant burners or elements. Capable of reaching high temperatures fast, radiant elements brown the outside of food while leaving the insides tender and moist.
Salamander broilers are used to broil fish, melt cheese on top of a dish or caramelize sugar on desserts and much more. Oftentimes, the broiler will be placed in a pass-through station between the front and back of the house. Cooks pass a dish through where it rests under the broiler for a time, staying warm until the server picks it up.