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Cheese Melters/Salamanders

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Cheese Melters/Salamanders

Need to melt cheese or toppings without overcooking the rest of the meal? Want to get just the right amount of browning without burning things to a crisp? Then a cheesemelter or salamander might be just what your kitchen needs!

These devices are special broiling and browning appliances that have designs similar to that of toaster ovens. They can usually be found mounted on top of a range. Inside the appliances is a heat source installed in the roof that radiates heat onto the food atop the cooking grate or oven rack below. One of the big differences between cheesemelters and salamanders is that the latter typically has a greater temperature output. Additionally, salamanders have levers with which the user can control how close the food is to the heat source.

The temperature difference is an important factor that impacts what each appliance is best used for. Cheesemelters, true to their name, can be used for melting cheese and other toppings—a great way to put a nice finish on nachos or other dishes before it's sent out. They might also be used for light browning.

Salamanders, on the other hand, can be used for broiling meat thanks to the higher temperature output or heating up food without ruining the flavor or presentation, as a microwave might do. While it is possible to heat up food in a cheesemelter, the salamander generally has more precise temperature controls to get everything just right.

There are some basic guidelines to consider before installing and using a cheesemelter or salamander. First, it is important to watch what kind of cookware goes into the unit; the safest bets are cookware made of metal or iron. You'll also want to make sure there is proper ventilation around these units to avoid the accumulation of grease particles in the air. Finally, it is important to measure out how much space will be needed to install the units in your kitchen.

Whether you choose one or both, these appliances are handy for giving your dishes the perfect final touch.



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