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Sep 18, 2011 04:00 PM

How Can My Broiler Imitate a Salamander?

I want to do some things that call for a salamander, but my electric oven's broiler doesn't seem to radiate enough intensity of heat fast enough to do the surface before the heat seriously overcooks the deeper levels of the food. Has anyone figured out a work-around?

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  1. This sounds like I'm being facetious, but I am not. How about a blowtorch, such as they sell at hardware stores. You wouldn't want one which was too powerful, but you would need one that has more power than the sort that cooks use for creme brulee.

    1. blowtorch idea is good - also - get your food closer to heat source. don't just count on rack being at the rt level

      1. I think it is impossible to do with an electric broiler.

        1. This is one of the reasons we spent a lot of money on a range with an infrared broiler. That said, if you put a baking sheet or cake pan upside down on the top shelf, it will let you get the item you're broiling closer to the electric coil which might help some.

          2 Replies
          1. re: escondido123

            Getting closer that way could work for me, escondido123, but a blow torch is not my style -- I'd probably burn my house down!

            1. re: therealdoctorlew

              I have the blow torch too, but have yet to use it.

          2. Booster seat.

            Let me explain.

            Part of the reason -- aside from the high temps achieved by a true salamander -- why a broiler can't seem to char your meats sufficiently (without overcooking) is that usually the oven rack is placed too far away from the broiler coils.

            So to remedy that, get a brick, or a inverted cast iron pan, and place it on one rack, then put another rack on top of the brick (or pan), and then put your meat on the top rack. Adjust it so that the meat is literally about 1/10th of an inch away from the broiler coils.

            Voila! As close to a home-salamander as you can possibly get without using a creme brulee blow torch.