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Countertop broiler


AlaMoi
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I find myself doing more broiling now-a-days.  fish, pork chops, etc.

using the wall oven, that involves propping the door open with a wad of alum foil that depresses the 'door closed' switch to keep the top elements broiling merrily away . . .

 

do any of the new age countertop everything 'ovens' do a real broil?

 

came across one - VBENLEM Salamander Broiler - which looks to do the deed but it has no doors/front/whatever.

now....ok,,,, you broil, broiler makes smoke, door or no door the smoke is getting in the kitchen....

spatter is another 'no door' concern.

methinks I'd really prefer a close oven style tho . . .

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Not to veer too abruptly but what is with the door prop open? I've been broiling since childhood in gas ovens and lately with the crummy Bosch electric wall oven. Do some ovens shut off without the door prop - like they cycle?  Even my bitty toaster oven broils - granted small so best for one serving but it is top heat with a vengeance.

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@heidih yes - the (electric) broiler kicks / cycles on-off (hi-temp) if the door is shut.  to get red glowing elements you have to prop open the door so it does not go "over temp" but the prop doohickey must also depress the door switch, because no elements will come on if the door is open...

 

I don't get error codes, it just goes into "hot oven no broil" mode.....

 

 

1 hour ago, gfweb said:

Breville Smart Oven broils nicely

 

egads!  there's a slew of models - which one do you have?

Edited by AlaMoi (log)
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4 minutes ago, AlaMoi said:

@heidih yes - the (electric) broiler kicks / cycles on-off (hi-temp) if the door is shut.  to get red glowing elements you have to prop open the door so it does not go "over temp" but the prop doohickey must also depress the door switch, because no elements will come on if the door is open...

 

I don't get error codes, it just goes into "hot oven no broil" mode.....

 

 

 

egads!  there's a slew of models - which one do you have?

 

I'm not Heidi but I have the Breville Smart Oven Air.  Broils like a charm - with the door closed.

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30 minutes ago, AlaMoi said:

@heidih yes - the (electric) broiler kicks / cycles on-off (hi-temp) if the door is shut.  to get red glowing elements you have to prop open the door so it does not go "over temp" but the prop doohickey must also depress the door switch, because no elements will come on if the door is open...

 

I don't get error codes, it just goes into "hot oven no broil" mode.....

 

 

 

egads!  there's a slew of models - which one do you have?

BSO Air.

But our older BSO 1.0 broiled great too.

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2 hours ago, gfweb said:

BSO Air.

But our older BSO 1.0 broiled great too.

I have the Brevell smart oven Pro and it broils just fine with the door closed. But it is limited to 10 minutes on the broil function. Not sure what would need more than 10 minutes to broil. I am certain that the first breville that I had had a notch in the door opening mechanism which kept the door open just a little for the broil function. 

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The Otto Wilde grill is the closes thing to a commercial broiler for home use that I know of. Booker and Dax are working on a broiler version of the Searzall. It’s still a ways off and think it will likely be for outdoor use only, but it will deliver a restaurant quality intense broil.

 

These are so much more powerful than the broilers in 1800W countertop ovens (and even most full sized home ovens) that they’re altogether different animals. 

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19 hours ago, AlaMoi said:

came across one - VBENLEM Salamander Broiler


I'm not sure if you're still considering this or which model you are/were looking at, but, for both models, the reviews on Amazon mention that they're a 220v appliance with a 120v plug added.  Avoid.

 

It sounds like you're settling in on the Breville.  I'm not sure how far down the researching rabbit hole you want to go, but, if you really want to know how powerful a countertop broiler is- and if you want to compare it to your in wall broiler- or other countertops, it can take some digging, but find the wattage for the broiler. Just about every oven has broiler elements that can be replaced.  If you can find the replacement part, it will almost always list the wattage. Sometimes specs for the whole oven will break down the wattage for the separate bake and broiler elements as well.  Once you have the broiler element wattage, divide it by the lateral area of the oven to get watts per square inch.  The higher the watts per square inch, the better the broiling ability.

Another way to compare broilers is to examine the coil- if it's thick and has plenty of loops/is tightly coiled, it will broil better than a less tightly coiled element.  For instance, the VBENLEMs have a very respectable coil- if they were actually wired at 220v, they'd be pretty powerful.  Obviously, though, a countertop that needs to be wired at 220v is no longer a countertop.

If you go the watts per square inch route, don't be surprised if your in wall oven beats the pants off of any countertop you consider. Or, if you do find a comparable countertop, don't be surprised if the inner dimensions are the size of a postage stamp- which might be fine for a pork chop, but, could be an issue for a long fish. A broiler is only as strong as the wattage going into it- and 120v receptacles can only provide so much.

Edited by scott123 (log)
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On 12/4/2021 at 1:51 PM, AlaMoi said:

VBENLEM Salamander Broiler - which looks to do the deed but it has no doors/front/whatever.

When I saw this I got all excited because anyone that has worked in a professional kitchen has used a salamander and they are wonderful. Then I went to check this one out. They offer two models and they both have very low reviews. The biggest oven sounds like it might, might be able to broil fish. Steak, forget it. And they even called the small one a cheese melter. I don't think that this is the way that you want to go. Sounds pretty wimpy to me.

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it's listed at 2000 watts - which is technically doable in a modern kitchen as most codes now require 20 amp circuits to the kitchen.

there's also something funny about 'it's 220v they put a 110v plug on' - the physics of that don't work....

as I've delved into various reviews, it sorta' looks like the wall oven remains the best option . . . PITA and all...

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54 minutes ago, AlaMoi said:

there's also something funny about 'it's 220v they put a 110v plug on' - the physics of that don't work....

I'm not an electrician, far from it. But even that looks suspect to me. That also raises the question of how good is the electrical system in your house. I had a Farberware table top rotisserie grill that I just loved but it blew the breakers in every house that I ever lived in.

The only way that I could ever use it was to plug the rotisserie in the kitchen outlet and run an Industrial extension cord to the outside BBQ area for the grill. That got old very quickly. Lots of things to consider when buying a high powered countertop appliance. Another thing is how much would you actually use it compared to a bright new shiny wall oven that would also turn out beautiful casseroles and baked goods.

Another thing you need to consider. Is it a want or a necessity. I have a Hamilton Beach countertop oven that I use constantly because we are just two and sometimes three people for dinner.

20200517_145306.thumb.jpg.a0b65efe08f11c34e8676face607d21b.jpg

Although I have a full size oven I can't remember the last time that I used it. I do all my baking in the little oven.

20211107_103223.thumb.jpg.edce4d4f5c5e6e2dc23ac9e465940693.jpg

Char sui bao

20211114_105717.thumb.jpg.5b74a443ab41d0c35a4635e026f0bd68.jpg

Stomboli

It has a broiler; it's not much shucks compared to my big oven but it does get the job done eventually. Another thing that I had to consider was the fact that I live in a tropical country and to turn the big oven on can turn my whole house into an oven.

Besides, if I turn my big oven on, where would I store my sheet pans and my skillets?

Edited by Tropicalsenior (log)
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16 hours ago, AlaMoi said:

it's listed at 2000 watts - which is technically doable in a modern kitchen as most codes now require 20 amp circuits to the kitchen.

there's also something funny about 'it's 220v they put a 110v plug on' - the physics of that don't work....

as I've delved into various reviews, it sorta' looks like the wall oven remains the best option . . . PITA and all...


I've been on hiatus for about a year, but, before that, I spent about 15 years helping home cooks improve their pizza game.  Because of the importance of a good broiler to pizza, I've spent countless hours researching ovens, entering  wattages (and BTUs) into spreadsheets and examining broiler element photos.  I wouldn't say that the VBENLEM 2k watt model has the best broiler I've ever seen, but, it's definitely in the top three.  Its so impressive that I'm almost tempted to tell you to swap out the plug and wire a 220v outlet to your kitchen.  But an oven is more than just an element, and, if they're that ignorant with the 120v plug, then, who knows what other mistakes they're making with this thing.  For instance, it's very common for Chinese countertop ovens to be underinsulated (high temp insulation is expensive), so there's a really good chance that this oven might get way too hot to mount on a wall, and there's also a good chance it will lack the necessary insulation to protect it's electronic components.

There's a chance that, at some point, you might see an Amazon reviewer who'll post something like "I swapped out the plug and plugged it into a 220v outlet and man is this thing a BROILING BEAST! I've also been using it for a few months and it appears to be built to last."  But, with what we know now, sadly, I wouldn't risk my money on it.

Have you considered making your wall oven less of a PITA to broil in?  A good technician should be able to rewire the switch that's controlled by the button to be always on.  If you're handy, you might even be able to do it yourself. Would not having to depress the switch during broiling make it any easier to work with?  If the door doesn't stay cracked easily (some don't), then there might be a workaround for that as well, but rewiring the switch would be a relatively easy first step.

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9 minutes ago, scott123 said:

VBENLEM 2k watt model has the best broiler I've ever seen, but, it's definitely in the top three. 

So great to hear from an expert and someone that has actually used this. Are you speaking of the 24in model or of the 17 which they themselves simply list as a cheese melter?

Another question. Is this used primarily for pizza or would it be able to handle a steak?

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42 minutes ago, Tropicalsenior said:

So great to hear from an expert and someone that has actually used this.


Sorry, I might have conveyed it better, but when I say it's one of the best elements I've ever seen, it's 'seen in photos', not in person. I've never used this oven. Over the years, I've looked at over a thousand photos of broiler elements, and this is one of the best.

The model that I'm referring to is the 2K model here:

https://www.amazon.com/VBENLEM-Salamander-Cheesemelter-Adjustable-Commercial/dp/B08292VW2K

 

Here's the broiler:

 1525124712_VBENLEMSalamanderBroilerCountertopGrill24Inch.thumb.jpg.553930dd75e120fae9127de4aca0960c.jpg

 

In the pizzaverse, only the strongest/highest wattage broilers can do Neapolitan pizza.  While the 10" maximum dimension wouldn't work for pizza, from a perspective of sheer power, I think this element is Neapolitan capable.

But that's just the element.  I love the element, but I have no faith in the oven whatsoever.

 

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13 minutes ago, scott123 said:

but I have no faith in the oven whatsoever.

Thank you, that is good to know. At that price you wouldn't expect to find a commercial grade salamander. But it's not really a cheap item either and if I'm going to pay that and sacrifice counter space, I want something that will be a workhorse not a one-note pony.

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the wall oven is a PITA broiler only because of the need to keep the top broiler elements on-and-glowing by a partially open door and a defeated 'door closed' switch.

shortly I will be constructing a wood paddle with embedded magnet and 'heat protective wrap' to make that effort a mere 'use insert'

I will probably make various "open door distances" to accommodate the differences of fish-pizza-steaks-chops.

 

I have to say, adding a counter-top [anything] is also a pretty big issue.  something like the vebledlem I would have to "sell" as a basement- dweller-hauled-out-for-special-use thing.

 

my wall oven will do 550'F - pizza and Flamekuechen isn't an issue.  the major 'failure' issue with novices is not allowing sufficient pre-heat time, imho....

 

recently did Berkshire pork chops at a broil - stunning stuff - so I'm thinking it's time to craft a duck soup solution to the wall oven quirks.

btw, rewiring the door switch is one solution - just jumper / short it out - with modern idiot software, other solutions not really viable....

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"really good" salamanders are gas-fired with IR heating elements/surfaces.

all the rest are poor-to-pseudo-acceptable substitutes.

 

pretty much any countertop toaster can melt cheese coats over toast . . .

heck, I do that with a microwave.

pan-fry/toast the bread to pretty, 10-15 seconds in the M/W to melt the (interior) cheese = mega-kitchen hero....

well, per DW's opinion, but,,,, then again, she is a bit fussy.

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4 minutes ago, AlaMoi said:

with modern idiot software, other solutions not really viable....

My appliances are all old and I am so thankful for it. Not a chip in the bunch! They are reliable and just keep on working. My repairmen love them, not because they have to come very often, they don't, but because they are so easy to repair.

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4 minutes ago, AlaMoi said:

there are seriously good advantages to "old school" . . .

I have a 35 year old Maytag washing machine that has only ever had to have hoses replaced. My repairman loves it so much that he has seriously ask me to leave it to him in my will.

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