Salamanders are most often 36" doorless, radiant broilers mounted conveniently over a range or on a countertop. Overhead heat has the advantage of allowing foods containing fats such as meats, to be grilled without the risk of flareups.
Salamanders, cheesemelters and finishing ovens are common names used to refer to the same piece of equipment. Salamanders are characterized by very high temperature overhead infrared heating elements powered by electricity or gas, and are similar to an small oven without a front door. They are used to melt cheese, create glazes and sauces, brown or reheat foods such as steaks or fish and caramelizing desserts such as creme brulee.