DIY Salamander / Beefer / Overhead broiler for 35,-€

For the hefty price tag of at least 800 Euros you can buy exotic gas grills like the O F B – Over Fired Boiler – from Otte Wilde or the Beefer. Both of them produce an immense heat that comes only from the top. In the professional kitchen, this is known as a salamander or an overhead broiler. Now I’m sure that these are great products, but they are mostly for steaks, and you need to cook quite a lot of them to justify the expense. But  if you look closely at the beefer, you find a heating element that looks very similar to the one in this gas heater that you can buy for less than 35,- Euros. Maybe we can grill with that just as good? Let’s find out!

Such a gas heater is available for less than 35 euros:

And quite conveniently, there’s even a grill grid included: The protective grate in front of it. We need to get our food as close to the heating element as possible. The edge of the heater is in the way, so it has to go. By the way, if you want to do this, please do it at your own risk, I don’t take over any liability. But we only fiddling with combustible gas under high pressure, what could possibly go wrong?

The grill grid is removed. Now I’m building a foundation out of some stones that were lying around here. Fits. Let’s give it a try. I got myself some beef steaks.

After about a minute, the steak is turned around.

I’ve been experimenting with the distance. Because the grill grate is not adjustable, I simply put some spacers under the heater.

Down below, the first steak is heated to the right core temperature.

It takes some practise, and a proper casing might be helpful, but all in all I am pretty happy with the result.