Japanese Mesh Toasting Pan
Some cuisines, such as Southeast Asian, presume your kitchen fire is available most of the day, so grilling a few small ingredients quick and easy. This is not necessarily so for us in the West. I needed to roast a few shallots, garlic cloves and ginger slices until browned. Doing this in the broiler is very inconvenient, difficult to control, uses a lot of gas, and heats up the kitchen.
I tried using an Asian electric grill, but it took f o r e v e r - because non-stick coatings have to stay well below 500°F/260°C. The ingredients were also difficult to manage and browned unevenly. I knew there must be a way to do this more quickly and easily on the stove top. Thinking about it, I suddenly realized I had just the thing for this - hanging from the kitchen ceiling in the far corner, unused for many years - the device pictured at the top left.
The grid is 8-1/2 x 8-1/2 inches, with a 7/16 inch mesh, small enough to retain garlic cloves. The bottom pan quickly heated to over 800°F/425°C on a gas burner. Roasting was quick and easy to manage - and easy to monitor because it was all visible all the time.
This device can also be used for heating roti or tortillas, toasting slices of bread, and many similar tasks.
More on Kitchen Equipment.
Buying: A device like this is rather difficult to find on the Internet - it is just too simple and cheap for most vendors to bother with. Stainless steel pans similar to this are available, but many have too large a mesh, so you need to be picky. DO NOT buy anything advertising non-stick. You need it go well beyond the temperature where non-stick coatings break down into toxic fumes.