My first encounter with a roast chicken was when I was three years old. For some reason, I thought that my father's trophy collection needed to be heated up. You can probably imagine how well that turned out.
It took a few years for me to try – and burning things – before I dealt well with the broiler as an adult. When used properly, it can become a handy tool in your cooking arsenal. Here are some tips that will give you
Find It First
There are two different types of broiler you will encounter in a home oven. One is inside the stove and the other is in a drawer under the stove.
If your oven is electric, your grill is usually in your oven. Take a high point. If there are heating coils on the top and bottom of the oven, then you have an oven in the oven.
If you have an oven that uses natural gas, the grill is usually the drawer under the oven. To be sure, open the door. There will be a broiler pan (a two piece metal pan with slots in the top) if the drawer is a broiler. Some gas models have broilers inside instead, so look at the oven roof if you can not find them.
What to Grill
No matter if you have a pork or a roast chicken in your oven, they work the same way. The oven provides heat that surrounds your food while it is cooking. The broiler, however, provides high heat from the food. This is good for toasting or browning foods, like whole chickens, casseroles or cakes, fast.
It can also be used to cook thin pieces of meat that dry quickly before they lose moisture, such as:
- Chicken breast
- Fish fillet
- Rock steak
- Pork chops
You can use it also to make hot peppers on pizzas after the first baking.
Placement is everything
The distance between the frame and the heating element is important. In most cases, your grill has no way to adjust the temperature. You simply press the button Broil and it just gets super hot.
If you're lucky, you have a setting of High and Low for your Broiler. For details about the temperature of these settings, refer to the owner's manual of your oven.
Place the cookware in the center of the oven so the top of the bowl does not brown too quickly before the other side cooks. If you are using a drawer grill, refer to the oven manual to see if the rack will adjust. If so, set the lowest setting. If you find your food takes too long to fry, you can bring the rack or pan closer to the heat source, depending on the recipe.
Preheat, preheat, preheat
Always turn on the grill and allow it to heat up before adding the food. It is also helpful to place the pan in the oven during heating. Then just push the food on the pan when both are warmed up. This gives your food a good grip on the ground and helps to prevent it from sticking.
The temperature of the food is important
To ensure that the meat is fully cooked, allow it to cook until it is at room temperature. Never put frozen meat in the broiler. You will end up with a crispy outside and a raw heart.
Dry is good
Liquid on the top of food can easily scorch. Use a paper towel to dab marinades or meat juices before the item goes into the broiler. When tanning casseroles, pay attention to the pads. Thirty seconds or less in the broiler is all you need to melt cheese.
Do not go away
No matter what a recipe says, every product put into the broiler will burn fast, so check it every few minutes. If you are slightly distracted (as I am!), Set a timer for two minutes immediately after you have reviewed the court.
Here are some good recipes from our sister site Chowhound.