Why You Need To Start Using Your Broiler
Our Best Broiler Tips
Here are our best tips and recipes to help you make the most of your broiler.
Browing vs. Burning
Pick Your Position: Use the top 2 rack positions (3 to 5 inches from the heating element) to brown gratins and cook thin cuts of meat. If you choose the top rack, keep an eagle eye on the food—it can go from browned to scorched in seconds. Middle rack positions are for items like bone-in chicken or thick steaks.
Know Your Temperatures: On high broil, food cooks at 550° on the top rack. The temperature drops about 50° to 75° on each rack level, down to 325° at the bottom position in our Test Kitchen ovens. Your oven may be different, hence the appeal of an instant-read thermometer (see next slide).
Door: Open or Closed? Consult your oven's users' manual. Some manufacturers call for leaving the oven door open a few inches while broiling (set at the "broiler stop") so the heating element remains on and the stove can vent smoke. Others won't even operate with the door open.
Not Cooking with Gas? Gas broilers run a little hotter than electric, cranking up to about 600° (that temperature is the industry standard for gas). But don't fret: The slightly cooler electric broiler distributes its heat more evenly.
Timing is critical: When you set food under the broiler's intense direct heat, timing is critical—a point illustrated here with garlic bread toasted 5 inches from the heating element. (See our Broiler Garlic Bread recipe.)
Essential Broiling Tools
Mark the Time
Your first defense against burning is a watchful eye. Your backup is a precise timer. There are many options, but digital is better than mechanical when seconds count.
Price: $20, Oxo
Buy: Bed Bath & Beyond
Essential Broiling Tools: Oxo Good Grips Silicone Oven Mitt
With food just 5 inches from a red-hot element, and timing critical, it's easy to get burned. Don't use a damp towel; don't use a thin or too-short mitt. The Oxo Good Grips Silicone Oven Mitt boasts silicone on the outside and breathable fabric inside, with protection up to 600°. At 13 inches long, it guards your wrists and forearms.
Essential Broiling Tools: MicroTemp MT-PRO Digital Infrared Thermometer
Most oven thermometers measure the ambient temperature. What matters with broiling is the surface temperature. Get rid of guesswork with an instant-read thermometer, which takes the surface temperature anywhere—even the bubbling top of a gratin. We loved the MicroTemp MT-PRO Digital Infrared Thermometer. (It's also fun to check the temperature of pretty much anything in the house!)
Essential Broiling Tools: Range Kleen Porcelain Broiler Pan with Porcelain Grill
Broiler pans catch liquid that drips from the slotted top into the pan below, which also helps prevent smoke and flares. The stick-free Range Kleen Porcelain Broiler Pan with Porcelain Grill makes cleanup easy.
Essential Broiling Tools: Emile Henry Lasagna Baker
Some baking dishes crack at broiler temps, but the durable clay Emile Henry 13 × 10 Lasagna Baker is good for casseroles, steaks, fish fillets, or chicken breasts.
Buy: Emile Henry
Essential Broiling Tools: Lodge 12-Inch Preseasoned Cast-Iron
Cast-iron can handle high heat forever. Here, a Lodge 12-inch preseasoned model.
Buy: Lodge Cast Iron
Broiled Tenderloin Steaks with Ginger-Hoisin Glaze
Broiled Oysters with Garlic-Buttered Breadcrumbs
Just three minutes is enough to brown the topping and perfectly cook the delicate oysters.
Broiled Pineapple with Bourbon Caramel Over Vanilla Ice Cream
Crispy Topped Brussels Sprouts and Cauliflower Gratin
Lump Crab-Stuffed Trout
Broiled Herb-Marinated Shrimp Skewers
Broiler Garlic Bread
Yeild: 4 Servings
Calories: 118; Fat: 4.1g (sat 2.4g); Sodium: 243mg