How to Broil

“Broiling cooks food with high heat, and is essentially, grilling turned upside down. Here are some simple broiling basics that anyone with any type of broiler can use. Step One: Prep your food. Before turning on the broiler, take the thawed meat out of the fridge about 15 minutes before broiling. Pat dry with paper towels, and season to taste. Trim excessive fat off steaks and chops to prevent flare-ups. Make a few vertical cuts through the edges to keep the meat from curling up under the heat of the boiler. Lean fish, and skinless chicken stay moist if you brush on a little oil, or marinade, before you broil. Step Two: Prep the broiler. Remove the broiler pan. The broiler pan comes in 2 parts: the top half holds the food, and the bottom acts as a drip pan for grease. Use aluminum foil to line the pan for fast and easy clean up. Spray the foil lightly with cooking oil, and poke holes in the perforations on the top part. If you don’t have a broiler pan, use a shallow baking pan lined with aluminum foil, and a flat rack on top to hold up the meat out of the grease.

Never use glass cookware for broiling because it’s not made to handle the high heat. Step Three: Adjust the oven rack. Do this only while the oven is still cold. Put the the meat on the broiler pan, and put the pan on the oven rack. Slide the rack into the oven, and check the distance between the top of the meat, and the heat source. As a general rule, you want 3 to 5 inches between the top of the food, and the heat source. But set your rack to the right height based on what you are broiling. To broil steaks that are crusty brown on the outside, and rare, to medium rare on the inside, set the rack closer to the broiler. Set the rack further down if you want your steaks more evenly cooked all the way through. For chicken, put your oven rack even lower so the outside doesn’t char before the inside has a chance to cook.

Now bring the pan and food back out so you can preheat the oven. Step Four: Heat up. Preheat the your broiler for 5 to 7 minutes. When the broiler is hot, slide the broiling pan onto the oven rack. Some broilers run hotter than other, so it’s a good idea to keep a close eye on the cooking. After the first side is nicely brown, use a pot holder to pull the rack out slightly so you can turn over the meat. Always use tongs. A fork pierces the meat and lets out the delicious juices. If you’re broiling fish, turn it over using a wide spatula so it doesn’t break apart. Broiling cooks food quickly, so start checking for doneness a couple of minutes after turning over the food. To do this, insert and instant read thermometer into the side of the meat, avoiding any bone. Steaks are medium to medium rare at 145 degrees fahrenheit, and they’ll be well done at 160 degrees fahrenheit. Burgers and pork chops are done at 160 degrees fahrenheit. Chicken is cooked through at 165 degrees fahrenheit. Fish is cooked when it easily flakes apart with a fork. If the outside of your meat is beautifully seared, but the inside is still too raw, turn down the heat and let the food finish cooking at a lower oven temperature.

When the meat is broiled to perfection, remove the broiler pan from the oven, and put the food on a clean platter, or cutting board. For the juiciest steaks, chops, and chicken, make a foil tent over the meat, and allow it to rest for 5 to 10 minutes so the juices redistribute. To brown or crisp the top of a casserole, adjust the oven rack so you have enough room to fit the casserole dish right under the broiler. Preheat the boiler, and then slide in the casserole. Leave the door open a bit, or watch through the window. A broiler is also an excellent way to melt cheese, or toast bread. Remember, broilers are quick. So watch carefully that your food doesn’t burn. It can go from browned to burnt in seconds.

Fast, easy, delicious. Your broiler allows you to grill upside-down, indoors, all year round.”

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