How to Use a Broiler

A broiler is very similar to a grill, except the heating mechanisms are on top. Use a broiler to broil food directly under high temperatures and give the food a charred or glazed finish. Most of the steps and tips that can be applied to grilling food can also be used on a broiler.


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    Turn your broiler on by selecting the broil option and igniting the heating compartments of your broiler. An electric broiler usually just needs to be turned on while connected to an electrical supply, but if you have a gas broiler you may need to ignite the broiler in pilot mode and wait for the flame to spread into the main compartments.
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    Pre-heat your broiler by leaving it on for approximately 5 minutes. Allow the heat to build inside by keeping the broiler closed just as you would close the lid of a grill for pre-heating.
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    Approximate the central location on the broiler by looking at the heating elements at the top. It is best to place your food at the center to make sure it cooks evenly. If the item you are cooking has an odd shape, you can change its position intermittently in the broiler to make sure that all areas have been exposed to the heat.
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    Turn on the internal light of your broiler and keep a close watch on the food while it broils. Usually, broiling is done at a high temperature, so this may just need to be done for 5 to 10 minutes. You have to let your food sear to just the right amount, but once searing is complete the food can quickly start burning or, in some cases, even catch fire. Keep in mind that thinly sliced items cook more quickly, so you may need to adjust the broiling time according to the food type and size.
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    Flip the food in the broiler if you want it to be seared on both sides.
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    Open the broiler door from time to time or leave it partially open if you want to make frequent adjustments to the heat level inside. Doing this will also let steam out, which will add crispiness to the searing. Keeping the temperature inside slightly lower than your broiler's temperature setting will prevent the burner from switching off.
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    Switch off the broiler after you are done using it.
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  • Almost all ovens come with an option to broil food since broiling is frequently a part of the roasting or baking process. The broiler is basically the top part of your oven.
  • It may be wise to pre-cook your food before putting it in the broiler, similar to when you are grilling food. Cooking food in the broiler can take longer because only the top portion of the food is being heated. It is often better to at least partially cook the food first and then just use a broiler to add a crisp crust at the outside surface.
  • Although electric broilers are more convenient to use, they usually don't char the food as well as a gas broiler. Exposing food to direct flames instead of electrical heat gives it a unique "burnt" flavor that many cooks try to achieve on purpose.


  • Broilers are, obviously, very, very hot. Take caution not to place non-heat-safe materials in your broiler, as this may cause damages and injury.

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Categories: Care and Use of Cooking Equipment