The broiler on an oven is a component that many people may not use often or even know much about. So what is an oven broiler and what is it good for? Once owners learn a little more about their oven broiler, they may find that they have several uses for it, specifically cooking meat and melting cheese and other items.
An oven broiler is a heating component on the top of the oven that is commonly used to cook meat and fish quickly. It can also be used to melt cheese and other items on top of food because of the high temperature and proximity of the broiler pan to the broiler heating unit.
The broiler is usually a set of heating coils in the oven ceiling. Most ovens have a rack position near the top of the oven to set items to be broiled and include a broiler rack and pan. This is most useful for broiling meat or fish, as the broiler rack has a set of slats that point down into the pan to allow food drippings and grease to fall down into the pan as opposed to the oven surface.
Traditional broiled foods are cuts of meat, poultry, fish and ham. Most items are broiled between three and 15 minutes on each side and flipped over halfway during cooking so that both sides can cook. Generally speaking, the broiler operates at around 425 degrees Fahrenheit. If melting cheese on top of food, set the food under the broiler and monitor the food closely, as cheese melts quickly. Remove the food as soon as cooking or melting is complete to prevent the food from burning.
To broil food, trim excess fat off meat or poultry items and set the item on the broiler rack with the pan positioned underneath the rack. Set the broiler pan on the top rack and turn the broiler "On," using the control pad or control knob on the oven. Do not preheat. Leave the door open to the first stop and turn the food over as necessary during cooking. Follow recipe instructions and consult your oven user manual for specific broiling directions for your oven brand and model.
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