Broiling and grilling are dry heat methods used to cook food. Both techniques use moderate to high heat to brown or sear the surfaces of meats, vegetables and fruits, seal in their natural juices and then cook their centers to the desired degree of doneness. Broilers are part of conventional ovens and grills are usually outdoor appliances, although some stoves have grills on the stovetops.
Broiling cooks foods through applying radiant heat from the top. Gas stoves may have broiler units in the bottom, under the oven. In electric stoves, the broiler element is usually in the top of the oven. In grilling, the heat is underneath the food. Since broiling is done in an oven, no smoky flavors can be imparted into the food. The coals in grills give the food a charred flavor and more taste can be added through adding wood chips or fresh herbs to the fire. It is easier to control broiling because you can simply adjust the oven racks to regulate the cooking speed, an option not commonly available on barbecue grills.
Before cooking, test the broiler for hot spots by placing a piece of bread near the center of the unit and examining the browning pattern on the toast, noting the darker and lighter spots, and place your food accordingly. For best results, preheat the broiler for 5 to 10 minutes. Preheat the broiler pan as well to put a good sear on the underside of the food and hasten the overall cooking time. To ensure the broiler stays on during the entire process, leave the door ajar; many ovens automatically shut off when the internal heat reaches 500 degrees F or above, which extended broiling will do.
Thoroughly clean the grid on the grill with a wire brush or grill cleaning tool. Before placing the grid over the coals, lightly oil it. Let it get very hot before placing food on it to deter sticking and put attractive grill marks on the food. When cooking foods that take time to cook through, such as chicken pieces with bones or thick steaks or chops, set up the grill fire to have hot areas to sear the food and cooler spots to move the food to cook through without burning.
Food Handling Tips
When grilling or broiling raw meat, prevent cross-contamination of bacteria by washing the plates and utensils before using them to handle cooked foods. If using a basting sauce, boil it thoroughly before serving it with the meat to kill harmful bacteria.
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