A broiler pan, also known as broiler roaster, oven broiling pan, etc., is used for broiling foods such as vegetables, steaks, meat, etc. It is an important piece of cookware and is made with different materials such as aluminum, cast iron, etc.
However, despite some similarities, such as their use in the oven and generally rectangular shape, a broiler pan isn’t the same as a roasting pan. Below are the features of a broiler pan and how to use and maintain it properly.
This article will cover
- Why You Should Broil Your Foods
- Why You Should Use A Broiler Pan
- How To Use A Broiler Pan
- 4 Tips For Maintaining A Broiler Pan
Why You Should Broil Your Foods
Many people think broiling is the same as roasting, but it isn’t. Broiling is a cooking method that uses dry, direct heat to cook solid foods such as various cuts of meat, vegetables, etc. In broiling, the food is placed directly to the heat source.
You can also use broiling to add a caramelized texture to foods that have been cooked using other methods. Since broiling cooks foods quickly and at a high heat, it effectively renders the fat and imparts a lot of flavor to the food. Some of the advantages of broiling foods include:
Uses less fat
You need little or no oil when broiling since the food is placed close to the heat source. As such, broiling allows healthier cooking as it eliminates excess fat in your food. For instance, most of the natural fat in fatty foods like red meat melts and drips from the broiling rack into the pan, which helps your heart health.
It also makes the food tender while giving it a flavored, brown exterior. To increase your food’s aroma, you can glaze it with herbs and spices. To prevent your food from smoking when broiling, trim the extra fat from it beforehand.
Cooks food faster
Contrary to what most people believe, broiling cooks your food faster because it uses dry, high heat. Broiling a piece of chicken or meat takes less than 15 minutes.
It is advised you regularly check if your food is done or use a timer to prevent your food from burning. Also, broiling is simple. Most ovens have broiler compartments that you can use to broil your foods. In short, broiling is a convenient cooking method.
Provides different textures
Also, broiling can help you achieve different textures with your foods. For instance, you can make your foods caramelized, crispy, or crusty. It also gives your food unique, complex flavors. Ensure the foods you’re broiling are tender and can withstand high heat.
Why You Should Use A Broiler Pan
You can quickly identify a broiler pan through its features. Usually, a broiler pan has two parts; the upper and lower pans. The upper pan has holes that serve as airflow and drainage for fat and moisture.
The lower pan is designed to collect all the fat drippings from the upper pan. This way, food fat drains away, compared to roasting pans which cook food in its fat. A good broiler pan should be large enough to contain your food and fit your broiler tray perfectly. The broiler pan should be able to withstand high temperatures as well.
Also, a broiler pan is made with different materials such as enameled steel, porcelain, stainless steel, aluminum, etc. The type of material determines the use and care of each broiler pan. Ensure you pick the one that serves your needs, and you can easily maintain it. Here are some of the reasons you should use a broiler pan :
A broiler pan allows for healthy cooking, which fosters a healthy lifestyle. It can support a lower-calorie diet as it perfectly cooks your food with little or no added oil. For instance, you don’t have to rub oil or butter on the broiler pan before cooking.
The natural fat of the food is enough. Also, you can quickly marinate and glaze your food in a broiler pan. You can store the excess fat extracted from the food for later use or dispose of it. However, only broil foods that don’t need to be cooked in their juices. Ensure you buy high-quality broiler pans.
Available and affordable
Broiler pans are easy to get and very affordable. They are available in different materials and sizes, which gives you a wide range of options to choose from. You can find them in local stores or online.
While you should buy a broiler pan within your budget, ensure you don’t purchase pans with lousy quality. Confirm the manufacturer’s reliability before you choose any brand of broiler pan. With due diligence, you can get good broiler pans on a low budget. [4 Broiler Pan Substitutes: How To Broil Without Broiler Pan]
How To Use A Broiler Pan
Using a broiler pan is simple. Usually, broiler pans are heavier than baking pans because they are built not to warp in the face of high heat. However, you can maneuver them. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to use a broiler pan:
Position the broiler pan
Usually, the broiling racks at the top of your oven are located close to the broiling element. Before activating the broiler, put your broiler pan on the rack in either the top or lower position. The type of food you are broiling determines the rack you will put your broiler pan on.
For instance, if you are cooking thicker foods that take time to get done, such as steak, slide your broiler pan in the lower position. If you’re cooking foods that get done quickly, such as vegetables, fish fillets, etc., use the rack in the top position.
If you place thicker or larger pieces of food close to the broiler, the outer layer will brown quickly while the middle might remain undercooked. If you’re using the upper rack, ensure you keep an eye on your foods to prevent them from burning.
Turn on the broiler
If you’re using an oven to broil, you have to activate the broiling element. Once you start it, it gets heated until it becomes bright orange, emitting infrared rays. This can take up to 10 minutes.
You can find the broiling element below the stovetop or the burner or above or below the oven racks. If your oven doesn’t have an on/off mode, set the oven to a high temperature. Also, leave the oven’s door slightly open to prevent the oven from turning itself off.
Broil your food
The broiler starts to work after you’ve activated it. Since broiling is a high-heat cooking method, your food should be ready in less than 15 minutes. If you don’t take it out by then, your food will end up charred.
However, thicker foods may take longer, and you may need to flip them once in a while to ensure all sides are evenly cooked. When taking out your food, avoid putting your face over the oven door to prevent accidents.
4 Tips For Maintaining A Broiler Pan
You need to maintain your broiler pan if you want it to last long and broil your food correctly. Here are tips for doing so:
1. Clean the broiler pan immediately after use
Cleaning the broiler pan immediately after use is simple and less stressful. This way, you can quickly get rid of any food that sticks to it. However, let the pan cool before you immerse it in water. You can get rid of burnt food in the pan’s bottom with kosher salt and oil, salt and potatoes, or baking soda.
Use non-abrasive kitchen detergent and a soft cloth to wash the pan. Most broiler pans have non-stick surfaces, which harsh cleaning agents can quickly destroy. If the grease residue is too much, use warm water to wash it off.
2. Store the pan properly
Another way to maintain your broiler pan is to store it properly after cleaning. It is wrong to stack other pans on top of or below your broiler pan. This not only risks scratching the non-stick surface, but it might also distort the shape of the pan. A distorted pan won’t be as practical and durable as you want. The best way to store your broiler pan is to hang it or place it on your stovetop.
3. Use the appropriate heat
While broiler pans are made to withstand high heat, not all broiler pans are made from the same material, and this affects the amount of heat they can be exposed to. For instance, a broiler pan made with aluminum can withstand higher heat than one made with non-stick materials like ceramic, etc.
If you place a ceramic broiler pan on high heat, it can damage the non-stick properties. Generally, it is advised you set your oven to medium heat when broiling to increase your pan’s durability.
4. Always preheat the broiler
Either you are cooking light or dense foods, always preheat the broiler before placing your food inside the oven. This ensures your food starts to cook as soon as you put it inside the oven, thereby reducing the amount of heat your broiler pan is exposed to.
Using a broiler pan fosters healthy cooking and gives your food more complex and unique flavors. However, to get the best results, you have to use it properly. For instance, not keeping an eye on your food when broiling it will ruin the food. Also, you have to maintain your broiler pan if you want to guarantee its efficiency.
Michael Johnson is the founder of The Pan Handler, Inspired by his blacksmith grandfather’s legacy has a deep appreciation for hand-crafted pots and pans, he provides invaluable guides, reviews, and recipes to enhance your culinary journey.