The Beauty of Broiling

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The Beauty of Broiling

By The Paula Deen Test Kitchen

Want to know how to make a delicious dinner in 10 minutes or less? Of course you do! It’s everyone’s dream to spend less time in the kitchen making the food and more time with your family at the table eating it. Now, there’s an often-neglected piece of equipment in everyone’s kitchen that saves tons of time and calories- the broiler! So let’s put it to good use and make some fast, flavorful food that is also low in added fat and calories.

What is it?
Broiling is similar to grilling because of the direct and intense heat it supplies, but instead of the heat coming from below the food it comes from above. You can broil any cut of meat you would normally grill- the best cuts are always meat, fish, and poultry portions less than 2 inches thick. A great benefit of broiling is that no added fat is needed to cook it. There’s no need to oil the broiler pan to prevent sticking, so not only are you saving time, but you’re also saving fat and calories.

Where is it?
The broiler is often in what looks like a drawer at the bottom of the oven. Or, if your range is not equipped with a drawer broiler, your broiler will be located in your oven. It will be the top of the oven’s heating element (you’ll just have to adjust the oven racks to a few inches below the element). There are usually two heats: high and low.

How do I start?
Always preheat not only your broiler, but also your broiler pan for at least 5 minutes before you begin. The hot broiler pan will add a nice browned crust to the bottom of whatever you happening to be broiling (and we all know that brown means flavor). The intense heat that is coming from above the food browns the top, giving it a delicious crust.

Here we go
Keep the broiler door slightly ajar to avoid flare-ups and to keep the temperature from reaching the broiler’s maximum heat, which will sometimes trigger the broiler to turn off in some models.

For thinner cuts of meat, set the broiler closer to the flame. For thicker cuts, set the broiler further from the flame. Thin cuts need a chance to brown on the outside before being over-cooked in the center and thick cuts should reach proper temperature in the center before burning on the outside.

Some extra tips
Always bring your meats up to room temperature before broiling so it cooks evenly.
Since your meat will be so close to the heat source, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your meat while you’re broiling. It can go from perfectly cooked to perfectly scorched in less than a minute. We always set a timer a few minutes before the recipe calls for a safety precaution. Better safe than sorry!

Not only can your broiler be used to prepare steaks, chicken breasts, and fish filets, but it’s also a great way to brown casseroles, melt cheeses, and even prepare vegetables!

Our Secret Snack
Our Test Kitchen’s secret snack is a broiled open-faced grilled cheese, which is a perfect quick and easy after work snack. Broil a slice of bread until golden brown (about 2 minutes), flip, then top with a few tablespoons grated cheese, put back under the broiler for 1 to 2 more minutes and broil until melted. It’s a very satisfying 5-minute snack!

Test Kitchen Recipe
Try the Test Kitchen’s quick and healthy dinner recipe the next time you need dinner on the table in under ten minutes!

Perfectly Simple Broiled Salmon Salad for Two
2 (6 ounce) salmon filets, skinned (1 ½ inches thick)
4 big handfuls baby arugula or spinach
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
¼ cup slivered almonds
¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
Juice of half a lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Adjust broiler pan to 4-6 inches below broiler. Heat broiler on high for 5 minutes. 

Season the salmon on both sides with salt and pepper. Place the salmon on the hot broiler pan and place under the broiler. Broil for 8 to 10 minutes, until browned and fully cooked through.

While the salmon is broiling, add the greens to a large bowl along with the cherry tomatoes, almonds, and feta cheese. Drizzle with lemon juice, olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Toss all together. Divide the salad among 2 large plates.

Check on salmon, if cooked through and golden brown, top salad with broiled salmon. Dig in!

Serves 2
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes

Try some more of Paula’s recipes:
Broiled Parmesan Tomatoes
Balsamic Glazed London Broil
Bobby’s Lighter Macho Nachos
Blue Cheese and Bacon Broiled Tomatoes
Grilled Tilapia Po’ Boys with Homemade Tartar Sauce

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