Grilling and Broiling
Grilling and Broiling:
Grilling and broiling may seem like two methods of cooking foods that don’t have much in common but actually they accomplish the same goal. Both methods use intense, direct heat to cook the food and both require a watchful eye to keep the food from burning. Both methods caramelize the foods and give them a distinct flavor. Both sear the surface of the food, giving it a flavorful crusty texture on the outside while keeping it moist and tender on the inside. With one, the heat source comes from the bottom (grilling) and with the other the heat source comes from the top (broiling).
Grilling: Cooking over an open flame. Food is placed on a pre-heated metal grate or grill and direct or indirect dry heat comes from below the food at temperatures of over 400°F.
Broiling: Done in the oven. The food is placed on a pre-heated broiler pan or baking sheet and ?placed two to six inches under the heat source. Like grilling, the temperatures are hot; over 400°F.
Besides a grill, either charcoal or gas, there is little extra that is required for the grilling method of cooking. A food thermometer is the only other necessary piece of equipment for a successful and safe griller. The thermometer will make sure your meat has been cooked to a safe eating temperature. However, if you love to grill and plan to do it often some items that might be a helpful addition to your grilling equipment include:
- Grill brush or stainless steel scrubber for cleaning sticky sauces and char off the cooking grate.
- Tongs for turning foods as they cook. Forks pierce foods and allow for loss of fluids.
- Spatulas for turning foods prone to sticking, such as burgers and fish. A larger spatula with a stiff but thin blade works best.
- Squirt bottle with water to help with flare-ups and reduce char on food.
One of the best things about broiling is there is no specialized equipment required besides an oven with a broil setting and a baking sheet.
Tips for successful grilling and broiling:
Grilling and broiling may be intimidating to the new home cook. Follow these tips and you will be surprised at how easy and delicious these cooking methods can be.
- Make sure grill racks or broiling pan are clean. Coat them with vegetable oil or spray to keep foods from sticking.
- Heat grill or broiler pan for 10-15 minutes before adding food so that food will be seared instead of steamed or baked.
- Leave 3⁄4 inch between food items to ensure even cooking and to prevent them from steaming.
- Use tongs to turn solid pieces of meat. This will keep the juices inside.
- It is best to turn or “flip” the food only once during cooking to sear food.
- All pieces of food may not cook at the same rate. To avoid overcooking, remove the cooked pieces as they finish and keep them warm while remaining foods cook.
- Use a dry spice rub for flavor; add any sticky sauces just before serving or pass the sauce around the table. When grilling or broiling, using sauces on foods during cooking will char (burn) the food.
Benefits of Grilling
Most people think that grilled vegetable kabobs or burgers are foods to be enjoyed only in the warm summer months, but grilling can be done any time of year. Although more charcoal or heat is needed during the winter, and you must be careful of grilling on windy days, grilling can be done outside in any season.
You can enjoy the following benefits of grilling year round:
- In summer it keeps your kitchen cool!
- It doesn’t require electricity.
- Grilling can be a healthy way to cook because fats fall away from the cooked foods.
- You can reduce energy costs by cooking outside on the grill.
- Some foods can be cooked faster than with conventional methods indoors.
- Grilling vegetables makes them sweet and delicious. If your family thinks they don’t like vegetables, chances are great they will like them grilled.
Benefits of Broiling
Besides being a quick and easy way to prepare delicious family meals, here are some other benefits of the broiling cooking method.
- It can be done without the use of special equipment needed for grilling.
- It is a healthy way to cook if you use a broiling pan so that fats fall away from the food.
- It can be done any time of year but is especially convenient on cold, blustery days.
Broiling gives a unique taste to vegetables and fruits.
Best foods to grill or broil:
Grilling and broiling are such versatile techniques that can be used for almost any of your favorite foods. While most people associate them with burgers, steaks, and chicken some other great grilled/broiled choices include vegetables, fruits, pizza, and fish.