For fast, easy meals, this handy oven feature just can't be beat.

By Victoria Spencer
Updated March 19, 2021
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Do you love your broiler? You should! It's the key to fast, flavorful meals. Like grilling, broiling uses high, direct heat to cook food quickly and give it a tasty, browned crust. But what we like about this cooking method is that, unlike grilling, you can broil right in your kitchen no matter what the weather. If your broiler doesn't see much action, follow the tips here—we think it will become your new favorite way to cook.

Get to Know Your Broiler

Unlike ovens, broilers often have only two settings: "On" and "Off" (Sometimes called "high" and "low"). Different broilers heat to different temperatures, and gas models tend to run hotter than electric. The distance between the rack and the heating element also affects how fast food cooks. This means that you need to take recipe cooking times with a grain of salt when using a broiler—instead of setting a timer, keep an eye on your food, and move the rack to a lower position if food is browning too quickly or higher if things are moving too slow.

What Foods Should You Broil?

Think thin: steaks, pork chops, fish fillets, and chicken cutlets are all great in the broiler, as are shrimp and tofu. Why thin? If cuts are too thick, they may scorch before cooking through. And don't forget fruit! Try broiled pineapple or bananas next time you want a quick dessert.

How to Broil Successfully

Make sure to preheat the broiler, which means the food gets a blast of heat when it goes in. We also love preheating the pan; this ensures a really good sear on foods like steak. You should bring any food you're cooking to room temperature before broiling, as this helps guarantee more even cooking. And pat food dry, removing marinade or moisture, before cooking.

As soon as the broiler compartment has cooled down enough, wipe it out with a damp cloth to remove any spatters. That way, you won't let the mess build up—and you'll be ready for your next broiler dinner.

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