Broiling food in an oven is a quick cooking process that uses powerful direct heat from the top heating element. Because the heat generated in this mode is so powerful there can be a fine line between cooking and burning food so careful attention must be paid when using this mode.
What is the Benefit of using Convection with the Broil mode?
I find imagery is very helpful when thinking about cooking in a Convection oven. For example, in this mode, visualize the image of powerful direct heat being directed to the food from the top heating element while the Convection fan circulates the heat around the oven.
The benefit of powerful heat directed from the top heating element is browning or searing. The benefit of heated air circulating is even distribution of the heat as well as aiding in moisture retention.
We need heat to cook food but heat can destroy food. So, basically, this mode solves the problem of moisture loss when cooking foods at high heat.
Important Tips for Safe Oven Broiling
Because broiling is so fast and the heat is so powerful, it’s important to be well prepared before beginning.
Always arrange the oven racks before heating the oven in this mode and turn on the overhead ventilation to assist in extracting any smoke that is emitted during the cooking.
Ovens typically come to temperature very quickly in this mode and may only require a 5-minute preheat. Because heating of the top element is accelerated in this mode it’s ok to add the food before preheating is finished.
Be sure to have a place with a heat-safe trivet prepared to land the hot broil pan.
Use a 2-piece broil pan when broiling foods with a lot of marbling or fat. That way the fat drips into the pan through the slats and is protected from the high heat of the broil element.
Avoid using sauces or marinades with a lot of sugar to prevent burning the food.
Use a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil, shiny side down when broiling shrimp, fish, or vegetables.
Don’t leave the kitchen when broiling, and NEVER broil with the oven door open.
Using the Heat from the Broil Element Effectively
High heat brings out the flavor in food but too much heat can burn food so broiling is a delicate balance. Here are some tips for success.
When broiling meats, allow approximately 6 minutes of cooking on the first side and 4 -5 minutes on the second side. By the time you turn the meat the temperature in the oven and the broil pan will both be very hot so the second side usually cooks faster.
If the cut of meat is fairly thick, sear both sides then re-position the broil pan lower in the oven and change mode to Convection Roast or Convection Bake, and drop the temperature to 300 degrees. Moving the pan away from the powerful heat in the top of the oven allows the meat to cook through gently without overcooking the edges.
Always take the food off the broil pan as soon as it comes out of the oven otherwise it will continue to cook.
Stay Tuned for my next post, Troubleshooting Convection Cooking Issues
In the meantime, visit my Convection Recipe page for recipe ideas for your next meal. Follow the guidelines for broiling fish and steak provided in these recipes: Broiled Salmon with Honey Mustard Glaze, Broiled Cod for Fish Tacos, and Broiled Steak and Corn Salsa.
Using the tools in your Convection oven can greatly simplify the preparation of day-to-day cooking with great results.
Larissa, Your Convection Enthusiast