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  Grilling / Broiling
 

 

Definition

Grilling and Broiling is the use of radiant heat to sear a highly flavoured crust on food

 

There is a significant degree of confusion over these two terms.  Grilling tends to be a term used in the UK whilst broiling tends to be a term used for the same process in the USA. 

 

 

Grilling and broiling both use intense direct heat to cook foods. They both require the same watchful eye to avoid burning. And they both provide a similar charring and caramelisation that give food that distinctive flavour. However, grills and broilers work differently to achieve these goals.

 

When grilling we tend to cook food on a grill, rack or tray, whilst broiling has a solid plate underneath which is preheated before the food is applied meaning it begins cooking on both sides immediately. (Salamander)

Grilling and Broiling are fast methods for cooking tender cuts of meats, poultry, ham and fish. 

Cooking times for grilled or broiled food vary considerably as there are differences in thickness of meat, in fat content, and in personal preferences.

The intense heat seals the meat and prevents juices from escaping but as a result if the heat is allowed to drop, the meat can effectively stew in its own juices and become tough.  This is why only the more tender cuts of meat should be chosen for this cooking method.

When broiling or grilling the grease and fat is able to drip away and this needs to be collected either in a pan or similar receptacle

 

Methods

 Grilled foods can be cooked in several ways:  

  Over heat e.g. charcoal, barbecues, gas or electric heated grills

  Under heat e.g. gas or electric grills, gas or electric salamanders

  Between heat e.g. electrically heated grill bars or plates

 

 

Advantages

Speed of grilling enables food to be quickly cooked to order

Charring foods gives a distinctive appearance and improves flavour

Control of cooking is aided because food is visible during grilling

Grills may be situated in view of customers

 

Disadvantages

More suitable for expensive cuts of meat

Requires skill

 

Foods suitable for grilling:

Fish                    Cod, herring, mackerel, plaice

Meat                   Brochette, mixed grill, chops, steak

Vegetables         Mushrooms, tomatoes

Savouries           Welsh rarebit

Toasted items    Bread, tea cakes, muffins

 

Safety!

Like grilling you need to keep a close eye while broiling. Foods can still easily burn and even catch fire. Keep a fire resistant mitt close by and stay close to the oven while broiling. An instance read thermometer is also a very good thing to have on hand. Broiling might take longer than grilling because the temperatures might not be as high, but donít assume that it will take longer.