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Your oven broiler uses just the top heating element to cook food. It provides crisp browning like you get on a grill by using high, direct heat. The rack and pan that comes with your broiler encourages even cooking and allows excess juices to drain from the food.

Broiler Basics

To avoid heavy cleanup later, line the main pan with aluminum foil to catch juice and drippings. Set the broiler rack inside the main pan, then arrange your food on it in a single layer. Place the food 2 inches apart to allow the hot air to circulate, so the food cooks evenly. If you want to preserve the juices or just avoid cleanup of the rack, place food directly in the lined pan. Flip the food halfway through the broiling time if you aren't using the rack.

Tips for Success

If you use the rack that comes with your pan, spray it with a nonstick cooking spray to make cleanup easier. Preheat the broiler first, then set the pan so it's about 4 inches below the heating element. Most food broils quickly, so use the time in the recipe as a guideline. Monitor the food throughout the entire broiling period and remove it before it burns.

About the Author

Tom Ross

Freelance writing since 2009, Tom Ross has over 30 years of corporate management and hands-on experience in the supermarket industry. Ross was featured on the cover of "Instore Buyer" magazine and his articles have appeared on various websites.