Whether it’s a downpour or you’re simply running low on charcoal, Sabrina Hannah, engineer in GE Appliances’ cooking lab, has pulled together quick tips for getting the grill effect using your everyday appliances.
“The closest thing to the grill in your house is the broiler, but unlike a grill which radiates heat from the bottom, the broiler relies on a heating element that radiates heat down from the top,” said Hannah. “A broiler is a great time saving option because it heats quickly. Unlike a standard preheat, you aren’t waiting for the whole oven cavity to warm.”
When using a broiler:
- Position matters.The higher the rack, the closer to the heating element, and the faster food will cook. To sear food quickly, like a medium rare steak, put the rack on one of the top levels, if you want to cook more slowly without drying food out, think chicken breast, put the rack lower.
- Broil high or low. Most broilers have two levels - high and low. For thicker foods you want cooked through broil on low, for food that you want browned, broil on high.
- Keep a watchful eye.Food can go from barely brown to burned in a matter of seconds under the broiler. Cooking isn’t a linear process. As the surface of your food dries out your food will brown faster, especially toward the end.
- Slather on the sauce at the right time.Cook your food most of the way through and then put the sauce on when the food is almost done. This will prevent the sugar in the sauce from burning too quickly.
- Use the right equipment. Pack away the parchment paper and Pyrex. Make sure everything is broiler safe.
- Keep the heat in the oven.Most ovens today can broil with the door closed. Turn on your hood if you need to cool your kitchen.
Maximize your Microwave
“From chicken breasts to corn on the cob, a microwave can help speed the cooking process up,” said Hannah. “If you’re in a time crunch cook your food most of the way in the microwave and then finish it off in the broiler to get a browned exterior.”
The Cooktop: Getting “Grill” Marks
Some cooktops today offer a griddle option if not there are always grill pans. One side can provide grill marks while the flat side provides maximum surface area for an even sear.
“There’s a ‘myth’ in cooking that you shouldn’t flip too often. Don’t be afraid to flip, especially if you want your protein browned evenly on each side,” said Hannah.
Other Indoor Grilling Tools:
- Broiler pan: Perfect for catching juices.
- Sheet Pan: If a broiler pan isn’t available, try a broiler safe cookie rack on top of a sheet pan to catch juices, many of which evaporate under the broiler.
- Liquid smoke or smoked paprika can help lend that bbq flavor to any dish.
- Skewers: Perfect for shrimp on the barbie or rather the griddle.
“Always cut even pieces of meat to make sure kabobs cook evenly,” said Hannah. “If you’re worried about meat taking longer than vegetables on your kebob, put all the meat on one skewer and veggies on another. You can then have guests build their own kebabos.”