How to Use Your Oven Broiler for Indoor Grilling

Are you tired of having your grilling plans foiled by bad weather? Maybe you live in a climate where your outdoor season is very limited.

indoor broiled fish

You might even live somewhere with little to no outdoor space to support a full sized grill. Thankfully, there are now tons of ways that you can achieve that same delicious grilled taste in your food without actually using a grill.

One of the best and mode widely available ways is to use your oven broiler for “grilling”. How is this possible? Follow along down below for detailed instructions, tips and tricks on how to grill using your standard kitchen oven.

First: Get a Good Pan

Firstly, you’ll need a very durable heatproof pan to cook with. A grill pan would be ideal for achieving those signature grill lines and delicious char, but any cast iron oven safe skillet will do in a pinch.

Double check that your pan is safe at temperatures up to (and exceeding) 500 degrees. Don’t use a nonstick pan, as most of these don’t perform well at this high of heat and can leach harmful chemicals into your food.

Stainless steel will work as well, but beware of sticking! Start by preheating your oven’s broiler. For thicker foods, such as steak or larger cuts of meat, you’ll want to keep the broiler on its lower setting to avoid scorching the outside while leaving the inside raw.

For thinner foods, the high setting is perfect for a quick sear and a thoroughly cooked middle. You should not only preheat your oven, but also your skillet as well. This will ensure that none of the broiler’s heat is wasted on trying to warm up your pan while simultaneously cooking your meat, as this can often yield poor results.

Safety Tip: When Indoor Grilling

Remember to be extremely careful when removing a pan from the oven, especially when dealing with the broiler.

oven broiler for indoor grilling

Not only does the broiler’s heating element get way hotter than the oven ever does, it is also much closer to your pan which results in a more intense heat.

Anything that you’d normally cook on the grill can also be cooked under your oven broiler. This includes steak, hamburgers, fish, shrimp, veggies, and more.

Use your discretion when it comes to cooking times and follow similar guidelines to what you would if you were using a regular grill. For example, delicate meats such as fish or seafood only need a few minutes on high heat to get a great, juicy seared finish.

Other meats like chicken will need a bit longer. The closer to the heating element you keep your pan, the quicker and more intensely it will sear. This can be a great tool for those of you with only one broiler heat setting as it allows you come control over the cooking process.

Don’t Forget to Season

After your food is done cooking, you can finish dressing and seasoning it. One benefit of cooking in a pan is that you’ll still have access to the drippings, unlike when cooking on a grill.

This is a great opportunity to make a delicious pan sauce to add an extra layer of flavor to your meal. Just don’t wait too long to remove your food from the pan!

Remember that it will keep cooking long after being taken out of the oven due to the extremely high temperatures that the broiler can reach. Nobody likes dry, overcooked food!

Don’t Forget to Add Sauce at the End!

If you’re adding another sauce, such as a barbecue sauce, be sure to add it last and don’t try to cook it under the broiler.

Unlike in a grill, the broiler’s heat comes from above the food. Adding a thick, sugary sauce in advance will certainly result in burning and may even result in a fire.

It’s best to just wait until the end. Don’t forget that sauces and spices are great ways to really amp up the grilled flavor of your meal. Consider marinating your meats in something containing liquid smoke for an extra intense flavor.

Smoked spices and salts are even more great ways to intensify the depth of flavor and recreate the “fresh off the grill” taste.

Enjoy Your Cooked Masterpiece, Safely.

Always remember to be safe when attempting to “grill” indoors. While all kinds of cooking come with their own safety risks, cooking under the broiler is especially hazardous due to the high heat and cooking temperatures.

Avoid burns by using a thick oven mitt or towel to remove your scorching hot pan from the oven. Keep your smoke alarm happy by remembering to add sauces and other burnable toppings after cooking has finished.