Multitasking is an essential skill in the kitchen. If you are making a large holiday meal or just a Sunday dinner with many sides, you cannot cook the components to the meal one at a time or your first items will cool while you finish the last parts of the meal. When you have broiled meat, however, the situation becomes more complicated because not all sides can be broiled or cooked on the stove top. Fortunately, potatoes are an exception. If you plan ahead carefully, you can broil potatoes with your meat.
Preheat the broiler. If you are able to use either the top or bottom heating element, use the top heating element only.
Wash the potatoes thoroughly with cool water and a rough sponge to eliminate any traces of dirt. Trim any bad parts of the potato or emerging roots with your knife.
Prick each of the potatoes in five or six places with a fork. This creates holes that will allow the steam to escape, preventing the potatoes from exploding.
Wrap the potatoes in foil. The foil will prevent the skins from drying out and will help the potatoes to cook evenly.
Place the meat on the top rack of the oven and the potatoes on the bottom rack. The potatoes do not need to be placed in a pan. If the meat broils in less than half an hour, like fish, place the potatoes in before the meat. The potatoes need half an hour, and very large potatoes might require even more time, so plan accordingly and put your meat in the oven when the potatoes will be done at the same time. For instance, if your fish requires five minutes to broil, start the potatoes 35 minutes before the fish.
Check the potatoes by taking one out of the oven with a potholder or oven mitt. Gently squeeze the potato. If it gives easily, it is done. If the potato is still firm, return it to the oven and check again in five minutes.
Cut a slit in each potato to allow the steam to vent. When the potato stops steaming, add the toppings and serve them hot.
- For best results, the potatoes should be 6 to 8 inches away from the broiler element.
- Potato skins can also be broiled at the same time as meat. Bake or broil whole potatoes first, then slice the potatoes in half, hollow them out and broil them with the toppings inside.
Natalie Smith is a technical writing professor specializing in medical writing localization and food writing. Her work has been published in technical journals, on several prominent cooking and nutrition websites, as well as books and conference proceedings. Smith has won two international research awards for her scholarship in intercultural medical writing, and holds a PhD in technical communication and rhetoric.