How to Broil Meat

by Food & Drink Editor

How to Broil Meat. Broiled meat is cooked very close to the heating element. Because it uses such high, direct heat, broiled food gains a pleasantly brown exterior, and it usually takes just a few minutes to prepare. Broiling is generally used for tender steaks and chops that can be cooked quickly. Sliced ham, bacon, fish and baby beef liver also broil well.

Preheat the broiler at least 5 to 7 minutes. It needs to be very hot to work properly.

Season meat with salt and pepper or desired seasonings.

Place on a broiler pan, or on a rack in a shallow baking pan. Line the pan with aluminum foil to reduce cleanup.

Put the pan in the oven about 5 inches from the heat source, depending on thickness. The thicker it is, the slower it needs to cook, so place thicker cuts further from the heat source. Cuts that are too thick must be cooked another way.

Cook until the side closest to the heat turns a pleasant, deep golden-brown. Broiling is fast, so take care that the meat doesn't burn. Depending on the cut, start checking after about 5 minutes on each side.

Flip the cut over and cook the other side to desired doneness. See Tips for doneness tests.


  • Because it uses very hot, direct heat, broiling works best on quick-cooking cuts - less than 1 inch thick. Thicker cuts can be browned in the broiler and finished in a 325-degree F oven. Test for doneness with an instant-read cooking thermometer (the most accurate way) or cut steaks or chops in the thickest portion to determine doneness. With practice, you can test for doneness by pressing with a finger. Meat firms as it cooks. Most red meat is rare around 125 to 130 degrees F, medium rare at 140 degrees F, and medium at 150 degrees F. Pork and poultry should be completely cooked through - to at least 155 degrees F internal temperature. Fish should flake easily.

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