Many people conjure images of billowing smoke pouring out of the oven and smoke detector blaring when something is broiled. There is some truth to these images. I have burned many sandwiches under the broiler and sent smoke billowing into the house. The high heat intimidates most people and therefore intimidates them away from the idea of cooking under the broiler.
In professional restaurants broilers and salamanders (a super broiler on steroids) are used to expedite food. These two cooking devices deliver extremely concentrated heat waves from different mediums. Some may argue the restaurant salamanders (yes, the non-amphibian kind) and broilers are the same. Actually, they are quite different but the concept of cooking is the same with both of them. Home-use broilers will never reach the intense heat delivered by a professional salamander but can be used in the same way.
Cooking with the broiler requires some common sense. Stop and think about the cooking method, extremely concentrated heat. Oven racks are adjustable to allow for broiler cooking. Adjust your oven racks to accommodate what you are cooking and plan on keeping a constant eye on whatever place under the broiler.
Pork chops are some of my favorite entree’s. You can cook them many ways, however, a nice broiled or grilled pork chop is the best. Some basic equipment is needed to broil, a broiler pan, aluminum foil, and something to broil. When I broil my pork chops, I like to create an aromatic spice rub to season the meat and fill the house with the aroma of dinner. Combine some common herbs from your spice cabinet like, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, paprika, season salt, pepper, and dill. Mix them together and use them as an all purpose spice rub for your pork chops. Rub the dry mixture all over the meat and allow it to sit for about 30 minutes. During this time, assemble the remaining dinner dishes. Start some rice cooking and chop up the makings for a salad.
My broiling pan is nothing more than a baking sheet and a cooling rack I’ve set down inside the baking sheet. I do like to line the baking sheet with aluminum foil to cut down on clean up time. Once the chops have marinaded for about 30 minutes, simply place them on the prepared broiling pan and adjust your oven racks to accommodate your comfort level. What I mean by this is to simply adjust the racks for how much time you want your chops to cook. If you are comfortable with a fast searing leave the racks closer to the broiler or if a slower sear is what you are looking for use the rack on the lower oven shelves. The lower the rack the slower the meat will sear and cook. Wherever you decide to place the racks, make sure you are watching the cooking process. Unlike baking, broiling requires constant attention because foods cook hotter and faster.
With the weather still on again and off again grilling hasn’t become an evening affair yet. Try some new techniques to spice up your spring menu. Try broiling some pork chops, steaks or even vegetables. Use your imagination and remember to constantly keep an eye on your broiling food. Billowing smoke and blaring smoke detectors aren’t my idea of a quiet and calm dinner. For a complete recipe of my broiled pork chops, simply go to my website www.cookingwithchefbryan.com.