Have you seen a small compartment at the bottom of your oven with or without a heat regulator? That is the broiler drawer. It looks like a small storage compartment. On the other hand, an oven broiler is found on the upper part of your oven. It is larger than the broiler drawer. The broiler drawer and oven broiler cook by using a technique known as broiling. The broiler drawer is often mistaken for a storage drawer.
Broiler Drawer Vs. Oven Broiler: Overview
What Is Broiling
Broiling is a cooking technique that involves the use of direct radiant heat. The heat source is directly above the broiler. A close look will make the broiler appear like a grill that is upside down. As opposed to roasting and baking, it uses direct heat. The heat is usually intense, and the cooking period is often short. It mainly chars, caramelizes, browns, and quickly cooks foods. Broiling aims to have a crispy outside, as well as to maintain the juices inside.
A broiler drawer is that narrow compartment at the bottom of the oven that we often confuse for a storage drawer. It looks like a retractable pan. There is a possibility some of us have never even tried to imagine its use! Some ovens have a heat regulating button for this compartment, while others don’t. It uses heat from above and is commonly used for toasting bread or browning bread crumbs on a casserole. Food placed on a broiler drawer burns fast, so it is paramount to be on the lookout to prevent it from burning.
How To Use A Broiler Drawer
The main goal of broiling is to cook food quickly and ensure it’s brown, charred, or caramelized on the outside and juicy on the inside. The broiler drawer could also be used for storing warm food. This compartment is small and can’t fit a rack. You could use a broiling pan or sheet placed on the surface. A cast iron skillet or a heavy-duty pan could be suitable for this broiler drawer.
An oven drawer is the upper compartment of the gas oven that has racks and a heat source on top. It is large and can be suitable for a larger dish. The next time you want to brown your thanksgiving turkey, you can use this compartment. It has heat regulating buttons that range from 1 to 5 in most modern designs and high and low in older versions. It comes with racks that can be placed in different parts of the broiler according to the desired amount of heat for your dish.
How To Use An Oven Broiler
The following steps could be helpful while using an oven broiler;
- Start by lining your broiling pan or baking sheet with aluminum foil. Brush the food to be broiled lightly with oil.
- Move the racks to the desired height. Avoid putting fatty foods so close to the heat source, it could be a fire hazard. You can allow a space of 3 to 4 inches from the heat source.
- Turn on the heat and wait for 5 to 10 minutes to allow the broiler to heat up. The temperatures range from 1 for the lowest to 5 for the hottest in some brands, while in others it ranges between high and low. You should bear in mind that heat is direct, and therefore very high temperatures could easily overcook your food.
- Place food on the sheet and cook for the desired time, constantly checking it out. Flip the food once the upper side has browned. Allow equal time for both sides for even cooking.
Foods That Can Be Broiled In Oven And Drawer Broilers
Broiling is a quick way of cooking that is used for tender foods that require a short cooking period. Foods you can broil are; thin cuts of meat around 4 inches wide, lamb chops, ground meat patties, tenderloin, broccoli, carrots, and soft vegetables.
Tips On Using A Broiler
- Leave the door of the compartment open if you realize the temperatures are too high. It helps regulate the heat and ensures the food is well done. Too much heat could burn the food, while too little heat will lead to undercooking.
- Check on the food consistently. The direct radiant heat can burn your food. Check out and flip it over.
- Cook for a short period. Broiling is not advisable for tough foods that require a long cooking period.
- Close your eyes as you open the compartment. It may sound weird, but it allows the steam, hot air, and smoke to escape and keep your eyes safe.
- Do not place oily foods near the source of heat. It is a fire hazard but be prepared always in case of an eventuality. Have a fire extinguisher or blanket close to the oven.
How To Clean A Broiler
A dirty oven could be a fire hazard, make your food have a foul smell, and become slower when grime and grease accumulate on the heat source. For the oven drawer, retract the compartment and wipe with warm soapy water, removing any food leftovers on the sides. Avoid using abrasive soaps or materials. For an oven broiler, start by switching off the oven and removing the racks. Using a soft fabric, wipe the broiler. You could use an oven-recommended spray. In case of stubborn leftovers, scrub gently and rinse off the oven. Ensure that the sides and the areas around the source of heat are well cleaned. Clean the racks and wipe them and the broiler dry. For a self-cleaning oven, you empty the tray and dry the oven broiler after the cycle.
In conclusion, a broiler drawer is the lower compartment of the oven, while the oven broiler is the upper part of the oven. Some ovens come with two compartments, while others have only one.