What is a Broiler? Comprehensive Guideline to Use A Broiler

Broiling is a popular cooking technique that delivers a crisp, caramelized finish to various dishes. Essential in both home and commercial kitchens, broilers offer high heat to cook food quickly and efficiently. Understanding the functions, types, and usage instructions of broilers can elevate your culinary skills and ensure optimal results.

What Is a Broiler?

A broiler is a cooking appliance that applies direct, intense heat from above, cooking food quickly. Common in ovens, broilers are also standalone units in commercial kitchens. They are ideal for tasks requiring high heat, such as melting cheese, crisping exteriors, and cooking meats.

What Does a Broiler Do?

What Does a Broiler Do?

Broilers provide direct, radiant heat to cook food. The intense heat sears the surface, creating a flavorful crust while keeping the interior juicy. Broilers are perfect for:

  • Melting cheese
  • Browning toppings
  • Searing meats
  • Roasting vegetables
  • Toasting bread
What Does a Broiler Do?

Types of Commercial Broilers

Broiler Oven

A broiler oven is an oven with an integrated broiler. Positioned at the top, it allows for versatile cooking. Home ovens typically include this feature, making it accessible for various cooking needs.

  • Uses: Preparing meats, charring vegetables, toasting bread
  • Benefits: Versatility, simple design
Broiler Oven

Salamander Broiler

A salamander broiler is a professional kitchen staple. It offers high heat, ideal for finishing dishes, browning, and melting. Salamanders are separate units installed above or near stoves.

  • Uses: Fully cooking meats, browning casseroles, preparing desserts
  • Benefits: Increased control over heat intensity

Vertical Broiler

Vertical broilers, commonly used in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines, cook meat on a vertical rotisserie. This method is perfect for gyros, shawarmas, and doner kebabs, ensuring even cooking and deliciously crisp edges.

  • Uses: Cooking beef, lamb, and chicken
  • Benefits: Easy to operate
Vertical Broiler

Upright Broiler

Upright broilers are large, standing units designed for high-volume cooking. They are often used in commercial settings to broil steaks, chops, and other meats efficiently.

  • Uses: Preparing beef, poultry, and seafood
  • Benefits: Increased capacity


A cheesemelter is a specialized broiler designed specifically to melt cheese and finish dishes. It provides gentle, even heat, perfect for nachos, gratins, and other cheese-topped dishes.

  • Uses: Melting cheese
  • Benefits: Easy to clean

How to Use Broiler

Using a broiler involves a few key steps:

  1. Preheat: Allow the broiler to heat up for a few minutes.
  2. Position Food: Place food on a broiler pan or tray, ensuring even spacing.
  3. Adjust Rack: Position the rack at the desired distance from the heat source.
  4. Monitor: Keep a close eye on the food to prevent burning, as broilers cook quickly.
  5. Finish: Remove food once it reaches the desired level of browning or crispiness.

Difference Between Broiling vs. Baking

  • Broiling: Uses direct, high heat from above to cook food quickly. Ideal for searing, browning, and crisping.
  • Baking: Uses indirect, even heat from all sides. Suitable for cooking through and evenly distributing heat.


What Is a Broiler Pan?

A broiler pan is a two-piece metal pan designed for broiling. It includes a slotted top pan that allows fat and juices to drain into a solid bottom pan, preventing flare-ups and ensuring even cooking.

What Temperature Does a Broiler Cook At?

Broilers typically cook at temperatures between 500°F and 550°F (260°C to 290°C), providing the high heat necessary for broiling.

How Long to Preheat a Broiler?

Preheat a broiler for about 5-10 minutes to ensure it reaches the desired high temperature before cooking.


Understanding the functions and types of broilers, along with proper usage instructions, can enhance your cooking techniques. Whether you're melting cheese, searing meats, or toasting bread, a broiler is an invaluable tool in the kitchen. With the right knowledge, you can achieve deliciously crisp and flavorful dishes every time.

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