HOW TO COOK MEAT

How to Broil Steak

By Nils Hoyum - January 12, 2009

How to Broil Steak | Meat Cooking Methods | Technique

yields

3 servings

cuisine

american

dish type

entree

Have a craving for a steak? Are you one of the millions of poor saps unfortunate enough not to have a grill? Well, you're in luck. If you have an oven, there is a pretty good chance that you also have a broiler. In America, broilers are essentially inverted grills. A couple of things are a little different, but it is nearly the same.

Firstly, you don't have to worry about flame-ups caused by grease dripping into the fire since the flame or element is above the meat. Secondly, there is less convective cooking since heat is applied from above. So, broiling may take a little longer than grilling. Other than that, broiling is one of the easiest and best ways to get that tasty caramelization that happens to the meat as it cooks at high heat.

Beef Steaks Seasoned with Sea Salt and Black Pepper then Broiled to Medium Rare

rare steak

1. Prep the steak and preheat the oven. Move the oven rack to the position just below the top. Turn the broiler on high. Get that baby hot. The next step is gonna be prepping the meat. Whether you like a lot of spices or a little, you must rub it onto the meat. I apply all the spices on one side and rub it in really well. Then I flip the steaks and wash my hands. You don't want to contaminate the pepper mill. Now apply spices to the other side and let the steak rest. If desired, you can apply a small amount of oil to the steak. This is not so much to keep the steak from sticking as it is to help the meat achieve ultimate caramelization. Don't use olive oil. Olive oil's flash point (the point at which it smokes and tastes bad) is much too low. I would use vegetable oil or canola oil. These oils have much higher flash points. It is best to cook steak from room temperature or near it. Doing this gives the meat a head start and saves you time. It also ensures consistent cooking throughout the steak.

steak broiling in the oven

2. Broil the steak. Once the broiler has achieved maximum heat, place the steaks on the broiling pan and place in oven. The cooking time for the first side is going to depend on a three major things: how thick your broiling pan is, how thick your meat is, and what type of oven you have. If you have a gas range, it will be less than if you have an electric range. A gas range can put out up to 3000 BTUs, and an electric range can only do 2000 BTUs. Also, it depends on how well-done you like your meat. Personally, I believe anything past medium is a waste. But if you can't stand the sight of blood even though it tastes like heaven, you will need to cook yours a little longer than the rest of us.

broiling the other side of the steak

3. Broiling the other side. Once the first side is cooked to your desired doneness, pull the oven rack out with an oven mitt and using a pair of spring loaded tongs, flip your meat. Push the rack back in carefully and close the door. Now did you keep track of the time it took to cook the first side? If so, use that as an estimate for the next side. Check it after all but one minute of that time has passed.

resting broiled steak

4. Time to eat . . . almost. OK, so the steak is done. It's sitting there on the broiling pan. You are starving, and everyone is looking at it, mouths' salivating. Well' you have to wait. Yep. Sorry, you can't eat it yet. You have to let it rest for at least 5 minutes. Resting allows the meat to cool and the juices to settle down a bit. If you cut into it while it's still hot, you will lose all those buttery juices. So, fight off the hungry hoard and let it sit. You can let it rest on the broiling pan if you want, but the preferred method is on a room-temperature rack above a drip catcher. Alton Brown uses a plate and chopsticks. Place the chopsticks on top of a plate so there is space underneath; about 6 chopsticks should do it. Put the steak on there and watch those juices come out. Don t worry—there are still plenty of juices in the meat. That is unless you cooked yours to well done, and then I can't help you. Now the steak has rested, and you are hungry. Time to eat. Enjoy.

Tips and Tricks

The key to broiling or even grilling is don't touch. You can take a peek if you want, but don't do it too much. Smoke is almost certain to occur. If you have a hood vent, turn it on. If you have a smoke detector, disconnect it for a minute, but don't forget to plug it back in once you have finished.