Broiling - Vintage Cooking Process

Broiler and Range

Broiler and Range © 1916 The Epicurean

In broiling, the food is placed in an oiled broiler and cooked over coals, under a gas flame or in an electric broiler. Turn often, every ten counts, at first, that the surface may be seared. Although there is considerable loss of weight in this method, none yields a finer flavor. A makeshift broiling may be accomplished in a hissing hot unbuttered frying pan.

Broiling is cooking over or in front of a clear fire. The food to be cooked is usually placed in a greased broiler or on a gridiron held near the coals, turned often at first to sear the outside, — thus preventing escape of inner juices,— afterwards turned occasionally.

Broiled Live Lobster

Broiled Live Lobster © 1912 American Cookery

Tender meats and fish may be cooked in this way. The flavor obtained by broiling is particularly fine; there is, however, a greater loss of weight in this than in any other way of cooking, as the food thus cooked is exposed to free circulation of air.

When coal is not used, or a fire is not in condition for broiling, a plan for pan broiling lias been adopted. This is done by placing food to be cooked in a hissing hot frying-pan, turning often as in broiling.

Rules for Broiling

Broiling is cooking over the fire on a gridiron. The flavor of well-broiled meat is very fine. A clear fire is essential for success. Put the gridiron on the fire to heat and rub the bars with a little fat, then put the meat on it.


Broiler © 1920 The Epicurean

Place the gridiron close to the fire at first that the heat may rapidly seal up the outside of the meat; when this has been accomplished lift up the gridiron farther from the fire, that the meat may cook gradually without drying up; turn it occasionally.

The gridiron should be placed on a slight slant, that the fat may not run into the fire. A gridiron with a well is best for the purpose. The French brush over their steaks with salad oil to prevent escape of their juices. Salmon and other fish are often cooked in oiled paper for the same reason. Oil the paper inside and be careful that the fire is particularly clear.

Broiled Corn

Broiled Corn © 1906 Table Talk's Illustrated Cook Book

In a well-cooked chop or steak the outside will have a slight firmness, but the inside should be tender and juicy. A broil must be sent to table without delay.

Fannie Merritt Farmer, The Boston Cooking-school Cook Book, Revised Edition, Boston: Little, Brown, and Company (1912), p. 19-20

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