How To Broil In An Oven Without A Broiler

How To Broil In An Oven Without A Broiler: Full Guide

Last Updated on April 14, 2024 by Shari Mason

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When food is exposed to direct heat using the broiling cooking technique, it becomes a healthy way of cooking. The delightful aspect of broiling is achieving a perfect char on your food. Using a broiler pan can enhance the experience even further as it allows for equal distribution of air, ensuring uniform cooking.

However, without a broiler pan, broiling food is still possible with a broiler pan substitute. In this roundup, we’ll learn how to broil in an oven without a broiler pan.

6 Steps to Broil in Oven Without Broiler

man taking out baked turkey from the oven

1. Prepare the Things You’ll Need

Prepare the items you need. If you want to broil chicken or vegetables, prepare them at least four hours ahead. If you are broiling steak, ensure it’s at least 3/4 thick. 

Using a thick cut prevents the meat from getting charred. Turn on your broiler. A standard broiler takes five to ten minutes to heat up.

Read: Do You Leave Oven Door Open When Broiling?

2. Clean the Oven Rack

Ensure that the oven racks are clean. Scrub it with a steel wool brush. After cleaning thoroughly, spray with cooking spray and set aside. The rack will be used for cooking meat or other foods.

Read: How To Make Fondue Without A Fondue Pot?

3. Wrap the Baking Sheet with Aluminum Foil

unrolled roll of aluminum foil for baking

Baking sheets can be broiler pan substitutes. While they are not like broiler pans, they can withstand high heat. Cover the tray with aluminum foil to allow you to catch fat drippings and make cleaning easier.

Read: Can You Put A Baking Pan On The Grill?

4. Place the Item on Top of Another Oven Rack

Place the thing to be broiled on top of the rack. Insert it into the oven and ensure it’s in line with the baking sheet below. The baking sheet will catch fat drippings.

5. Insert the Baking Pan on the Bottom Oven Rack

Insert the baking pan at the bottom rack and ensure that the broiled item is above the baking pan’s rung.

6. Turn the Oven on and Leave the Door Open Slightly

Turn on the oven. Make sure to open the oven door slightly. Leaving the door slightly ajar ensures that the oven doesn’t overheat while your food is in the cooking process. 

However, this is suitable only for an electric oven. 

You need cooler air outside to prevent it from shutting down when it gets too hot. [1] Closing the door while broiling will result in uneven cooking.

Tips You Can Try

Use Oil or Nonstick Spray

top view of olives and olive oil bottles on table

Use nonstick spray or oil to grease the cooling rack or the baking tray before putting the food. This ensures that you can easily lift your food once you finish cooking. 

You can drizzle it with olive oil if you’re using aluminum foil. Avoid using parchment paper as it can burn when it gets too hot.

However, nonstick spray results in dirt build-up on the cookware, making it hard to clean and destroying its properties. It’s vital to ensure that your broiler pan substitute like a baking tray, cast iron pan, roasting pan, or aluminum foil tray is suitable for broiling.

Arrange Foods in Single Layer

Add your food to a cooking vessel and spread them out in a single layer to ensure they are all exposed to the heat. 

Place the food directly above or under the broiler heating element. This method ensures even cooking and browning. You don’t want some food burnt and other food uncooked.

Since high heat is involved, watching your food closely is essential. Turn on the oven light. Watch through the broiling process and look out for smoke or fire.

Use an Oven Thermometer

It requires some trial and error to master broiling because each oven broiler is unique. It would help to use an oven thermometer to monitor the broiler temperature.

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Things You Should Not Broil in Oven

Large Meats

Broilers heat meat from the outside and are not meant to cook them fully. Large meats that are cut too thick would result in the outside of the steak being overcooked before the middle reaches the doneness you prefer. 

Use an instant-read thermometer. This will help you ensure that the steak is cooked and the doneness you desire is achieved. 

The thermometer measures food temperature accurately in mere seconds. It has a digital display. [2] 


Browning cheese toppings for a casserole are possible in the broiler. However, thirty seconds or less is needed to melt the cheese. Any time longer than that may result in burning.

Fresh Herbs

Herbs such as rosemary sprigs, thyme, and freshly cracked black pepper can add flavor to a dish. However, broiling herbs for a long time can scorch it. It’s important to keep an eye on them. Watch closely as they can ignite under a gas broiler.

Cold Meat

The meat might not be cooked evenly when it comes from the fridge. Broiling cold meat can result in a rare and cold center.


What is the ideal temperature to broil in an oven without a broiler?

Around 550℉ (289℃) is the ideal temperature to broil in an oven without a broiling pan. However, most ovens have only one broil option, ranging from 500°F to 550°F.

Broiling is exposing the food to direct heat. The high temperature gives the food the same sear as grilling beef.

Can I use a regular pan for broiling?

No. You can’t use a regular pan for broiling. It’s crucial to make sure that your pan is broiler safe. Check with the cookware’s manual instruction as some cookware can’t withstand high heat.

You can use broiler pan substitutes if you don’t have a broiling pan. Examples of broiler pan substitutes you can use are a roasting pan, cast iron pan, and an aluminum foil tray. 

You can also use sheet pans but ensure they are thick and use medium heat as they can warp due to high temperature.

In Summary

Whether it’s chicken breasts, cheesy casseroles, fish fillets, steaks, or vegetables, achieving the perfect crust and doneness can be challenging. But don’t give up just yet because you have a powerful weapon to achieve the ideal browning and cook food evenly- the broiler. 

It can help you create a crispy crust for the casserole you’re cooking. If you prefer broiled chicken, you can do that as well. 

The broiler uses high and direct heat to cook direct food surfaces quickly. It’s essential to use a broiler pan to make cooking safe and the dish evenly cooked. Broiler pans have a section with low walls and a broiler plate lid, which is the cooking surface.

Without a broiler pan, you can use a broiler pan substitute. You can use cast iron pans or a sheet pan. Avoid nonstick or Teflon cookware because they can release toxic chemicals when the temperature is high.

If you want to broil chicken, you can use baking sheets, but you have to turn it once one side has turned brown. Five to ten minutes per side is your best bet. If you don’t prefer sheet pans, use a roasting pan. Most roasting pans typically have a lid.


Shari Mason

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