To quickly serve up meat or vegetables with serious color and crispness, switch on the broiler. Select the “broil” button on your console, wait about five minutes, then load in your dish—closer to the top of the oven for thinner foods and farther away for thicker, tougher foods. Keep a very close eye on cooking progress: this high heat method will burn food if left for too long.

 

You can also use your broiler to brown or add a finishing crunch to the top of dishes that have already been baked, like mac and cheese or pizza. Read on to learn more about this useful setting so you can make the most of it in future meals.

Broiler in an oven

What is a broiler?

A broiler, designated by the “Broil” setting, uses the heating element in the top of the oven, applying high temps to the top of dishes for quick, high-heat cooking. Baking, on the other hand, uses both the top and bottom elements at a lower temperature. In that way, broiling is closer to grilling where high heat is focused on one side of food at a time.

What temperature is broil?

Some ovens will have one broil option, which is typically 500°F to 550°F, while others will let you select between low, med and high or even key in the temperature yourself. Low is usually 400°F, medium 450°F and high ranges from 500°F to 550°F. 

Bone-in steaks broiling in the oven

What is a broiler pan?

Some ovens may come with a metal broiling pan consisting of a rack on top and a drip pan underneath. The slits in the top part of the pan allow air to circulate around food while keeping it out of its own juices to help with crisping. If you don’t have a broiler pan, you can create the same effect by placing an oven-safe cooling or roasting rack on top of a standard metal sheet pan or baking sheet. Baking sheets with raised edges help prevent juices or other messes from dripping onto the bottom of the oven.

Hand selecting a broil setting on an oven console

How to use an oven broiler, step by step

Broilers will vary from oven to oven, so check your Use and Care Guide for more specific information about how your broiler works. If you’re cooking with a recipe, consult that as well before beginning.

Range with temperature icon

Step 1: Preheat the broiler

Find the “Broil” setting on your oven console and turn it on. If available, select the temperature setting based on what you’re cooking: higher for thinner, fast-cooking foods and lower for thicker foods that may take longer to cook through. Let the broiler preheat for at least 5 minutes.

Pan on a rack icon

Step 2: Position your dish under the broiler

Find the right cookware for your food. Broiler pans and cast iron skillets are good options but any shallow, metal pan will do. Position the oven rack in the slot directly below the broiler or a couple of slots down, depending on what you’re cooking: closer to the heat for foods that just need a quick sear and farther away if they need some time to fully cook.

Pan cooking on a rack icon

Step 3: Monitor broiling progress closely

Keep a close eye on your dish as it cooks. The high heat of a broiler can easily burn food if left too long. Depending on the dish, you may want to adjust the food throughout to get an even cook and color on all sides. If you notice that it’s browning too fast, move the rack down, lower the temp, or even switch to a bake setting for a bit to cook food through, then switch back to broil.

 

Follow these basic guidelines when broiling meat, vegetables, bread and casseroles, keeping in mind that you might need to flip certain foods halfway through their cook time:

FOOD

Type

RACK POSITION

COOK TIME (MINUTES)

TEMPERATURE

Beef TYPE Steak, 1" thick
Hamburger patty, 3/4" thick
RACK POSITION 4" from broiler
3" from broiler
COOK TIME (MINUTES) 8–12 (med/rare to med)
6–8 (med)
TEMPERATURE 130–135° F (med rare) 135–145° F (med)
160° F (well)
Chicken TYPE Cutlet, breast
Thigh, drumstick, wing
RACK POSITION 3" from broiler
6" from broiler
COOK TIME (MINUTES) 10–12
15-20
TEMPERATURE 165° F
Fish TYPE Filet, 1/2" thick
RACK POSITION 3–4" from broiler
COOK TIME (MINUTES) 5–6
TEMPERATURE 145° F (130° F for fish steaks like tuna or swordfish)
Pork TYPE Chop, 1/2" thick
Chop, 1" thick
RACK POSITION 3" from broiler
6" from broiler
COOK TIME (MINUTES) 10–15
19–21
TEMPERATURE 145° F
Vegetables TYPE Zucchini, peppers, onions, tomatoes
RACK POSITION 3" from broiler
COOK TIME (MINUTES) 10–20
 
Garlic Bread TYPE 1" thick
RACK POSITION 3" from broiler
COOK TIME (MINUTES) 1–2
 
Cheesy Dishes TYPE Macaroni & cheese, lasagna,
casseroles, quiche (browning after fully baking as directed)
RACK POSITION 3" from broiler
COOK TIME (MINUTES) 1–2
 
Maytag tip icon

KEEP LEFTOVERS CRISP

Aside from cooking and browning, you can also use the broil setting to reheat leftovers to keep food crispy instead of soggy.

MORE INFO TO KEEP YOU COOKING

Learn the ins and outs of how to use and maintain your oven.

From soups to stews and broth-based foods, learn how best to use this simple method of stovetop cooking.

Learn about the benefits of cooking with either convection or conventional.

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