… And How Should You Use Them?
Broil vs Bake: As we put away our grills for the winter season, we all have an understanding that we will go back to cooking in our home. Cooking on the stove and in the oven are two of the best ways to cook inside, but they also come with a little confusion as well. Why?
Well, most ovens come with the ability to bake from warm to 450+ degrees. Then, there is a magical little space that many people avoid using. It is the broil feature. Is it okay to use it? How do you use it? Is it any different than baking? These are all questions that 90% of us have asked at some point!
We decided it was time to figure it out. We personally want to know, broil vs bake: what does it do and how are they different? Hopefully, we can give you a few ideas as well!
What is Broil and Should You Use It?
There are some who say that broiling and grilling are LOOSELY the same concept and the same process. Therefore, we will start with that idea. Think about your grill for a moment, especially a standard charcoal or barbecue grill. It provides a very intense heat from under whatever meats you are preparing. You have to turn it frequently or you may risk burning it.
Broiling is slightly different. The heat comes from above whatever you are cooking. However, it does mean that you are putting intense heat on the top of your meat, so you will need to flip it about as often as you would on the grill. On average, the broil setting will range from 500-F to 550-F.
When you broil, you are basically applying infrared radiation to the meat. This means that all heat is specifically directed toward it. It also means that you may have to change the way that you normally use your oven.
Some tips for cooking with a broiler include preheating the broiler pan or baking sheet that you hope to broil in. When you heat it up, it will instantly help to sear the pan side of your meat. This will ensure that moisture and flavor is kept inside. If you are concerned it may stick, nonstick spray can be added. You should only cook foods if they are in a single layer across the pan to ensure that everything cooks evenly.
The best foods to broil include fish, meats that have leaner proteins and those that are relatively thin, or fruits and vegetables. There are some who broil bananas, mangos, pineapples, and more.
The trick is to avoid using a lot of marinade when broiling since it does increase the drips that may fall from your meat. Every drip raises the potential for burnt foods and fires. These drips also increase the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that are in your foods. This is why you should use lean meats or those that have had the fat removed.
You should also avoid leaving the broiler on for a long time. Instead, broil to seal in juices and flavors. Then turn down the oven and allow your meats to cook for a little longer.
The Joys of Baking
Baking is something that we often associate with pizzas, cookies, cakes, and other tasty treats. However, it is also a great way to prepare your dinner. Toss a ham in the oven, a roast, chicken leg quarters or breasts, thick pork chops, and anything else that you want. Your oven can handle it.
The thing with baking is the temperature. Once preheated, the oven’s heating element will maintain a consistent temperature of whatever you want. You can cook something at 200 or 350 and always know that it is going to be done in a set amount of time. It is reliable and most things, you can put it in and walk away from it.
Unlike broiling that applies direct heat cooking from the outside in, baking applies indirect heat. It cooks from the inside out. It takes longer and may never really brown on top unless you overcook it by a lot. This is why we typically use “bake” when cooking pies and cakes.
It is important to note that most things that can be broiled, can be baked. However, this does not mean that you should broil everything you bake. Broiling a cake or a pie, is not going to go well!
Is One Way Better?
There are a few very big differences between baking and broiling. However, they are very similar in other ways. For instance, both broiling and baking increase the nutritional content of all the foods you eat. Baking reduces the loss of nutrients by cooking from the inside out slowly. Broiling will seal it in before it can escape.
You also do not need to add oil when you prepare baked or broiled foods. This means you instantly get less fat content and unhealthy grease. Instead of oils, the stuff you prepare in the oven using either bake or broil should be naturally moist. This is because both will produce a dry heat.
In the battle of “Broil vs Bake – What Is the Difference?” you can easily see there isn’t much difference, but there are a few. Overall, we feel that both are great options to have. Some people would rather not eat baked meats because they don’t get browned. Broiling can eliminate this aesthetic issue for those people. Some people don’t want to broil meat because it can make them too dark, but baking can lessen this concern. You should try a little of them both to see if it helps you eat a little healthier during the winter months when grilling is less fun.