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What are broiling and grilling?
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Broiling and grilling are different means to the same end-in fact, they are practically synonymous. In French "griller" is the verb "to broil." Both have a healthy connotation, and virtually all items that can be broiled may also be grilled.

Both are dry forms of cooking using a heat source produced by charcoal, gas, electricity or wood. Simply put, in grilling, the heat source comes from below, whereas with broiling, the heat source is above the food.

This oldest, most basic way to cook was the Cavemen's first "gourmet" experience. People who love to grill do so year round, but the luxury of broiling in your oven means that even on rainy or snowy days, you can still enjoy this wonderful cooking method.

While both methods require the application of intense direct heat to food, the main difference between the two methods is the distance of the food from the heat. Since heat on an outdoor grill is much more intense, food must be farther away. By adjusting the air vents on a charcoal grill or the height of the grate, the amount of heat can be controlled while cooking.

The great thing is, you can use the same recipes for both methods, as long as you know the "quirks" of each. Broiling and grilling both produce food with a crispy crust, great color and a unique taste. With the addition of "dry rubs" and "marinades," you create food that bites you back with flavor when you bite into them.

Broiling and grilling require cooks to be attentive, especially when using the broiler to provide that final, browned finish as in creme brulée or potatoes au gratin. Keep an eye on your food. Items with breadcrumb toppings and sugar-coated items will caramelize and brown much quicker. Foods that have honey or molasses in a recipe color faster and burn if you don't stay on your toes. Many barbecued items which use a sauce require that you baste only in the last 10 minutes of cooking to avoid burning.

Why broil/grill?

Broiling and grilling are functional. No matter how complicated life may seem, the process always produces tasty results without complication. Need an easy, delicious meal after work? Pour a marinade over some skinless chicken breasts, add some prepared side dishes and a salad, and broil or grill your chicken. It's homemade but oh so easy.

Broiling and grilling are fast. Because of the high temperatures used, food is finished much faster than a baked or roasted item. However, to ensure good results, follow the recipe. If the recipe tells you to lightly flatten a chicken breast or have your steak cut 1" thick, there's a reason. Also follow oven rack placement instructions. Items can overcook easily if thickness and distance from heat source are not respected.

Broiling and grilling are low fat cooking methods. One of the primary reasons for current popularity of these methods is their ability to produce "lighter" foods. With a simple coat of cooking spray, firm fish fillet, skinless chicken breast, and most vegetables are easily broiled or grilled to yield a delicious low-fat meal.

Broiled and grilled foods taste great. Because flavor and moisture are sealed in from the start, and the cooking time is short, the food rises to the occasion with pure, intense flavor. Add seasonings-spicy Cajun, old bay Maryland style, Jamaican jerk or just plain salt and fresh cracked black pepper- and you can create a different flavor every time.

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September 19, 2017

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