We love how our broiler gives us that just-grilled flavor, and we’ve been using it for years to quickly char tasty meats and fish. Who knew a good kitchen tool could work even better?! Here’s how to get the best results out of your broiler…

First, be sure to preheat your broiler. Just because you see a flame or a hot coil, it does not mean that your broiler is ready to use. It takes five to 10 minutes to preheat a broiler depending on the model. The food won’t have a seared crust if the broiler is not hot enough.

Dry marinated or any moist food with a paper towel. If you just chuck wet food under the broiler, the food will steam and smoke instead of broil.

Place your oven rack close to the heat. The food should be about four or five inches from the heat for optimal broiling. If your meat sits on a middle rack, the food will bake rather than broil. Just be sure to watch your food closely…it can go from brown to black in minutes!

Don’t flip your fish! Do this instead. It’s so disappointing to flip over delicate fish, just to have it fall apart. Instead, place a baking tray in the broiler while it preheats. When the broiler is ready, add the fish fillet to the tray. The heat from the pan will not only help cook the bottom of the fish, it will also help heat the whole piece more quickly, keeping it moist. And you won’t have to turn the fillet over during broiling, keeping it beautiful and ready for a perfect plate up!

Thanks to Linda Gassenheimer, award-winning cookbook author and columnist, for help with this tip.

More help with food prep…

• Delicious One-Pan Dinners

• Don’t Be Afraid to Grill Fish!

• 3 Delicious Recipes from America’s Premier Butcher

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