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Broiling Meat

( Originally Published 1904 )

BROILING is the process of cooking by placing the food over hot coals. The first essential is to see that the meat is frequently turned. This is to prevent it from burning, which it will do if left too long in contact with the intense heat. The second point to regard is the nature of the fire. The coals should be bright red and the stove well filled so as to bring the coals close to the meat. Care must be taken that the coals are red, for if flame is present the smoke and vapors impart a disagreeable flavor to the food. If a wood fire is being used, the wood should be hard wood, and should also be burned to a good _bed of coals without flame. It is a great mistake to attempt to kindle up a poor fire with wood and to broil over the flame, not only be-cause the fire is not hot enough, but the flame and smoke will give the meat an unpleasant flavor. As the fat melts and drips from the meat it will take fire and either burn or taint the meat. There are two ways of obviating this: Cut off most of the fat, not all, for a little will baste the meat, and then see that the damper of the stove is open so as to carry the odor and smoke. up the chimney.

Meat is best broiled upon the double wire broiler. Grease the wires with fat to prevent the meat from sticking to them. The process will demand one's entire attention. As the meat requires frequent and rapid turning, it will be necessary to handle the broiler a great deal and very quickly. Therefore the handle should be protected by a cloth, or towel. Wellbroiled meat contains all of the juices. Badly broiled meat is leather, tough and dry. Clearly, then, the juices must be retained. To do this the meat is not salted, for salt draws out the juices. It is exposed for ten seconds to the hot-test portion of the fire, turned quickly, and the other side treated in the same way. This has the effect of searing the meat, so as to close the pores on the two sides so that the juices cannot escape. If the meat is kept longer than ten seconds at first, the heat will drive the juices to the top, and when the meat is turned over they will escape. If the fire is not hot enough, or if the meat is too far away 'from the coals, the searing will not be sufficient to harden the out-side and tlie juices will escape. After the juices have been driven to the middle of the meat, the subsequent heat causes them to evaporate in steam, and their expansion gives the meat the larger puffy look that wellbroiled meats always display. Consequently a good test for good broiling is to press the meal; down with a knife point; if it springs back to place it is well broiled. Badly broiled meat is shrunken and tough. It is a mistake to cut it to see if it is done, for that lets the juices escape. Four minutes for one-inch steak and six for one and one-half inch, over a hot fire, turning the meat every ten seconds, will give good results. In broiling there is one apparent contradiction. One would think that a small, thin piece of meat would require a slow fire or a distance from the fire, and that a large, thick piece would require a hot fire and closeness to it. Just the reverse is the case. The smaller the article, the hotter the fire.

The platter should be placed to heat. before the broiling is begun, else the meat must be left to attend to it, and that is impossible if one wishes good results.

In broiling chickens more time is required, probably twenty minutes. It is a good plan to place them for a few minutes in a very hot oven before broiling.

Buttered paper is a good thing to use to keel) in the fat and juices and to keep out the smoke. Practice is necessary to handle this skilfully to keep the paper from burning, but care will accomplish this. The paper is white letter paper of large .size. It is oiled with soft butter well rubbed in. The meat, such as chicken, chops, small birds, or fish, is wrapped, the edges of the paper turned in two or three times, and the ends well folded. It takes longer to broil with the paper than without it. When the paper is well browned the meat is done.

Instead of using the double wire broiler, a hot ,frying-pan or spider may- be used. This is called pan-broiling. The pan is heated very hot. A little fat is used to prevent the meat from sticking, but absolutely none is left on the pan. The meat is placed on the hot pan for ten seconds, then turned without a fork, and seared on the " other side. It is broiled for four minutes, but turned only twice in that time, not so frequently as when broiled over the coals. This is not frying, because no fat is left in the pan.


A thick tender. steak, a double broiler, and a hot, clear bed of coals. Place the steak in the broiler and cook on one side ten seconds and turn. Repeat this till the steak is done. If you want it rare, three or four minutes will be sufficient. The number of times you turn must depend on whether you wish the steak rare or well done. Practice will soon determine this. Place the steak on a hot platter, cover with but-ter, season with salt and pepper, and serve hot. Or serve with maitre d'hotel butter. If a gas stove is used, the, broiler in the oven will be found quite equal to, if not superior to, the bed of coals.


One-inch steak, four to six minutes. Thicker than inch steak, six to twelve minutes. Thin fish, small, five to eight minutes. Thick fish, twelve to sixteen minutes. Chickens, twenty minutes. Chops, eight to twelve minutes.

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