Your broiler puts out a lot of heat. This makes it a terrific tool, since it effortlessly cooks things in a matter of minutes. It’s a great way to get the outside of your food cooked to a crisp while leaving the inside moist and succulent.
How Do Broiler Pans Work?
Broiler pans are a somewhat controversial accessory that help this process. Broilers only add heat from one side. In order to help your food cook better, broiler pans try to reflect heat from the top of your oven back into your food. They’re used in conjunction with racks that are placed over the pan. In theory, this helps circulate air around your food as it cooks.
Want to find out more? Here are four of the best broiler pans you can find on the market today. We’ll examine a wide variety of styles so you can choose one that fits your cooking style.
15″ x 10″ x 1″
I used to hate cleaning broiler pans as a kid. Whenever my mother would use the broiler, she would invariably dump the task of cleaning out the pan onto me. The things she cooked were delicious, but they were definitely not worth the hours I spent scraping bits of fat, meat, and sauce out of the broiler pan.
Luckily, there are plenty of non-stick options available today. This Nordic Ware set comes with both a broiler pan and a ribbed broiling rack. Both pieces are made from non-stick metal that’s both easy to clean and dishwasher safe.
One important thing to note is that this broiler pan is on the smaller end. It’s 15″ by 10″, giving you enough space to cook two or three steaks at most. If you’re cooking for four or more on a regular basis, you’ll definitely want something bigger. On the other hand, if you’ve got a smaller oven, this broiler pan is very likely to fit inside.
If you’re looking for a small broiler pan, this Nordic Ware nonstick set is a pretty great choice. It’s easy to clean and just the right size to cook meals for one or two people.
12″ x 9″ x 1.5″
Not only is this broiler pan made from durable stainless steel, it’s also got an innovative top rack. Rather than going for a classic ribbed design, Norpro has elected to use a myriad of angular bumps and plenty of drain holes. This will keep your meat fairly dry on the bottom and ensure you don’t accidentally end up frying the foods you’re trying to broil.
While this broiler pan is quite inexpensive, it’s also even smaller than the option above. This makes it perfect for cooking in small ovens for one or two people. If you’re trying to feed three or more, you’ll probably want to choose something else.
Despite the lack of a non-stick coating, cleaning up this pan is surprisingly easy. Simply scrub it with a pad to get off any excess fat or food then throw it in the dishwasher. User reports indicate that this broiler pan holds up very well after frequent dishwasher cleaning.
If you prefer the durability of stainless steel over the convenience of non-stick, this small broiler pan is a great choice. If you want to cook larger meals, however, keep reading for more options.
13″ x 17″ x 1/2″
This General Electric broiler pan is designed to pair with an oven. It’s a bit larger than the options above, meaning that you can comfortably cook for three or even four with some planning. It’s dishwasher safe and comes with a vented tray with traditional horizontal slits.
I think that this is the best pan for most people for one reason: it’s the one that comes with your oven. When recipes call for a broiler pan, the author almost certainly was thinking of a pan almost exactly like this one. This means that you’ll get consistent results every time.
LIke the stainless steel broiling pan above, this isn’t the easiest thing to clean. Once you’ve discovered the trick, however, you won’t have any problems. Soak the pan in warm, soapy water for a little bit, then use a scrubbing pad to remove what you can. When you’re done, throw it in the dishwasher for final cleaning. These steps will give you a perfectly clean pan every time with a minimum of hassle.
When you want to keep things simple, this GE broiling pan can replace the one that came with your oven. It’s well suited for cooking slightly larger meals and will fit in most ovens very easily.
10″ x 7″ x 0.6″
I mentioned that two of the broiler pans above were fairly small, but this one is tiny. It’s designed to easily fit into toaster ovens, meaning that it’s just the right size to cook a meal for one. You can cram two steaks into the 10″ x 7″ baking pan, but you might need to trim one first.
This pan comes with a cooling-rack style rack to keep food off of any drips that happen. This enables more air circulation but changes the way the bottom of your food is exposed to heat slightly. On the other hand, it also gives you a cooling rack that you can use for cooling when you’re not broiling food.
Like the other Nordic Ware broiling pan, this tiny pan has a non-stick finish for easier cleanup. This means you can clean it very easily in the sink. On the other hand, it has the downside of preventing dishwasher use. If you know you want to put your broiler pan in the dishwasher, consider one of the other options above.
Overall, this is a great broiler pan for someone who broils small meals in a smaller oven. It’s easy to clean, cheap, and does a great job of ensuring your food heats up the way you want it to.
Choosing The Right Product
When it comes to choosing the best broiler pan for your kitchen, the most important factor by far is the size. Make sure you actually measure your oven in order to get an idea of what will fit. You don’t want your eyes to be bigger than your stomach here — you’ll wind up with a pan you physically can’t use. Measuring your oven will also give you a much better idea of what the dimensions of each pan really mean.
Otherwise, you’re pretty much set to choose the one you like best based on the reviews above. If you want a non-stick pan, choose one of the Nordic-Ware options. If you want a dishwasher-safe pan, the GE and the NorPro are going to be your best choices. Personally, I’d choose the GE for any oven that’s big enough to fit it.
Not only is it the biggest pan on the list, it’s the option that most people are used to cooking with, and it’s quite easy to clean in the dishwasher. For me, that’s the perfect set of features.