The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > Mundane Pointless Stuff I Must Share (MPSIMS)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 12-18-2005, 03:22 PM
What Is Schwa What Is Schwa is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
How can i use my Electric Oven to Broil? (more specificly, cook a steak)

I moved into a new apartment that has all electric utilites, which means no gas oven Lately it has become too cold to grill outside, and I have no idea how to use an electric oven to make a steak. The temperature selector has a "broil" option on it, but no lower shelf section like on a gas oven.

What do i do?
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 12-18-2005, 03:25 PM
bouv bouv is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
The broiler is the top burner (more accurately heating element) of the oven. So move the rack to the highest or second highes level on the oven and turn on the broiler. It's basically just liek a grill, but up-side down.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12-18-2005, 03:28 PM
Taters Taters is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: The Pacific Northwest
Posts: 6,700
Quote:
Originally Posted by What Is Schwa
I moved into a new apartment that has all electric utilites, which means no gas oven Lately it has become too cold to grill outside, and I have no idea how to use an electric oven to make a steak. The temperature selector has a "broil" option on it, but no lower shelf section like on a gas oven.

What do i do?
I'm confused by your statement "no lower shelf section". There should be two wire type adjustable racks in your oven. You'll need a broiler pan. Adjust the top rack to a couple positions below the broiler element, set the oven to broil, season up your steaks whichever way you like em', slap the steaks on the broiler pan, and stick them in the oven. You need to leave the oven door very slightly ajar. Broil the steaks on side for appropriate amount of minutes, flip the steaks, broil again. Appropriate time depends on how well done you like the steaks and how thick they are.

P.S. I know many people consider this wrong, but I put a little bit of water in the bottom of my broiler pan. My steaks turn out very tasty.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12-18-2005, 04:16 PM
What Is Schwa What Is Schwa is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taters
I'm confused by your statement "no lower shelf section".
Ah, sorry. My old gas oven had the large, oven part, than below it a little section that pulled out similar to a shelf that was the broiler. I'm not sure what else to call it....

Thanks for everyone's help. So I just set the oven on broil, put the steaks in a pan and put 'em on the topmost shelf? Are there any worries about fire? I know that with my gas broiler all the fats could create quite a litter inferno in there. Any concerns with the heating coil at the top getting grease on it?
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12-18-2005, 04:36 PM
Taters Taters is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: The Pacific Northwest
Posts: 6,700
Quote:
Originally Posted by What Is Schwa
Ah, sorry. My old gas oven had the large, oven part, than below it a little section that pulled out similar to a shelf that was the broiler. I'm not sure what else to call it....

Thanks for everyone's help. So I just set the oven on broil, put the steaks in a pan and put 'em on the topmost shelf? Are there any worries about fire? I know that with my gas broiler all the fats could create quite a litter inferno in there. Any concerns with the heating coil at the top getting grease on it?
Not just any pan, but a broiler pan. Most electric ovens come with one. If your oven didn't come with the broiler pan, they're easy enough to find at the store. It's a rectangular pan. The top of the pan (sort of like a lid) has slots in it for the grease and fat to drip into the pan itself.

I usually use the second shelf adjustment from the top of the broiler element. Sometimes you need to go lower. It all depends on the depth of the broiler pan and the thickness of the steaks. I wouldn't recommend using the very top adjustment for the shelf because you're going to burn your steaks.

Remember to leave your oven door very slightly ajar while broiling.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12-18-2005, 05:36 PM
Mundo Mundo is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
here

I've tried this once and found it worked really well. The second sheet of foil serves the same function as the broiler pan. It's not as easy or as clean as using a pan but I'm a poor college kid so I'm just happy to not be eating ramen. The big trick is to pull out both racks when you go to flip the steak. That way you don't drip all over your door. Enjoy
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12-18-2005, 05:39 PM
devilsknew devilsknew is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: The Great Black Swamp
Posts: 9,178
...You could just pan fry the steak. A cast iron pan works best, but any frying or sautee pan will do. I do it all the time on our electric stovetop and it works great and tastes great.

Turn the largest element all the way up to high and let your pan sit atop for a good 7-10 minutes- get it smoking hot! Place your steak (rubbed with your favorite seasonings and drizzled lightly with your favorite oil.) into the pan and press to sear, let cook on high for a few minutes per side depending on what doneness you prefer, then serve. Make sure you have your exhaust fan running and maybe a window or door cracked, there will be a lot of smoke...but don't worry, you want that high heat and the smoke that comes with it for a great sear and a tasty steak.

You might also try a liberal coating of a cajun spice on your meat and cook your steak this way... it's the same technique for the classic "blackened" steak.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12-18-2005, 05:40 PM
Mundo Mundo is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Just to clarify by second sheet of foil I mean the sheet under the steak. The first sheet becomes the snake.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 12-18-2005, 06:05 PM
What Is Schwa What Is Schwa is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taters
It's a rectangular pan. The top of the pan (sort of like a lid) has slots in it for the grease and fat to drip into the pan itself.
Thanks! I had no idea what this device looked like. I was about to use a deep cake pan. Off to wal-mart with me!
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 12-18-2005, 10:51 PM
Only Mostly Dead Only Mostly Dead is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taters
I usually use the second shelf adjustment from the top of the broiler element. Sometimes you need to go lower. It all depends on the depth of the broiler pan and the thickness of the steaks. I wouldn't recommend using the very top adjustment for the shelf because you're going to burn your steaks.
O contraire!

I just broiled up some beautiful medium-rare steaks for dinner tonight, with the broiler pan on the topmost shelf. If you're burning, you're putting it on too long. For a fully defrosted steak about two inches thick (I love when the store cuts them thick), I did seven minutes on the first side, flip, four more minutes. Outside got nicely cooked, inside a nice warm red.

I admit, I made the steaks anywhere between a very solid medium and undeniably well done (what a waste) the first half dozen or so times I tried the broiler. But with a little practice, it can give you some delicious results.

For the OP: Dry rubs seem to work better. I either use a bit of crushed pepper and coarse salt or else McCormick's Montreal Seasoning, depending on my mood. Marinades just don't work out as well with the broiler. You do need a broiler pan. If it didn't come with one, they're pretty darn cheap.

It's not as good as a grill, but it's better than pan searing or (as my parents used to do when I was a kid, great tragedy that it is) baking. You'll have to get used to the peculiarities of the broiler coil at the top of the oven, but once you do, it's gold.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 12-18-2005, 11:43 PM
Taters Taters is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: The Pacific Northwest
Posts: 6,700
Quote:
Originally Posted by Only Mostly Dead
O contraire!

I just broiled up some beautiful medium-rare steaks for dinner tonight, with the broiler pan on the topmost shelf. If you're burning, you're putting it on too long. For a fully defrosted steak about two inches thick (I love when the store cuts them thick), I did seven minutes on the first side, flip, four more minutes. Outside got nicely cooked, inside a nice warm red.

I admit, I made the steaks anywhere between a very solid medium and undeniably well done (what a waste) the first half dozen or so times I tried the broiler. But with a little practice, it can give you some delicious results.

For the OP: Dry rubs seem to work better. I either use a bit of crushed pepper and coarse salt or else McCormick's Montreal Seasoning, depending on my mood. Marinades just don't work out as well with the broiler. You do need a broiler pan. If it didn't come with one, they're pretty darn cheap.

It's not as good as a grill, but it's better than pan searing or (as my parents used to do when I was a kid, great tragedy that it is) baking. You'll have to get used to the peculiarities of the broiler coil at the top of the oven, but once you do, it's gold.
I suppose you can put the shelf on the top adjustment. I suppose burnt was probably the wrong way of phrasing it. I like my steaks rare. To be honest, I'm using a different stove than I had when I used to try top shelf adjustment. The stove in the old house was very tempermental. I got "burned" with that stove, so I'm probably a little gun shy with the stove in the house I live in now.

I agree, dry rubs are the best when broiling. Frankly, I like them even when I'm grilling.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 12-19-2005, 04:03 AM
Whifton_Polekitty Whifton_Polekitty is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Alternately, get a cast iron (or stainless steel) pan good an hot, add your oil, and then add the steaks till the surfaces are nicely browned, then throw in a 325 oven in the middle rack until at the temperature of doneness you like (I try for 120 but I just moved and this flurshluginer oven is TOTALLY different from my old one).

I am at present in fact enjoying a steak cooked in just such a manner.

Advice: If you can ever possibly manage to do it, find a local farmer's market and see if they have meat vendors. Here in my corner of the Nortwe(s)t, there's a great farmer's market scene and I can find fresh lamb, beef, pork, chicken, *elk*, **buffalo**, ***YAK***, all manner of good meats. Plus you can trust the meat came from a small, local, healthy herd rather than some obscure feedlot where they grow them in vats or something.

I like to think that I can cook well, but a small but significant portion of that I think comes from good ingredients.

Was that a hijack? I'm not sure... It's late in the morning for me...
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:50 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.