So I tried to make london broil for dinner (cooking help needed)

I cut the steak cross ways as the recipe called for, and then let it marinate for about half a day.

I put the oven on broil and then let it warm up. I moved the oven rack so the top of the steak would be about 8" from the top of the oven and then put the steak in. I kept the oven door partly ajar with a knife. I then let the steak (about 2" thick) cook about 7 or 8 minutes a side.

And now the problem…

The outside was VERY well cooked (not burnt, but any longer in the oven and it would have been), but the inside looked like it hadn’t even begun to cook; it wasn’t pink or even red… it was a deep maroon.

So what did I do wrong? How do you cook a london broil (or broil any steak in the oven for that matter) so you can have a “medium” steak without it being burnt on the outside?

While I am sure from a real chefly point of view I commit about 3 dozen steak related atrocities here is what I do:

When I do steak in the oven I keep it about halfway from the top and use broil… It helps with the crispies… I like a little crispness on the edges but not charcoal. I don’t bother turning it (lazy cook) and give it 15-20 minutes. Yum! I also tend to use tip steak… It’s yummy, has enough fat to be tasty but not too much and comes in decent sized pieces for me.

I also use this “marinade” pour olive oil on a plate and sprinkle in seasonings to taste (we like montreal steak seasoning) rub the steak in this and then I put it on a screen I got special for this. The screen goes over a deeper pan to catch the oil that drips off.

hmm… a 2" thick london broil? That’s the problem right there. Too thick. Try something thinner. Also ANY marinade will pay big dividends in the tenderness dept; especially important with London Broil. If you can marinade it for 24 hrs it’ll kick ass. But getting back to how to cook a really thick cut like that, here’s what I would do. Your oven setup sounds fine. Broil 2 minutes on each side initially to seal the juices in the meat. Then give it 3-4 minutes per side, twice. For a total of 8 minutes per side after that. If it looks like it’s getting too crispy, lower the rack one level. You may need to give the meat an extra 4 minutes per side or so if you do that. Should work like a charm! Good luck next time!

Sounds like the heat might have been too much. Also, if you let meat “stand” for a while after taking it away from the heat, it will cook some more internally. Perhaps you should have let it rest for 10 mins.

My cookbook recommends cooking London Broil in a pan on top of the stove:

Heat a heavy skillet on high heat. Sear the steak on one side 4 to 5 mins. Turn and sear on the other side 3 to 4 mins. Make a small incision and check the center. It should be slightly less done than desired. Remove from pan and let sit for 5 mins, then carve diagonally across the grain into 1/4 inch slices.

It also says: for best results never cook London Broil beyond medium-rare or it becomes tough and dry.

I always marinate mine in Dale’s and then cook it on my George Foreman Grill for about 10-14 minutes. I love mine RARE. Then you let it “rest” for about 10 minutes. Then cut it across the grain. Yum yum.

I broil it in a table top thing with a lid and try to keep it rare. Slice into it to check. Slice across the grain and serve with a sauce made of mushrooms cooked in wine and garlic until they dry out, then simmered in broth and Silver Swan soy sauce.

You could broil it till the outside is seared just how you like it, remove the cut and adjust the over temperature down do about 400 degrees and put it in the center rack to let it cook through. At that temperature the outside won’t burn but it will cook through and with it preseared it should still be pretty juicy. It will be tough though, be sure to cut it across the grain in thin strips. I do something like this on my Big Green Egg when I cook steaks.

A two inch thick London Broil probably weighs on the order of two pounds. It will take at least 20 minutes to cook through. Keep the meat in the middle of a 400°F oven for the first 10-15 minutes and move it to a higher position (~6" from the element) and broil for five minutes on each side to finish. It is critical to preheat your oven completely so all of its surfaces are emitting infrared energy. Otherwise, you are cooking entirely with the element itself and nothing else. This may also have been part of the problem. If it does not conflict with your marinade, apply a pat of butter and coat the side facing the broiling element when finishing. This will create a tasty browning action from the fats and caseins in the butter.

I have to assume that you have an electric (bleagh!) oven. This is part of your problem as electric broiling elements are very hot. Another problem is that your marinade may have chemically cooked the outside of your meat before it even got into the oven. This shortened the exterior’s cooking time while changing nothing about how long you needed to cook the meat through.

Please indicate what sort of oven you have and the type of marinade used.

As others mentioned, it is important to let the meat rest after cooking. This not only allows the cooking process to complete, but it permits the reabsorption of juices back into the tissues of the meat. Doing this will make for a much more toothsome cut of meat.

I suggest that you experiment cooking through a few cuts of meat without any marinade to master the idiosyncrasies of your oven and broiler. Salt and pepper the meat before cooking. Liberally apply butter to the surfaces as it cooks. After resting, serve the plain roasted meat with a sauce of:

¼ Cup Sour cream
¼ Cup Mayonnaise
1 TSP-TBS Ground Horseradish (not creamy style)

Thanks all for the great suggestions!

We are having a bunch of people over for dinner tonight and I’m going to be giving it another try. (Don’t worry, the “company” is all family, so if it doesn’t turn out, not big deal). I did try to get thinner cuts this time around.

The marinade I use is an oil/vinegar/garlic/salt/pepper mixture, if that tells anyone anything. Not really much to it.

A couple of people have suggeted I let the meat stand after cooking, which I do. I also make sure the oven is fully heated before I try and cook in it. And to answer Zenster, the oven is electric, unfortunately.

Unfortunately, Zenster and lokij are completely opposite on how to properly cook this! (400 then broil vs. broil then 400!)

.:Ninety does the happy dance:.

Zenster agreed with me in a cooking thread ! ! ! I Officially Know How to Cook ! Yay me !

Please read the fabulous tome, “On Food and Cooking” by Harold McGee. You will see that the order of cooking and browning really does not matter. I also recommend against a thinner cut of meat as it is far easier to overcook a thin piece. Thick cuts permit that wonderful combination of a semi-charred exterior with a nice rare interior.

I recommend browning at the end because you are better able to monitor the doneness of the cut and have less risk of overcooking it. I will again suggest that you do not marinate the meat this time around so you can get a better idea of how your oven works. Most marinades promote chemical cooking of the food in some respect. This will alter the time to finish for your dish. Once you have the timing down for an unadorned cut, modifying it for marinades will be much easier.

Please indicate what sort of marinade you were using.
PS: NinetyWt, resting a cooked bird or roast is one of the great secrets of food preparation. Thank you for mentioning it.

.:joins Ninety in happy dance to work up appetite:.

Tonight I tried some of the tips given here and had mild success with them! Thanks everyone.

I lowered the rack and broiled each side of the meat for about 3 minutes a side. I then lowered the oven temp to about 400 and finished cooking the meat for about 20 minutes after that. Unfortunately, that was a bit long but the good news is that I was able to keep the meet on the outside from burning while cooking the inside through. I just need to keep a more careful watch on the cooking time next time.

The meat was much more on the medium-well end of things, but still very edible.

I’ll have to start another thread on my pot-roast woas!

Keep the liquid just below boiling. Did I guess right? :smiley:

What is broiling?
Is it like grilling?

I’m confused.

irishgirl: A broiler in the US is what we would call a grill. So, yeah, the US term broiling = the UK and Irish term grilling.

While in the US, a grill is an outdoor (usually) cooking appliance in which you cook using gas or charcoal. Broil is a setting in US ovens which produces a lot of heat, and is used to get a nice crispy/seared outside on meat, typically.

Meat thermometers are your friend. I like the probe-type that sits on the countertop and beeps when the meat hit the desired temperature, however I survived quite well on a simple meat thermometer for many years. An advantage of the probe is that you don’t have to open the oven and lose heat.

Also, if you don’t have one, get yourself a cast iron pan for cooking your steaks. Be sure to season the pan well (instructions will be included with the pan). It’s not as important for london broil, which will be sliced before serving, but a cast iron grill pan makes superb grill marks. I generally start my steaks on the stovetop and finish in the oven.

Now I want a steak.

<Kal - Then what do you call a grill?

irishgirl - In the US, an oven comes equipped with a top heating element that gets very hot. Food can be popped up there and cooked very quickly, on the outside, at least. A grill is generally an outdoor cooking instrument which cooks via gas flames (and rocks on top which hold and radiate the heat from the flames) or charcoal which has been set on fire and turned the charcoal to red-hot embers. A George Foreman grill is a stand-alone cooker with heating elements in the top and bottom and the food sits directly on on hot plate with another plate sitting on the top of the food.


StGermain: Depends.

We have the George Forman kinda doohicky, which are called grills and the outdoor kind, which mainly get called a barbeque.

The top part of an oven with the heating element is what we normally call a grill, but our cookers sometimes have those positioned at eye level, which gives them the catchy name of “eye level grill”. Cooking anything on those last two items is what the British and Irish call “grilling”.

eye level grills are the invention of satan. smoke and spitting fat, straight in the eye.