Broiling food is a great option when you need to cook or reheat something quickly. It’s also a great way to get the color and crust that you prefer on things such as steak and chicken. Unfortunately, you may not always have the necessary equipment to broil your meal.
If you don’t have a broiler pan, you don’t need to stress. In fact, you can still broil chicken without one.
What Is Involved in the Broiling Process?
Most ovens have a broil option to them, but many people don’t use them either because they don’t know what it is or they don’t have the proper equipment to do so.
Broiling can be used as an alternative to grilling because of the fact that just as with grilling, you are cooking with direct heat. In fact, the end results are similar in both cooking methods. However, the way to go about it is entirely different.
When you broil something, you have to make sure that you are keeping a close eye on it since the food cooks quickly. Even after you turn your oven off, your food continues to cook because of the steam inside the oven.
In order to prevent overcooking, just leave your oven door open to let some of the steam out.
Can I Cook Without a Broiler Pan?
The short answer is yes. If chicken is your ingredient of choice, broiling it without a broiler pan is still possible. A broiler pan is simply a pan that has slits in it that allow air to circulate in order for your food to cook evenly.
A broiler pan is also usually made out of stainless steel so that it can withstand the heat while also consisting of two separate parts.
The first part is the broiler plate lid, which is what holds the chicken. The second part is the pan that catches any liquid or food that may drip from the food. This way, it won’t stick to your oven.
Many people like to broil their chicken because of the fact that it takes virtually no time at all to cook. Before you stick your chicken into the broiler, however, you want to make sure that it is prepared first. You want to season your chicken and remove the skin if you’d like, although you don’t have to.
Keep in mind that you should always preheat your broiler before you stick your chicken in. As mentioned earlier, you want to make sure you leave the oven door open just a bit in order to let some steam out and so that your oven doesn’t overheat.
Now here comes the fun part — cooking your chicken without a broiler pan. As an alternative, you can use a baking sheet, preferably a non-stick one. Place your chicken on the baking sheet before you stick it under the broiler. You want your chicken to be a few inches away from the heat for it to cook properly.
The only downside to using a baking sheet is that you have to remember to turn your chicken every once in a while, preferably once one side has browned entirely. While doing this, be sure to brush some oil on your chicken in order to keep it nice and brown.
Continue to add the oil as you cook. If you still aren’t sure about when you should turn your chicken, every 5 to 10 minutes would be your best bet.
Before you take your chicken out of the broiler, you want to check to make sure the meat is no longer pink. If it is, stick it back into the broiler.
If you aren’t too fond of using a baking sheet, another alternative would be to use a roasting pan. Most roasting pans typically come with a lid but won’t have that extra tray that you would normally use to catch the liquid and other bits that drip off of your chicken.
The lid is really what makes a roasting pan so great. Not only will you be able to broil your chicken effectively but you can also use it to cook just about anything else.
If your roasting pan doesn’t come with a lid for some reason, either use another lid available that fits and is safe in the oven or simply cover your pan with aluminum foil. No matter what you do, just make sure that your roasting pan stays covered when cooking.
Once your chicken is done cooking, take it out and turn your oven off. However, it still isn’t ready to serve. If you want your chicken to be as flavorful as possible, be sure to leave it in the pan as long as you can.
This way, it gives the meat more time to absorb the juices and flavors. The only downside to cooking in a roasting pan is that the cooking process may take a bit longer.
If you’ve got a cast-iron pan laying around, you’re in luck. This is yet another way to broil chicken when you don’t have a broiling pan. Because your pan is made of iron, the material is able to cook your chicken evenly.
Again, be sure that when using a cast-iron pan, you are covering it. Otherwise, the flavor of the chicken will escape. You should also make sure that your pan is thoroughly greased before putting any food in it.
An aluminum foil tray, usually seen at buffets or catered events, is another way that you can broil your chicken without a broiling pan. In order to do so, line the bottom of the pan with the vegetables you plan on serving with the chicken. Next, you’ll want to place your chicken on top of the veggies.
You can also place a cooling rack, such as one that you would use for holding cookies that are fresh out of the oven, and put it inside of the aluminum foil tray. This pretty much ends up being a makeshift broiler pan.
The best part about using an aluminum foil tray is that instead of having to do the dishes, you can simply toss it when you’re done using it.
It’s safe to say that you can pretty much use anything to broil your chicken, so long as it isn’t made out of glass or plastic.
Broiled Chicken Recipes
So now that you have somewhat of an idea as to how you can broil chicken without a broiling pan, you’re probably curious as to what some of the best broiled chicken recipes are. Luckily for you, we’ve got you covered.
For this recipe, you are going to need two halves of a chicken, unsalted butter, lemons, garlic, and salt and pepper. It’s as simple as that, and chances are that you already have most of these ingredients at home.
You want to start out by preheating your broiler for about 10 minutes. When doing this, place your makeshift broiler pan in the oven a few inches away from the heat, as we discussed earlier.
After doing this, you want to take lemon zest, butter, salt, pepper, and garlic and mix it all up in a separate bowl. Be sure that the consistency of this mixture ends up being as smooth as possible. Using a fork would help the most.
Next up is the messy part. Be sure to start loosening up the skin of your chicken and then rubbing the butter with garlic, lemon, salt, and pepper underneath the chicken’s skin. Then squeeze lemon juice over the chicken, adding more salt and pepper to taste as well.
When you are done seasoning your chicken, you are ready to stick it in the broiler. Make sure that when you do this, the skin is closest to the broiler. Be sure to spread out both sides of the chicken.
If you want, you can stick two lemon halves in between the chicken to make sure the sides are spread out and to give it some added flavor while it cooks.
Set your kitchen timer for about eight minutes, as this is how long it should take for the skin to start browning up. You’ll want to make sure the skin stays crispy, so don’t overcook and don’t undercook. That’s why you must keep a watchful eye on your chicken.
You can always adjust the positioning of the rack if your chicken starts to cook too quickly and looks as if it might burn. While the cooking is happening, be sure to flip the chicken around so that it cooks evenly on all sides.
Continue to switch the position of the chicken to make sure that the skin also gets crispy on all sides.
When your chicken is done cooking, you can take your chicken out and squeeze some more lemon juice onto it. Again, let your chicken sit in the pan for a few minutes before you serve so that it can absorb as much of the juices as possible.
As you can see, there are several ways to broil your chicken even without a broiling pan. The best part is that this is using items you likely already have in your home. In order to get the best results, make sure that you leave your pan inside of the oven while it’s preheating.
And, of course, you want to make sure that any pan you are using to cook in is sprayed with a generous amount of non-stick cooking spray so that your chicken doesn’t get stuck to the bottom of the pan.
Don’t be afraid to add oil to your chicken as well, so long as you are topping it with aluminum foil after the fact. Again, aluminum foil is vital and you should not be using anything else to cover your pan.
Plastic wrap will melt onto your chicken while parchment paper can burn up. In this case, aluminum foil is the safest way for you to cover your chicken while it broils.
If you are adding other ingredients into your pan, such as vegetables, for example, be sure to spread all of the ingredients out as much as possible to prevent overcooking or undercooking.
If your chicken doesn’t turn out right when you take it out of the oven, don’t stress. You can always put it back in to cook longer but you can’t do anything to fix it after it gets burnt. All ovens are different, so be sure to read the instructions beforehand to make sure you understand how to work it properly.
Whatever you do, your chicken should not spend more than 10 minutes in the broiler unless you want it to burn. And although you should be oiling and seasoning up your chicken, try not to go overboard on it as this could result in heavy drippings.
If there are too many drippings, your oven could catch on fire.
Many people prefer broiling not just because of the fact that it is a quick way to cook your food but also a good way to get rid of a lot of the fat in your meats. As mentioned earlier, people who don’t have a grill also love to use broiling as an alternative as you are cooking with high, direct heat.
Be sure to trim away as much fat as possible when cooking meat as this could cause your chicken to smoke too much. The next thing you know, your fire alarm will go off and give you the unwelcome warning that there’s been an issue in your oven.
For the most part, cleaning up after using the broiling method should be pretty simple. Clean as much liquid as possible out of the pan before dumping it in the sink.
This way, you are not only making your dishwashing job that much easier but you also aren’t risking putting too much fat or grease down your drain.
Broiled chicken is a delicious choice for dinner and a fast, easy way to make a meal. And the good news is that you don’t need a broiler pan to make it!
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.