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If you want your meat, chicken, or even a casserole to have a toasted or browned, crusty exterior, then the cooking technique you're looking for is broiling. And the best part? The total time It takes to achieve the crunchy, golden brown finish is about 5 minutes.

A broiler is a compartment in your oven that produces a very concentrated heat source from above while the food sits on an oven rack on a sheet pan underneath. In the oven, on the other hand, heat surrounds the food and cooks it eve…

ly on all sides. If you've ever seen a lasagna with a layer of perfectly crispy, crunchy, melted cheese across the top, there's an excellent chance someone just pulled it out of the broiler after spending about 40 minutes cooking in the oven. That's not the only Italian dinner recipe we suggest finishing off with a few minutes of flash-broiling. You can broil baked ziti and a Stromboli (like an inside-out pizza).

You can also put your Mexican recipes in the broiler for several minutes, including your homemade enchiladas, nachos, and fajitas. Steak is especially delicious after spending a few minutes in the broiler. This is how they do it at the best steakhouses! The fire crisps and caramelizes the corners and the outside layer of the meat. And if you want crispy chicken but don't want the bird to go anywhere near a fryer, then you need to learn how to use your broiler.

Broiled Seafood

A perfectly cooked piece of fish is crunchy on the outside, but still tender and delicate on the inside. Here is how you do it.

You can use salmon, tuna, bass, or many other types of seafood. Start by preheating the broiler. Then sprinkle a center-cut salmon fillet with a little salt and pepper, and then using 1 to 2 tablespoons of softened butter, give the skin of the fillet a good, thorough rub. Transfer the salmon or bass to a sheet pan. Once the broiler is fully heated, place the fish on the top rack of the broiler. Let cook for about 8 minutes. A great sauce to pair with a broiled salmon recipe is one that uses butter, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and finely grated lemon zest.

Broiled Italian Recipes: Pizza

In addition to your lasagna and ziti, pizza is an Italian delicacy that comes out better when you cook it in the broiler. Start the pie on the stovetop with a medium flame. Put down your dough first (you may need to use flour or cornstarch on the pan to prevent sticking) and when it starts bubbling, put the sauce on in a circular motion with a ladle, followed by generously sprinkling on mozzarella cheese. Then place the pizza on the top oven rack in the broiler for roughly 15 minutes. Once you notice the top layer of cheese fully melted, bubbling, and golden brown, it's finished. You can also put toppings on your pie before putting it in the broiler. Try slices of pepperoni, sausage, onion, and prosciutto. With toppings, cooking time comes to 16 to 17 minutes, depending on how thickly you've sliced the meat toppings.

Broiled Mexican Recipes: Fajitas

Here's a healthy, low-calorie, 30-minute meal the family will love. Put thin slices of bell peppers and yellow onion on a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil. Place in the broiler for about 10 minutes so the vegetables can char on the outside and soften on the inside — toss slices of chicken breast with chili powder, salt, and pepper. When the onions and peppers are ready, place the chicken on top of the vegetables and place the sheet pan back inside the broiler. Let the chicken cook fully through and start to char on the outside. It'll take about 5 minutes. After placing the pan on an unheated surface, squeeze a lime over the top of your fajita filling. Serve with warm flour and corn tortillas and put out bowls with Monterey Jack cheese, guacamole, sour cream, and different kinds of salsa.

Comfort Food: Tuna Melts

This American-diner style tuna melt is perfect for a cool day. Whip up a batch of tuna salad with a can of drained tuna and mayo. You have the option of adding chopped celery and red onion. Then spoon as much or as little tuna as you want onto slices of bread. You can use white, whole wheat, rye, or any type of bread of your choice. Place a slice of cheese directly on the spread of tuna salad, then a slice of tomato, and then followed by another slice of cheese on top of that. Classic East Coast diners often use Swiss cheese to make a tuna melt, but there's no reason why you can't use provolone, Cheddar, Munster, or even American cheese. An open-face tuna melt means you're leaving the top slice of bread off.

Whether you want a tuna melt sandwich or an open-face tuna melt, place the full or open-faced sandwich on a sheet pan and then leave in the broiler for 3 to 5 minutes. When the corners of the bread are golden brown, the bread is toasted, and the cheese has fully melted, remove the sheet pan and transfer your sandwich to a plate. Be sure to serve with shoestring French fries, a dill pickle spear, and coleslaw!

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