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How To Broil In Oven Without Broiler: Solved (Updated)

Last Updated on April 20, 2024 by Lauren Beck

Another technique in cooking is broiling, which involves directly applying heat to the food. A broiler pan works best for delectable dishes such as cheesy casseroles, roasted potatoes, and steak.

But how do you broil in an oven without a broiler pan? We’ll show you how today.  

5 Steps To Broil In Oven Without A Broiler Pan 

1. Prepare Your Food

The first step is to prepare the food for the broiler. Remove the skin (for vegetables and some meat) and wash them carefully before putting them on the broiling pan or other broiler pan substitutes.  

Then, you can sprinkle salt and pepper onto the food (e.g., meat, vegetables). Also, you can brush it with oil if you like. 

After that, you can now place your prepared food in the broiler pan or any broiler pan substitute available. 

2. Choose Your Pan

Since you don’t have a broiling pan, you can use broiler pan substitutes such as baking sheets, baking trays, sheet pans, cast-iron pans, and roasting pans. 

We advise not to use non-stick or Teflon cooking pans as they can release toxic chemicals when using high temperatures.

3. Move the Rack

Move the rack with food to the cooking vessel or any broiler pan substitutes you have that are equipped with a broiler heating element. 

If you’re planning on putting the food under the broiler, make sure that the food surfaces are at least 4 to 5 centimeters from the heat source. 

Specifically, this applies to both Cornish game hen and chicken.

4. Turn On the Oven

Next is to turn on your oven. For a standard broiler, pre-heating usually takes 5-10 minutes. 

When it comes to most ovens, they usually come with a simple on or off switch for the broiler. But, if you don’t have this option, you can set it to high heat. You can also leave the door a crack open to keep it cool. 

5. Set Up Your Food

When the chicken has turned brown on one side, remove it from the oven and let it cool down. This method usually happens after about half of the broiling time has passed.

Now, you can brush (or use cooking spray) the food with sauce (if applicable) and serve. Arrange foods depending on your preference or if the recipe requires it. 

You can add the sauce you prepared separately before the last five minutes of cooking. Also, you can add rosemary sprigs to the pan (especially for broiling steak) for a twist. 

Note: When using a broiler pan, you need to cook chicken thighs and drumsticks at 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, patties should be cooked at 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Meat and chicken breasts are cooked at 170 degrees Fahrenheit.

Some Broiler Pan Substitutes You Can Use

Variety of cast iron frying pans

Cast Iron Pan

If you don’t have a broiler pan, you can use Cast iron pans. This broiler pan substitute is versatile because of its high heat conductivity. It can resist high temperatures and won’t crack or get damaged if placed near the broiler. 

You can use the one with longer pink, flat lines and are equipped with grab handles. You can also use this to prepare thin and not-too-large food items.

Cast iron is a great conductor, which is a good broiler pan substitute. You can cook food evenly for various cooking times.

However, for this broiler pan substitute, you will need an aluminum sheet pan to cover your cast iron pan if it doesn’t have a broiler plate lid. Cast iron pan ensures consistent temperature, allowing you to cook food perfectly even without a broiler.

Roasting Pan

A roasting pan is also a good broiler pan substitute. However, make sure that your roasting pan can withstand high heat and is not prone to breaking apart. 

Placing the roasting pan close to the heating element will allow you to easily broil chicken, vegetables, and other meats. 

You can also keep the food on the pan to prevent it from burning using a cooling rack. However, you can place the food at the bottom instead of a wire rack for a much better broiling process (especially for cooking meats). 

Baking Tray

A baking sheet or tray is also one of the most commonly used broiler pan substitutes. Even though the baking sheet or baking tray is not designed to be placed under a broiler pan, they can still broil food at perfect char. 

High heat can quickly evaporate the flavors of the food if it comes into contact with the baking sheet or baking tray.

When using this broiler pan substitute, you can line it with an aluminum foil tray. But, if you’re using a baking tray, you can use it as the lower pan or the cooling rack. 

To make the aluminum foil tray, punch holes in it and then wrap it around the baking tray. When the food is ready to be placed in the broiler, place it on top of the tray.

Aluminum Foil Tray

One of the broiler pan substitutes you can use is Aluminum foil. It is easy to get, and it can withstand the high heat that comes from broiling. 

Also, like a broiler pan, aluminum foil can be used to make a tray that fits perfectly. You can additionally add some oil to the aluminum foil to add flavor and color to your food.

Tips When Using An Oven Broiler 

  • A broiler pan or baking sheets should be placed inside the oven to allow the heat to reach the desired temperature. This will help evenly distribute the flavor of the food.
  • To keep the food from sticking to the broiler pan, use a non-stick spray (no to parchment paper) or an oil. Also, you can add a hint of olive oil to the broiler pan by carefully lifting it off. 
  • It’s essential to watch your food closely while it’s in the oven to prevent it from burning. Also, keep an eye on the oven to ensure it’s not smoking.
  • An oven thermometer is a must-have for any kitchen professional. There is an instant-read thermometer, which you can use to monitor if you will need higher temperatures or not. 
  • It’s important to avoid broiling the food for more than 10 minutes. Doing so could result in a burnt product and a fire in the worst-case scenario. You can also create a crispy crust by using the broiler. This method can be done either at the start or the end of the cooking process.
  • We don’t recommend using parchment paper to line baking sheets as it is likely to burn at high heat during cooking time.
  • If you’re planning on using a gas oven, make sure that the appliances are working properly and that the juices and grease don’t spill onto the gas flame.


Can you broil in a pan?

Yes, you can broil in a pan. But, you can only use the pan for fish fillets, thin steaks, or any thin meat chops. 

What does it mean to broil in the oven?

Broiling in the oven simply means broiling food using the oven instead of a broiler. When broiling in the oven, you can use broiler pans or other broiler pan substitutes, such as baking sheet pans/ trays, a roasting pan, or an iron cast pan. 

Is broiling the same as baking?

No, broiling is not the same as baking in terms of the cooking process. When broiling, it uses top-down heat to cook delicate food, while baking uses moderate temperatures to prepare the food [1].

What temperature is the broil in the oven?

The temperature for the broil option in the oven is between 500-550 degrees Fahrenheit. Some ovens will let you select between high, low, or even key in the temperature. For instance, 400 degrees Fahrenheit is the ideal range for low. Medium is 450 degrees Fahrenheit, and high is 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

Do you leave the oven door open when broiling?

Yes, oven-door broiling [2] is a technique that involves leaving the door slightly ajar to allow heat to escape. This allows the element to stay hot while keeping the cooking element on. It’s also good for searing meat or cooking thinner cuts.

Key Takeaways

Broiling food is still possible even without a broiler pan as you have the secret weapon– the broiler in your oven!

If you want a healthier alternative to cooking meat, broiling is a great option. It eliminates most of the fat from the food (especially oil-based foods). And there’s no problem if you don’t have a broiler pan as long as you have an oven broiler. 


Lauren Beck

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