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Broiled burgers are hamburgers, veggie burgers, fish patties or other burgers that are cooked a specified distance below direct, dry heat. Oven broiling heats and cooks burgers from the top down — the opposite of grilling, which cooks directly from the bottom up. Broiled burgers often cook at temperatures around 500° Fahrenheit (260° Celsius), although most ovens have at least two broiling temperature controls, low and high. Burgers cooked under a broiler are usually healthier and contain less fat than those cooked using other methods. Broiling techniques can vary from simple to complex and there are different methods of broiling burgers.
Broiled burgers can be cooked either in a shallow pan that retains the juices and fat or in a broiler pan. Burgers that are broiled and allowed to soak in their juices are often moister and have more flavor. Those broiled in a broiler pan may be healthier because of the reduced fat content. The broiler pan has two pieces — a slotted top and a drip pan. The fat and juices run through the slots and drain into the bottom pan, removing the extra fat from the burgers.
In addition to the health and flavor benefits, broiled burgers are convenient and easy to make. Pre-formed patties can be used or one can make a custom burger using fresh ground beef. The oven rack should be moved from its usual center position up closer to the top and the broiler elements. The closer the rack is to the heating element, the faster the burgers will cook. The oven can be turned on either the low or high broiler setting, though the oven should be allowed to preheat with the oven door closed.
Once the burgers are prepared, they should be placed on a broiler pan or shallow baking sheet and put in the oven close to the heating element. When they cook halfway through, the pan should be removed and the burgers flipped to finish cooking on the other side. Broiled burgers must be watched carefully, because they tend to cook fast and could burn easily. If the oven gets too hot and the grease splatters, then it also could cause the oven to fill with smoke and possibly catch fire. Leaving the oven door cracked open slightly will result in a slower cooking time but can help prevent the burgers from burning and catching fire.
Broiled burgers are quick and simple to prepare, making them a convenient choice for feeding large groups — or small groups that are short on time. Broiled burgers often are served in plain or toasted burger buns, just like grilled or skillet-cooked burgers are served. After the burgers finish cooking, open burger buns can be place on the oven rack and toasted before serving. Oven broiling techniques also work for cooking other foods, especially meats and fish.
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