What Is Broiled Cod?

Allison Boelcke

Cod is a type of white fish found mainly in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. It is considered to have a flaky texture and light flavor and can typically withstand a variety of cooking methods, such as baking, sautéing, and steaming. Due to its flaky texture, cod is generally not advised for grilling because it may not be able to stay intact on the grill grates. A commonly recommended substitution for grilling is broiled cod, in which the fish is cooked in the broiler portion of a stove. Although both the grill and broiler use direct heat to cook the fish, a broiler cooks food on a pan underneath the heat source, while grilled food is above the heat on a grill grid.

A broiling pan can be used to cook cod.
A broiling pan can be used to cook cod.

Prior to making broiled cod, the fish may need to be prepped for cooking. If fresh whole cod or cod fillets are being used, they may need to be rinsed to remove any overwhelming salty flavor and to ensure it is clean, before being gently patted dry. Frozen cod is often recommended to be fully defrosted so that it cooks evenly, and then patted dry before broiling.

Paprika is commonly used to season broiled cod.
Paprika is commonly used to season broiled cod.

The ingredients for broiled cod typically vary widely depending on the recipe. Since cod is a mild flavored fish, it is usually recommended to generously season it to prevent the fish from tasting bland. Commonly called for seasonings include salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, curry, garlic, and dried herbs. To get the seasonings to adhere to the cod, as well as to prevent the fish from sticking to the pan while cooking, recipes may advise brushing the fish with oil or melted butter prior to seasoning and broiling it.

For the optimal texture, a broiler pan is usually recommended for preparing the fish. A broiler pan typically has two parts: a flat metal tray as the base, and a slotted upper pan. The slots allow any fat that cooks off during the broiling process to drip down into the bottom pan and may help keep the outside of the cod crispy and not soggy.

Broiled cod recipes do not generally have a long cooking time. Since broiling uses such close contact with heat, it usually only takes approximately four to five minutes per side for the fish to cook through. It is typically advised to check the fish for doneness by attempting to gently cut through it with a fork. If it is properly cooked, the fish will flake easily with little force. Once the cod is cooked through, it may be served immediately as is, or with fresh lemon wedges to enhance the flavor.

Broiled cod can be topped with a creamy mornay sauce.
Broiled cod can be topped with a creamy mornay sauce.

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