6 Broiler Safety Tips – Cooking with Kids, Part 4

By Ebony Porter, May 25, 2017, Family

Welcome to Cooking with Kids from Bounce Energy! Think of the kitchen as a science lab or a living classroom. It contains so many elements that can provide hands-on learning opportunities for your kids – measuring, learning temperature, time, chemistry, fermentation, and more. Join us as we show you how to introduce your kids to the best room in the house!

We round out our focus on the oven with Cooking with Kids by focusing on the broiler. The broiler is often the silent sleeper of the oven world, underused yet when embraced, results in incredible tasting food that has a char crisp you might expect from an outdoor grill.

This is a tricky part of the oven that will always require adult supervision due to it’s extreme heat, but we want to introduce you and your kids to it as it can produce easy, nutritious meals for the family.

Follow these simple tips to keep your cook-in-training safe, while also giving them confidence to dream and cook big.

6 Broiler Safety Tips - Cooking with Kids, Part 4 | Bounce Energy Blog

1. What is a Broiler?

Using the broiler means food cooks fast and furiously. It is not a long roast or a slow bake. Food is placed on a rack at the top of the oven and the oven is set to its hottest temperature. This is typically the “Broil” setting. In gas ovens the flames will appear on the top side of the oven and in an electric oven the coils will be in the same position. 

2. What to Cook?

Before diving into the nitty gritty, let’s talk about the essence of broiling. It is in theory like cooking on an open flame. No, you don’t want to make s’mores in your oven as you would on a campfire, but the idea is that you are cooking with fire and the results will be similar to if you were cooking on a gas grill.

Meat kebabs, vegetable kebabs, open faced sandwiches, tostadas, pork chops, fish filets, steaks, shrimp, ricotta stuffed dates, bacon and cheese pinwheels, tasty little appetizers, and any other cuts of meat you might fancy are perfect for broilers.

6 Broiler Safety Tips - Cooking with Kids, Part 4 | Bounce Energy Blog

3. Move Oven Racks

Since broiling takes place at the top of the oven, move the oven racks into the top position slot before you turn the oven on. This is a great opportunity to teach your child how to put the oven racks in place. It can be tricky, but with practice it will become easier.

4. Prepare Food Before Turning on Oven

Since the kitchen is going to get hot, make sure you have prepped all food before you’re ready to put it in the broiler. Kids can handle items like washing veggies and if experienced, chopping them up to spear onto skewers. Teach them how to safely handle meat if they’ll be preparing any meat. An open faced sandwich is an easy, fun recipe for a younger child:

Funny Face Sandwiches

  1. Lay slices of bread onto an oven tray
  2. Sprinkle with shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
  3. Slice a tomato into 1/4 pieces, and then cut a few of those slices in half
  4. The half tomato slices can be mouths or eyes, and the circle slices can be eyes. Get creative!
  5. Broil open sandwich for 4-5 minutes
  6. Serve immediately

6 Broiler Safety Tips - Cooking with Kids, Part 4 | Bounce Energy Blog

5. Take Caution of Heat

When broiling, it is recommended that you preheat the oven for 5 minutes so that when your food enters, it receives a blast of heat. Be sure and explain the dangers of skin contact with such high heat. For children younger than 14, we recommend the adult placing the food into the oven.

6. Mits On Hand

Have your oven mitts within arms length! Make sure you teach your children that they should never open the oven and pull out the oven racks with bare hands. If your child is new to working with the oven,  have them watch you pull out the racks before attempting to do it themselves.

Ready to broil? As always, please stay safe!

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Born in Australia, Ebony has been in Texas long enough to consider herself a Texan-Aussie. Ebony has been writing for magazines, newspapers, and blogs, for more than 10 years. When she's not writing she's building quilts, growing her own food, or camping with her family somewhere far from the sounds of the city.

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