Broiler Drawer vs Oven Broiler: Are They The Same?

As a cook or chef who cooks for a living, one of the things you must be familiar with is the difference between a broiler drawer vs an oven broiler.

Are they the same thing? Should you use them to broil anything? What exactly can the broiler drawer and oven broiler be used for? As someone working in the catering industry, you must be acquainted with these questions.

As a result, this article will provide you with detailed information on how the broiler drawer and oven broiler differ.

What is a broiler drawer?

A broiler drawer is an oven heated by natural gas. The broiler is an added cooking space that has a retractable pan. It works best for toasting or browning items like bread or casseroles.

It is extremely narrow and can be found at the bottom of gas ovens. As a result, people who are unfamiliar with the use of this kitchen appliance often find it confusing.

It is regarded as an additional cooking space that improves your cooking abilities. It works best for toasting or browning the tops of dips and cakes while still safely warming food.

What is an oven broiler?

An oven broiler is a heating appliance that cooks food using the same mechanism as direct heating.

The oven’s broiler, which uses intense heat, specifically excels at quickly cooking thin meat cuts and some types of vegetables.

SEE: How Do You Know When A Gas Oven Is Pre-Heated?

Broiler drawer vs oven broiler

Let us go into the details so you understand the workings and similarities of your oven and the broiler setting.

Broiler drawer

The bottom of your cooking stove or oven cavity has a broiler drawer that gives your food a crispier crust and improves the cooking experience.

The broiler drawer doesn’t need to be heated up. Simply switch it on, then five minutes later add your broiler tray.

Because they must stoop to remove the food, elderly and ill patients may not be able to use a broiler drawer. For them, a broiler in an oven is ideal.

Oven broiler

On the top shelf of the oven is a broiler. The heating element quickly reaches a high temperature. As a result, you must keep an eye on things or risk having burned food.

The broiler rack must be positioned following the food you intend to broil. Place the rack closer to the broil element for foods that cook quickly (thin cuts, fish, fruits).

Then place the oven rack lower for foods like meat sticks that require time to cook thoroughly.

Also, you would have to place the food closer to the broiling element if it has already been cooked and only needs to be browned or caramelized. In most cases, the oven’s broiling temperature is around 550°F.

SEE: The Differences Between Microwave and Oven You Didn’t Know

3 main differences between broiler drawer and oven broiler

1. Design

The bottom drawer in the cooking stove that is located beneath the actual oven is known as the “broiler drawer.” It implies that to place or remove food, you must stoop to the ground.

Additionally, this kitchen appliance often comes with a small, immovable pan that is narrower than the oven itself.

An oven’s broiler, in contrast, is a column that is placed on the top shelf. It has two separate burners; the bottom burner gives extra heat, and the top burner bounces heat down into the oven.

2. Cooking methods

Tweaking the broiler pan or racks is necessary when using an oven broiler to get tough outer items underneath and control your food’s proximity to the heat source. Your dishes will cook more quickly if you place them closer to the heat.

On the other hand, you must place your food in a bracket or a rail because no pan can fit in a broiler drawer. As a result, it is always used toward the end of cooking to achieve a darker top.

You must use caution when using either an oven broiler or a broiler drawer because they both tend to overheat and quickly burn food.

3. Uses

The functions of the broiler drawer are ideal for braising the tops of dips, baked goods, and anything with cheese on top.

Additionally, it is a great alternative to using the microwave in the kitchen to toast or brown foods like casseroles, bread, pasta, and potatoes for gratin.

SEE: What is Fan Assisted Oven?

How to use your broiler

When activated, your oven broiler will look like a bright, fiery strip above the oven shelves and below the stovetop burners.

Other ovens keep the broiler in a drawer beneath the oven. If your broiler is on top, slide the rack into the highest available slot to get it as close to the flame as possible.

If your broiler is in the bottom drawer of your oven, slide the rack to the least position possible. This should still be four inches away from the heat.

  • Place the food in the pan and position it at the distance you want the heat source to react on the food by placing the broiler pan and grid on one of the three shelf positions.
  • To use the broiler, press the broil pad on the control panel once for high and twice for low heat, then press the START button.
  • When you’re finished, click CLEAR OFF. Always use cookware that can withstand heat and high temperatures, and never use the broiler with water or liquid.
  • Additionally, consult your broiler handbook for a deeper comprehension of how to use your broiler.

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Broiler drawer vs oven broiler: pros and cons

The only drawback to the oven broiler is that if you don’t watch the food, it might heat up too quickly. Otherwise, it is more helpful. In addition, it is simpler to use, adjustable, and suitable for elderly people because using the oven broiler requires no bending.

The broiler drawer, on the other hand, is at the bottom of the oven and has more drawbacks than advantages. This implies that you must completely bend over to the floor to put food in or take it out.

Food can easily burn if not watched carefully because it is so close to the heat source. Most of the time, the small compartment makes it difficult to remove the pan.

You end up leaning on your pan and splattering meat juice as you make your way to the top of the range because you must stoop down at the waist to remove your finished steaks.

Pans are challenging to remove and clean. The pan also hardly ever has any upward or downward movement, which further reduces your available vertical space.

SEE: Can Glass Go in the Oven?

Which is better to use, the broiler drawer or the oven broiler?

You can cook to perfection using either an oven broiler or a broiler drawer. Both involve using direct heat to cook food more quickly and provide you with a variety of broiling options.

However, if you like to caramelize or brown food, a broiler drawer is a great choice. Nonetheless, the broiler drawer’s design makes it difficult for people with back issues to check on the food or remove heavy pans.

Because of this, the oven broiler is better; it makes a great kitchen helper. Any recipe you want to prepare will work well on this device. The oven broiler offers time savings, versatility, safety features, and ease of use.


What is broiling?

Broiling is the process of exposing food to direct heat. This can be done by using your oven’s broiler setting or the broiler drawer at the bottom of your oven/stovetop.

Broiling is like using an upside-down grill. Crispy baked bread, crusty steak, charred vegetables, and melted cheese are all included in what you can use the broiler to cook.

It can be either gas-powered (in stovetop designs) or powered by electricity (in ovens). The broiler function runs at a predetermined temperature.

Does every oven have a broiler?

Yes. The broiler is a standard feature in every oven; it is frequently the same component that heats the oven for roasting or baking. The broiler part can occasionally be found sitting atop the oven.

SEE: How You Can Cook Delicious Brats in the Oven

Will the broiler coil stay red the whole time the food cooks?

No, the coil won’t continue to be red while cooking. It only turns red during heating up and black or gray during heat maintenance. It is best to replace your broiler if it is often turning red because the heat could damage it.

How do you use an oven to broil?

To use your oven broiler, you only need to find the broiler, turn it on, and wait for it to warm up to broil.

Choose the proper pan for the food you want to broil and the time you want to broil it while you wait. Put your food in your pan, and set it next to or over the broiler heating element.

Do you have to use a cast iron pan under the broiler?

No, you do not have to, but you must ensure that any pan you use does not have plastic handles that could melt, wood that could burn, or joined parts where glue could dissolve.

Under the broiler, stainless steel would be suitable. Copper may taint food, but that won’t harm it.

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After reading this article all the way through, it is abundantly clear that while some ovens have a broiler drawer, not all do.

This compartment is included with some oven designs and can make some items hard to use because it is at the bottom of the oven.

As a result, a lot of people frequently prefer a standard oven with a broil function over a broiler drawer because the latter is much more user-friendly and adjustable.

Thanks for reading.

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