How To Broil Chicken Without Broiler Pan (4 Healthy Alternatives)

Choose your broiler pan substitute- a roasting tray, a baking sheet, a cast iron pan, or an aluminum foil tray. Prepare your chicken and place it on the cookware of your choice. Then, preheat the oven for 5 to 10 minutes before putting the chicken in. Finally, broil the chicken as you normally would, but keep an eye on it until it’s fully cooked.

As a foodie, I like to experiment a lot with chicken. It’s really hard to get bored of it because there are simply too many methods to prepare them, including frying, roasting, steaming, grilling, and broiling. 

Pan broiling is my favorite of these methods because it gives you the best of both worlds. You have the taste and texture of fried chicken, but the chicken comes out juicy and moist. This method is simple and easy, so even a novice cook can do it.

I’ve been using my broiler pan to achieve some of the best-broiled chicken for years now and have never had any issues until recently when I realized my pan had gotten old and wasn’t ideal to use anymore.

So I decided to try out some other pans to broil my next batch of chicken, and I was surprised at how the chicken came out quite fantastic! It was moist as needed and had a ton of flavor.

Want to know what the secret is? Read on as I show you how to broil chicken without a broiler pan. These methods are quick and don’t require any extra effort. 

how to broil chicken without a broiler pan

But first, let’s discuss how the broiling process differs from grilling:

Difference Between Grilling and Broiling Chicken

Broiling chicken is incredibly simple. It entails cooking your meat with extreme heat from above and at close range, allowing you to have low-fat and nutrient-rich chicken. The high heat also allows the chicken to cook quickly while maintaining a perfectly browned surface.

Although broiling and grilling are often mixed up as the same because they both require intense direct heat to cook the chicken, Grilling requires the food to be placed over a grill, which may impart a smokey flavor that broiling does not.

On the other hand, you use a broiler pan (also known as a broiler roaster) for broiling chicken. This cookware guarantees that your chicken is positioned on a flat surface and kept at a safe distance from the broiler (about 5 to 6 inches).

Why The Broiler Pan Is Most Times The First Choice

The broiler pan is made of stainless steel and black porcelain enamel. It is divided into two sections: the upper cooking surface or plate lid, where the meat is placed, and the lower walled pan, which catches dripping fat and food particles from the chicken. This way, the pan is designed to produce an excellent broiling result: freshly flavored, crispy surface, and tender chicken.

Also, the broiler pan is used to prepare other types of food and can be used in microwaves and ovens, making it an indispensable piece of kitchen cookware.

These features make it sound like it may be impossible to broil chicken without a broiler pan. However, thats not necessarily true. There are great broiler pan substitutes that will work just as well or even better than a broiler pan.

broil pan

Can You Broil Chicken Without A Broiler Pan?

The simple answer is yes. When a broiler pan is unavailable, other kitchenware might be utilized to complete the broiling process. These items are oven safe and will achieve the same results as the broiler pan if used as directed.

Luckily, you may not need to buy any of these broiler pan substitutes. There is a high chance you can always find one in your kitchen to broil your chicken with.  

What Can You Use To Broil Chicken Instead Of A Broiler Pan? The 4 Healthy Substitutes

If you’re looking for an alternative to a broiler pan, the best option depends on what you have in your kitchen. You can always use any of the following options to broil your chicken:

Baking Sheet/Tray

If you are just looking for a simple substitute for a broiling pan, then this is probably the easiest way to go. 

Most baking sheets are oven safe to temperatures of 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and the sheet is capable of supporting the weight of a roast and is large enough to accommodate a 4-pound chicken.

Although it is not the most perfect alternative, most of us who love baked foods readily have them in our kitchen, so it seems reasonable and convenient to use them to broil chicken.

aluminum sheet on baking tray

Usage Tips:

  • Before using a baking sheet to broil your chicken, check the manufacturer’s instructions to see if it’s safe to use in the oven.
  • In addition, when using a baking sheet/tray for broiling, line the tray with aluminum foil before laying the chicken on top. This makes cleaning the tray after use easy.

Roasting Pan

There is no need to go out and buy a special broiler pan if you have a roasting pan. Ever since I figured they can withstand high heat when placed near a heat source, it’s been my go-to alternative, and they work just as fine as broiling pans.

turkey on roasting tray

However, to use a roasting pan for broiling, you should take note of the following; 

  • A rack must be placed inside the tray to make the broiling process easier and ensure there’s a second layer to collect dripping fats. 
  • You should also keep an eye on your meal to avoid oil spilling into the oven and catching fire. 

Cast Iron Pan or Skillet

Cast iron pans are flexible, long-lasting, and incredibly handy in the kitchen for preparing a variety of cuisines. These pans can withstand extremely high temperatures and feature long handles that make them easy to reach in the oven.

You can choose a cast-iron pan with griddle lines to broil your chicken and watch how it produces superior broiled chicken.

chicken on cast iron skillet

Usage Tips

Aluminum Foil Tray

If you’re looking for a cost-effective and easy-to-clean alternative to traditional broiling pans, aluminum foil trays are a great option. These trays can withstand extremely high temperatures, making them perfect for broiling. Plus, you can simply dispose of the foil for quick and easy cleanup once you’re done cooking.

It is also simple to use. An aluminum foil tray doesn’t require oil or nonstick spray coating because the foil paper is naturally nonstick. However, you may brush oil on the foil tray to give flavor to your chicken.

chicken in foil tray

Usage Tips

  • When choosing an aluminum foil tray, look for ” heavy-duty ” ones since they make superior broiled chicken. 

The Broiling Process: How You Can Broil Chicken Without a Broiler Pan

Although many people prefer to use a broiler pan to broil chicken because it provides more control over the process, you may be surprised you will achieve similar or even better results with other pan types using this method I’m about to show you. 

While this method may seem complicated at first, once you get used to it, you’ll find that it’s actually very simple.

As long as you follow the instructions carefully, you shouldn’t have any problems. And since most of these methods require only a few ingredients, you’ll have no trouble finding everything you need.

Things You Need To Get Started

  • An Oven
  • Your preferred broiler pan substitute
  • Aluminum foil
  • Seasoning ingredients
  • Vegetable oil
  • Two chicken halves 

Here’s The Step-By-Step Broiling Process

Step 1: Prepare The Chicken

  • To begin, defrost your chicken and thoroughly wash it under running water. The chicken may then be sliced into smaller pieces, but they must be thick enough to be grilled. Alternatively, just flatten the chicken on your tray.
  • You may also remove the chicken skin if you choose, but I love to cook mine with the skin to seal the flavor.
  • Next, season your chicken with pepper, salt, and any other seasonings specified in the recipe.
  • Finally, brush the chicken with cooking oil.
  • To reduce broiling time, partly heat the chicken in the microwave for 4 to 5 minutes before seasoning.

Step 2: Preheated The Broiler

  • Choose the “broil” setting on your oven and preheat for 5 to 10 minutes at a high temperature of around 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Leave the oven door slightly open while preheating it to avoid overheating and turning off.

Step 3: Choose A Broiler Pan Substitute

  • Consider using one of the broiler pan alternatives I mentioned earlier. A baking sheet is my favorite, so if you have one, I recommend using it.
  • Do not use Teflon nonstick frying pans. They emit toxic chemicals when exposed to the extreme heat needed for the broiling process.

Precaution: Since you are not using a broiler pan, you must keep an eye on your chicken during the broiling process to ensure your food doesn’t burn.

Step 4: Put Your Chicken in the Oven

  • Line your broiler pan substitute with aluminum foil to make cleanup easier.
  • When you’re finished seasoning the chicken, lay it on the pan rack, bone-side up.
  • Then, place your substitute broiler pan in the preheated oven, keeping the surface of the chicken at least 5 to 6 inches away from the heating elements.
  • You may always re-adjust the pan if it appears that your chicken is cooking too quickly and is about to burn.

Step 5: Broil Chicken

  • Broiling is done at the oven’s highest temperature setting, which is normally approximately 500 degrees Fahrenheit. You must know how long your chicken should broil and continually keep an eye on it to prevent it from burning.
  • Never broil for more than 20 minutes. And, to ensure that the chicken cooks evenly on all sides, turn it frequently.
  • When one side of the chicken is beautifully browned, flip it over to the other side.
  • You can also spray your chicken with more salt or sauce while cooking to add more flavor to it.
  • Your chicken is done when the flesh is no longer pink.
  • Once the chicken is done, remove the tray from the oven using a potholder, and leave it for at least 5 minutes to absorb the juice before serving.

Additional Tips For Making A Perfect Broiled Chicken

Here are some tips to help you get a great sear, whether you use a broiler pan or one of its substitutes.

  • Always preheat your broiler pan or baking sheet before inserting your chicken. It ensures the even cooking of the chicken and allows the flavor to fully lock-in.
  • You should also grease the broiler pan substitute before putting the chicken. This guarantees a nonstick effect. However, I advise against using cooking spray since it might make cleaning your pan harder.
  • Also, avoid crowding your broiling pan or baking sheet. Instead, arrange the chicken on a single layer to ensure even cooking and simple turning.
  • Keep an eye on your chicken when using a broiler pan substitute. Unlike a broiler pan, a baking sheet may quickly burn your meat if left unattended. So, when broiling, don’t leave your food alone for too long.
  • All ovens are not made the same, so read and follow your manufacturer’s instructions before broiling chicken in your oven.

FAQs On How To Broil Chicken Without Broiler Pan

Is Broiled Chicken Healthy?

The American Heart Association recommends broiling chicken as a healthy alternative to grilling and frying because it doesn’t require additional oil and cooks in its own juice. This method reduces fat and calories, thus lowering your risk of weight gain and coronary artery disease.

How Long Should I Broil Chicken Breast?

The broiling time will vary according to the wattage of your oven and the size of your chicken breast. Cutting the chicken breast into thinner portions should take around 3-5 minutes to broil on each side, and about 10 minutes, until well browned.

Is It Better To Leave The Oven Door Open When Broiling?

You should leave the oven door open for an effective broiling process. It allows heat and moisture to escape, which prevents your food from burning and retaining fat.

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