I was broiling a steak (with the fat on, and I had also lightly coated it with olive oil).

After I had turned it over, about the 2nd minute (before it was done) there was a huge pop and a small flame inside, it appeared a piece of grease exploded out of the steak and hit the element.

I left it about 5 cm away from the element (2") which usually gives a cook I like. But I'm starting to think the way I'm doing it is possibly a fire hazard.

Is what I'm doing wrong? Can you cook a steak like that? What do you do about the flare up and mini explosions?

  • Also, it should be noted that if your oven does catch fire, close the door and turn off the heat. The fire should go out fairly quickly (especially in an electric oven) from lack of oxygen. Keep in mind that opening the door will add oxygen. If at all in doubt, call the fire department.
    – derobert
    Jun 19, 2011 at 5:42

1 Answer 1


Broiling a steak is a great way to cook it. There are a few things you can do to avoid your issue.

  1. No need to oil your steak. It should have great flavor as is.
  2. To avoid problems with grease under your steak, put it on a wire rack over a 13x9 inch pan (or similar) with 2 inch high walls. Put 1/2 cup of kosher salt in the pan. This soaks up grease drips. America's Test Kitchen's recipe gave me this idea.
  3. Pull the rack out when flipping steak, flipping it away from the element to avoid grease hitting the element. It might take a bit longer to cook this way, but you'll still get a good crust.
  • 1
    Just wanted to say that I had steak recently made with the America's Test Kitchen recipe. They also recommend warming the steak in the oven before broiling, so that the temperature difference isn't so great between the outside and the inside of the steak. Made for a fantastic and tender steak, without the grey streak inside.
    – Martha F.
    Feb 9, 2011 at 2:11

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