This recipe states:

Heat the oven to broil and arrange a rack in the middle.

Then later:

Broil the salmon on the baking sheet ... about 10 to 12 minutes.

I don't understand what this means. What does "heat the oven to broil" mean? It definitely seems to be talking about putting it in the oven, since it also says "arrange a rack in the middle". And then it goes on to say "broil the salmon".

But if it calls for broiled salmon, why wouldn't I just put it in the broiler (broiler is underneath my oven)?

My oven goes up to 500F, I don't know what temperature "broil" means or how to heat the oven to that temperature, and I'm also confused because how can you "broil" something on the middle rack of an oven, especially a conventional oven, and with only a heating element on the bottom instead of the top?

I can't make sense of what this recipe is calling for if it's not putting the salmon in the actual broiler.

1 Answer 1


In general, there are two types of ovens:

  1. Ovens with a broiler drawer under their oven.
  2. Ovens with a second top heating element (broiler) in the main oven compartment.

Your oven is the former; mine (and apparently the author's) is the latter.

So, in this case, the instructions mean "heat the oven to the broil setting".

Since you have the first type of oven, your only option will be to put your oven in broiler mode and hope the distance between the broiler and the fish is sufficient. With the recipe calling for the fish to be on the middle rack, it sounds like it's pretty far from the heat source, so you'll probably need to keep a close eye on your fish as I'm guessing your setup will be much closer. It's even possible that it won't work at all.

  • Oh right, I forgot there were ovens with broiler elements in them. My parents even have two of them... Yeah it won't work for me directly. The only way I've been able to successfully broil fish in this oven in the past is to mostly cook it in the oven first then hit it with the broiler for maybe a minute or two. The broiler tray is about 4-6" from the gas burner.
    – Jason C
    Commented Feb 21, 2017 at 23:17

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