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The preparation of comestibles by heating. In meats, overcooking can result in the production of carcinogenic polycyclic amines; undercooking carries the risk of parasitic (e.g., Taenia solium, T saginatus) or bacterial (e.g., Escherichia coli 0157:H7, Salmonella spp) infections.


[L. coquere, to cook]
The process of heating foods to prepare them for eating. Cooking makes most foods more palatable and easier to chew, improves their digestibility (and sometimes their nutrient bioavailability), and destroys or inactivates harmful organisms, or toxins that may be present. Cooking releases the aromatic substances and extractives that contribute odors and taste to foods. These odors help to stimulate the appetite.


Not all toxic substances are inactivated by heat. Most microorganisms and parasites are destroyed in the ordinary process of cooking when the food is heated to internal temperatures of 160°F to 175°F. Pork must be cooked completely throughout to kill the encysted larvae of Trichinella.


Protein: Soluble proteins become coagulated. Soluble substances: These, including heat-labile vitamins, are often inactivated by boiling, and even mineral substances and starches, although insoluble to a certain extent, may be altered in this process. Starch: The starch granules swell and are changed from insoluble (raw) starch to soluble starch capable of being converted into sugar during digestion and of being assimilated in the system.

References in periodicals archive ?
Before grilling or broiling, pre-cook meat or poultry in the microwave for two to five minutes and throw away the juice.
Moreover, the one-third loss in weight among broiled lean and extra-lean patties was only about 4 percent less than the broiling loss experienced in regular-grind burgers.
That's why broiling (with the heat source above the food), any type of cooking in a pan, stewing, and baking result in few if any PAHs.
Opt instead for roasting, baking, broiling, braising, poaching, sauteing, stir-frying and microwaving, which require little or no fat.
And for those with a yen for spicy food, the kitchen soaks good quality filet mignon in a peppery marinade before flame broiling it on skewers for its ``hot'' kebab platter ($13.
1 pound broiled salmon (use about 1 1/2 pounds before broiling; after broiling remove skin and bones and cool)