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New GE Café Range: Need Broiling Tips

Just had a new GE Café gas range installed and am just beginning to put it through its paces. Am loving most of the features I’ve tried so far, except the broiler. With my old broiler I could put a steak or chops on a broiler pan right up close to the flame and get rare or medium-rare meat with a good char. I tried some lamb chops the other night and they cooked to medium-well before getting a minimal and unsatisfying char. I preheated both the pan and the broiler for the 10 minutes recommended in the manual and had the shelf in its highest position.

Are there any tricks to getting the char and the doneness I want with this range?

I’ve been reading on this board that some people leave the oven door ajar, although the manual specifically says, more than once, not to do that. I’ve also read that it might help to preheat the oven to its highest temperature before turning on the broiler. And there was an article in the NYTimes some time ago that suggested scrapping the broiler pan in favor of a cast iron grill pan.

Before I ruin any more expensive pieces of meat, I’d thought I’d check in here to see if those of you who have this range have had success with broiling meat to their specifications and have any recommendations for me.

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  1. I'm interested in this as well. I have a new GE Cafe range that I started using in the new year. I love it so far, especially the super strong power burner for wokking. I've used the oven for baking but haven't used the broiler yet. Thanks for the heads up on an issue.

    1. Bumping this up, hoping flour girl sees this thread.

      Original link here.

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9313...

      3 Replies
      1. re: beetlebug

        Thanks, bb. I had been hoping flourgirl would see this as well since she seems to have had quite a bit of experience using the Café range broiler.

        1. re: JoanN

          I've baked a bunch of sweets in the last few weeks. I think my oven is on the lower temp side. I haven't bought a thermometer and am resentful that I have to do so. But, I just bake it longer then called for with positive results.

          I still haven't broiled. I don't think I use broil that often. I also haven't tried the convection functions. I'm not quite sure what the convection does since I haven't fully read the manual yet.

          Overall, I am pleased with my new range. Boiling water is no longer my nemesis. And, we are new range twins...

          1. re: beetlebug

            Hey, range twin. :-) I made a couple of batches of chocolate chip cookies a week or so ago and tried one batch with and one without convection. The batch with was crispier around the edges, but still chewy in the center, and I preferred them that way. A batch of gougères baked directly from the freezer browned more (in a good way) with convection, although they took the same amount of time that they usually do to cook through.

            I haven't done a whole lot of baking, but have noticed that I do need the longer amount of time for things if a recipe gives a range--whether convection or no. I just chalked it up to there being fewer hotspots in this range than in my old one but you're probably right that the temp is just in the lower range.

            That power-boil feature is mega cool. Wokking on it was the first thing I tried the night it arrived. I realized I had to be a little more assiduous about my mise en place. No time to reach into the cabinet and open that bottle of dark soy; it had better be measured out and ready to go. Love, love, love it.

      2. Hello Joan, thought I'd respond to your original post...well, I only used the broil a few times. I also use my cast iron pans or our weber for steak. So sorry I couldn't help!

        I will have to try broiling my steak fajitas sometime. I will let you know how it goes.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Jillsee

          NYC apartment here, so outdoor grill not an option. I often do steaks in cast iron and finish in the oven, but I used to love the char I could get on lamb chops with my old broiler. Was hoping to find a way to duplicate that, but may just have to experiment with other cooking methods. Thanks for popping in.

        2. Hi JoanN - I'm so glad to hear that you are enjoying your new range so far but sorry to hear you're having difficulties with the broiler.

          First, I have to say that I generally cook my steaks, chops etc. either on our charcoal grill outside or in a cast iron pan on the stove, finishing in the oven of necessary. I mostly use my broiler to brown things, not so much for charring.

          But I have a fairly deep broiler pan that brings food much closer to the flame than most other pans, that helps a lot. (And I think the manual says not to leave the door open because the heat from the broiler melts those knob collars. I know, because it happened to me. I don't know if they changed those knob collars and make them out of metal or not but the older models like mine are metal colored plastic. :( )

          I wish I could help more, but this is all I've got!

          3 Replies
          1. re: flourgirl

            So pleased you saw this, flourgirl, since I'd been reading your reports on this range. Not absolutely certain, but the new knob collars do seem to be metal. I'm curious why you chose to leave the door open during broiling. What was the reason for that?

            I had my meat about as close the broiler as it could get, and still no char. Guess I'll just have to experiment with other methods of cooking my chops and flank steaks, the two meats I used my old broiler for most frequently. Still haven't tried broiling fish in a cast iron griddle per Rick Moonan's instructions. Sure hope that works for me, since it's my go-to method for fish fillets.

            1. re: JoanN

              I got into the habit of keeping the door open when broiling so that I wouldn't forget about the food and incinerate it. It's just something I picked up from watching my mom do the same thing for years.

              The broiler definitely seems to be underpowered. I got much better results in my old cheapie gas range.

              1. re: flourgirl

                My mom did, too. But I'm not sure I ever knew why. She was cooking with an electric broiler though, not gas. And her oven door had a stop that allowed you to leave it just slightly ajar which newer ranges seem not to have. Wonder if it's a change in technology or theory?

          2. Mark Bittman wrote about broiler tips a while ago: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/31/din...
            I hope it's helpful.

            1 Reply
            1. re: sr44

              Yes, that was the article I was referring to in my OP and is the technique I will be trying next. I had just hoped that someone who has this range had done the experimentation for me so I didn't chance ruining any more meat.