Roasting Eggplant - no gas stove
My preferred way to roast a whole eggplant is over an open flame from a gas stove. Alas, I have an electric stove top, and no grill.
So - if roasting a whole eggplant and the options are broiler or regular oven setting, is one better/worse? How long it takes isn't so much a concern as is getting the best result for the eggplant.
Of course, it depends on your oven. My broiler is too powerful to use for this purpose, so I pre-heat the oven to 500º and then place the eggplant directly on the oven rack [or use a rack inside a sheet pan.] Place something below the eggplant like a sheet pan to catch any drips. I watch the eggplant carefully, turning 90º when the side that is up starts getting those black splotches and the flesh begins to collapse.
If your broiler isn't too hot, you can do this under the broiler as well. I still think that the turning is important.
You do loose the taste of the grill/fire, but the results are still really good.
I tried using my broiler this go, but instead of using a more classic sized eggplant I used these very skinny "local" eggplants (so not Japanese - but about that girth). This size worked with the broiler cause with the larger ones I find that the skin gets too burnt before all of the interior is cooked. However, with the thinner eggplants this wasn't a problem and while there wasn't the smoke, I did get a lot more of the char flavor throughout which was nice.
For my over I guess it'll just be trying to find the sized eggplants that can withhold the broiler. Not sure I'd consider it to be worth making a babaganoush (vs just buying a version with a smoke level I like), but I used it to make Strange Flavor Eggplant and it worked well.
i now suffer with an electric range as well. i preheat the oven to 500. slice the eggplants in 1/2 and brush the flesh with a bit of olive oil. roast till it starts to char then turn over and roast til it feels soft under the skin.
no smoky flavor but the char and texture are great.