Broiling is the best possible mode of cooking and of preserving the flavour of several kinds fish, amongst which we may specify mackerel and whitings;* it is also incomparably superior to frying for steaks and cutlets, especially of beef and mutton; and it is far better adapted, also, to the preparation of food for invalids; but it should be carefully done, for if the heat be too fierce, the outside of the meat will be scorched and hardened so as to render it uneatable; and if, on the contrary, it be too gentle, the gravy will be drawn out, and yet the flesh will remain so entirely without firmness, as to be unpleasant eating. A brisk fire perfectly free from smoke, a very clean gridiron, tender meat, a dish and plates as hot as they can be, and great despatch in sending it to table when done, are all essential to the serving of a good broil. The gridiron should be well heated, and rubbed with mutton suet before the meat is laid on, and it should be placed slopingly over the fire, that the fat may run off to the back of the grate, instead of falling on the live coals and smoking the meat: if this precaution should not prevent its making an occasional blaze, lift the gridiron quickly beyond the reach of the smoke, and hold it away until the fire is clear again.
Steaks and chops should be turned often, that the juices may be kept in, and that they may be equally done in every part. If, for this purpose, it should be necessary, lor want of steak-tongs, to use a fork, it should be passed through the outer skin, or fat of the steak, but never stuck into the lean, as by that means much of the gravy will escape. Most eaters prefer broiled beef or mutton, rather under-dressed; but pork chops should always be thoroughly cooked. When a fowl or any other bird is cut asunder before it is broiled, the inside should first be laid to the fire: this should be done with kidneys also. Pish is less dry, and of better flavour, as well as less liable to be smoked, if it be wrapped in a thickly buttered sheet of writing paper before it is placed on the gridiron. For the more delicate-skinned kinds, the bars should be rubbed with chalk instead of suet, when the paper is omitted. Cutlets, or meat in any other form, when egged and crumbed for broiling, should afterwards be dipped into clarified butter, or sprinkled with it plentifully, as the egg-yolk and bread will otherwise form too dry a crust upon it.
French cooks season their cutlets both with salt and pepper, and brush a little oil or butter over them to keep them moist; but unless this be done, no seasoning of salt should be given them until they are just ready to be dished: the French method is a very good one.
* Salmon broiled in slices is a favourite dish with eaters who like the full rich flavour of the fish preserved, as it is much more luscious (but less delicate) dressed thus than when it is boiled. The slices should be cut from an inch to an inch and a half thick and taken from the middle of a very fresh salmon ; they may be seasoned with cayenne only, and slowly broiled over a very clear fire; or, folded in buttered paper before they are laid on the gridiron: or, lightly brushed with oil, and highly seasoned; or, dipped into egg-yolks and then into the finest crumbs mixed with salt, spice, and plenty of minced herbs, then sprinkled with clarified butter; but in whichever way they are prepared they will require to be gently broiled, with every precaution against their being smoked. From half to three quarters of an hour will cook them. Dired salmon cut into thin slices is merely warmed through over a slow fire.
Steaks or cutlets may be quickly cooked with a sheet or two of lighted paper only, in the apparatus shown in the preceding page; and called a conjurer. Lift off the cover and lay in the meat properly seasoned, with a small slice of butter under it, and insert the lighted paper in the aperture shown in the plate; in from eight to ten minutes the meat will be done, and found to be remarkably tender, and very palatable: it must be turned and moved occasionally during the process. This is an especially convenient mode of cooking for persons whose hours of dining are rendered uncertain by the nature of their avocations. For medical men engaged in extensive country practice it has been often proved so. The conjurer costs but a few shillings. Another form of this economical apparatus, with which a pint of water may be made to boil by means of only a sheet of paper wrapped round a cone, in the inside, is shown in the second plate.