I did not appreciate the nicety of broiling until, upon an occasion, a gentleman invited a dinner company to a private dining-room of one of our large restaurants, to eat a certain kind of fish, which he considered especially fine. The host was quite out of humor to see the fish come to the table baked, when he had ordered it broiled. The proprietor afterward explained that, for some reason, his French cook was absent for that day, and he had no other who could broil so large a fish. I at once realized that, after all, it must be a delicate and difficult thing to broil a large fish, so that the centre would be well done, and the surface not burned. The smaller and thinner the article, the hotter should be the fire; the larger the article, the more temperate the fire, or, rather, the greater distance it should at first be placed from it. The fish, in this case, should have been wrapped in oiled or buttered paper. It should have been placed rather near the fire for the first few moments; then removed farther away, or placed on another more moderate fire. A large baking-pan should have covered the top of the fish, to hold the heat. When nearly done, the paper should have been removed, to allow the surface to brown.
Always grease the gridiron well, and have it hot, before the meat is placed on it. Any thing egged and bread - crumbed should be buttered before it is broiled. Fish should be buttered and sprinkled with flour, which will prevent the skin from adhering to the gridiron. Cutlets, and in fact every thing, are more delicate buttered before broiling. A little lemon-juice is also often a nice addition. Birds, and other things which need to be halved, should be broiled, inside first.
* The author would add a small proportion of water to the pieces of fat. It facilitates the melting process, preserves the color, and will all evaporate in cooking.
Remember that a hot, clear fire is necessary for cooking all small articles. They should be turned often, to be cooked evenly, without being burned.
Never put a fork in the lean part of meat on the gridiron, as it allows the juice to escape.
Always cover the gridiron with a tin pan or a baking-pan. The sooner the meat is cooked without burning, the better. The pan holds the heat, and often prevents a stray line of smoke from touching the meat.
If the fire should be too hot, sprinkle salt over it.