To leave or not to leave the oven door open while broiling?

My friends and I were in a debate as to whom was correct on this answer. Many of our parents left the door open, therefor we did the same. Others thought it was unnecessary, due to the technology of the modern day oven. I personally keep mine open so I can easily keep an eye on the food, to make sure it doesn't burn...open to discussion...

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26 Comments

Charles W. May 6, 2016
I have a Jenn-Air dual fuel. The burner knobs are on the front of the range and directly above the oven door. They are made of plastic with a chrome-looking finish. When I broil with the oven open, the knobs get too hot to touch. after a few times, the finish becomes damaged, then the plastic cracks, making them useless. Replacement knobs cost $15.00 each and there are five of them. I think they recommend leaving the door closed so that the heat won't destroy their cheap plastic knobs.
 
Nancy February 12, 2016
I usually keep the door open, especially for things that change or finish or may burn quickly...meringues, creme brulee, irregularly shaped bread that I want to toast.
 
Eric February 11, 2016
My GE electric doesn't give me an option...the digital display orders me to CLOSE DOOR before the broiler turns on.
 
Sam1148 February 11, 2016
I hate pushy appliances.
 
Pegeen June 7, 2013
I will congenitally burn things under the broiler whether the door is open or not, no matter how intelligent the oven. The only safeguard is another human being to spell me.
 
susan G. June 7, 2013
My mother's oven(s) was (were) built so that the oven door had a point where it was meant to stay open. My oven door won't stay open unless I hold it -- so they have made their intentions clear.
 
Sam1148 June 7, 2013
I don't buy that it would over heat and damage newer ovens. Most newer ovens have a self clean cycle and the heat gets far hotter than any boiling application.
I think it's just lawyer speak for 'we told you so' if someone starts a fire while broiling with the door open and walks away.
 
bigpan June 7, 2013
I open the front and back door of the house, take out the batteries in the ceiling smoke alarms, then broil with the door open !
 
Driver June 7, 2013
On newer ovens, there is a high temp limit which protects the electronics of the oven. By leaving the door open, you run the risk of opening that limit and the oven will not work. On gas ovens, leaving the door closed during broil will set off the thermistor prematurely, thus your cooking times and temps will be inaccurate.
 
BoulderGalinTokyo December 7, 2012
No option. But otherwise I love it more than previous electric ovens I have had.
 
KitchenKim December 7, 2012
Just out of curiosity, is there an option to turn the convection feature off in your oven? If yes, would it allow you to open the oven door while cooking?
 
ChefJune June 8, 2013
On my JennAir dual-fuel, Convection is not an option when the oven is on Broil.
 
BoulderGalinTokyo December 7, 2012
I have a gas convection oven which doesn't work if the door is cracked open. I usually don't mind but I tried making oven-dried tomatoes, which required an open door but after 9 hours of opening and closing the door on the lowest, I just got tired. So think of what you will cook--steaks?
 
HapppyBee December 3, 2012
My 10 year old Viking oven manual states to broil with the door in the closed position.
 
Tarragon December 3, 2012
My DACOR oven, 5 years old, comes with instructions to keep door closed while broiling.
 
Tarragon December 3, 2012
My DACOR oven, 5 years old, comes with instructions to keep door closed while broiling.
 
KitchenKim December 3, 2012
So now as I plan my dream kitchen, I will make sure to look for a high end range with the ability to broil with the door open, so that can make lovely meringues! Thanks to everyone who helped to end the debate!
 
mrslarkin December 3, 2012
i keep mine open.
 
mainecook61 December 3, 2012
I have a new oven (GE) and the manual is clear about broiling with the oven door closed. I have to remind myself, because my former (old) oven required an open door. So check the manual.
 
inpatskitchen December 3, 2012
My broiler flame actually goes out if I leave the door open after about 30 seconds..so i agree...best to check your manual.
 
Greenstuff December 3, 2012
I always left the door open--but those newer ranges, some of them turn off when the door is open. In that case, themeringue is never going to brown.
 
ChefJune December 2, 2012
I still leave the door open. Better safe than sorry.
 

Voted the Best Reply!

ChefOno December 2, 2012

New or old, with the door closed and the broiling element on, at some point one of two things will happen -- something will catch on fire or the thermostat will shut off the heat source. Assuming the latter, you're no longer broiling, you're baking at 500F or somewhere north of that. I don't know about anyone else but if I wanted to bake at 500F, I'd have set the oven to "bake" and "500F".

With the door open, (assumedly and in my experience) enough heat will escape so that the broiling element will remain on which is, presumably, what was desired. In a restaurant environment, you'd throw the pan under the salamander to get the same effect -- heat from the top to encourage browning.

That said, I pulled up manuals for current models of both Wolf and GE ovens, both of which give the instruction to "always broil with the door closed". So I dug out the manual for my early 1970's GE and, sure enough, "always broil with the door ajar".

I can't explain the change anymore than why I still have a 1970's oven.
 
KitchenKim December 2, 2012
Thanks for your response Chef Ono. My GE oven is A far cry from a Wolfe or Viking, so I could understand the concern of overheating, but can the higher end ovens take the heat?
 
Monita December 2, 2012
Don't think there's any reason to leave the door open while broiling unless you are browning a meringue, which happens quickly so you may need a constant on eye on it
 
ChefOno December 2, 2012

The main reason to leave the door open (aside from being easier to keep an eye on things) is to prevent the oven from overheating and (hopefully) switching itself off.

Secondarily, broiling is the application of direct radiant heat. A super hot oven is often a disadvantage.

I'd be interested in knowing what your opponents thought were these advances in modern oven technology.

 
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