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What Are Broiled Scallops?

Broiled scallops are a culinary delight, featuring succulent shellfish cooked under intense heat for a golden crust with a tender, buttery interior. This quick, healthy cooking method preserves the scallops' natural sweetness, making them a favorite among seafood lovers. Intrigued by how this simple technique transforms scallops into a gourmet dish? Let's uncover the secrets behind perfecting broiled scallops together.
C.H. Seman
C.H. Seman

Scallops, a type of shellfish, can be prepared in various ways. Broiled scallops are those that have been cooked in an oven in which the heat source comes from above the food. Several recipes exist for broiled scallops, with most of the variation occurring in the marinades and seasonings. Despite these differences, the actual method of broiling the scallops themselves is fairly common in all recipes.

Scallops are a type of shellfish popular in a multitude of cooking styles and cuisines. As a food, scallops are high in protein and relatively low in fat when compared to other meats. Common methods of preparation include baking, frying, grilling and broiling. Usually, the scallops are cooked with seasonings, glazes or marinades that complement the flavor of the scallop or the overall flavor of the dish.

Broiled scallops.
Broiled scallops.

Broiling is a method of cooking similar to grilling. Unlike grilling, which heats food by convection with a heat source under the food, broiling heats food by convection with a heat source above the food. Many ovens have a broiler setting that allows the chef to heat food in the oven via a heating element placed on the oven's inner ceiling.

Broiling scallops is a convenient method of cooking scallops, because it only requires a broiling pan and an oven. Broiled scallops can be prepared quickly; most recipes can be prepared and cooked within 20 minutes. Broiling can substitute for grilling if a grill is not readily available.

Scallops in their shells.
Scallops in their shells.

The cooking times for broiled scallops may depend on the size of the scallops used by the chef. Small scallops tend to cook much faster than large scallops because of their surface area. Many recipes in cookbooks and on the Internet provide estimates for the required cooking time as determined by the size of the scallop in the recipe.

Popular marinades and seasonings for broiled scallops include honey, lemon, Cajun seasonings, wine, garlic, onion, soy sauce and pepper. Butter, margarine and olive oil are often used as a coating, because broiling can remove some of the scallop's natural moisture. When preparing broiled scallops, a chef may choose marinades and seasonings that complement the taste of other foods served with the meal. Broiled scallops can be cooked and served alongside various other foods. Wrapping scallops in thin slices of bacon before broiling, for example, imparts some of the bacon's flavor to the scallop while providing additional fat for cooking.

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Discussion Comments

Rotergirl

I love scallops and since I don't grill much, I'm more apt to broil them. You get pretty much the same result.

You have to be really careful if you have the tiny bay scallops -- they will broil (and burn) in a heartbeat, so you have to stay right with them.

I'm always right on top of the oven when I'm doing this, because I've had bay scallops turn into little pencil erasers on me in about 30 seconds. It doesn't take long for them to overcook. I’m always leery about getting bay scallops in a restaurant for that reason.

Pippinwhite

You have to be careful when broiling scallops, especially. Cooking them too long will make them tough and rubbery, which is not good. You also need to make sure the adductor muscle is removed from the scallop, since it doesn's cook well.

Most of the time, scallops can be broiled in 6 to 8 minutes. The few times I've broiled them, I turn them halfway through the cooking time so they will brown easily. You'll need to adjust the times and so forth if you are using breadcrumbs or something similar. You don’t want the breadcrumbs to burn. If you don’t broil much, cooking a test scallop will help you with the cooking times.

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    • Broiled scallops.
      By: alain wacquier
      Broiled scallops.
    • Scallops in their shells.
      By: Picture Partners
      Scallops in their shells.
    • A broiling pan can be used to cook scallops.
      By: rimglow
      A broiling pan can be used to cook scallops.