Difference between Grill and Oven

January 02, 2023 4 min read

Electric griddle grill

There are many cooking techniques one could use to prepare food in their kitchen. They include frying, baking, broiling, roasting, sautéing, grilling, etc.

For the best results of any of the above cooking methods, you’ve to use the right equipment or cookware. However, most people tend to confuse between them.

What is the difference between a grill and an oven? A grill is a cooking unit that features a grill plate/ grate where food is cooked with heat from underneath, while an oven has a thermally insulated chamber used for baking or heating.

Keep reading down here as you explore more differences and features of grills and ovens. 

Electric grill pan

What is an Oven?

An oven is cooking equipment with a thermally insulated chamber that creates high heat for cooking. Heat is transferred to foods through radiation, convection, or conduction.

Ovens come as single units, but most cookers have a section of an inbuilt oven. Additionally, a standard oven has features such as heat control settings, timers, a glass door, and a baking tray.

Usually, ovens are used for baking bread, cookies, etc. It is also used for cooking other foods, broiling, and heating foods. 

Ovens are of two main categories, i.e., direct-fired ovens (DFO) and Indirect fired ovens (IFO). Common types of ovens you’ll find in the current market include gas and electric ovens.

What is a Grill?  

A grill is a cooking unit with a cooking surface with parallel bars (grills) or a grill plate with grooves or ridges.

Usually, the cooking heat is underneath the cooking surface. Depending on the type of grill, it cooks on direct or indirect heat. Basically, grilling is applying dry heat to a food’s surface. 

There are three types of grills, i.e., charcoal, gas, and electric grills. Meat such as pork chop, steak, chicken, and vegetables are among the commonly grilled foods. 

The unique taste and flavor of grilled foods are what make grilling an excellent cooking method. Additionally, grills (especially electric grills) are versatile and can cook a variety of food.  

Key Differences between a Grill and Oven

Below differences between a grill and oven are based on different factors:


Most ovens are powered by gas and electricity, while most grills are powered by charcoal, gas, or electricity. 

Cooking time

The cooking time on a grill is minimal: usually within minutes. On the other hand, the cooking time in an oven is long because ovens use conventional heat.

However, charcoal grills might take a longer time to cook than gas and electric grills.

General use 

Ovens are meant for indoor use. You’ll rarely find one using an oven outdoors. In contrast, a grill is used outdoors and indoors.

For indoor cooking, smokeless electric grills are the best. Also, charcoal grills are strictly for outdoor cooking only.

Type of food cooked 

Ovens are used for baking and cooking foods such as cakes, bread, pies, cookies, casseroles, puddings, meats, etc. Conversely, grills are used for cooking meats, kabobs, and vegetables.

Results of food cooked

Foods cooked on a grill have crispy and charred, while baked food is soft and tender. However, some baked food, such as cookies, tends to be crunchy and hard.

Additionally, grilled foods have a unique and bolder taste and flavor than baked food due to a Maillard reaction while cooking. 


Ovens have an even heat distribution on their cooking chamber, while some grills such as gas and charcoal grills don’t heat evenly. However, electric grills offer even heat distribution on their grill plates.

Temperature management

Managing the temperature of most ovens is pretty easy. Also, controlling grills’ temperature is straightforward, mainly if you’re using electric grills. However, managing the temperature of a charcoal grill can be daunting. 

Frequently Asked Questions FAQs 

1. Can you use an oven as a grill?

You can mimic the function of a grill in an oven. You should preheat the oven for about 10 minutes. Also, turn on the broiler and ensure the broiler pan is inside. 

Then oil the broiler pan before you add food for cooking. Lastly, grill the door of the oven closed and let the food cook for an ideal period. It’s that easy!

2. Is broiling the same as grilling?

Generally, broiling and grilling are similar cooking processes, i.e., they use dry heat for cooking.

The only difference is that grilling entails using heat from underneath the cooking surface, while broiling entails using heat from above. 

3. Which is better, grill or oven?

Both of these cooking devices are great. However, choosing between an oven and grill should be based on the type of food you want to cook.

There are foods you should strictly cook on the grill and not an oven and vice versa. Also, grills are suitable for quick cooking and outdoor cooking, while ovens are good for indoor cooking.

Check out Atgrills indoor electric grills and griddles to cook food on a cookware with natural stone coating.

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