Some food enthusiasts will often debate the effectiveness of grilling and broiling. It’s because the two cooking methods are similar. For instance, they use direct and intense heat to cook and caramelize food, thus creating a unique flavor. However, they have a significant difference.
What is the difference between broiling and grilling? The main difference between grilling and broiling is that the grilling heat comes from below to food, while the heat comes from above in broiling. There are other more differences, as discussed below.

Gray electric griddle with stone coating

What is Grilling?

Grilling entails cooking food using intense and dry heat from below. Usually, food is placed on a cooking surface referred to as a cooking plate or grate of a grill. Regardless of the type of grill, the heating source/element is located beneath the cooking surface.
Depending on the type of food you’ll be grilling, the ideal temperature for grilling should be between 350 to 450 degrees F.
Grilling is done on equipment such as an electric grill, a charcoal grill, a gas grill, or a grill pan. Another unique aspect is that grilling leaves foods with attractive grill marks and dark searing on the outside.
Meats (precisely beef cuts, chicken, pork, or fish) and vegetables are suitable foods for grilling.

What is Broiling?

Just like grilling, broiling entails subjecting foods to dry and intense heat. However, the heat comes from above. Additionally, broiling is a cooking technique that is often done in an oven or a broiler. However, you still use other means that are fueled by charcoal gas or electricity.
The ideal temperature for broiling in an oven is 320 to 400 degrees F. Also, food is placed in a special tray (a broiler pan or baking sheet) that collects all the fat or juices released by the foods while broiling.
Like in grilling, broiling caramelizes foods, thus giving it a dark searing, brown color and creating a unique flavor.
Now that you have a clear understanding of each of the above cooking methods, let’s look into how they differ.
Meats, seafood, and vegetables with high moisture content are ideal for broiling.

Differences Between Grilling vs. Broiling

The differences between broiling and grilling are based on several factors or aspects as outlined below:

Cooking equipment

Broiling is a cooking method often done in ovens, while grilling is done on grill pans or grills. While most ovens (gas and electric ovens) come with a timer, grills don’t. Therefore, you need a food thermometer to check the doneness of your food while grilling constantly.

Temperature control

While broiling, the temperature is strictly controlled by the oven’s thermostat. However, depending on the model of the oven, it can go off when it hits certain heat levels. Conversely, while grilling, you can easily control the temperatures and the cooking time of your food. Therefore, you can grill foods that require over 550 degrees F.

Heat source position

In broiling, the heat source is above the food in a broiler of an oven, while in grilling, the heat source is below the food on the cooking surface of a grill.

Characteristic of cooked food

Broiled and grilled foods tend to have similar characteristics, such as caramelized and crispy texture with some searing. However, the grilled foods have more visible sear and grill marks than broiled food. Also, the flavor of grilled food is stronger and unique than that of broiled food. Lastly, broiling requires you to cook thin-medium-sized foods, while grills can accommodate a relatively large portion of foods.

General use

From a general point of view, grilling is more of an outdoor cooking method, while broiling is more of an indoor cooking thing. It’s because most grills are used outside while almost all ovens are in a kitchen. However, with an indoor grill, you can cook indoors.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Do I leave the oven door open when broiling?

It depends on the type of oven you’ll be using. You should leave the oven door open if you are using an electric oven. However, the oven door should be closed when broiling on a gas oven. That is the general rule.

2. Is broiling like grilling?

Broiling is similar to grilling, only that the heat for cooking while broiling comes from above the food. However, both cooking methods are fast and use direct heat for cooking. Therefore, you get grill-like results when you broil food.

3. Is broiling better than grilling?

Choosing between the grilling and broiling should be based on the results you want to achieve. If you want food with a similar flavor and taste to that of grilled food but don’t want tougher searing, broiling is the way to go. However, if you want food with more visible grill marks and a stronger flavor, then opt to grill your food.

Sources
extension.usu.edu
livestrong.com
sodelicious.recipes