Is Grilling the Same as Sauteing?

September 15, 2021 3 min read

Atgrills griddle
There are over ten different cooking methods used to prepare various meals. Choosing the proper cooking method depends on the taste and flavor you want to attain. Also, the type of food plays a role in determining the exact method you select. Among the common cooking methods include frying, grilling, roasting, sauteing, searing, barbecuing, braising, broiling, etc.
Is grilling the same as sauteing? No, grilling is a quick-cooking method that involves cooking foods over dry heat from below on grill grates, grill plates, or grill pans. On the other hand, sauteing is a technique that involves cooking with a little oil and tossing foods in a saute pan or shallow pan (like a skillet) over medium-high heat.

What is Grilling?

Grilling is one of the common cooking techniques. It is common during summers and particularly on 4th July each year which is the grilling holiday. What is exactly grilling?
It’s a cooking method that involves dry heat on the surface of the food. Grilled foods get a unique taste and flavor due to a chemical process called the Maillard reaction. Also, the exterior texture of food is left with char marks.
Grilling temperatures are often from 300 degrees F and can even exceed 450 degrees F depending on the type of grill and food being cooked.
Grilling can be done on various equipment. For direct heat, you can use charcoal grills and some models of gas grills. Alternatively, for indirect heat, one should use electric grills. They all function the same. The only difference is that electric grills are easy to use, easy to clean, convenient, and suitable for indoor cooking. You can also cook on grill pans: they cook overheat from stovetops.
Meats, seafood, and vegetables are commonly grilled foods.

Atgrills grill griddle combo

What is Sauteing?

Sauteing is a cooking technique that entails cooking foods quickly using very little cooking oil/fats over relatively high heat. It also uses dry heat. The name saute is from French and means “to jump.” As the name suggests, this method also entails tossing foods in a pan to cook evenly.
To saute foods, you can either use a skillet/ frying pan or a saute pan. The ideal type of pan should have a large surface area. Also, it should evenly distribute heat and have a non-stick surface. A large space is essential since it encourages fast evaporation and can accommodate a reasonable amount of food. However, the size you choose depends on the amount of food you cook regularly.
It’s an ideal cooking method for smaller and even-sized pieces of food. In many instances, they are vegetables and tender pieces of meat. For effective results, the food should not be overcrowded on the saute pan or skillet.
Sauteing causes food acquiring a brown color on the exterior. However, it doesn’t affect the authentic flavor of the foods since it entails cooking foods pretty quickly.

Atgrills saute pan deep fry pan

What are the Differences between Grilling and Sauteing?

While the sauteing and grilling share similarities, such as the use of dry heat and quick cooking, they are different. Their differences are depicted in various aspects as highlighted below:


Grilling is done on a typical grill, a grill pan, or an electric grill while sauteing is a cooking method that uses a saute pan or a skillet.

Results of cooked food

Grilled food has crustiness or crispness on the exterior and has char marks formed by the grill grate. On the other hand, sautéed foods attain a brown color but preserve the texture and moisture of foods. Due to the Maillard process, grilled foods have a unique flavor and taste, while sauteing maintains foods' authentic flavor.

Cooking oil

Sauteing requires a minimal amount of oil for cooking, while grilling doesn’t require oil for cooking. Grilling makes food drip excess oil and juices. However, grills that don’t have a non-stick cooking surface need a light coat of oil to prevent foods from sticking.


Sauteing is more convenient while compared to grilling. You can do it at night or daytime in your kitchen. However, you can still achieve convenience from grilling if you’re using an indoor electric grill. This kind of grill is smokeless, compact, easy to use, and easily fits on kitchen countertops.

Size of Foods

Sauteing requires you to cook small pieces of food if you want effective results. On the other hand, you can cook large pieces of food on a grill. Also, depending on the size of your grill, it can accommodate a lot of food while grilling.

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


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