In culinary terminology, broil vs. grilling are essentially comparable cooking processes. Grilling employs that you can cook the food from the bottom. Whereas, you can do broiling in the oven and it has a heat source on top.
This is the biggest difference, but obviously, there are slight variations in taste, texture, color, temperatures, and even cooking time. In this article, we shall go over the numerous differences in broil vs. grill. Hence, you are able to decide which one is the best for you. We would recommend reading through the entire thing, as every bit of info is crucial.
Broil vs. Grill: the definition
Let’s begin our broil vs. grill comparison with the difference in definitions.
Broiling mainly refers to roasting the food with a dry heat source from the top rather than from the bottom. The heat source could be fueled by gas, wood, charcoal, or even induction. Mostly broiling is carried out in the oven or a special type of grill. It should be kept in mind that not all ovens are suited for broiling, and many don’t even have that option. We will get on to the benefits of broiling later. But first, let’s discuss the taste for the broil vs. the grill.
Broiling gives off a nice charred caramelized flavor. However, it fails to give that characteristic “grilled” flavor that comes with the traditional grill. Moreover, the smokiness of a broil is reduced, so your beef patties and steaks won’t have that same smoky flavor that you’re used to. However, broiling has its own benefits. For example, it can be performed indoors with little to no need for ventilation. It is also a great choice if you are unable to find or afford a grill.
We’re all a little too familiar with grills. Grilling is the process by which food is roasted via a dry source of heat usually from the bottom. Seeing as how broiling and grilling are essentially the same; you shouldn’t expect too much of a difference in flavor. But this difference usually arises from using an oven to broil, and not the direction of heat itself.
For grilling, the food is cooked on grills, grill pans, skillets, or griddles. The taste is similar to that of broiling, except with a special smoky chary taste that can’t be achieved by an oven. As a side note, grilling is better for the outdoors and requires a lot of ventilation. This is the best choice if you want to move the grill with you, throw a tailgate party, or have friends and family over. But for indoor cooking, grills are not suitable.
Broil vs. Grill: The Taste
Now let’s have a look at the difference in taste in our broil vs. grill comparison.
As stated above, the taste is almost the same in broil vs. grill. In broiling, thinner slices of meat are cut. Since the heat is easily dispersed through thin slices than through thicker broader ones. This technique gives a slightly burnt taste to the food. You can combine this food with sauces and fat to enhance the flavors. The only downside is that broiling isn’t able to create smoke (since it’s done indoors). Hence, does not create a smoky taste or smell in the food. This can be seen as the only difference between broiling and regular grilling in terms of taste.
For grilling, the taste is almost the same as a broiling oven’s, except for one major game changer. Grills provide a lot of smoke, and as such are able to get that perfect smoky flavor in the food. We find grills to be best for smoky beef and chicken patties, burgers, kebabs, shrimp, seafood, and mostly for steaks. For vegetables, we would recommend broiling or regular pan cooking. Grilling makes the perfect sandwiches. However, it gives more of a burnt look and taste, so if you want something softer then broiling may be your best option.
Broil vs. Grill - Benefits:
An integral component of our broil vs. grill comparison is the benefits of both these methods.
Broiling has a number of benefits and downsides. First, we shall focus mainly on the good points. Most of these benefits arise not from the practice of broiling itself but are related more to the use of the oven. In particular, if you choose to broil, you will get the following benefits:
- Indoor compatibility. Broiling is done indoors in the oven. So broiling is best for you if you can’t go outside due to any reason. We like it since it can be done right from the comfort of your own home. You don’t have to run rounds of the outdoors. The convenience is better in the broil vs. the grill.
- Lesser smoke. Although smoke doesn’t necessarily harm the environment (since it’s just carbon particles in the air), it can be deadly if left indoors. Which is why broiling is the better option if you don’t want to use a grill or griddle inside. Smoke can be quite the menace for your neighbors too. Therefore, if you don’t want to annoy anyone then broiling is best. Or you can go for a smokeless electric grill.
- Affordability. A typical grill can cost you twice as much as an average broiling oven. The latter can be used for baking as well. However, grills are only good for grilling. So you get a two-in-one for half the price of a regular grill.
Grilling essentially has a few benefits too, although they don’t seem to compel us as much as broiling. If you choose to grill your food instead of broiling, you’ll avail the following benefits:
- Smoky texture. A regular grill gives off a lot of smoke. This smoke mixes in with the surface of the food. Smoke gives that extra smoky flavor that most of us crave. This smokiness is absolutely absent in broiling. So if you really want to impress the hypothetical judges, then grill is your best friend. The smokiness may hinder its usability indoors, but being outdoors helps uplift a lot of people’s spirits. So by all means, in terms of flavor, a grill is your best choice.
- Larger surface area. Grills provide a larger surface area as compared to broilers. While broilers may only accommodate up to 5 or 6 different steaks, a grill can accommodate up to 8. The surface area is generally larger in grills, so we recommend it if you want to cook for parties or gatherings.
- Higher temperature. One of the reasons why the “grilled” flavor is so unique and delicious is high temperatures. Most steaks are cooked at relatively astronomical temperatures. This amount of heat breaks down the compounds in the food. It gives the meat a delicate yet fiery taste that can’t be achieved by any old oven broiler. A charred taste and feel are better provided by the grill vs. the broil.
- Lesser fat. When cooking meat, fat tends to melt off. In ovens, pans, or griddles, fat forms a pool at the bottom where it gets reabsorbed, leaving the steak extremely fatty and quite unhealthy.
Broil vs. Grill: Drawbacks
Drawbacks can also be found in the broil vs. grill comparison. Although each of them has its much-needed benefits, the drawbacks may hinder your final decision:
- No smoke. This gives a relatively bland and smokeless taste to the otherwise awesome in flavor barbecue.
- Cannot be used outdoors or carried. Unlike the grill, you can’t really carry the oven around to places, unless it’s specifically designed to be portable.
- Does not remove or melt away fat. Let’s the harmful fat reabsorb.
- Takes a lot of time to cook the food.
- Heavier and lesser portable, but can be carried around to places.
- Higher prices.
- Not good for lightly roasting the food. Only chars or smokes.
- If it’s not an electric grill it cannot be used indoors. Better for the outdoors due to the immense amount of smoke produced.
In conclusion, both the broiler and the grill have their benefits and downsides. To summarize it all, broiling is better for non-smoky, indoor, cheaper, light roasting of the food. While grilling is best for smoky, outdoor, slightly expensive, and more intense roasting of the food. All in all, both techniques are great. So choose whichever one you like the best in broil vs. grill.