Broiling vs. Grilling: What Is the Difference?

Broiling Vs. Grilling

Broiling and grilling both char and caramelize the food. Fruits, vegetables, fish, and many other foods can be grilled or broiled. Food cooked using both methods is delectable, but is it healthy? Broiling vs. grilling, which is better? Or is broiling and grilling the same? Let’s find out.

Broiling vs. Grilling: Method of Cooking 

Grilling is cooking the food over direct heat. It is the most simple and primitive way of cooking. Barbecue is the best example of a grill, where the food is cooked over red hot charcoal or wood.

Grilling food in such a way infuses smoky flavor into it, making it delicious and delectable. It sears dark grill marks on the food making it more attractive. It is a faster cooking method compared to conventional indoor cooking.

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Broiling is somewhat similar to grilling. The major difference is the location of heat. With broiling, the heat source is placed over the food rather than under it. Broiling is done in an oven or gas flame.

The food has to be placed in a preheated broiling pan or a baking sheet. The pan is placed two to six inches under the heat source. It is similar to infrared cooking.

Broiling vs. Grilling: Difference in Taste

If we compare broiling vs. grilling taste wise, it depends on individual preference. Those who like a smoky flavor owing to charcoal or wood will find grilled food more appetizing than broiled. Others feel that broiling is better than grilling. Broiling caramelizes the sugars in food and gives it an irresistible flavor and aroma.

Many people consider grilling and broiling as alternatives to each other, as both techniques use intense heat for cooking. But whether you grill or broil, you need to monitor the food closely to prevent it from burning.

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Broiling vs. Grilling: Which Is Healthier?

Both broiling and grilling cause the excess fats to melt away from the food. A study was done at the University of Pennsylvania to determine the amount of fat present in food cooked by different methods.

Broiling vs. Grilling Fat Content

The study found that broiled meat had one percent added fat. Both broiling and grilling are considered to be healthy cooking methods as they help release excess fat from meat.

The fat that drips down on the hot charcoal results in a chemical reaction. It causes the flames to rise which blackens meat. The dripping fat and juices from the meat over the fire release polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. These adhere to the food surface and may be carcinogenic, although more research is required in this area.

Scientist James Felton believes that grilling the food over charcoal may cause cancer. With broiling, the fat drips into a pan placed below the food. It doesn’t cause chemical reactions like that in grilling.

Marinating foods before grilling apparently reduces the chances of these hydrocarbons sticking to the food surface. It also enhances the taste. So, marinating foods before grilling is a common practice.

How to Make Broiling or Grilling Healthier

You can prevent the chemical reactions during grilling by keeping the temperature low or using wood instead of charcoal. You can also opt for a gas grill to minimize the health risk.

When broiling, you should refrain from using oily marinades, and trim excess fats from the meat to reduce the amount of smoke. Overcooking the food also increases the amount of smoke.

Why should we prefer broiling instead of grilling? Broiling doesn’t require special equipment like tongs, a food thermometer, or spatulas. It causes the calorie-rich fats to drip away so that you can enjoy your food guilt-free.

Broiling vs. Grilling Cooking Temperature

Broiling and grilling both require intense heat for cooking. Broiling requires you to preheat the broiling pan. This will ensure that the food turns out to be flavorful and tender.

While broiling, you can opt for high, moderate, or low heat according to your preference. An oven broiler has a thermostat to control the temperature. But after reaching 550°F, the oven switches off, causing the food to cook in its own steam. It may lead to undercooked or overcooked food.

To properly broil the food, the heating element should be on as long as the food cooks. You should open the door of the oven for a while to let the heat escape, and then broil the food again.

If you are using a charcoal grill, then the amount of oxygen will decide the temperature. With the vents on the top and bottom of the grill, you can control the flow of oxygen and thus control the temperature.

So in the battle between broiling vs. grilling, which is better? It will all depend on what your preference is and the efforts you wish to put in. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.


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Sources:

Duke, B.,“What’s Healthier, Broiled, Grilled, Or Fried Food?” EzineArticles; http://ezinearticles.com/?Whats-Healthier,-Broiled,-Grilled,-Or-Fried-Food?&id=4795356.

“Grilling and Broiling,” Extension; http://extension.usu.edu/foodsense/cook/grilling-broiling, last accessed June 7, 2017.

“How to: heat control,” Kingsford; https://www.kingsford.com/how-to/heat-control/, last accessed June 7, 2017.

“Grilling,” Wikipedia; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grilling, last accessed June 9, 2017.