Grilling vs Broiling- Difference?

Joined Sep 5, 2008
IMO grilling and broiling are two VERY different things. As has been explained, grilling means direct heat underneath food placed on a grate, while broiling means direct heat above the food placed in a dish or on a tray. Usually grilling is done on the open so the steam can escape, while broiling is done in a closed oven. Your results will be very different.

Also, when grilling, the melting fat from what you food will fall on the coals or the metal bars of your grill, and burn, creating smoke. That's true of both coal or gas grills. That smoke gives your food the "barbecue" taste. No such thing with a broiler.

Try grilling potatoes au gratin. Or a skinless buttery fish fillet such as Turbot or Black Cod. Good luck with that! :lol: on the other hand... broiled hamburger anyone? Hmmmmm.... maybe not.
Joined Sep 4, 2009
Broiling - Very high, nearly-direct heat applied at close proximity, usually for very short amounts of time. Best for searing the outside of an item, while minimally cooking the interior, or adding color, or melting cheese on an otherwise cooked dish. Some items like fish/seafood are light enough density that the inside will cook within the short amount of time it's under the broiler while the outside browns/sears.
Equipment: Broiler setting, or broiling rack on your oven (depending on which it is equipped with); any oven/broiler-safe flat pan should be acceptable.

Grilling - Low, moderate, or high heat, indirectly radiating up from a heat source, whether charcoal, wood embers, or gas-powered flame. Heat can be adjusted more easily than with broiling for slower cooking times.
Equipment: Depends on your preference. I prefer charcoal, because the process is as much a part of the way I cook as the finished product. There are people and scenarios where gas grilling is preferred because it's quicker to get started, and easier to adjust.
Joined Mar 9, 2013
i think broiling in other words is like using  salamander. wea the aheat comes from th top. wea as the griling it comes from the bottom. 
Joined Mar 9, 2013
What the heck is the thing George Foreman endorses really then - maybe a double sided griller?
I believe it is technically a "clam shell grill" which may not quite fit the definition of "grill".  Not too different in practice from what McD's uses to cook their patties in record time!
Joined Jul 2, 2013
I love this question and reading all the answers.

Ultimately it sounds like the answer is broiling is grilling. The confusion comes from different countries having different names for things, eg. USA calls the main part of the mean the entrée, most of the rest of the world call the beginning part of the meal the entrée. Below are some other terms that are different in the US from other places that seem to cause confusion.

US                                                OTHERS

Grill                                              Barbecue

Broil                                             Grill

KYHeirloomer, barbecue may not be a verb where you are but in other countries to barbecue is to cook on a grill (American).  The question wasn't so much about the difference between the methods in one country but the difference between the same word in other countries. If you check the cookbook to see where it comes from will give you a help to understand what you are being asked to do. Just as an added heads up, if you are not from America and you are using an American cookbook you need to remember their cup measurements are larger than metric cup measurements, their tablespoon and teaspoon measurements are different also, which changes the ratio of the ingredients and can spoil the recipe if not converted correctly.

And just as a added bonus, a thong to Americans is something you wear as underwear (others call that a G String), for other countries they are the rubber slip on things you wear on your feet.
Joined Jul 6, 2013
In Australia our new oven refers to the Broiler as a grill even the display displays "Grill" when selected.

But the instructions also has "place the broiler tray in position 4 or 5 under the grill".

Go figure different Jargon for different Countries.


Joined Jul 5, 2013
When reading a recipe, if it doesn't make sense I move on, or use my best judgment, based on personal taste, experience & adapting to the cooking apparatuses I have on hand. Broiling should say place under the (stove) broiler, & grilling should give you clear steps for same.
Joined Jun 28, 2010
There are significant differences between the physics of grilling and broiling.

Grilling is heating the food with convection heat(conduction by air)  and infrared radiation heat. Food is charred mostly on the bottom, it is possible to char on all surfaces with grilling by grilling in a closed environment, in which case it is basically baking.

Broiling is heating the food mostly with infrared heat. Only the top of the food gets charred. The bottom of food remains cold until the thermal conductivity of the food reaches the bottom. Food in the shadows of the infrared radiation will not be cooked as well. Dark colored food gets cooked faster than light colored food.

Joined Jul 13, 2012
We were up at a friends yesterday and I broke down a front quarter of venison for grilling.  I would never try to broil working meat like that it simply would not work. 

For this project I removed as much connective tissue as I could and marinated the cuts in olive oil, lemon juice, Greek oregano, thyme, salt and pepper.  We had a nice bed of coals from maple and I banked the grill to one side and I put the large muscles on the cool side for indirect heat.  After they had turned a few times and were rare I redistributed the coals and put the smaller pieces on.  Everything came off at the same time and rested a good 20 minutes.  There was no blood when I sliced it and it was tender and delicious. 
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Joined Jul 2, 2013
dcarch, that is if you are only talking one cooking language. If you are talking US vs other country terms there is no real difference between broiling and grilling. The answer will always come down to the country of the recipe compared to the country you are in. E.g. in Australia using an American recipe broiling (US) would mean grilling (Australia) and grilling (US) would mean barbecuing (Australia).  In America barbecue is a product in other countries it is also a method of cooking and also a appliance you can cook on.
Joined Jul 31, 2017
And what about the Griddle? My wife from Northern Ireland talks about doing scones and soda bread on the griddle. A hot plate heated under the gas cooker to a high temperature. Probably a hangover from the days of cooking on big coal/wood fires in the main room. (I remember my grandparents having one in their farm back in the 50s.)

George Gray
Joined Jan 4, 2011
Hello Webmaster. Don't mind him so much. I understand what you said.

I love the GF grill. Fast, easy, can't really screw-up. I'm not so sure that I agree though, that you can get "steak house taste" from a GF grill. I use a few drops of liquid smoke in a simple marinade to get that taste when I'm using the GF for steaks. On top of that ... I'm never cooking high-quality steaks on a GF grill. It's a great helper-tool when you want marks on a "steak & eggs" type steak that you're cranking out on a Sunday morning.

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