Difference Between Grilling And Broiling

grilling and broiling

“The short answer for what is the difference between grilling and broiling is that by grilling the heat comes from below and by broiling the heat comes from above.”

Radiant Heat

Both methods are called radian heat. This means that the food you are grilling or broiling does not touch the food.

Both of them are also done with a high heat source above 500 degrees Fahrenheit (260 Celsius)

Although you can basically use grilling and broiling and have the same result there are a few things that cook better using one or the other.

Grilling in a skillet is not a radiant heat source but contact heat.


Grilling is preparing food over a usually high heat source. Best to use for steaks, pork chops, hamburgers, sausages, and such types of food.


Broiling is preparing food with the heat source above the food and can be used interchangeably with grilling in many cases.

There are types of food that do better with broiling, however. Food such as fish fillets, Lobster, Shrimp, and most other types of seafood.

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Tip: Have a look at all my grill recipes.

Grilling Or Broiling – My Experience

As you maybe know I love to smoke meat on my pellet grill. The advantage in my opinion is that I end up with very tender meat.

However, sometimes the outside needs a little more high heat from the grill.

I am not always in the mood to fire up the grill to finish my smoked meat on high heat there to finish it off or just to make cross hatch grill marks.

In that case, I just heat up the oven on “broil” and wait for it to get as hot as possible. This goes most of the time faster than getting my Weber charcoal starter and heating up the grill

Then I take the meat and place it in a skillet (most of the time cast iron) and finish it off for a few minutes.

If you have any tips on how you use grilling and broiling feel free to leave them in the comments.

Eddie van Aken

Eddie van Aken has years of experience in running his full-service restaurant and with this came working with using and dealing with all types of kitchen equipment. With his experience, he can find all the pros and cons of grills and add them to the grill reviews and the outdoor cooking tips he is writing about. You can read more on the About page for Eddie van Aken

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