Differences Between Food Roasting, Baking and Grilling

Many people cannot differentiate between food roasting, grilling and baking, therefore, they use them interchangeably. This has led to the inappropriate use of these words — some know that they are different but just don’t care to know the differences while some others don’t know they are different food processing methods and mean different things.

In this article, we are going to explain the meaning of each in cooking and outline their difference. Maybe that “roasted corn” you say every time isn’t a result of roasted after all. While these cooking methods involving the use of dry heat are nearly identical in today’s kitchen and usage, there’ are still some few things that set them apart.

What are the differences between Roast, Bake and Grill?

I know this might come to many as a surprise, even though many people confuse grilling and roasting, it is actually roasting and baking that have more similarities. Grilling is very easy and should not be confused with any of the other two.

On the next pages, you will see the differences between grilling, roasting and baking of foods and examples of foods that we use each one for.

What is Grilling?

The grilling of food involves the application of dry heat from either below or above in order to cook food. Now think of those foods that you process this way — you are grilling them and not whatever name you have been calling it before. The heating of the food is by radiation.

grilling maize

A very common food we apply grilling to is meat where the meat to be cooked with dry heat is provided with high and direct heat from below with the help of smoking wood or hot coal or charcoal.

In countries like the United States and Canada, if the heat used to cook the food is provided from above, the process of cooking is called broiling. It is important to note that grilling pans are now used these days. The method of heating here is by conduction.

Common foods that we grill include meat and corn. So, do you think calling “roasted corn” by that name is right?

Roasting Vs Baking

The structure of the foods and the type of foods are the major factors that distinguish these two processing methods. Roasting involves cooking foods that already have a solid structure and shape outside the container before the cooking process starts at all e.g. meat and vegetables. Baking, on the other hand, involves foods that lack the definite structure before heating, then become solid during the cooking e.g. cake and bread.

Foods that are roasted are done in an open, uncovered pan, while food items that are baked may be covered and done inside an enclosed oven area or equipment. Also, the temperature for roasting is higher than involved in baking — about 205 degrees Celcius compared to about 175 degrees Celsius.

Now don’t get roasting and grilling confused because roasting is done in front of or over a fire or bed of coals while grilling involves placing food on a grill situated a few inches over the charcoal, where the intense heat cooks foods quickly. Roasting takes place at a slower pace since the food is not that close to the heating charcoal.

roasting chicken

Since grilling is fast, it is possible to end up with a food that is ver brown outside and a bit uncooked inside, this is not the case with roasting as it makes use of slow heat over a long period of time.


Like it? Share with your friends!

Ahmed Ogundimu
Ahmed is a Food Scientist/Technologist first of all. A Seasoned Blogger, Astute Marketer, Food Enthusiast and Manchester United Lover. I read anything and everything available so I know so many useful and useless things.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read previous post:
ready-to-eat puff puff
How To Make Puff-Puff; One Of Most Consumed Nigerian Snack

I can confidently bet, a well made puff puff will surely make you ask for more any day, anytime. As...