Home Articles Broil vs. Bake (What’s the Difference?)

Broil vs. Bake (What’s the Difference?)

Broiling and baking both use dry heat, but they differ in their approach. Baking involves cooking food by surrounding it with hot air.

Broiling exposes food to direct, intense heat from above.

Broiling quickly sears and browns the top of the food. Baking cooks it more slowly and evenly from all sides.

Whole Broiled Chicken With Fresh Lemons, Herbs and Spices

Both cooking methods are done in an oven. But the broiler has a special setting. The temperature is much hotter than the regular oven.

Learn more about each method. Plus, find out when to broil vs. bake to create stunning dishes. 

Broil vs. Bake (What’s the Difference?)

Heat Source

  • Broiling: With broiling, the heat source comes from above the food. Typically, there’s a heating element at the top of the oven or broiler drawer. It radiates heat onto the food.
  • Baking: Baking uses heat from all sides of the oven, including the top and bottom heating elements. The heat is evenly distributed throughout the oven cavity.

Cooking Time

  • Broiling: Broiling is a fast cooking method. It takes place at high temperatures. It’s used to quickly sear or brown the top of food, usually for a short duration.
  • Baking: Baking is a slower cooking method requiring longer cooking times. It allows the food to cook evenly and develop flavors over time.


  • Broiling: The temperature for broiling is set to high. It ranges from 500 to 550 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the oven. The food is placed close to the heating element to receive direct intense heat.
  • Baking: Baking involves lower temperatures. They range from 250 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the recipe. The food is cooked at a more moderate and consistent temperature throughout the oven.
Whole Chicken Put Inside the Oven

What Is Broiling?

Broiling is a cooking method exposing food to high heat from a direct heat source The source is located at the top of an oven or broiler drawer. 

During broiling, the food is placed on a rack or a pan positioned close to the heating element. This allows intense heat to quickly cook and brown the top surface of the food.

Broiling food achieves a crispy and charred exterior while keeping the inside moist and tender. 

When broiling, leave the door slightly ajar to allow proper air circulation. This will prevent the food from steaming. 

The cooking time during broiling is relatively short. It ranges from a few minutes to around 15 minutes. This depends on the thickness and type of food being cooked.

Best Types of Food to Broil 

Broiling is well-suited for food that benefits from the intense, direct heat source. It’s also great for achieving a charred and crispy texture, smoky flavor, and a delightful char.

Some of the best types of food to broil include:

  • Steaks
  • Chops
  • Fish fillets
  • Seafood like shrimp and scallops
  • Chicken and poultry
  • Vegetables such as bell peppers and asparagus
  • Melts and toasts like cheese melt and gratins
  • Fruit desserts like caramelized pineapple or broiled peaches
Freshly Baked Cinnamon Rolls From the Oven

What Is Baking?

Baking uses dry heat to cook food in an enclosed space, typically an oven. 

During baking, the heat circulates around the food, cooking it evenly from all sides. It’s a slower and gentler cooking process compared to broiling or grilling. 

The dry heat helps develop flavors. It also creates a golden-brown crust and produces a moist and tender interior. 

Best Types of Food to Bake?

Baking is ideal for bread, as it helps develop a crispy crust and airy texture. It also ensures an even bake, resulting in tender and moist desserts.

The best food to bake includes:

  • Cakes and cookies
  • Bread
  • Pastries and pies
  • Casseroles
  • Meats
Sliced Roasted Pork

Bake vs. Broil vs. Roast

Baking, broiling, and roasting are distinct cooking methods. They vary in terms of temperature, heat source, and cooking technique. 

Baking involves cooking food with dry heat at a moderate and even temperature. 

Broiling uses high heat from above to quickly cook and brown the top of the food. 

Roasting refers to cooking larger cuts of meat or poultry at a higher temperature, often with added fat. 

Each method offers unique results and is suitable for different types of food, allowing for versatility.

Can You Broil Your Foods Instead of Baking Them?

Yes, broiling can be used as an alternative to baking for certain foods. However, broiling cooks food quickly and at high temperatures from above. 

This results in different textures and flavors compared to baking. Adjust cooking times and distances from the heat source. This will prevent burning or overcooking.

Broil vs. Bake (Which Is Better?)

Broiling and baking are cooking methods with their own unique advantages and applications. Therefore, determining which one is “better” is difficult.

The choice depends on the specific dish, desired outcome, and personal preferences.

Broiling is ideal for thinner cuts of meat, fish fillets, and certain vegetables. However, broiling is not the best for larger or thicker foods requiring more thorough cooking.

Baking is great for bread, cakes, cookies, casseroles, and larger cuts of meat. 

Ultimately, the “better” method depends on the specific recipe and desired outcome. 

Broil vs. Bake: What's the Difference?

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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