Is roasting the same as broiling?

You can use an oven in three ways: baking, roasting, and broiling. We know that some of you may be hearing the term ‘broiling’ for the first time. And that’s okay! Keep reading to pick up essentials about roasting and broiling, differences between them, and decide which one works for you.

Let’s address the primary concern in your mind right now. Is roasting the same as broiling? No, there are a handful of differences between them both.

Here’s the fundamental distinction: roasting utilizes heat from all sides of the oven, whereas broiling only uses top heat. Reasonably, heat is distributed more evenly in the roasting technique. And this is why it doesn’t need as much heat as broiling. Broiling requires a temperature within the range of 500 to 550 degrees Fahrenheit while roasting lies in the 400 Fahrenheit range.

When to Broil And Roast?

Another difference between roasting and broiling is the result you’re expecting with your food dish.

If you’re cooking meat or chicken or something that’s comparatively tougher and thicker than the lot, go for roasting. Yes, it cooks food evenly from all sides but what’s more interesting is how it enhances the flavor. Say hello to the Maillard reaction. The aforementioned is the chemistry behind why caramelization unleashes such an extraordinary flavor. Plus, roasting meat brings out a lot of juiciness. So when you turn that lamb roast over and dig in for a bite, you’ll taste the intensity of flavors like never before.

On the other hand, broiling is for rather delicate foods. It is functionally similar to grilling in that it’s for foods that only need a bit of crisping and browning. These dishes may or may not be pro-cooked prior to broiling. Ideal choices for broiling are steaks, chops, fish fillets, and fruits and vegetables like tomatoes, zucchini, asparagus, pineapples, and many more.

Can You Broil Instead of Roast?

Can you? Yes. Should you? Absolutely not. Broiling a large cut of meat such as the leg piece of a lamb won’t work well. As you read earlier, broiling involves extreme top heat. So broiling may rapidly cook the outer meat, but not what’s inside. Whereas the roasting method uses both top and bottom heat. The lamb leg would cook slowly under lower temperatures but much more evenly thanks to the heat circulation.

We’ve covered the differences between broiling and roasting, now’s the time to dive headfirst into acing each method!

Roasting Right

1. Never Roast Meat Straight Out Of The Refrigerator

Place the meat on a clean kitchen counter for some time to make sure it’s at room temperature. By doing this, you’ll have higher control over doneness and an overall juicier meal.

2. Season Generously And Overnight

Have as free of a hand as possible when it comes to seasoning a large cut of meat. Not only that, make sure to season a day in advance, so the spices effectively permeate the meat.

3. The Trick to An Evenly Cooked Roast

When it comes to a roasting pan, make sure you pick one that’s wide enough to fit the piece of meat. We also recommend you use a rack. It goes a long way with increasing hot air circulation around the roast.

4. Burst of Flavor

If you don’t own a rack, you can make a vegetable trivet! All you have to do is bed the meat with vegetables like carrots, onions, and celery. The vegetables impart an insane amount of flavor on the roast, so it all works out in the end.

5. Bind The Meat

If you’re using a large cut of meat such as a whole chicken, or a tenderloin steak, consider tying it. One of the reasons behind this is that often these are unevenly shaped, thick in some parts, and thinner in others. So tying it up can help you roast a beautiful, uniformly shaped steak.

The other reason is more practical. If you are cooking a filled roast, the last thing you want is the delicious stuffing to fall out. Binding the roast can save you from that risk.

6. Oil The Roast

Before popping the dish into the oven, you should cover the roast with oil. Although you may prefer butter in terms of flavor, we wouldn’t advise you to use it in place of oil. It has too low of a smoke point for roast (302°F), causing it to burn up too quickly.

It’s best to follow the recipe’s instructions for the roasting technique as it differs from case to case.

7. Test-Retest

Only a meat thermometer is reliable enough to confirm your roast’s doneness. You can test your roast 20-30 mins in advance of the recipe’s finishing time. If you’ve hit the mark, move to the next step. If not, place it back in the oven and retest in a bit.

Protip: for the most accurate reading, target the thickest part of the roast when inserting a thermometer.

8. Let It Rest

Once the temperature’s hit the mark, take out the dish and let the roast rest for 15-20 mins. Do not, at any cost, skip this step as it is key to locking in the juices.

Basics of Broiling

Some roasting and broiling rules are the same, like using a thermometer and letting the meat rest. But you have to be more careful with broiling, as it’s a tricky technique to ace.

●    Use Suitable Cookware

While broiling, make sure to never use glass cookware as extreme heat can result in cracks and even cause it to shatter. Instead, you can use a metal broiling or baking pan and install a rack to keep the meat out of the grease.

●    Re-position Your Oven Racks

Always take a look at your oven racks and confirm whether their position is suitable for your food. Thin cuts of meat like steaks and chops turn out best when they’re closer to the broiler. Why? Because the lesser the gap between the broiler and the top of the meat, the better the caramelization.

On the contrary, thicker meat cuts benefit more if you place them farther from the broiler. So, they’ll cook to the center rather than only on the surface.

Protip: leave at least 3-5 inches of space between the broiler and the meat. And for more accurate placement, pay close attention to the recipe you’re following.

●    Preheat Your Broiler

Merely 5-10 minutes of preheating will make a significant difference to the broiling process. And if you want to broil a beautifully seared steak, we suggest you even preheat your pan. Interestingly, this isn’t necessary for roasting as it would prevent the center of the roast from cooking. But in the case of broiling, pre-heating boosts the caramelization of steaks, veggies, etc.

●     Keep A Close Eye on Your Food

As broiling uses extreme heat, we suggest you don’t leave your food unwatched for too long. You can switch your oven light on to monitor your meal’s progress. And stick to your recipe’s instructions because there’s nothing more disheartening than burning food.

Why Is Roasting And Broiling Healthy?

Cooking methods like deep frying can lead to cancer and severe heart diseases. Ever wonder why? It’s because your food’s starch gets converted into carcinogens under high temperatures. And when you consume deep-fried foods, you’re highly exposed to them.

Thus, roasting and broiling are very healthy because they require little to no oil. Since there isn’t enough oil, no reaction takes place, despite extremely high temperatures.


1. Can I broil with aluminum foil?

Yes. You can align the top and bottom surfaces of the broiling pan with any type of aluminum foil. Just make sure to cut openings at the top to let fat drain.

2. Do I have to leave the oven door open while broiling?

Yes, but only when you’re broiling thin cuts of meat and require a light sear. Never leave the door open when broiling for a longer time as you may damage your oven.

3. Should I cover vegetables when broiling?

No, you shouldn’t. If you cover veggies while broiling, you’ll prevent them from browning as they will steam instead. 

4. Should I sear beef before roasting?

Searing goes a long way in developing flavor and texture, thanks to caramelization. However, when you roast it after, there is an increased loss of moisture. Skipping the sear would make the beef more tender. So, this one depends on your preference.

5. Should I put water at the bottom of my roasting pan?

No, this will counteract the roasting process as the food will steam rather than roast. Plus, juices seep through to the bottom while roasting and rise back up and around due to evaporation. Mixing water will take loads of flavor away from the meat.

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