Bake vs Broil: Differences to Know

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Krishia Modified: January 30, 2023
Bake vs Broil: Differences to Know
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Choosing whether to bake vs broil your food can be quite a dilemma sometimes. You probably have stumbled upon these two cooking methods when following recipes from cookbooks, but what really is their difference? When should you bake, and when should you opt to broil? 

Well, the good thing is you’re here. So ready your oven and bring out your best oven mitts because we’ll pin down the answer to this hot issue. Discover the differences between baking vs broiling and how they’re used below!

Bake vs Broil: What’s the Difference?


infographic showing the differences between bake vs broil

Baking and broiling may look like two similar cooking techniques because both use an oven. However, baking aims to cook food using circulating dry heat at a lower temperature. On the other hand, broiling uses direct heat at a higher temperature. This is what helps achieve the golden brown crust on your dish.

Now, let’s take a closer look at their differences below.

Cooking Time

Cooking time is way longer when baking than broiling. It is because you want to thoroughly cook the whole dish while baking. Most, if not all, of the ingredients in a baked dish are usually raw. With that, baking may take around 10 minutes to an hour for a dish to cook properly. 

Meanwhile, your goal in broiling is to achieve that golden brown surface like in a golden brown macaroni and cheese. Dishes that you broil are usually already cooked or require less cooking time. And you just quickly expose it for a few minutes to direct heat to cook its surface for texture and color.

Heat Source

The heat source is also different when you bake vs when you broil. Baking uses indirect heat, while broiling utilizes intense direct heat to achieve a golden brown crust.

When baking, the dry heat that cooks the food comes from the top, bottom, and sometimes the back portion of your oven. To cook it evenly and adequately, you need to have a heat source all over your food. You can also use an air fryer or convection oven when baking. Both allow hot air to circulate your food, helping you cook it evenly.

Broiling, in contrast, only uses direct heat from infrared radiation that helps you sear your steak, create grilled-like food, or achieve that golden brown color in any dish.

READ ALSO: 12 Best Rotisserie Oven Choices For Better Roasting


setting temperature control on oven, 180 c to f

Baking uses moderate temperature compared to the blazing hot oven setting when broiling.

Since you want to ensure the doneness of your dish when baking, you should opt to use moderate temperatures. It is usually somewhere between 250 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Meanwhile, you should use extremely high temperatures when you broil to quickly give broiled dishes the desired texture and color. Setting your oven to around 500 to 550 degrees Fahrenheit will allow you to do this. 

Temperature matters when you bake and broil. So a temperature conversion guide can be pretty handy to ensure you follow the correct temperature when cooking your food.


  • Preheating your oven is important. Preheat your oven whether you bake or broil because it will help you cook your food fast and evenly. At the same time, it will also help you save energy.

When to Bake vs Broil

Knowing when to oven-bake vs broil your food is essential to ensure that you are serving a well-cooked dish. So when do you bake, and when should you opt to broil your food? Well, we provided a detailed answer below to help you!

Food For Baking

Chicken Alfredo Baked Potatoes Recipe

Since baking is a process that allows you to cook food slowly, it ensures the doneness of your food inside while giving it a nice brown exterior. Cooking liquid or semi-liquid food like pastries, cakes, and bread are the best food types to use this technique for. One-pot dishes like casseroles are also great, like lasagna, chicken alfredo baked potatoes, and quiches.

Food For Broiling


Broiled Swordfish

Thinly sliced meat (around 4 centimeters thick), fish, or seafood (e.g. broiled pork spare ribs, tuna fillet, scallops with cheese) are best cooked using the broiling method. Broiling will help you quickly sear and cook these foods, giving them a grilled-like flavor and texture. 

You can also broil soft veggies (tomatoes, onion wedges, bell peppers) and fruits (banana, pineapples, peaches). Broiling will slightly char and caramelize your fruits and vegetables, which adds a distinct flavor that pairs well with other dishes. 

There are also some dishes that you can broil after baking. Examples are casseroles like beef macaroni casserole, baked mac, and classic lasagna since you want to cook the base by baking and then broil it to achieve the golden brown cheesy crust. Other times, broiling is done to already cooked dishes like a classic French onion soup.

Bake vs Broil vs Roast


The main difference between baking, broiling, and roasting is the heat source and the temperature. 

You probably have heard of the term “roast”, which means “to give your food a nice brown crust while leaving the insides cooked yet still juicy”. It’s a lot more similar to baking as both use hot air that circulates around the oven, enveloping the dish for it to cook. However, the bake vs roast oven setting differs. Roasting uses a higher temperature setting, around 400 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, a little higher than baking and a tad lower than broiling. 

And if you are wondering if there’s a significant difference between convection bake vs convection roast, the answer is still the temperature disparity. It’s just that the convection setting of your oven allows you to use a fan and exhaust that help circulate hot air around your food. This helps cook your dish more quickly and evenly. 

Now that you know the difference between the three, you may use this to your cooking advantage! Bring out your best roasting pan, and use it in roasting whole meat cuts (e.g. entire poultry and beef or pork roasts) and thick veggies like Brussel sprouts, carrots, and potatoes. You can even use roasting to create your next Thanksgiving feast!

READ ALSO: 55 Classic Thanksgiving Side Dishes To Impress Your Guests

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I broil my food instead of baking them?

You can bake and then broil your food. You can also opt to bake rather than broil your dish, but you shouldn’t do it the other way around (broil first then bake). It is because you want to ensure that you cook your food well. Broiling dishes you’re supposed to bake won’t do that.

Broiling subjects your food to high temperatures, giving it a nice outer crust. However, if you broil foods like cakes or bread like butter buns instead of baking them, they may look cooked on the outside, but still, be uncooked or raw on the inside.

Will broiling make food crispy?

Yes! It is actually one of the primary goals of broiling. It helps you achieve a nice, crusty food exterior by using intensely high temperatures.

Which is healthier, broiling or baking?

Both are actually healthy cooking techniques, especially compared to frying. Now, broiling is said to be slightly healthier because you can use an elevated broiling pan that segregates the food from its drippings. However, using an air fryer for baking is considered way healthier, as it allows you to cook with little to no oil while also separating the drippings from the food itself.  

READ ALSO: 7 Best Chefman Air Fryer Models To Try

Bake vs Broil: Which Is Better?

So, baking vs broiling: which of the two is better? Dishes that need thorough cooking need the moderate, heat-all-over approach of the baking method. It may take quite a while, but it’ll ensure your dish’s doneness. But if you just want a nice golden crust and slightly charred or caramelized food, the broiling technique’s direct heat and high temperature are what you need. 

Ultimately, baking and broiling are two different techniques that you can use to your advantage. And we think everyone will agree that one is not better than the other; they just both serve a different purpose. Now that you know their differences, you can now decide which is best to use depending on what you are cooking. With that, preheat that oven and gather your loved ones! We think it’s time to showcase your new kitchen skills.

Read Next: How Long Is Ham Good for in the Fridge and Freezer?


KC is a writer, an artist, a theatre enthusiast, and a food lover. She believes in the saying, “a jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one.” That is why she has myriads of interests—from photography, cooking, designing, journaling, and the list still goes on. She dreams of traveling the whole country on her own someday to satiate her eyes, her curiosity, and of course, her stomach.