Grill vs Oven – What’s the Difference?
Though both are common (and often, essential) kitchen essentials, it can be confusing to understand the difference between grills and ovens.
While they are both used for cooking, the main difference between a grill and an oven is the way food is cooked; via direct heat produced by charcoal or fire on a grill, or indirect heat that cooks food through convection or heat radiating off of an oven’s walls. In simple terms, an oven utilises an insulated heat chamber, whereas a grill sees food places on a mesh wire directly above a flame.
Though this is the fundamental difference between these two appliances, each option has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. So before deciding on which appliance will suit your cooking needs best, here are some notable pros and cons of both grills and ovens.
Pros and cons of using a grill
- Pro: If you’re short on time, grills take less time to heat than ovens thanks to the direct heat that comes off of a grill’s fuel (typically either charcoal or wood).
- Pro: Depending on its size, grills are typically quite portable and easy to move around.
- Pro: If you opt to use cheaper combustible materials such as charcoal or chopped wood, using a grill may help you save on running costs and could be cheaper in the long run.
- Pro: Electric grills come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, with large outdoor options serving up to 12 people. Though they’ll take a little longer to heat, these large grills can still cook food efficiently.
- Con: Over- or under-cooked food can be a common issue for those who use grills, as heat distribution off a grill is difficult to regulate.
Pros and cons of using an oven
- Pro: Thanks to precise temperature control dials, ovens (and in particular, gas ovens) can distribute heat a lot more evenly than standalone grills. This also means that the overall temperature of an oven is much easier to manage than the temperature of a grill.
- Pro: If you opt for a gas-powered oven, you could save up to 50% on your energy bill as natural gas is a cheaper energy source than electricity. Switching to natural gas could also shorten the time it takes for your oven to heat up, as gas-powered ovens are considered more efficient than their electric counterparts.
- Pro: As electric fan ovens dehydrate food inside of them when cooking, gas-powered ovens can provide a better, more succulent result – no matter what you’re cooking.
- Con: Ovens can take a long time to cook food when compared to other appliances, such as standalone grills. However, if your oven incorporates a grill setting, you should be able to speed up the cooking process by using your oven’s grill to cook certain foods.