difference between grill and oven

Difference Between Grill And Oven

We are reader supported. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Also, as an Amazon affiliate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

If you are a foodie like me, the mention of grill and oven will conjure up images of mouthwatering foods like roasted chicken, baked brownies, and grilled salmon. Many people do not realize the difference between grill and oven, ending up getting confused between these two essential kitchen appliances.

While both the appliances are used for cooking, the biggest difference between the two is that the oven comprises a thermally insulated compartment that can be used for baking, heating, roasting or drying. The grill, on the other hand, is a device used for cooking food by heating it from below.

The temperature is evenly distributed within an oven, an enclosed compartment that somewhat resembles a cooker. You can prepare baked goods, roasted meat, bread and puddings with the help of this device. Grills are mostly used for outdoor cooking and food is cooked by applying heat which does not distribute evenly.

Besides the style of cooking and distribution of heat, there are many other differences between the two and these are based on power, type of food, cooking time, place and so on. Read on to find more about grills, ovens, and the difference between them.

Key Differences Between Grill And Oven

Many people confuse with the basics when it comes to food cooked on grill and oven. To give you a better and clearer understanding of the differences in their various aspects, take a look at the key points given below:

Source Of Fuel/ Heat

Ovens may be of different types and depending on that the source of fuel maybe electricity, wood, natural gas (butane, LPG, propane), wood, and so on. Similarly, depending on the type of grill used, the appliance may run on charcoal, gas, wood, or electricity.

Difference In Price

Various models of ovens may have different prices based on the initial set up cost and the type of fuel used to operate it. In the case of grills too, price varies based on the materials used in making and what they run on. Outdoor grills have higher capacity and they are typically more expensive than electric grills.

Heating Speed

The speed at which an oven heats depends on the type of appliance. For example, gas ovens heat up much faster but the electric ovens take some time to heat. Charcoal and wood grills heat comparatively faster but the electric ones may take some time.

Cooking Time

This is probably the most important aspect because we want all that delicious food to cook quickly. In conventional ovens, the cooking time is much higher than the wood or charcoal grills that take less time to prepare food.

Heat distribution

Ovens are known to distribute heat equally to ensure uniform cooking. The electric ovens are better at uniform heat distribution than the gas-powered ones. On the other hand, heating on charcoal and wooden grills may be uneven but the electric grills are designed to provide the same heat throughout the cooking surface.

Temperature Management

When it comes to ovens, the temperature is managed easily via the heat management system. In the case of wood, coal, or gas grills, the temperature must be managed manually. The electric grills are extremely popular because the temperature is automatically managed as per the type of food and cooking duration.

Economic Factor

The gas-run ovens turn out to be the most economical in the long run, while the electric ovens are more expensive due to the high cost of electricity consumed. The wood and coal grills tend to be more expensive in the long run. The grilling pans may be a more economical choice.

Burners

The ovens are designed in a way to incorporate burners that may be powered by wood, charcoal, or coils. The grills do not have any burners as they comprise of a griddle or pan over which the food is placed.

Usage Benefits

In the case of ovens, the benefits may vary depending on the type of model you use. For example, the electric ovens are cheaper to install and much easier to maintain; gas oven heats up quickly and they are cheaper in the long run.

The coal and wood powered grills are known for delivering flavorful and juicy meats and veggies. The electric grills are healthier options as they drain out excess fat to give you delicious food.

Limitations Of Use

The gas-run ovens are difficult to clean and expensive to repair in case of any damage. The installation cost is high and there is a risk of gas leakage. Electric ovens tend to become expensive in the long run due to excess power usage and slow heating.

The wood and coal run grills are expensive in the long run because wood and coal prices are high. Furthermore, they need an outdoor setup. Stove and electric grills are comparatively cheaper.

What Is An Oven And It’s Brief History

As mentioned above, the oven is a thermally insulated and enclosed compartment that resembles a cooker. The appliance is used for heating and cooking food. It forms the cornerstone of any kitchen as a large part of cooking is done here. The biggest pro of using ovens is that heat is distributed evenly so food cooks evenly.

In modern times, you can expect to find an oven in almost every household and the modern ovens are mostly powered by gas or electricity. However, the ovens are not new and their history dates back to 29 000BC when ovens were used to construct sewers, masonry, pottery, and metalwork.

Research shows that ovens have existed since the beginning of civilization when the fire was discovered. Findings indicate that people from the Indus Valley Civilization used ovens that were powered by wooden twigs, grass, and fire. They used for cooking and roasting mammoths.

The modern ovens of today have come a long way and they are now run by wood, natural gas, coal, and electricity. The technological advancements also saw models that come with ventilation windows, fire vents, and chimneys. The breakthrough in ovens have led to various advancements and today you can find ovens of several types as mentioned below:

Types Of Ovens

Gas Oven 

These ovens are powered by natural gas that creates heat for the appliance. They are affordable than their electric versions because gas helps in heating the oven to a specific temperature more quickly. Using a gas oven tends to be slightly more expensive because the newly built houses don’t use gas lines for safety reasons.

Microwave oven 

This is a type of electric oven that uses electromagnetic heat waves to cook food uniformly. The heat waves cause the food particles to vibrate and the resulting friction heats up the food.  While micro ovens are primarily used for reheating food, the newer models come with a lot of added functionalities.  

Electric Oven

They are the latest and most popular choice available in the market. The devices are reasonably priced and extremely convenient to use, hence they perfectly suit the majority of residential cooking needs. Their biggest advantage is that they produce even heat as there is just a single heat source, hence they are perfect for baking foods. Electric ovens may be conduction or convention type.

Self-Cleaning Oven

The self-cleaning ovens(learn more) come with an advanced mechanism that cleans the device without you having to handle the messy chore. These types of ovens are basically of two types – Pyrolytic ovens and Catalytic ovens. The Pyrolytic ovens are capable of heating the device to an extremely high temperature to remove food stains, whereas the Catalytic ovens are lined with chemicals to absorb any food spills.

Roaster Oven

This is a special type of oven designed to steam, roast, or slow cook the food. These devices come handy during the holiday season when there is limited oven space but lots to cook for guests. So, you can cook all the meat in the roaster oven (see Amazon) and free up the main oven for other delicacies.

Toaster Oven

This one works like a portable grill and while they are popularly used for making toasts, you may also use them to make pizzas and so on. They cannot be used as an alternative to a full oven, but having one can be extremely useful for large families.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using an Oven

You can cook different types of food evenly in an oven because this enclosed chamber is designed to ensure equal heat distribution. The device is an extremely useful kitchen appliance for those who bake, roast, and reheat food frequently.

If you wish to cook outdoors, an outdoor oven may not be as portable as an outdoor grill. The former is made of certain components that make it very heavy. Furthermore, it is usually attached to a concrete slab, making it difficult to move.

Things To Consider When Buying An Oven

Space available in the kitchen: The ovens come in all shapes and sizes depending on their capacity. You may already have a hole in the wall for wall ovens or space for freestanding oven. If you are remodeling your kitchen, consider the type of oven you wish to incorporate.

How much cooking: The amount of meat or veggies you plan to roast and how frequently you wish to make them have a huge impact on the type of oven you need. While a standard 24” wall oven is good for most people, you may need a bigger size if you wish to make massive turkeys on holidays.

Style that matches your kitchen: Try and match the oven with other appliances in the kitchen, such as refrigerator and chimney to add to the aesthetic appeal. Also, consider whether you want a gas-run or electric-powered oven.

Features you need: Do you want to be able to cook multiple foods at a time? Keep food warm for an extended period of time? Heat food faster than others? Look for features that suit you when out in the market to buy an oven.

What Is A Grill And It’s Brief History

Grill is a type of appliance that cooks food by heating it from below and this style of outdoor cooking has been prevalent since humans started using fire for cooking, 500,000 years ago. The fire was used to char-cook vegetables and meat placed over grills in the past.

Until the 1940s, grills were mostly limited to picnics and campsites, but after world war II, backyard grilling became a rage in the middle-class society. The countertop grills are the advanced and more refined versions of the device, and they are exceptionally small in size.

Choosing the right grill for home is a challenging task because there are numerous aspects you need to consider and the options are also many. From the right material and surface area to the energy consumption and several other selection criteria, there are so many things to consider.

The grills are mainly categorized into two types – gas-powered grills and charcoal grill, but there may be slight variations as discussed below. Both are primarily used to cook meat such as steak, chicken, and grilled vegetables. The food is mostly kept on the griddle or grill pan. When placed directly on the grill, heat is transferred through thermal radiation.

Types Of Grills

Freestanding Gas Grills

They are easily portable devices, hence more useful than the traditional classic grills. These models can be used outdoors like a high-powered oven. They are highly preferred in picnics and camping sites.

Built-in gas grills

 These appliances are much smaller in size than a full size or freestanding gas grill. They are compact shaped, hence they take less space and sit conveniently on a stand. They cost less than traditional grills and serves as a good option for grilling enthusiasts who are limited by space.

Infrared gas grills

This type of grill (see details) is powered by propane or natural gas, and the biggest advantage is that the heat spreads uniformly across the cooking area. It works best for making burgers, steaks, kebabs, veggies, sausages, and fish.

Charcoal Kettle Grills

These grills are much smaller in size than your traditional charcoal grill, hence it is easier to transport them from one place to another. This is a perfect option for those who prefer a smoky barbecue flavor on the food. This has the potential to be your on-the-go-barbeque.

Kamado Grills

These devices (see detials) were traditionally designed to be the movable type of grill. Originated in Japan, the Kamado grills have become extremely popular in the United States. Lump wood charcoal is used as a source of heat in the Kamado grills, often known as a Kamado style cooker.

Electric Grills

In open grilling, food is directly placed over a heat source and many people refer to this as barbeque style cooking. The electric grill features a clam form that has an opening from one end and the other side has a hot plate on which the food to be grilled is kept.

The meat is marinated prior to cooking in an electric grill and the process helps in removing excess fat from meat to make it a much healthier option. The only disadvantage with an electric grill is that it can only be used to cook meat, unlike the traditional models that can cook both meat and veggies.

Advantages and Disadvantages Of A Grill

Grilling food is a preferred choice of cooking outdoors as the direct heat from fuel ensures that the food cooks easily and much quickly. You can find several types of grills that are highly portable, hence easy to move around. The cooking time is also highly reduced when you use a grill. This method of cooking is also very economical because it uses chopped wood and charcoal for combustible material.

Despite the ability of a grill to cook faster, the heat distribution is uneven hence the food does not cook uniformly and this is one of the most common woes of the grill users. The uneven heat distribution results in the food getting overcooked or undercooked. Furthermore, the heating system in a grill may be slightly difficult to regulate due to the use of combustible fuel.

Things To Consider When Buying A Grill

Assembled or not: Grills come in different makes and models, so you will need to consider your specific requirements when buying a grill. Is the product assembled or not? Do you have tools and skills to assemble and troubleshoot any problem that may arise?

Types of material used: Durability depends on the materials used in the making. A cast-iron grill can last for a few years and maybe a little more if you take good care. However, a stainless steel oven will last for a decade.

Product Warranty: Look for a product that comes with an extensive warranty. You should know where to seek help in case something goes wrong.

Grilling style and portability: Do you want to slowly grill the meat or wish to make lots of food quickly? Heat control and temperature are the two important aspects you need to consider when buying a grill. Finally, if you wish to take your grill outdoors to uneven terrains, you may want to ensure that the model has a strong body construction.       

Related Questions

What is the price range for ovens

Ovens come in different capacities and equipped with varied features, hence their cost may range between $350 and $15,000, plus labor and installation charges which maybe another $100 and $200. The handiest features and best performance are typically found in models that cost between $1,500 and $2,000. The higher you go in price range, expect to find better performance, capacity, and features.  

What is the price range for grills

The price of gas grills also falls anywhere between $100 and $10,000. While you can make your own charcoal grill for as little as $20, the electric grills may cost $2,000 or more. The more you spend, expect to find higher durability and advanced features.

How to clean grill grates and dirty oven racks

Despite the difference between grill and oven, they both need cleaning after use in order to stay good for the next use. Put the dirty racks and grill grates caked with food and grease in a bathtub lined with dryer sheets. The antistatic property of dryer sheets helps in loosening dried food and softening agents soften baked stains.

You may add ¼ cup of dish wash soap for extra de-greasing effect. Let them soak overnight or a few hours if you are in a hurry. Scrub using the dryer sheets to remove stubborn particles and rinse clean with water.

See Also:
Grill Microwave Oven Vs Convection Microwave Oven
Why don’t Blackstone Grills Have Lids?
Why Do Gas Grills Rust Out? Here Are the Answers!
Can You Use A Grill Pan On An Electric Stove