Is Roast And Broil The Same? See The Key Differences

No. Roast and broil are not the same cooking techniques. When it comes to cooking in the oven, it could be a little confusing.

There are different settings, and sometimes it seems like you have the same end product from all methods.

However, when you take a bite of your meat, for instance, you can tell the difference. Moreover, you’ll find that some recipes specifically require that you broil while some require that you roast.

While these different oven cooking techniques look like you’re doing the same thing – cooking with dry heat, they are different. They follow various processes and give you different results.

Continue reading to see full details.

What does it mean to roast?

Roasting is a method of cooking with dry heat that uses the same amount of heat to cook food all-over in an oven.

The heat comes from the top and bottom heating elements in the oven. Roasting is the best method to get tough food to brown and crisp quickly.

Moreover, roasting is more similar to baking, except that it uses a higher temperature and does not affect the structure of the food.

Just like baking, roasting slowly cooks food to get it brown and crisp. In addition, since the food is uncovered, roasting doesn’t produce any steam.

What does it mean to broil?

Broiling is an oven cooking method that uses high heat to quickly cook food, one side at a time. The heat comes from the broiling element located at the top of the oven. Therefore, the heat comes from the top.

This method is used to cook delicate foods and get the top of meats brown and crisp. Furthermore, you can use the broil setting to brown the top of already-cooked meals.

Broiling is suitable for tender meats and fish that need to sear but with a low internal temperature. Broiling cooks one side of the food at a time. So, you have to flip it over; otherwise, you will end up with a half-cooked meal.

What are the differences between roast and broil?

Roast and broil are not the same. The key differences are:

  • Roasting cooks food slowly while broiling cooks food faster
  • When you broil food, you’re cooking the food at a higher temperature than when you’re roasting
  • Also, roasting is used for thicker foods like whole meats, while broiling is most suitable for thinner meat cuts
  • Roasting cooks food evenly at the same temperature, but with broiling, you’ll have to turn the food over to have well-cooked meals
  • In addition, roasting brings out and enhances the natural flavors of the food you’re cooking. On the other hand, broiling doesn’t improve the taste of the food. That’s why you’ll have to marinate items like meat before you broil them

What can you roast?

A list of food items you can roast are:

  • Whole chicken, beef, turkey, and pork
  • Root veggies like carrots, potatoes, sunchokes, zucchini, and cucumber
  • Thick vegetables like brussels sprouts, cauliflower, lettuce, rutabaga, cabbage, turnips, beets, spinach, and broccoli

What can you broil?

A list of foods you can broil are:

  • Thin cuts of pork, chicken (quarters, boneless and bone-in breasts), turkey breast cutlets, and steaks like T-bone, ribeye, sirloin
  • Small fishes like tilapia
  • Shellfish like shrimps, crabs, scallops, lobsters, and oysters
  • Ground Meat like kebabs, skewers, and ground meat patties
  • Root vegetables and thick vegetables like potatoes, zucchini, asparagus, and summer squash
  • Quick-cooking vegetables like peppers, tomatoes, and onion wedges
  • Fruits like mango, pineapple, peaches, grapefruit, and bananas

What is the roast setting in an oven?

The roast setting in an oven is between temperatures 400°F and 450°F.

Within this temperature range, you can achieve browning and bring out the natural flavor of the food.

What is the broil setting in an oven?

The broil setting in an oven ranges from 500°F to 550°F. This high heat is good for meals that need to cook quickly. You have to be close to your oven when broiling.

But, some ovens have options for low temperatures, which is around 400°F.

In addition, this high heat helps to char meat and vegetables, leaving them very crisp.

How to roast

Here is how to roast perfectly:

  • Preheat the oven to the temperature your recipe requires or at 400°F, and prepare the roasting pan with aluminum foil
  • Also, prepare the food you want to roast with seasoning and spices
  • Afterward, roast for the duration your recipe instructs and to your desired level of doneness
  • Keep an eye on the food in the oven, so it doesn’t get burnt
  • Turn off the oven when you’re done roasting
  • If you roasted meat, allow it to rest for 10-20 minutes before you cut it

How to broil

Follow these steps to broil food in an oven:

  • Start with preheating the oven at the temperature your recipe requires. Preheat for up to 30 minutes
  • Then, line the baking sheet or broiler pan with aluminum foil. Do not broil in glassware
  • Season or spice whatever you want to broil and place it in the prepared pan
  • Place the pan in the oven. The pan should be in a rack closest to the source of heat. But for food items like some vegetables, you don’t have to put the rack too close to the source of heat
  • Make sure the foods in the pan are not overlapping each other
  • Afterward, start broiling. Pay attention to your food in the oven. The high temperature can easily get your food burnt
  • Cook one side properly before you flip it over to the other side
  • Use a food thermometer to monitor the internal temperature and level of doneness of your food
  • Avoid broiling food for too long. Otherwise, you risk getting your food burned

Is it better to roast or broil?

No cooking method is better than the other.

Each of the oven cooking techniques is useful for different purposes. One recipe may call for roasted meat, while another requires that you broil the meat. Following your recipe is what is most important.

Pros and cons of broiling


  • Since you can broil indoors, it is a good substitute for grilling when you don’t have grilling weather
  • Broiling appliances are more cost-effective. You can also bake with an oven broiler
  • Broiling doesn’t create smoke. You don’t have to worry about smelling like barbecue when you are done


  • Broiling does not add any extra flavors
  • Grilling meat helps you get rid of meat fat. However, when you broil meats, the meats reabsorb the fat
  • If you are particular about the smoky flavor that comes with grilling meat, you won’t get that with broiling

Pros and cons of roasting


  • Roasting reduces moisture content so you can enjoy drier meats
  • You can enjoy better-flavored meat when you roast because the heat and slow cooking (compared to broiling) brings out the natural flavors
  • Additionally, roasting keeps the vitamins in the food


  • Roasting meat takes a while, and you will have to be by the oven
  • Browning reduces nutrients like amino acids


Can you use a broiler pan as a substitute for a roasting pan?

Yes, you can. A broiler pan is a good substitute for a roasting pan. It may not have the high sides that a roasting pan has, but it is still a good replacement.

Can you roast instead of broil?

You may roast instead of broiling if your recipe is not particular about how you cook the food.

If your recipe requires dry heat, you can employ roasting instead of broiling. Remember that you won’t need to flip the food over since roasting uses high heat all over.

Do all ovens have a broiler?

Almost every oven has a broiler. The broiler is positioned in different places in different ovens.

An electric oven has its broiler inside the oven. The broiler is the heating coils on the top and bottom of the oven. The broiler in gas ovens is either in the drawer below the oven or inside the oven.


Does roast mean the same thing as broil? No. While you may get a similar outcome, especially in the physical appearance of the food, these are two different cooking methods.

Roast uses the same high heat all over, that is, the top and bottom. On the other hand, broiling uses heat from the top heating element to brown the top of your food.

The differences are worth noting and will help you get your recipes right.

Thanks for reading.

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