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Bake vs. Broil: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Updated on October 14, 2023
Baking is a cooking method that uses dry heat, surrounding food with hot air, often at lower temperatures, while broiling is a cooking method that uses direct heat from above, typically at high temperatures, to brown and cook food quickly.

Key Differences

Broiling cooks food by exposing it to direct heat from a broiler element, often in the oven's top compartment. It's ideal for quickly browning the top of dishes like steaks and gratins. While, baking is a gentle method, suitable for delicate items like bread, pastries, and cookies, with longer cooking times to allow for even cooking and rising.
Broiling is intense and quick, ideal for caramelizing the tops of dishes, melting cheese, and achieving a crispy texture. On the other hand, baking usually requires preheating the oven and placing food on a middle rack, promoting even heat distribution for thorough cooking.
Baking is versatile for a wide range of recipes, from sweet to savory, making it a common method for home cooks. However, broiling is often used to finish dishes or add a crispy texture, making it a go-to method for items like garlic bread and broiled fish.

Comparison Chart

Heat source

Surrounding hot air in an oven at lower temperatures
Direct heat from above, usually at high temperatures

Cooking speed

Slower, even cooking
Quick browning and cooking

Suitable for

Cakes, bread, cookies, casseroles, pastries
Steaks, gratins, broiled cheese, garlic bread


Oven preheated, middle rack
Directly under broiler element


Suitable for a wide range of recipes
Often used for finishing and browning

Bake and Broil Definitions


To set makeup by applying a thick layer of powder, allowing it to sit, and then brushing it off.
To ensure her makeup lasted all day, she took time to bake her concealer under her eyes.


To cook food by exposing it to direct heat, often from above, for a short period, as in broiling a steak to perfection.
I'll broil the salmon fillets for dinner.


To be subjected to high temperatures, especially as a result of weather.
We had to stop our hike early because we were starting to bake in the midday sun.


A way to describe cooking with high, intense heat, leading to a crispy or charred surface.
The broil marks on the grilled vegetables added a smoky flavor.


To cook food by exposing it to dry heat, typically in an oven.
She decided to bake a loaf of bread for the charity event.


The process of cooking food by direct heat, such as using a broiler in an oven.
The broil setting in the oven is perfect for melting cheese on nachos.


To harden or dry something by exposure to heat.
The artisan would bake the clay pots in a large kiln.


To swiftly cook food under direct heat, often used for browning or finishing dishes.
She decided to broil the marshmallows for the perfect s'mores.


To apply heat to one's body, often for therapeutic purposes.
After the swim, he went to bake in the sauna to relax his muscles.


A cooking method that creates a seared, browned texture on the surface of food.
The broil gave the chicken a delicious, crispy skin.


To cook by direct radiant heat, as over a grill or under an electric element.


To expose to great heat.


Which foods are often broiled?

Broiling is suitable for items like steaks, gratins, cheese, and garlic bread.

What types of dishes are commonly baked?

Baking is used for dishes like cakes, bread, cookies, casseroles, and pastries.

What is broiling?

Broiling is a cooking method that uses direct heat from above in an oven or broiler to quickly cook and brown food.

What is baking?

Baking is a cooking method that uses dry heat in an oven to cook food, typically at lower temperatures.

Do you need to preheat the oven for baking?

Yes, preheating the oven ensures even cooking when baking.

Can you bake and broil in the same oven?

Most ovens have separate settings for both baking and broiling.

What types of recipes commonly use baking?

Baking is commonly used for recipes like pies, lasagna, and muffins.

Are there any health considerations when broiling?

Broiling is a healthier cooking method than frying, as it requires less oil.

Where is food placed in the oven when baking?

Food is typically placed on a middle oven rack when baking.

How does broiling differ in placement?

For broiling, food is positioned directly under the broiler element.

What results in a crispy texture when broiling?

Broiling results in a crispy texture on the food's surface due to intense heat.

How does broiling affect the appearance of food?

Broiling often gives food a seared, browned appearance.

Can you use broiling to reheat food?

Broiling can be used to quickly reheat and add a crispy texture to leftovers.

How does baking differ from broiling?

Baking surrounds food with hot air for slower, even cooking, while broiling uses intense, direct heat from above for rapid browning.

Can baking be used for quick cooking?

Baking is generally a slower cooking method compared to broiling.

Can you use the term "broil" as an adjective?

Yes, you can use "broil" as an adjective to describe high-heat cooking, like "broil marks" on grilled food.

What kind of dishes benefit from the broil setting?

Dishes like nachos or those needing a melted cheese topping benefit from the broil setting.

Are there any safety precautions when broiling?

Be cautious of the intense heat when broiling and avoid overcooking.

Can you broil food on an open flame?

Broiling typically involves an oven or broiler, but similar results can be achieved on an open flame with a grill.

Is baking more versatile than broiling?

Baking is versatile, suitable for both sweet and savory recipes, while broiling is often used for browning and finishing dishes.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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