Oven heating element

What is broiling? Key uses vs. baking and grilling

Broiling is a cooking technique that utilizes your oven’s broiler setting to quickly brown, cook or caramelize food. The oven’s broiler element creates high heat close to the food, resulting in different textures and flavor profiles.

Use this guide to learn more about broiling and how it compares to baking and grilling.

Is broiling a dry heat method?

Yes, like baking, searing, grilling and roasting, broiling is a dry heat cooking method. Dry heat cooking helps promote the caramelization and browning of foods by cooking with circulated hot air or close contact with the heating source.

What’s the difference between broiling and baking?

The broiling method uses extra-high heat at the top of the oven to quickly brown or crisp the outer layer of food, while baking slowly cooks food from the outside in using moderate temperatures with heating elements on the top, bottom and sometimes back of the oven.

Baking is typically a gentler cooking method, since the food isn’t in close contact with the heating source or exposed to extra-high temperatures. Broiling is often more hands-on than baking, as it requires more attention to help prevent scorching your food.

What’s the difference between broiling and grilling?

Grilling and broiling are both direct heat cooking methods that utilize high temperatures to caramelize and char your food. The big difference between the two is the cooking location and the direction of the heat. Grilling is typically done outdoors on a grill while you tend to broil indoors in an oven.

The heat from a grill usually comes from below, unlike a broiler that utilizes top-down heating.

Broil vs. bake vs. grill

Learning the differences between broiling vs. baking vs. grilling can help you understand when to use each technique when you’re cooking for your family. Compare the cooking methods below.

Sheet pan of roasted vegetables under a broiler element Sheet pan of roasted vegetables under a broiler element


  • Cooks delicate foods quickly with temperatures up to 550°F
  • Heating element is on the top of the oven, food is placed directly under the heat
  • Sears, browns and caramelizes, adding a finished touch to already-cooked foods
  • Adds a crunchy outer layer to cooked casseroles, meats and vegetables
  • Extra-high temperatures require more attention to help prevent burning
Steak and vegetables in a shallow bowl
Examples of food that you can broil

Some foods stand up better under the broiler than others. Here are some foods you can broil:

  • Thinly cut meats like steak, chicken and salmon

  • Delicate vegetables like asparagus, bell peppers or zucchini

  • Cheesy dishes or casseroles that need a browned, crispy crust, like homemade mac and cheese or lasagna

  • Garlic bread or crostini toast

Tray of lasagna in an oven Tray of lasagna in an oven


  • Cooks raw food or already cooked foods at moderate temperatures ranging from 200–375°F, though some dishes may require higher temperatures
  • Longer cooking times help enhance the flavor of a wide range of foods
  • Requires less frequent monitoring due to moderate cook temperatures
  • Ideal for baked goods and thick-cut meats due to lower temperatures that help retain moisture
Various meats and vegetables cooking on a grill Various meats and vegetables cooking on a grill


  • Cooks food using heat from hot charcoal or gas heating elements

  • Allows you to make large quantities of food in less time
  • Can be more hands-on as you have to monitor the cooking process to help prevent burning

Explore Whirlpool® Ranges

Your range is the heart of your kitchen. Whether you’re shopping for your first stove or looking to upgrade your current model, Whirlpool brand has the gas and electric range options designed to help you care for your family. Select models offer a Broiler Drawer that uses high heat to quickly melt, brown or crisp your favorite dishes.

Discover range possibilities with Whirlpool brand