Difference Between Grilling and Roasting
By Rebecca Rodriguez - April 27, 2022

Because both grilling and roasting produce mouth-watering meals, it can be hard to tell the difference between the two cooking methods by just looking. It also doesn’t help that there has been a mix-up in the translation of the words over time. Before the invention of the oven, roasting meant cooking food over an open fire. The term grilling also happens to refer to something quite similar. Both methods of cooking were used for fast meal preparations. Things have changed since then.

Table Summary

It takes place on a grill, griddle, or grid-ironIt takes place in an oven or close-lid grill
Cooks in a short amount of timeCooking takes a long duration, usually above 2 hours
Food is in direct contact with the heat source.The heating is indirect and radiant.
Food has a smoky flavor and crispy or charred texture.The texture is tender, and the food cooks in its flavors.


In modern-day culinary terms, roasting strictly refers to food that has been cooked with indirect heat in an oven. The heat is also kept low, at temperatures between 100 and 200 degrees Celsius, so it circulates more quickly. It lets them cook in their juices for fatty and juicy foods, which helps build flavor.
Grilling refers to cooking food directly on incredibly high heat, usually over 300 degrees on a grill. Also, fat and juices may be rendered into the flames at high heat, causing a flavor change where the food is somewhat smoky. You can then choose what kind of smoke or wood flavor is in your food.

Grilling VS Roasting

Grilling means that the food has very little time to cook before it burns, so cooking takes approximately 10 minutes or less. While roasting, the radiant heat simmers all sides of the food for up to 4 hours, specifically huge chunks of meat and vegetables.