Convection vs Grill: Difference and Comparison

Cooking can be done through different methods.  It could be dry heat cooking, moist heat cooking, or a combination.  Each method of cooking uses heat in a different way to affect the food. 

Only if we understand and master different types of cooking would it be possible to become a great chef at home or the workplace.

Knowledge of cooking techniques is necessary to work with various ingredients and kitchen equipment to achieve the perfect consistency and flavors of cooking.

A lot of kitchen equipment is available in today’s modern world, which helps in making cooking easy.  These types of equipment follow different heating methods to cook food. 

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One such piece of equipment is the microwave oven, which Percy Spender accidentally invented in 1946.

Microwave ovens could be one of the most convenient inventions, especially for lazy people who just can’t put their food in a pan and heat it. Since its invention, the microwave oven has undergone a lot of transformation. 

The early microwaves were used only to prepare simple meals or to reheat leftover food. The microwave can do much more with changing times, like baking, roasting, grilling, etc. 

The two most common microwave ovens are the Convection microwave and the Grill microwave.

Key Takeaways

  1. Convection cooking uses hot air to cook food evenly, whereas grilling uses direct heat from below.
  2. Convection cooking is ideal for baking, roasting, and cooking multiple items simultaneously, while grilling is best for searing and achieving that charred flavour.
  3. Convection ovens are more expensive than regular ovens, while grills can be gas or charcoal and come in various sizes and prices.

Convection vs. Grill

The difference between Convection and Grill is that air movement is between two bodies at different temperatures in convection. In contrast, on Grill, the food is directly heated with the help of more than one heater.

Convection vs Grill

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonConvectionGrill
DefinitionConvection means air is heated and circulatedGrill means heating the outer layer of the food without necessarily heating the air
Heating timeHeat up very fastIt takes time to heat
Heating methodUses electromagnetic waves to cook or heat foodIt uses gas or charcoal to heat the coil present, which heats the food
Power Consumption1000 to 5000 Watts1250 Watts
Uses Heating, Defrosting, Baking, and Grilling                       Heating, Grilling, and Toasting
Relation with heatMovement of heat by actual motion of matterHeat is transferred by thermal radiation or direct conduction

What is Convection?

Convection in the culinary field means a method of heat transfer where the food is heated by moving the heat source, like the hot air inside an oven circulated by a fan. 

The boiling of water or the movement of steam are also examples of convection. The circulation of heat accelerates the cooking process in convection.

In a Convection oven, other than generating heat, recirculate the hot air using a fan.  The food will cook more quickly than by conventional methods. 

Once the convection oven blows more hot air over the surface of the food, it will brown faster, giving a crispier taste.

It is better to keep the food uncovered in a convection oven to get the benefits of the convection effect.  Surprisingly stirring a soup is also a form of convection because it redistributes the heat from the bottom of the pot throughout the soup.

Scientifically Convection can take place in two ways – Naturally or freely(spontaneously) or  Forcefully.

Natural Convection occurs because of buoyant force when temperature differences cause a difference in the densities.

Examples:  Ocean winds, Atmospheric circulation.

Forced Convection takes place when external sources are used to create induced convection.

Examples: Water heaters for heating water instantly, fans on a hot summer day, and Microwave Ovens.                                                               

convection 1

What is Grill?

Grilling is a fast, dry form of cooking.  It involves a considerable amount of heat applied to the surface of the food directly or through radiant heat.  Grilling tends to cook meat and vegetables quickly.

During grilling, the direct heat quickly cooks the outside of the food, thus giving it a distinctive roasted and sometimes pleasantly charred flavor with a nice crust.

When using a grill, food is heated primarily through thermal radiation. But if a grill pan or griddle is used, then heat is transferred by direct conduction.  In grilling, the temperatures often exceed 260 degrees Centigrade making this a fast cooking method.

Grilling is often considered a healthy form of cooking with oils, even though the loss of fat and juices can make it a drier food.

There are two types of Grill – Gas and Charcoal grill. Generally, the Gas grill is chosen because of its convenience and the constant heat the gas flames provide. 

The Charcoal grill is used for slow cooking and to enjoy a hands-on experience of lighting charcoal.

Grill heating is done through direct and indirect methods.  The direct method is normally used for thin crusts of meat and most vegetables. 

The food is placed squarely over the heat source with the lid off.  Thus food cooks quickly because of the intense heat.

The indirect method of grilling is used for huge and bulky pieces of meat, which requires much time to cook.  This requires a covered grill that follows the convection heating method. 

Slow cooking will allow the food to be cooked thoroughly without over-burning.

grill

Main Differences Between Convection and Grill

  1. The definition of Convection is that it is air circulation in an open or closed atmosphere spreading the heat evenly. In contrast, Grill uses hot, dry, and direct heat provided by a heater.
  2. The heating method used in Convection is that the warm and cold air change places slowly, exchanging places, whereas, in Grill, the tube in the heater provides dry and hot air directly.
  3. The power used by convection is electricity, but the grill uses charcoal or gas.
  4. The temperature in the Convection methods can be adjusted automatically when the optimum cooking level is achieved. In contrast, the temperature has to be monitored and manually adjusted in the Grill method.
  5. In Convection, there is a radiant heating element and a fan for even cooking, whereas Grill has only a radiant heating element.
  6. Cooking is even in the Convection method, whereas in Grill, the cooking will be uneven if it is not properly monitored.
  7. The temperature in a Convection oven will change drastically if the door is opened, whereas, in Grilling, it is difficult to regulate the heat
  8. Convection saves a lot of time, money, and energy, but Grilling is time-consuming but handy and easy to clean
  9. The convection cooking method is used for baking, reheating, defrosting, and all types of cooking, but the Grill cooking method is best for roasting.
Difference Between Convection and Grill
References
  1. http://krex.k-state.edu/dspace/bitstream/handle/2097/4506/cattle01pg47-51.pdf?sequence=1
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111 /j.1745-4573.1996.tb00599.x
  3. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12206-018-0141-1
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