Difference Between Convection and Grill (with Table)

Cooking can be done through different methods.  It could be dry heat cooking, moist heat cooking, or a combination of both.  Each method of cooking uses heat in a different way to affect the food.  Only if we understand and master different types of cooking it would be possible to become a great chef at home or at the workplace.

Knowledge of cooking techniques is necessary so that you can work with a wide variety of ingredients and kitchen pieces of equipment to achieve that 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.  One such piece of equipment is the microwave oven which was accidentally invented by Percy Spender 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 up. Since its invention, the microwave oven has gone through a lot of transformation. 

The early microwaves were used to only prepare simple meals or to reheat leftover food.  With changing times, the microwave can do a lot more like baking, roasting, grilling, etc.  The most common two types of the microwave oven are the Convection microwave oven and the Grill microwave oven.

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

Comparison Table Between Convection and Grill

Parameters of ComparisonConvectionGrill
DefinitionConvection means air is heated and circulatedGrill means heating the outer the layer of the food without necessarily heating the air
Heating timeHeat up very fastTakes time to heat
Heating methodUses electromagnetic waves to cook or heat foodUses gas or charcoal to heat up 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 that is circulated by a fan.  Boiling of water or movement of steam are also examples of convection. The circulation of heat accelerates the cooking process in convection.

In a Convection oven, other than generation of heat, it also recirculates the hot air by 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.

To get the benefits of the convection effect, it is better to keep the food uncovered in a convection oven.  Surprisingly stirring of 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 takes place because of buoyant force when there exists a difference in the densities caused by temperature differences.

Examples :  Ocean winds, Atmospheric circulation.

Forced Convection takes place when external sources are used for creating induced convection.

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

Source: Google

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 method of cooking.

Grilling is often considered to be a healthy form of cooking with oils even though the loss of fat and juices can contribute it to becoming a drier food.

There are two types of Grill – Gas and Charcoal grill. Generally, the Gas grill is chosen because of its convenience and constant heat provided by the gas flames.  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 used normally for thin crusts of meat and most of the 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 a lot of time to cook.  This requires a covered grill which follows the convection heating method.  The slow cooking will allow the food to be cooking thoroughly without over-burning.

Source: Google

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 whereas Grill is using hot, dry, and direct heat which is 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. Power used by convection is electricity but grill uses charcoal or gas.
  4. The temperature in Convection methods can be adjusted automatically when the optimum cooking level is achieved whereas in the Grill method the temperature has to be monitored and manually adjusted.
  5. In Convection, there is a radiant heating element and a fan for even cooking whereas for Grill there is 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 in Grilling it is time-consuming but handy and easy to clean
  9. Convection cooking method is used for baking, reheating, defrosting and all types of cooking but Grill cooking method is best for roasting.

Conclusion

The convection method of cooking follows the hot air movement to heat up the food.  The air is circulated with the help of a fan.  The circulation of the heated air helps to cook the food evenly and prevents uneven cooking which sometimes happens in traditional cooking methods.

In Grill, the heat is transferred by the heater tubes that provide hot air and direct heat to the food to be cooked.  It is the ideal method for roasting.  If you want that distinctive grill flavor it is better to grill your food.  The convection method will help you to bake, reheat, defrost the food as well as a grill but it will not be able to give you the same aroma and taste as a 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