What Is Difference Between Convection Cooking & Grilling?

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Direct grilling uses high heat for quick results.
Direct grilling uses high heat for quick results. (Image: Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Cooking on a grill and cooking in a convection oven provide the necessary heat to cook food. However, each method provides that heat in different ways, which yields different results.

Convection Oven

A convection oven uses the same radiant heat as a conventional oven with the additional of an internal fan. The fan circulates the hot air, eliminating the hot and cold spots of a conventional oven and creating a cooking environment with even heating.

Grilling

Direct grilling involves a lot of direct, dry, radiant heat. Food is placed on an open wire grid over a hot source of heat. This method is used for quickly cooking foods that are less than 2 inches thick. Indirect grilling is for thicker cuts of meat placed over an open grid and a drip pan. The heat source in not directly under the food and the food is covered with a tight-fitting lid. This method is similar to oven cooking.

Comparison

Because of lower temperatures and longer cooking times, cooking in a convection oven is more like indirect grilling than direct grilling. Both indirect grilling and convection oven cooking are ideal for large roasts, but direct grilling is preferred for hamburgers and hot dogs.

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