A top view of a baked chicken and vegetables on a white baking dish, with a fork and spoon and some cherry tomatoes on a wooden table.

Baked vs Grilled Chicken (What’s the Difference?)

Although the words grilling and baking may seem interchangeable at first glance, you will notice a definite distinction between the two when you see them used in a recipe. Several critical differences between the two may assist you in deciding whether to grill or bake in a variety of culinary situations.

Grilling results in a more intense taste and enables fat to flow off the meat, lowering the calorie content of the chicken. On the other hand, baking may be just as nutritious as cooking, as long as you avoid using oils, butter, and other fats.

This article will look at the contrasts between grilled chicken and baked chicken in more detail.

Baked Chicken Versus Grilled Chicken

Baking is a low-intensity, low-speed cooking technique that takes longer to complete. The use of high heat may tan meats nearly as well as grilling or baking, but you may now also use your oven as a slow cooker for intricate or long-cooking pieces of meat.

Broiling and grilling require less time, while baking is more suited for cooking bigger and thicker foods.

Calorie Check: Baked Chicken Versus Grilled Chicken

Chickens are a great source of protein and are low in calories, making them a favorite choice for dieters and health-conscious diners everywhere. Baked chicken breast has more than 30 grams of protein and zero grams of carbs, and it retains its flavor in any preparation.

Grinding meat over an open flame often results in a high enough temperature increase to alter the chemical composition of the meat and promote the formation of potentially dangerous compounds. Histidine-containing compounds (HCAs), which comprise heterocyclic amines, are classified as potentially carcinogenic in humans.

Chicken breasts being grilled on an open flame with a red barbeque grill and matching kitchen tongs.

When meat, fish, or poultry is grilled, fried, or broiled, the formation of these chemicals is accelerated. Despite the fact that polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are just as dangerous as their counterparts, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons may be discovered in foods that have been cooked at high temperatures, such as smoked meats and meats that have been grilled.

Both types of chemicals have the potential to cause DNA damage when they are processed by specific enzymes in the body. Individuals respond differently to the side effects of HCAs and PAHs, which helps to explain why some individuals are more susceptible to the negative impact of these chemicals than others. HCAs and PAHs are known to cause cancer in humans.

Baked chicken has a nutritional value that is similar to that of grilled chicken. Per 3-ounce serving of grilled chicken breast, you’ll get about 165 calories, 3.8 grams of fat, and 31 grams of protein.

Iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and B-vitamins are all included in this meal as well. The chicken breast is baked rather than fried, resulting in a lower calorie and fat content per serving of 151 calories and 3.1 grams of fat per serving.

Which is Healthier: Baked Chicken Versus Grilled Chicken

To bake chicken or to stir-fry it with veggies are the healthiest ways to prepare it.

Grilling is strongly linked to cancer due to exposure to cancer-causing substances, including hormones and preservatives, while grilling meat, including beef, pig, fish, and chicken. When fat is burnt over an open flame, toxic compounds such as dioxins may be formed. Alternatively, high heat promotes the formation of toxic substances in meat.

Chicken is low in saturated fat, which makes it beneficial to the heart. As well as limiting cholesterol levels, fish does this better than red meat. Additionally, chicken is a good source of niacin and vitamin B6, which have been shown to decrease the risk of a heart attack. Stay within your appropriate weight range.

When grilling, the dripping fat doesn’t go directly onto the grill. It produces a lower-fat or lower-calorie piece of meat.

Additionally, remember that breast and thigh chicken have varying nutritional values. Compared to eating the bird’s breast, eating the rest of the chicken will provide you with a healthier meal; this food is rich in protein yet low in calories and saturated fat.

Raw chicken breasts, low in fat and calories, placed on a wooden chopping board with some herbs and spices on the side.

Here are Some Useful Tips to Ensure Healthier and Safer Grilling

Cooking chicken on the grill is not the healthiest preparation, but it is safer than roasting it. The National Cancer Institute recommends that you use a microwave to prepare meat for high-temperature cooking wherever possible.

If you want better results while cooking the meat, you may also turn it many times. Once the meat has finished cooking, it is necessary to remove the burnt portions. Don’t use the drippings from the meat to make gravy or sauces for the meat.

Marinate the chicken for about half an hour before cooking it to further reduce HCAs in the meat and poultry. If you want to grill smaller, leaner pieces of meat, they will cook faster and emit fewer pollutants than larger, fattier portions.

Try grilling these instead of larger, fattier chunks of meat. Always keep an eye on your food to ensure that it does not overcook. On the grill, the meal should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

As a common rule, the amount of time needed to grill depends on the size of the meat. To get the best results, bone-in chicken breast halves should be grilled for 10 to 15 minutes on each side, whereas boneless chicken breast halves should be cooked for six to eight minutes per side. 

Depending on their size, drumsticks or wings should be grilled for eight to twelve minutes on each side. If you’re grilling the chicken thighs, cook them for 10 to 15 minutes on each side until they’re cooked through.

FAQs

1. Is grilled food better than baked food?

Due to their high heat techniques, baking and grilling may lose vitamin content. Heat-sensitive vitamins like vitamin C and B may be destroyed by baking. Grilling, unlike baking, loses fewer water-soluble vitamins.

Because grilling and baking are so similar, it’s hard to tell which is healthier. Given that grilling emits harmful smoke, baking may be a better option. To compare baking’s health qualities to grilling, further study is required to establish the harmful impacts of baking and carcinogenic chemical release in different meats and meals.

2. What is the healthiest way to cook chicken?

It’s best to roast chicken or stir-fry it with veggies. Lay chicken on a baking sheet and bake it with olive oil and plenty of garlic, lemon, carrots, or anything you want.

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