Understanding Your Oven: Baking versus Roasting?

Baking and roasting are two common ways of cooking in an oven. At some point, most people have baked chicken breasts or roasted a turkey, baked a cake, or roasted vegetables. But are roasting and baking the same thing? The two methods are often used interchangeably but is there actually a difference? Let’s take a look at these two techniques of cooking in an oven.

Structure of the food: This is the primary factor that sets these cooking methods apart. Roasting involves cooking foods that already have a solid structure before the cooking process begins (i.e. meat and vegetables). Baking usually creates foods that lack structure early on, then become solid and lose their “empty space” during the cooking (think: cakes and muffins).

Temperature: The temperature setting on the oven can also distinguish these two cooking methods. Roasting requires a higher temperature (400°F and above) to create a browned, flavorful “crust” on the outside of the food being cooked, while baking occurs at lower oven temperatures (up to 375°F) which makes for a more balanced and even finish.

Fat content: While many baked goods contain fat within (such as the butter added to make cake batter) an outer coating of fat, such as vegetables or meat brushed with olive oil, is an indicator of roasting.

Covered pan: Roasting is typically done in an open, uncovered pan, while items that are baked may be covered to lock in moisture.

But whether you roast or bake, the most important thing is that you’re using an oven that you love and that suits your needs. Better Housekeeping Shop has a wide range of ovens designed to fit any kitchen space. Give us a call at 732-741-4310 or stop into our Red Bank location (we have free parking in our own lot behind our store) and speak to one of our knowledgeable sales associates.

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