What is the difference between baking and roasting?!

The bottom line is that they are essentially the same thing. They both mean “cooking something in the oven.”

Roasting is used to describe the cooking of meats and vegetables, while baking refers to cooking breads, pastries and desserts.

Cooking meats and veggies usually involves higher temperatures, 400 degrees F and up, so foods will get browned and hence, more flavorful. We call that roasting. On the contrary, you don’t want your cookies, cakes and custards to be browned or charred, just golden, so standard baking temperature is 350 degrees F.

What if my oven has setting for baking and roasting? When you are making meats and veggies, use the roasting setting. When you are making desserts, breads, or anything dough-y, use the bake option.

What if I see a recipe for baked salmon? Why doesn’t it say roasted salmon? Well, the recipe was probably written by a midwestern grandmother who is used to making bland food. If she roasted the salmon at a higher temperature, or even broiled it as I do (my salmon recipe here), she would get more flavor. That said, if she wants to call her salmon “baked,” then let her call it that.

My final word: Don’t be intimidated by anybody who kitchen vocabulary at you. It doesn’t mean their food tastes good. I’ll keeping it real for you right here for you on Wednesday. #WednesdayWisdom

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