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Old 02-14-2012, 04:14 PM   #1
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Roasting vs Baking

Hi,
Can someone help me understand this question? First of all I have been told roasting gives you a crispy skin.. (carmelization).Like roasted potatoes. And in baking you don't get this ...maybe brown,but mostly baking involves even heat distribution through out the item. I determine roasting to have a crispy skin by use of oil or butter on it. So my question is say a recipe says baked pork chop and its done by first searing with little oil the meat in a skillet on the stove, than rest of cooking you finish in the oven. And another recipe says its called roasted pork chops same procedure as baked pork chops no differrence,and all baked in oven at 350. Why is one called baked and the other roasted,both made the same way? Also I would like to say I read roasted and bake have a same or similar overall method of food being cooked...dry heat,it is just the techniques that are different. (Found at ehow ....difference between baking ,broiling and roasting) Any help with this I would appr.(newbie in cooking)

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Old 02-14-2012, 04:37 PM   #2
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Roasting and baking are essentially the exact same thing.

Cooking food in an oven or enclosed space using dry heat.

Some people say that roasting involves higher heat.

Some people say that you roast things that are already things like a chicken or potatoes and you bake things that turn into someting else through the process like cake and bread.

But basically they are interchangeable terms.
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Old 02-14-2012, 04:40 PM   #3
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Short answer: same thing.

Long answer: Wikipedia says roasting is "a cooking method that uses dry heat, whether an open flame, oven, or other heat source. Roasting uses indirect, diffused heat (as in an oven), and is suitable for slower cooking of meat in a larger, whole piece. Meats and most root and bulb vegetables can be roasted." Wikipedia says baking is "the technique of prolonged cooking of food by dry heat acting by convection, and not by thermal radiation, normally in an oven, but also in hot ashes, or on hot stones. It is primarily used for the preparation of bread, cakes, pastries and pies, tarts, quiches, cookies and crackers."

They're both dry heat in an oven. Roasting is the term more often used for meats, baking is the term more often used for breads (bakery goods). Sometimes it's just a matter of which term is usually used. Would you prefer a baked potato or a roasted potato?

Now if you put something in a covered casserole or dutch oven and cook it in your oven then that might be a whole different thing, like when the juices create steam which is confined in the small area of the container and creates moist heat.
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Old 02-14-2012, 04:47 PM   #4
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roasting/baking

Joy of cooking says roasting is a special type of baking. So I don't understand ..how any one can say they are the same. Why is it if some one says roasted potatoes, and baked potatoes you know the difference ? They are different.
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Old 02-14-2012, 05:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mumu View Post
Joy of cooking says roasting is a special type of baking. So I don't understand ..how any one can say they are the same. Why is it if some one says roasted potatoes, and baked potatoes you know the difference ? They are different.
How different? Explain.

And special? In what way? (I don't have my JoC close at hand.)
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Old 02-14-2012, 05:53 PM   #6
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Joy of cooking says roasting is a special type of baking. So I don't understand ..how any one can say they are the same. Why is it if some one says roasted potatoes, and baked potatoes you know the difference ? They are different.
As we cook, we learn things by the experience. We try to share information with others, and recieve the same. In order to convey what we know, or obtain what we want to know, we rely on common definitions for words.

In all human experiences, there is jargon, or, words peculiar to the subject or field. Someitmes the jargon is not conveyed correctly, and can become so commonly misused that it becomes a new, accepted deffinition, especially by regional variations.

For instance, goulash is a dish that originated in Northern Europe, and was basically a mutton stew. In the Great Region where I live, goulash means mildly seasoned macaroni with tomato and ground beef. Sometimes, onion and sweet peppers are added. In my home town, few people know what real goulash is.

In the same manner, a dish of potatoes that have been washed and cut into chunks, seasoned with salt and other dry seasonings, and drizzled with oil or butter, then cooked in an oven to produce a lightly crisp outer layer is known as roasted potatoes. Potatoes left whole are called baked potatoes. This a commonly agreed convention.

But, many restaurants and people in general refer to potatoes that have been wrapped in foil before cooking in the oven, as baked potatoes as well. In truth, these are steamed potatoes. That doesn't matter though, because if you said steamed potatoes to most people, they would envision potatoes that were cooked, peel on, and in chunks, in a covered steaming basket over boiling water.

We all choose to believe what we want to believe. In cooking, there are so many similar cooking techniques that the lines between many of them become indistinguishable. Roasting and baking are exactly the same thing, from an engineering point of view. Food is placed in a hot, dry environment, where air is used as medium to transfer heat into food. Radiation also transfers heat energy into the food. That energy first heats the outer layers of the food and moves inward by conduction between the outer, hotter layers, to the coolerm, inner layers. And it doesn't matter what kind of food we are talking about, unless it's a fluid. Different forces are at work there.

Baking and roasting are truly the same thing in the scientific sense of the words. But in the cullinary sense of the world, they have accepted meanings that may differ from one region to another.

There are so many examples of cooking terms that have been altered due to simple ignorance. Bruschetta is a classic example. It originally reffered to bread that was dipped in first pressed olive oil, and then toasted over an open flame, to test the quality of the olive oil. I now see jars of bruschetta on stor shelves, and they are toppings for toasted bread, espiecally Italian or French loaves that have been cut in half, lenghtwise. The meaning of the word has changed for most people, especially in North America. Indeed, the original meaning is lost to most people on this continant.

Me, Ill go with the idea that baking is usually used with things made with flour, or to be made into a desert. Roasting will be for more savory things, other than breads or pastries.

There simply is no hard and fast rule for those terms.

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Old 02-14-2012, 07:38 PM   #7
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roasting/baking

how does one know when cooking chicken whether to call it baked or roasted,if one wanted to tell someone what they cooked. Getting back to bake, someone said is with pastry, bread etc... How does baked chicken come into this. I still feel there has to be some understanding between the two words. This just does not make any sense . If some one said grill you know what that was or fry, or broil.And why would joy of cooking say roasting is a special type of baking? Need some understanding in this. And why would some people when asked about roasting say that's with a crispy crust.
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Old 02-14-2012, 08:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mumu View Post
Joy of cooking says roasting is a special type of baking. So I don't understand ..how any one can say they are the same. Why is it if some one says roasted potatoes, and baked potatoes you know the difference ? They are different.
Baked and roasted potatoes are different not because of the cooking method but in the preparation. A baked potato is cooked dry in the skin. Roasted potatoes are usually cut up in a roasting pan with some meat or other to provide fat, or potato pieces tossed with fat.

Another meaningless difference: Whole chickens are roasted. Cut up chickens are baked.

Don't over think this. There is no difference between roasting and baking, regardless of what some recipes say. People use the terms interchangeably because they are confused too.
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Old 02-14-2012, 09:05 PM   #9
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Baked and roasted potatoes are different not because of the cooking method but in the preparation. A baked potato is cooked dry in the skin. Roasted potatoes are usually cut up in a roasting pan with some meat or other to provide fat, or potato pieces tossed with fat.

Another meaningless difference: Whole chickens are roasted. Cut up chickens are baked.

Don't over think this. There is no difference between roasting and baking, regardless of what some recipes say. People use the terms interchangeably because they are confused too.
Well stated.
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Old 02-14-2012, 10:02 PM   #10
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roasting /baking

Ok, if its in the preparation of it.....than getting back to my original question on pork chops seared in oil also known as pan roasting and finishing up in oven. What do you call it roasted pork chops or baked pork chops?
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Old 02-14-2012, 10:08 PM   #11
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Baked Pork Chops...that's what I would call them.
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Old 02-14-2012, 10:13 PM   #12
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... getting back to my original question on pork chops seared in oil also known as pan roasting and finishing up in oven. What do you call it roasted pork chops or baked pork chops?

Getting back to my earlier answer. This term is used interchangeably by different people. If you sear a piece of meat in a pan on the stove top then move it to the oven to finish cooking, it's pan roasting. If another person calls this process baking, it doesn't change the result. Different people call the process by different names.
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Old 02-14-2012, 11:06 PM   #13
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Just a thought. Going back to our past discussions about the problem of adjusting time and temperature for changing depth of cake batter, we recognized that increasing the depth (such as putting a two pan recipe in one pan of similar diameter) without changing the temperature makes it impossible to properly cook the batter without over cooking the surface. We have to reduce the heat and increase the time.

The point is that we usually think of roasting as a process that results in a well browned surface or crust. With the example of potatoes, roasted is expected to have a brown, crisp surface. Baked lacks that crust. Both leave the potato cooked through. But is the difference a difference of time and temperature. Not really. But we happen to most often cut up potatoes to roast, because we want as much of that well browned surface as possible. We leave the skin on the baked potato and leave the potato whole, because we don't want it crusted. The skin protects it and is really what makes it baked or roasted. Or for roasting, we choose a thin skin potato.

That approach breaks down with something like a chicken. I think most people bake a chicken by covering it, at least for most of the time. And they roast it uncovered or cover it after the crust develops. But again, it's back to what we want for the surface, whatever we do to control it. The results may not be much different between the two. But that gets to what I think is a large part of why there are two terms.

Doesn't roasting sound richer? More evocative of holidays and feasts? More classy? More skilled? And doesn't baking, by comparison, sound more routine, more day to day, more pedestrian? More Wednesday night dinner for the family than Sunday afternoon formality? Did anyone ever salivate to the phrase "baked goose"? Has anyone "baked" a duck? And when someone says "baked chicken," I'm more likely to think of it dismembered and baked in a pan than whole. "Roast" just sounds more impressive, more primitive, and, somehow, richer tasting. If you're inviting company to dinner, would say the chicken will be baked, or would you say roasted? Of course you would.
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Old 02-14-2012, 11:23 PM   #14
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Could somebody please queue the Jaws (movie) theme song?

Mumu, if you roast it then it's roasted pork chops. If you bake it then it's baked pork chops. N'est-ce pas?
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Old 02-14-2012, 11:52 PM   #15
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I roast chickens, pork loins and standing roasts on a rotisserie...no baking about it. Over oak or mesquite in the summer, and when it's wet or cold or both, in the kitchen on an old Farberware electric rotisserie. Makes the whole house smell mmmmmmmm...
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Old 02-14-2012, 11:57 PM   #16
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Andy may be on to something with the addition of a fat.
Baked taters don't have it, roasted do.
Roasted chicken is usually drizzled with some oil/fat.
Baked is not (breaded)
Fish....same thing!
Broiled is heated from the top in my book.(still dry heat)

Pan roasted to me means only one thing. Seared thenroasted in an oven.
If it is only cooked in the pan, then it is sauteed/fried/deep fried depending on heat and amount of fat used.

poached/boiled/simmered are equivalant to their heat and amounts of liquid too.
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Old 02-15-2012, 12:01 AM   #17
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I should quit brushing my focaccia with olive oil then.
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Old 02-15-2012, 12:01 AM   #18
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I was under the understanding you roast things with structure, you bake things that form structure. People use the terms interchangeably, though that doesn't make it proper it makes it common.
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Old 02-15-2012, 06:00 AM   #19
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Mumu, you're definately overthinking this.

At base, there is no difference. Baking and roasting are methods of cooking food by surrounding it with dry heat. The process is the same.

In general, the word "baking" is used when there is breading of some sort involved. So, we bake bread. We bake proteins that have been breaded. Etc. But we roast whole cuts, and pieces that have not been breaded.

But there are exceptions. We bake whole potatoes, but roast cut ones, for instance.

Whether a particular recipes says "baked pork chops" or "roasted pork chops," however, is more a matter of convention than definition.

As to your specific question, I wouldn't call it pan roasting at all. To me, the process you described is pan frying. The approach is to brown the chops in very little oil, then finish cooking them in the oven. If I were putting that dish on a menu, neither "baking" nor "roasting" would be part of the description.

Here's a question for you: Why does it matter? It's obviously of some concern to you, so I'm curious as to why.
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Old 02-15-2012, 09:29 AM   #20
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Andy may be on to something with the addition of a fat.
Baked taters don't have it, roasted do.
Roasted chicken is usually drizzled with some oil/fat.
Baked is not (breaded)
Fish....same thing!
Broiled is heated from the top in my book.(still dry heat)...
I am NOT saying that the difference between roasting and baking is fat. I gave a specific example for potatoes as the OP asked that question.

Also, cut up chicken doesn't have to be breaded to be called baked.

I think everybody is trying to put too fine a point on this.
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