Appreciating the Difference between Cooking and Baking

Jonathan Vrban holds a doctor of nursing practice and is trained in family medicine. He currently lives in Hawaii and in Italy. Outside of his professional activities, Jonathan Vrban enjoys writing his own recipes as an amateur cook and baker.

While some individuals may use the terms “cooking” and “baking” interchangeably, there are a number of differences between the two processes, particularly when it comes to the types of food that are being prepared. Baking refers to the process of working with a flour-based food that requires heat from an oven to set its structure. Common foods that fall under the baked-goods umbrella include cookies, cake, muffins, various breads and loaves, and a number of additional desserts and breakfast foods.

Cooking, meanwhile, is a broader term that encompasses a number of different techniques, including baking. Other styles of cooking include roasting and dry heat cooking. When a chef chooses to roast a meal, he or she cooks meat or vegetables by exposing the food to a radiant heat source. While roasting can take place in an oven, an open flame, like that provided by an outdoor grill or barbecue setup, may be preferred.

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