Baking and Roasting

Joined Jan 10, 2010
A friend recently asked me what the difference is between roasting and baking, and I could not answer her to my (or her) satisfaction. Can anyone jump in with an explanation?

Joined Feb 13, 2008
There's really no difference in a modern oven.

In the old times, roasted items saw the fire pretty clearly, but baked goods didn't. Typically, a roast was cooked in or in front of a fireplace, while things which were baked were cooked in an oven or spider (usually in the same fireplace). In physics of cooking words, "roast" meant heat was transferred via proportionally more radiant energy, while "baked" meant the transference was by relatively more convection energy.

But now, alla time same same. We stick with the old terms for no particularly good reasons, other than linguistic habit.

We talk about "roasting" meat and "baking" bread as though it were meaningful, even though they might be done in the same oven, on identical sheet pans, at the same temperature, and at the same time. Human beings and their languages. Oy.

Hope this helped,
Joined May 29, 2006
Both are dry heat, and the same, some ovens however are made for baking specifics like Pizza which can go to higher temps .
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