Between Roasting and Baking I mean. The technique seems to be the same to me. The meat usually goes into the oven in both cases right? So what the heck is the difference! Isnt Roasting and Baking basically the same?
As I understand it, the word you use depends on what you are putting in the oven. Foods that involve some type of processing before being placed in the oven (doughs that are mixed together, various oven-heated pastas and meats, such as hams, that have been cured) are referred to as "baked". Vegetables and cuts of meat that are merely seaoned beforehand are referred to as "roasted". The difference in terms probably came about back when roasting involved the use of a spit over an open flame instead of an oven. It was a different procedure then, so it had a different name for the cooking method.
There are, of course, exceptions. In my part of the USA, salmon prepared in the oven was/is almost always referred to as "baked salmon", especially when I was younger.
This is somehting that I have always been curious about myself.
My family used to have an oven called an AGA. It was an enormous cast iron thing bohemoth, always on. It was actually an old English style oven. There were four different ovens on it, and each is at a set temperature. They were named differently.
Roasting oven- 450 degrees
Baking oven- 350
Simmering oven- 250
Warming oven- 150
My family got this before I seriously became interested in cooking, so I always figured that Roasting or Baking referred to the temperature. However, I think that Greg's answer makes a little more sense. But then again I don't often hear of people baking things at over 450 degrees.
v. *To oven-cook food in an uncovered pan, a method that usually produces a well-browned exterior and ideally a moist interior. Roasting requires reasonably tender pieces of meat or poultry. Tougher pieces of meat need moist cooking methods such as braising.
To cook food in an oven, thereby surrounding it with dry heat. It's imperative to know the accurate temperature of an oven. Because most of them bake either hotter or cooler than their gauges read, an oven thermometer is vital for accurate temperature readings.
By the way, Cook's Illustrated recently had an article on oven thermometers. They even tested their own ovens for accuracy and were amazed at the variations within each oven and how different they were. Within each oven there were ranges of at least 50 degrees inside the oven. It was a very interesting article. One of the many factors which affected oven temperature within the oven is where the heating element resides and how long it takes to cycle to try to maintain the temperature you have on the dial (if that's accurate in the first place). The element comes on at intervals as specified by the manufacturer. Check out the article if you get a chance, it's very enlightening.
I think McGee did some expounding on the finer points. If memory serves me (which it rarely does), baking invloved ensconcing the food in a heated area- heat coming in from all angles and sides. Roasting, on the other hand, involved a single heat source with no convection/redirection. Thus, as he claimed, many people are actually baking their meats in contrast to what they might think.
Think of baking bread or a pizza in an brick/clay oven where you slide the food in through a very small aperature. Infrared energy is being bounced all around. Now contrast that with roasting a side of meat over a fire where you must turn the food at regular intervals to expose it to the direct heatsource.
Remember that terms such as "roasting" and "baking" pre-date modern equipment such as ovens and oil-drum bar-b-queues.
Just my few thoughts on the subject.
Interesting Monday morning diversion... thinking about it, I would judge most of what we now call "roasting" to be in fact "baking", dry heat or not.
I mean, consider it from a historical perspective... I'm thinking this is an instance of a word hanging on by association and custom, rather than any actual difference in cooking.
Historically speaking, "roasting" would have been carried out over the infamous open fire... spit, boy or dog turning same, and all. Baking happened in a separate oven, dedicated to that use. I suppose when home kitchens got smaller, the institution of the "village baker" died, and the open fire fell out of favour in favour of the stove-with-oven as kitchen appliance, cooks just worked out ways of approximating a "roasted" result with their meats, and called it thus from habit.
Macerating is generally accepted as the soaking of fruit in liquid, be it alcoholic or non-. Marinating is the infusion of flavor via liquid into meats. Perhaps the difference lies in that macerating liquid can be consumed while marinating liquid is assumed to be discarded (unless cooked)?
Roasting & baking - temps and foodstuff. Can't think of any other differences.
Ah ha, again, another issue of confusing terms. Here's how I take these, but of course I'm by no means an expert on such matters:
Macerate- would be to steep a fruit (can't think of any other food) in a liquid, hot or cold, to impart flavor from one to ther other. I.e. macerating strawberries in a simple syrup or Oranges in a wine punch for sangria. You consume both parts and it's mainly to melange the flavors.
Marinate- to soak a meat or other protein food in an acidic liquid, possibly infused with various herbs/flavors, in order to both soften the meat as well as enhance moisture and flavor. The key here is the acidity as you are looking to break down the protein to some extent. Also, most marinades are tossed out rather than used in the cooking.
I'm sure these terms get used interchangeably as well, but this is how my (simple) mind disassociates them.
I have been researching this question endlessly. My Cooking Essentials for the New Professional Chef pages 349 - 350, says that modern roasting is more similar to baking that its original form. And that baking is associated with portion sized foods while roasting is more for large cuts. They also say that this is not an ironclad definition.
Harold McGee's On Food and Cooking page 615 says that baking is where we surround the food with a hot enclosure from 300 -500 degrees F. And with the installation of modern ovens into homes the term roast for a big piece of "baked" meat dates from that era.
Ive decided to ask one of my professors at the CIA, to see what he says. Ill give you an update.
Far be it from me to spoil anyone's fun or interest in learning, but does it really make any difference? As long as it tastes good and you can recreate the cooking or provide someone else with a receipe, do the semantics matter in the end? I'd be most interested in what your profs have to say on the matter!
Here is what my professor at the CIA had to say and his response if very similar to everyone's responses here:
" This is what I call a interesting question with no clear answer.
Whenever we talk about roasting we are talking about browning of meats (Maillard Reaction). When ever we talk about baking we are referring to baking of Bread, Cakes, Cookies etc. which is also called the Maillard Reaction. This means whenever we brown protein, we are applying the same method. Protein starts to brown at about 300° F. Clearly both methods centering around a oven by applying dry heat.
Sometimes we place sautéed or pan-fried items into the oven to achieve the correct internal temperature. Should we call this now Baking or roasting? I call it baking. Or sometimes we cook fish on a sheet pan inside an oven and call it baking the fish. As you can see it becomes complicated. Sometimes we broil fish or vegetables inside an oven with top heat only. It becomes difficult to say. is this not baking or is it broiling? Broiling is normally done inside a broiler which only generates top heat. Not many items are cooked this way because they tend to burn easy, and dry out very fast.
Many people call grilling broiling but mean actually grilling. Grilling also gives us grill marks which taste, and look good. I guess there is no clear answer. I hope this is not confusing the issue, and I hope this will help you.
Oh well, I think I will just stick to my belief about the matter and say that we are really baking and not roasting. :chef:
I've often had a similar question ( I noticed your instructor brought it up, too) about the grilling/broiling/barbequeing set of terms. It seems to me that what most of us call barbequeing is woefully inadequate, originally meant to discribe a cooking method that used low heat, long duration and smoke, like when meat is barbequed in a pit with earth over it. Grilling would seem to be what most of us are really up to with our charcoal and hamburgers, but it's complicated. For example, why do we call it a flat-top "grill"? And what about the process of buttering bread and then "grilling" it, as in grilled cheese sammiches? Neither of those things involve an open flame, a grate, or any sort of marks. Perhaps "flame broiling" is the best term, but one hates to think that Burger King may have been on to something from the outset.
We actually call our burgers "charbroiled" and Ive yet to find out why, but I personally think that they call the grill a "charbroiler" that is where it gets its name. Ive decided to leave the whole complicated matter alone.
That coulda been a typo. Trust me, I work in a diner and Im always editing the spelling on our board. Like Franks and Beens, Cornish Han and Chicken Cardan Blew. And this is the owner creating the menu.