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What is the difference between cooking and baking

What is the Difference Between Cooking & Baking? Resolved

Last Updated on January 31, 2023 by Lori Walker

For many years, it has been accepted that cooking for a loved one is a great way to get them to love you even more. But how does that compare to baking? 

What is the difference between cooking and baking? Let’s find out. 

Cooking & Baking Face Off 

woman cooking

The primary difference between cooking and baking is that cooking requires a wider variety of food preparation methods and edible ingredients like fat-soluble nutrients. 

At the same time, baking needs more specific baking skills like mixing liquid batters and even chemical composition.

Main Differences 

Definition

In the culinary world, cooking is the process of food preparation. This may include cooking food like roast foods, raw food, pasta, and french fries. 

Baking refers to cooking that involves dry heat, which is an indirect heat between the food and any sort of flame. Also, baking uses dry heat cooking that involves food evaporating in an oven until done.

History & Origin

The earliest known cooking was in the early Stone Age when people used fire to cook food. Meanwhile, people baked their bread in the ashes of their fires.

Type of Food

There are three main types of food when it comes to cooking; grains, meats, and vegetables.

On the other hand, there are various ingredients in baking. These include flour, sugar, yeast, and milk. 

Find out you can bake using lactose-free milk here.

Art vs Science

Cooking is considered an art because it involves using creativity and personal interpretation to make visually and tastefully pleasing dishes. It is often more free-form and allows for experimentation and improvisation.

Baking, on the other hand, is considered a science because it requires precise measurements and instructions to achieve the desired results.

Baked goods rely on chemical reactions between ingredients to rise and set properly, and small variations in ingredients or technique can impact the final product.

Flexibility vs Precision

Cooking is flexible, while baking is precise. You can use whatever you have on hand, but baking requires exact measurements and timing using constant dry heat. 

Procedure

The cooking procedure requires mixing ingredients and heating them to produce a meal or snack. Whereas baking is getting the right temperature and timing. 

Chef vs Cook

A chef is a professional trained in culinary arts who typically manages a kitchen and creates dishes, while a cook is a person who prepares food, often working under the direction of a chef.

Chefs often have more advanced training and experience and may specialize in certain cuisine or cooking techniques.

Is Cooking Similar to Baking? 

kneading a dough

Cooking and baking are similar in that they both involve preparing food, but they also have significant differences.

Cooking [1] is a more general term that encompasses various techniques and methods, such as sautéing, grilling, and roasting.

”Baking is how you start kids at cooking in the kitchen.”

Sandra Lee, Chef

Baking is a specific form of cooking that uses dry heat, typically in an oven, to cook food. Baking often requires precise measurements and instructions to achieve the desired results.

Cooking & Baking Comparison Chart 

CategoryCookingBaking 
AppliancesAir Fryer, StoveConvection ovens, bread maker
ToolsDeep fryer, Field kitchen, Fire potKitchen Scale, Cake Pan, measuring cups
MethodsThe meaning is “to cook” or “to prepare by heating.” Initially referred to baked food made with yeast dough. 
History & OriginIt is believed that early humans first used fire to cook food.The world’s oldest recorded oven dates back 6,500 years.
PopularityCooking has been growing steadily across the world. Baking eventually spread across the world.
RangeThe range of cooking equipment is worldwide.Baking as a hobby is worldwide. 
NutritionThe cooking method you choose can affect the nutritional value of your food [2].Baked goods are typically high in carbohydrates.
Products & IngredientsMeat, Vegetables, FruitDough, Baking Powder, Flour

FAQs

Can baking be called cooking?

Yes, baking can be considered a type of cooking. Baking is a specific cooking method involving using dry heat, typically in an oven, to cook food.

It is one of the many forms of cooking that exist, alongside methods like sautéing, grilling, roasting, and many more. 

Which is healthier, baking or cooking?

Cooking is generally considered healthier because it typically involves less added fat and sugar than baking. Baking often involves using butter, sugar, and other unhealthy ingredients, whereas cooking can involve mostly healthy ingredients like vegetables and lean proteins.

Is baking easier than cooking?

No. Baking might be more difficult for some individuals since it calls for exact quantities and frequently takes longer. It’s also a skill that needs practice since it involves chemical composition.

But what can you do if you want to take up baking as a hobby?

What is the difference between a bakery and a kitchen?

The main difference between a bakery and a kitchen is that a bakery is open to the public and offers fresh goods to customers, while most kitchens are private. 

Final Words

Cooking and baking are two distinct methods of preparing food, each with its own set of techniques and characteristics.

Cooking is a more general term that encompasses a wide variety of techniques, such as sautéing, grilling, and roasting, while baking is a specific form of cooking that involves using dry heat, typically in an oven, to cook food.

Both methods can be used to create healthy and nutritious meals, but it’s important to pay attention to the specific ingredients and cooking methods used to make healthier choices.

References:

  1. https://medium.com/this-shall-be-our-story/what-is-cooking-d1c54247e767
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15826055/
Lori Walker

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