Q: What’s the difference between baking and roasting?
A: The differences between these two are subtle. Both usually involve an open pan, dry heat and dry conditions.
While some people use the terms interchangeably, many cooks consider roasting to involve high heat while baking uses lower heat. In general, we refer to roasting meat, poultry and vegetables, while we bake fish, seafood, cookies and cakes.
Maybe the real difference isn’t how we cook, but the results: Foods that are roasted often are allowed to brown, even char a little in spots, to develop caramelization. That brown crust on a prime rib or crusty broccoli would be a product of roasting, while the soft, golden crust on a cake or loaf of bread would come from baking.
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Kathleen Purvis, Charlotte Observer