Cooking vs Baking
The invention of fire was a big milestone in terms of allowing man to prepare food for eating as fire made the game man hunted more delicious and palatable. Cooking started on an open fire and till today gas stove provides the naked fire over which we cook food in different cookware. However, there are many more ways of preparing food such as grilling, steaming, baking etc. In fact, baking inside microwave ovens has emerged as a very popular method of cooking as it is believed to be a lot healthier than plain cooking. There are some more differences between cooking and baking that will be highlighted in this article.
Raw food, whether it is meat or vegetables, is not only unpalatable but also hard to eat. It is also harmful to consume because of the presence of bacteria. Man learnt from very early times that applying heat through fire to meats turned raw meat into food item that was delicious to eat. Man, in his quest to master how to make food more delicious and wholesome, has been trying different methods of cooking. The art of cooking has been enriched by different methods of preparation and addition of various ingredients like spices and herbs.
The basic principle of cooking food has all along been the same which is to apply heat to the raw food. For long food was cooked over fire by applying direct heat. The invention of pressure cooker and other utensils to allow for pressure to build up inside to generate steam and cook the food has hastened the process of cooking.
Over time, several more methods of cooking became popular because of convenience and health reasons. However, gas stove has remained the primary method of cooking all over the world with food being prepared in an oily medium, to prevent the indirect heat of fire from burning the raw materials such as meats and vegetables. Oil has also given birth to an altogether different method of cooking called frying.
When one hears the word baking, the images of pastries, biscuits, cakes etc immediately comes to mind. This is because baking is all about applying dry heat to the food material rather than cooking it over direct heat. Baking is a subtype of cooking only but has become very popular as it makes very little, if any, use of oil to prepare the food items, thus being healthier than traditional cooking. Baking is dependent upon leavening agents such as yeast and flours along with water and milk to make various bakery products such as muffins, pies, pastries, cakes, biscuits etc.
What is the difference between Cooking and Baking?
• Cooking is a broad category of methods used to prepare food for eating and baking is just a way of cooking
• Cooking can be on an open fire or makes use of a medium such as water or oil to provide heat to the raw meats and vegetables. On the other hand, baking makes use of dry and indirect heat in an oven to prepare the food
• Cooking brings to mind images of food recipes that are varied while baking brings to mind images of biscuits, pastries, cakes, breads etc
• Baking is considered a fast and healthier method of cooking