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The main difference between cooking and baking is that cooking involves all the methods of cooking food, whereas baking is a special type of cooking by using dry heat.
Cooking vs. Baking
Cooking and baking are the terms that are almost used everywhere and every day. Both these forms require various edible ingredients, skill, and knowledge. They both involve cutting, chopping, mixing, and stirring. And they both can create good things to eat. Both these terms involve heat and the methods to prepare food, but there is a little difference between them. Cooking involves all the methods of cooking food; on the other hand, baking is a special type of cooking in which we cook food by using dry heat, mainly in the oven. So, cooking is a superset, whereas baking is a subset. Generally, cooking is considered as an “art” because here we are free to change the ingredients or measurements based on our preference on the flip side, baking is considered as “science” because it needs precise and accurate measurements of the ingredients.
What is Cooking?
Cooking is a method of food preparation by using heat and manipulating the chemical properties of the ingredients. Cooking can be performed at home or commercial level. Raw food, whether it is vegetables or meat, is not only hard to eat but also unpalatable. It is harmful to eat uncooked food because of the presence of bacteria and other dangerous microorganisms in it. Man has learned from very early times that applying heat to vegetables and meats turned them into a food item that is delicious to eat. To make food more delicious and wholesome, man has been trying different methods of cooking for many years. Nowadays, the art of cooking has been enriched by using different methods of preparation and by the addition of various ingredients like herbs and spices. The ingredients used in cooking are usually living organisms and many other naturally occurring substances like animal meat, dairy, vegetables, fruits, herbs, spices, eggs, fungi (e.g., mushrooms and yeast), water, and minerals (e.g., salt), etc. When exposed to heat, the appearance, texture, flavor, and even chemical composition of the ingredients may change. Some of them may become softer and tender, while others become firmer (e.g., eggs). Food may also shrink because the moisture evaporates and becomes steam. Some ingredients may become brighter, while others darken. Moreover, the nutrients, flavors, and vitamins can be lessened. The aroma of the cooking food is actually the flavor of the food evaporating into the air. Different methods are used while cooking like Grilling, baking, roasting, boiling, braising, frying, simmering, searing, steaming and sautéing, etc.
What is Baking?
Baking is a way of cooking food by using dry heat. The source of this heat may be burned wood, gas, coal, or electricity. The constant flow of dry heat during baking may alter the chemical composition of some foods. For example, when steady heat travels through bread dough it becomes firmer and darker, liquid batter changes into a soft crust, and scoops of dough spread out and become flat. It also tends to reduce the vitamins and minerals of the food. It may also produce acrylamide, a carcinogen which is produced when the food is exposed to high temperature. Baking is used to make lasagna, cakes, cupcakes, muffins, pizza, biscuits, cookies, pies, tarts, and scones, etc. It may also be used in cooking vegetables and meat.
- Cooking is a broad term that includes all the methods of making food whereas a special type of cooking by using dry heat especially in the oven is known as baking
- Cooking is a superset, i.e., it is a broad term on the flip side; baking is a subset.
- Cooking is considered as an “art” because here we are free to change the ingredients or measurements based on our preference, on the other hand, baking is considered as “science” because it needs precise and accurate measurements of the ingredients.
- Cooking can be done on an open fire or makes use of a medium such as oil or water to provide heat to the raw meats and vegetables conversely; baking makes use of indirect and dry heat in an oven to prepare the food.
- Cooking is considered as not a healthy method of making food on the flip side; baking is a fast and healthier method of cooking.
- Cooking involves various types of food recipes on the other side; baking brings in mind the images of biscuits, pastries, bread and, cakes, etc.
From the above discussion, it is cleared that cooking is a broad term that includes all the methods of cooking food, whereas baking is a type of cooking in which food is prepared by using dry heat.