The difference between baking and roasting a potato ?
I thought baking and roasting meant putting them in the oven with a bit of oil on them.
Hi, baking and roasting are very similar terms. Actually, when we think about roasting or baking, one of the first things that comes to our minds is an oven. So it's very easy to relate both terms when we read a recipe.
Many people think that the difference between baking and roasting is that baking refers to breads, cakes, pastries, pies, etc. and roasting refers to meat, fish or vegetables. But both, baking and roasting, are almost identical cooking methods. The difference is that when roasting, we generally cook meat or vegetables over an open flame, with a slightly higher temperature, like a grill, for example. Also, when roasting, the meat or vegetables are regularly cooked without additional liquids.
Let's use potatoes as an example:
When roasting potatoes, we first peel them (most of the time, not always) or cut them unless they are baby potatoes. Then we place the potatoes in a roasting pan with some oil or any other form of fat. The cooking temperature when roasting is different from baking. You can notice that recipes usually ask for a roasting temperature of about 400 degrees Fahrenheit (that's 205 degrees C) as average. On the contrary, when baking vegetables like potatoes (we usually leave the skin on) or cakes, recipes require a temperature usually between 325 degrees Fahrenheit (that's 160 degrees C).
If you have noticed, ovens usually have a bake setting and a roast setting. (If haven't noticed, look at your oven and check it out).
There is also another cooking method similar to roasting and that is called "broiling". Now, roasting and broiling are different, too. When broiling, food is exposed almost directly under the heating source. When broiling, you can notice that food has a "grilled" flavor. The temperature when broiling is also different. when broiling , the temperature can reach 500 degrees F (that's about 260 degrees C).
These cooking methods may seem a little confusing, but the key here is the temperature and the way you cook the food. The most important is to follow the recipe step by step and, if you still have any doubt, you can compare the recipe to similar ones and see if there is any variation in temperature, for example. Baked, roasted, or broiled, potatoes taste great no matter what cooking method you use!