Baking is necessarily one of the earliest ways of cooking food. It is the application of dry heat to cook food within an enclosed space, usually an oven. Baking has been synonymous with pastries, bread, and cakes. It is not just exclusive to these, and there are other foods that need this cooking method too. Baking holds a cultural and religious significance to some cultures around the world. And especially those who are reliant on bread. This cooking method is also a fundamental part of their daily lives and food consumption.
Advantages of Baked Foods
One of the defining traits of baking food is the use of little to no fat at all. As you can see, baking requires a closed environment and enough heat to cook food. Also, it is essential to take note that the needed heat is trapped within the cooking equipment. This accumulated heat helps releases stored fats from the food that is being cooked. Sometimes oiling the food is required so that it won’t stick to the pan or just a catalyst to start the baking process.
Just imagine this – your baked roast is more delicious because of its fat used in cooking it. Thus, this also makes the roast juicier and more abundant in flavor compared to frying or grilling. Just take note to follow baking or cooking instructions to get your desired doneness of the dish. Also, spices and herbs’ essences can effectively permeate to the meat. Or any meal due to the trapped heat, making it more flavorful.
Of course, baking also has its disadvantages as well. If we talk about fat use, surely baking uses some amount of it, compared to boiling or steaming. This added fat during baking can add to the food’s calorie content. Thus, making it less healthy than steaming or boiling.
Another downside of baking is the time required to cook food using this method. Usual baking time ranges from 10 minutes up to several hours, depending on the kind of dish being prepared. Also, you need some cooking equipment to provide that trapped, dry heat, such as an oven or a dutch oven.
Baking To Frying
Now that we already have an idea on how baking works, let’s discuss how the frying method. Everyone knows these methods. Because of, let’s face it, this is the most convenient way of cooking food at homes. Of course, the main difference between the two is the use of fat (oil). If you are looking for a much healthier way of cooking, then opt for the baking method. If you want it done quickly, then I guess, go for the frying process. Of course, specific recipes call for different kind of cooking methods. So follow the recipe for an optimum result.
An advantage of frying is for the food to have a crispy exterior with excellent browning, together with a moist interior. Thus, this is best for pork chops and fried chicken.
Baking To Air-Frying
Another modern innovation is the air fryer. And which is an oven but the air inside is rushing. Compared to air fryers, the heating elements within the walls of its interior provide hot air in circular motion. In air fryers, hot air is moved rapidly by a fan inside the chamber. Thus, this simulates the effects of the food being deep fried. Basically “frying food without oil.”
Both cooking method uses the same principles. Except for a few differences between them. For one, how the distribution of heat inside the cooking vessel. And two, the amount of time needed to cook the food. (In which baking takes a longer time to bake than air frying). It still depends on what method the recipe needs. And some recipes also have the option to cook it both ways, with varying cooking times.
Baking is a proven and tested method of cooking for thousands of years. And is a widely known method of cooking in any culture. In the end, it is still up to the recipe on how it is prepared. Baking does have its excellent points and flaws, yet is arguably one of the healthiest ways to cook food out there.