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cooking terms

walnut May 1, 2012 01:45 PM

needing some advice on this.... usually if some one says they had roasted turkey i usually think of a crisp skin nicely brown whole turkey and if one said they had baked chicken i wouldnt think of a crisp skin just a little brown . But they say bake for pastry and roast for meats and the two words are interchangeable?so one can not go by if they say roast to mean a crispy skin? If cooked some meat...what do u tell some one roasted or baked........ when does it become baked and or roasted? some recipe books dont even define roast. Any advice,again thanks.( example baked potato.........roasted potato. some one said thats how they remember roast and bake.)

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  1. Hank Hanover RE: walnut May 1, 2012 01:54 PM

    As you said. Meat cooked in the oven is roasted. The term baked refers to a bread or pastry product. If they put it in a closed vessel with a little moisture at low temperature, it is braised.

    A vessel with moisture can be steaming, such as chicken in a pig bladder. Don't laugh I saw it and I can't afford it.

    As you might suspect, there is no food police (at least not yet) to keep people from using the term baking when the term roasting would be more appropriate.

    Bottom line, I try not to use the term baked when referring to meat. However, I am sure that I have committed that misdemeanor.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Hank Hanover
      chowser RE: Hank Hanover May 1, 2012 02:03 PM

      I don't think there's a defined line. Baked fish is more commonly used than roasted fish. When we do parts of meat, eg. chicken thighs, they're baked, not roasted. Meatloaf is baked to me. Potatoes are baked when whole but roasted when cut into pieces. It's just idiomatic.

      1. re: chowser
        Hank Hanover RE: chowser May 1, 2012 02:40 PM

        Yeah... I try not to get into definition conflicts as it is a waste of time, imho. As long as the food tastes good, I don't care. That being said, I try to be consistent with my terms here but I am sure I fail.

    2. g
      GH1618 RE: walnut May 1, 2012 01:55 PM

      Michael Ruhlman, in The Elements of Cooking, defines "roast" as dry-heat cooking in a hot oven to produce the "brown" flavors associated with browned meats and caramelized vegetables. He writes that the technique and term usually apply to large cuts of meat and whole birds.

      He does not define "bake."

      1 Reply
      1. re: GH1618
        todao RE: GH1618 May 1, 2012 03:49 PM

        Well, that's pretty clear. Based upon all I've read here thus far, the defining line is whether or not the dish is browned when it is cooked in the oven. We can bake without roasting but we can't roast without baking.
        Walnut: It is probably, as chowser pointed out, idiomatic. But because the majority of our members tend to be allocentric, we don't typically challenge the use of terms when the essential elements of the advice/suggestion/recommenation posted remain valid.
        Go ahead and braise a chicken in the oven; call it roasted. That'll be just fine.

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