The words “baking” and “roasting” are often used interchangeably, but they aren’t quite the same thing.

In professional cooking, to bake food is to surround it with hot air (not necessarily intensely hot) and is usually applied to breads, pastries, vegetables and fish. Roasting is a more specific term, usually applied to meats and poultry, although the technique is essentially the same. Roasting, however, can be done on a spit or in front of an open fire.

Bake (?), v. t. [imp.& p. p. Baked (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Baking.] [AS. bacan; akin to D. bakken, OHG. bacchan, G. backen, Icel. & Sw. baca, Dan. bage, Gr. to roast.]


To prepare, as food, by cooking in a dry heat, either in an oven or under coals, or on heated stone or metal; as, to bake bread, meat, apples.

Baking is the term usually applied to that method of cooking which exhausts the moisture in food more than roasting or broiling; but the distinction of meaning between roasting and baking is not always observed.


To dry or harden (anything) by subjecting to heat, as, to bake bricks; the sun bakes the ground.


To harden by cold.

The earth . . . is baked with frost. Shak.

They bake their sides upon the cold, hard stone. Spenser.


© Webster 1913.

Bake, v. i.


To do the work of baking something; as, she brews, washes, and bakes.



To be baked; to become dry and hard in heat; as, the bread bakes; the ground bakes in the hot sun.


© Webster 1913.

Bake, n.

The process, or result, of baking.


© Webster 1913.

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