What's the Difference Between Bake and Broil?
The oven, such a trivial object! We use it daily, sometimes very mechanically, without thinking about it too much, because its use is part of a routine.
Still, it’s a good thing to stop and just ask ourselves if we are using it properly, to get an optimal result for the meals we cook. A simple question has been asked to us a couple times in the past; what is the difference between bake and broil?
These options are two different cooking methods we can find on our oven’s dashboard. But what are these two options? What are the differences between both? What should we prefer for a certain food or another?
Let’s start off with Bake! This function uses convection to heat foods, meaning a hot air movement happens inside the oven, and this heat surrounds your meal, top, bottom, and sides – and gets to the centre of it at a certain point during the process.
This convection acts as an indirect heat cooking and is, therefore, a less quick method.
We will prefer this option for baked goods, such as cakes, cookies, muffins, bread, but also one-pot meals; casseroles, meat pies, lasagnas, etc.
N.B. For lasagna, you should choose the 45-5 strategy; 45 minutes baking, 5 minutes broiling. That way, the cheese gets an appetizing golden-brown color and a nice crispness on the surface.
Next comes the Broil option. Unlike Bake, which uses indirect heat, Broil works with direct heat, more precisely with what we call infrared radiation, coming from these metal rods placed above the oven racks. Cooking is therefore quicker. And, by the way, you have nothing to be scared of here, as infrared radiation has nothing to do with nuclear radiation. Infrared is totally healthy, according to many scientific researches.
This infrared acts like your barbecue would in the case of a direct heat cooking. It will sear the food and give it, when the context so allows, a caramelization.
As opposed to Bake, the Broil cooking method only heats the top of the food. Therefore, it should be prioritized for thin meat cuts, not higher than 1.5 inches or 4 cm. You can also use Broil for fish and veggies.
What about Roast?
Certain people also have an option called Roast on their oven. What about it? What is it?
If your appliance doesn’t have this button, it isn’t innocuous. Essentially, it’s just playing with the wording, because roasting will accomplish the same job as baking. Why then do we say that it’s playing with words?
Baking means taking soft, unstructured food and making it firm. Bread, for example. Roasting means taking firm, structured food and making it soft and tender. Here, the example would be meat or vegetables.
In other words, you will get slightly the same cooking result for both, whether you bake or roast.
Thereupon, are you more Broil, Bake, or Roast? Feel free to comment below!