Baking is the technique of prolonged cooking of food by dry heat acting by convection, and not by radiation, normally in an oven. Sometimes baking is possible in hot ashes, or on hot stones It is primarily used for the preparation of bread, cakes, pastries and pies, cookies, crackers and tarts. Such items are sometimes referred to as “baked goods“, and are usualy sold at a bakery or grocery store.
A person who prepares baked goods as a profession is called a baker. It is also used for the preparation of baked potatoes, baked apples, baked beans, some casseroles and pasta dishes such as lasagna, and various other foods, such as the pretzel.
Meat may also be baked, but this is usually reserved for meatloaf, smaller cuts of whole meats, and whole meats that contain stuffing or coating such as breadcrumbs or buttermilk batter. Larger cuts prepared without stuffing or coating are more often roasted. Roasting is a similar process, using higher temperatures and shorter cooking times.
Baking can sometimes be combined with grilling to produce a hybrid barbecue variant, by using both methods simultaneously or one before the other, cooking twice. Baking is connected to barbecuing because the concept of the masonry oven is similar to that of a smoke pit.
The baking process does not require any fat to be used to cook in an oven but little bit of olive/corn oil is usually added into the process.