Is Baking or Cooking Harder? Everything You Need to Know

Mar 15th 2022 - Moe Soloff Baking,  Cooking, 

Is Baking or Cooking Harder? Everything You Need to Know

Back in 2020, people all over America all seemed to adopt the same hobby at the same time: baking all sorts of treats. Yet, many of them quickly discovered that baking wasn't as easy as it seemed. Why didn't we see this same reaction to cooking at home rather than eating out?

When you head to a nice restaurant, you may order an entrée and a dessert. What you may not realize is that those two recipes were almost definitely prepared by different people. Professionals tend to choose between baking or cooking and learn how to become an expert at one or the other.

The question is, is baking harder than cooking? Can cooking become just as challenging, if not more so, than baking? We're here to answer all of your questions.

Read on as we decide once and for if baking or cooking is the more difficult task.

What Is the Difference Between Cooking and Baking?

Why do people use the terms cooking and baking to mean different things? Are there are any skills from one that can transfer to the other?

The reality is that cooking refers to a broad set of skills and methods. This can include things like frying, sautéing, steaming, grilling, and, you guessed it, baking. You do often bake the recipes that you cook, which can blur the lines just a bit.

Baking, on the other hand, refers to a fairly specific method of cooking and it tends to imply a specific type of recipe. Baking always occurs by way of dry heat, most often in the oven. It also tends to refer to recipes for desserts, pastries, and breads, rather than grains, produce, and meat.

Things to Know About Baking

There are plenty of benefits of baking that make it a worthwhile venture. For example, there is something distinctly rewarding about being able to take simple ingredients like flour, salt, sugar, and eggs and turn them into a delicious and warming treat. Yet, baking can come with a steep learning curve; let's explore the reasons for that.

What Can Make Baking Difficult

If you're wondering why baking is difficult, the simplest answer is that it is a science. When you're baking anything, from a batch of cookies to a loaf of bread, you need to use the ingredients that will not only taste good together but will lead to the proper chemical reaction. This is why if you mistake baking soda for baking powder, to use one of many examples, your recipe is not going to turn out right at all.

The truth is that it can be much harder to correct an error when baking than when cooking. When baking, you're most actively involved when combining your ingredients. Whether they go straight into the oven or have to sit and rise for a few hours, there's not much (if anything) that you can do to add, remove, or adjust any ingredients. In other words, it may not seem like a forgiving endeavor.

Can Baking Be Easy?

Because you have the most control over baking when you're mixing ingredients, it's helpful to start with simple recipes. When you don't have to use a dozen ingredients or follow a dozen complicated steps, there is less room for error. 

If you want to learn to bake, don't dive in on the deep end with a soufflé or sourdough recipe; start with something manageable and gain knowledge as you go. In baking it's always important to have the little baking tools, especially when decorating cakes and cookies.

Things to Know About Cooking

Cooking is another rewarding and worthwhile endeavor and one that arguably everyone should tackle. While you can't survive on baking skills, alone, you can go a long way when you've learned a few different types of cooking. However, that doesn't mean that cooking is always easy; let's take a closer look.

What Can Make Cooking Difficult

The challenges of cooking often lie in the recipe or cuisine you're trying to learn. For example, trying to learn how to cook a more complicated or aromatic cuisine, like French or Indian, can take skill, intuition, practice, and attention to detail. Cooking may also become easier when you've got a good grasp on things like knife cuts, proper temperatures for food safety, and the art of pairing different spices.

Cooking is typically more forgiving than baking but that doesn't always mean that it's easy. Some mistakes can be difficult to correct, like over-salting. Others can be impossible to correct, like over-cooking.

Can Cooking Be Easy?

The good news is that cooking can be easy if you, once again, start with simple recipes. It's very important to have the right cooking equipment which can add up a lot. 

As you cook, take note of the flavor profiles you like, the skills that will require extra practice, and what happens when you add salts, acids, fats, or heat to your food. Consider cooking recipes that you're familiar with eating so that it's easier to note where you've gone wrong or where you could improve.

Is One Really Harder Than the Other?

At the end of the day, there is no definitive answer to this question. Both baking and cooking can be difficult but when you have the right tools and work hard to build up your knowledge and skill set, you can become adept at both. Don't give up if you struggle at the beginning; keep pushing forward and you'll see yourself improving in no time!

Get the Tools You Need to Become a Pro

People always want to know if baking or cooking is more difficult and the answer is that both can be difficult at first. If you want to learn how to do either, make sure that you start out with some reliable, high-quality equipment.

At Culinary Depot, we provide the tools of the trade for professional and home chefs and bakers. To find out more about our smallwares or to inquire about your order, contact us today.