Dry-hot cooking: All you need to know

Dry hot cooking is the technique in which there is no role of moisture or a liquid medium in the process. The food gets cooked with the heat which is produce by dry hot air. This method requires very high temperature that is 300°F or often hotter. Roasting and baking are the types of dry hot cooking which are performed in an oven now a days. In both the process browning is done on the surface of the food which brings out amazing flavors and fantastic aroma.

1. How to roast?

Roasting process can be performed in an open flame, oven or indirect heat source. In this technique of cooking the food remains uncovered during the process to avoid moisture or steam. Roasting caramelize or brown the surface of the food, which generates a flavor. It is said that it increases the taste of the food. Roasting make use of more indirect heat (as in an oven). We can say that roasting is a process of baking with much more heat. It is apt for slower cooking. We can roast nuts, meat, most root and bulb vegetables.

a. Roasting essentials:

In the process the food can be placed on a rack, a pan or, a spit or rotisserie. The spit offers the even heating of the food. Roasting in oven when performed the hot air revolves around the food, and it is cooked evenly on all side. To roast the food appropriately we require a combination of low-temperature as well as high-temperature roasting.

It can be done on a low temperature oven with range from 95 °C to 160 °C (200 °F to 325 °F. This is called slow-roasting. The advantage of slow-roasting is that the food doesn’t loose it’s moisture in a little amount and we get a softer food item. While on actual roasting temperatures, 200 °C (400 °F) or more, the moisture of the food item is lost very fast. The technique is done on the food items (solid) which retain their shape as it is even after the cooking like potato and other vegetables, nuts, meat etc.

b. Quick tips:

Roasting at high temperatures has advantages like if you make a small cut on the food item like in filet mignon, then the roasting will be completed without much loss of moisture. The combination of high heat and low heat cooking is just perfect for appropriate roasting. The process involves making the surface of the food golden brown in color but the moisture of the food is retained. In this

c. Things you should avoid:

Never cover the food while you are roasting using indirect heat. It can generate steam and you are not supposed to cook the food in moisture. It is a moisture free cooking technique.

2. How to bake?

It is a process which involves a low temperature cooking technique in an oven. It can also be performed in hot ashes, or on hot stones. It is used for making bread, cakes, pastries, pies, biscuits, cookies, pizza base etc. These food items are termed baked items. the food dough or batter is placed inside the preheated oven for sometime may be from half an hour to one hour at a low temperature. however some items require a combination of low and high temperature.

a. Baking essentials:

In this technique of cooking you need to bake the food item at a low temperature say about 100 degree F to 200 degree F. It can be performed in a oven which provides heat in convection and conduction form. Microwave has made work easier. In the process the food item gains some shape and gets fluffed like the batter of the cake get into a beautiful shape.

The process of baking also involves caramelization and browning of the surface by changing the form of starch present in the food. It then provides a beautiful look and ultimate taste to the food item. During the whole process of baking the moisture remains inside the food but once the baking is done the moisture is almost lost completely. It has benefits when you are performing the process for drying like drying herbs and spices.

b. Quick tips

The technique doesn’t involve any fat in the cooking process while cooking in an oven. Rather it helps in reducing the calorie content of the deep fried food. It’s a good substitute. For large scale baking the open furnaces are available. you can use various kind of molds to bake the food and can get the desire shape food. Kids just love different shapes of cookies and cakes.

c. Things you should avoid

You must keep a check on oven or else the food can be over baked and may become very hard. Initially you need to preheat the oven ( in most of the cases). The container which has to be kept in the oven should be of high heat resistant element. Microwave however supports cooking in good plastic cookware.

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