Baking is a food cooking method using prolonged dry heat acting by convection, and not by thermal radiation, normally in an oven, but also in hot ashes, or on hot stones. When the desired temperature is reached within the heating instrument, the food is placed inside and baked for a certain amount of time.
Baking is primarily used for the preparation of bread, cakes, pastries and pies, tarts, quiches, cookies and crackers. It is also used for the preparation of baked potatoes, baked apples, baked beans, some casseroles and pasta dishes such as lasagna. 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.
The baking process does not require any fat to be used to cook in an oven. So, unlike other cooking methods, baking does not alter the nutritional information of the food item.