What Is the Difference Between Braising and Roasting?

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The techniques of braising and roasting are integral cooking skills that transform ordinary ingredients into meals that will impress even your most critical dinner guests. Incorporating either method makes a meal feel special and will fill your home with a tantalizing aroma long before the dish is brought to the table.

Roasting and braising are ideal for tougher cuts of meat that are often less expensive but require a little more love to coax out their virtues. They are also optimal ways to turn an ordinary root vegetable into something extraordinary.

Fall is the perfect time to invite braising and roasting into your cooking arsenal. Even though both techniques rely on longer cooking times and are transformative in their ability to turn an ordinary ingredient into something exceptional, there are significant differences between them.

Related Reading: Easy Weeknight Dinners for Our 15 Favorite Fall Ingredients
Chowhound’s Pressure Cooker Braised Beef Short Rib recipe

Braising is a method that relies upon both wet and dry techniques to complete the cooking process. An ingredient is typically quickly seared in a very hot pan to jumpstart the method. It is then placed in the oven to complete the process. Liquid is added during the second phase and the cooking temperature is low to medium, enabling enough time for the ingredient to become tender and flavorful.

A Dutch oven is a great tool for braising, as you can use it on the stovetop to brown the meat and vegetables, then add liquid and cover with the lid to braise on the stove or in the oven.
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This low and slow cooking method is ideal for tougher cuts of meat since it transforms its collagen into gelatin which thickens the cooking sauce and adds luxurious flavor. Beef stew, short ribs, oxtail, pork belly, and chicken legs are all ideal braising partners, as are root vegetables, Brussels sprouts, and just about anything else that will hold up during the process and benefit from a velvety sauce and enticing flavor.
Chowhound’s Basic Roast Turkey recipe

Roasting is a process that relies upon dry heat to complete the cooking process. This can be completed in a roasting pan or sheet tray in the oven, on a grill, or even an open flame. The temperature varies from low to high depending upon the ingredient and desired outcome.

The tempting flavor of roasted dishes comes from the caramelization or browning that takes place as it cooks. Basting with liquid throughout the process increases the flavor and also prevents scorching.

Related Reading: Why Roasting Makes Vegetables Taste Sweeter

Roasting results in a drier external surface than braising but as long as the temperature is controlled and the ingredients are basted properly, the interior is usually moist and tender. Chicken, beef, pork, fish, and countless vegetables are ideal dancing partners for roasting.
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A Dutch oven can be used for roasting too, but we often prefer a rimmed baking sheet, or for large hunks of meat (including a Thanksgiving turkey), a roasting pan with a rack to elevate the protein.
Braising & Roasting Recipes
Now that you know the difference, try some of these recipes that demonstrate each technique.
Braised Balsamic Glazed Short Ribs View this post on Instagram

#instapot braised balsamic short ribs fall apart tender and super simple!!!! Coming up on the blog soon!!! #easyrecipes #pressurecooker #foodpics #foodporn #foodie #delish #delicious @instantpots #nomnomnom #paleo #delicious‼️

A post shared by Mila (@girlandthekitchen) on Apr 1, 2017 at 10:11am PDT

Braising and short ribs were made for one another. Short ribs are an inexpensive, tough cut of meat but braising coaxes out their velvety texture and rich, deep flavor. The most excellent union is celebrated in this recipe with the addition of a rich, sweet and sour balsamic glaze. Get the Instant Pot Short Ribs recipe.
Garlic Braised Chicken Legs View this post on Instagram

Garlic braised chicken legs are on #tsphappy today!

A post shared by Melissa Belanger (@simplywhisked) on Mar 18, 2015 at 10:51am PDT

This wonder of a meal is sure to satisfy a hunger crowd just in from the cold and enough flavor to impress the most finicky amongst them. Chicken drumsticks are braised slowly with white wine, garlic, and chicken broth in a simple recipe that is as easy and inexpensive as it is flavorful and comforting. Get the Garlic Braised Chicken Legs recipe.
Orange-Braised Carrots and Parsnips View this post on Instagram

Orange Braised Carrots and Parsnips. You can find the recipe on my blog.

A post shared by Olga's Flavor Factory (@olgasflavorfactory) on Nov 20, 2014 at 2:49pm PST

Braising isn’t just for chicken, beef, or pork. It’s also a lovely way to transform ordinary root vegetables like the carrots and parsnips in this recipe into a side or main course that is as healthful as it is satisfying. Orange juice plus its zest, oregano, and thyme ratchet up the appeal while chicken stock adds depth and nuance. Get the Orange-Braised Carrots and Parsnips recipe.
Crispy Lemon Roasted Brussels Sprouts View this post on Instagram

You asked… so here it is! ROASTED VEGETABLES 101. Literally all you need to know to up your veggie / healthy meal prep game. Swipe to see the 6 veggies we’re starting with! I’ll add more every few weeks. And bookmark the blog post now, you’re gonna need these tips for life 🥕🥦

A post shared by whatsgabycookin (@whatsgabycookin) on Feb 5, 2019 at 12:06pm PST

Brussels sprouts are begging for a long roasting process that transforms them into tender bites of fall flavor while blackening their leaves for just the right amount of crispy toastiness. With just six ingredients and a few minutes of preparation time, this is the ideal recipe for a weeknight meal that needs something a little extra. Lemons add brightness, punching up the flavor even more. Get the Crispy Lemon Roasted Brussels Sprouts recipe.
Roast Pumpkin with Feta and Honey View this post on Instagram

Crazy busy day and night. Late dinner of pumpkin, feta and honey with garlic butter sourdough. One of my favourite winter dishes http://www.notquitenigella.com/2013/10/10/roast-pumpkin-recipe/

A post shared by Lorraine Elliott (@notquitenigella) on Jun 18, 2018 at 4:06am PDT

Roasting pumpkin transforms this tough vegetable into pillowy bites of autumn perfection. In this recipe, bite-sized pieces of pumpkin are roasted with honey and balsamic, a combination resulting in a lively flavor tempered by a candied hint of sweetness. Feta cheese adds an additional hint of tartness while chili flakes infuse it with a flash of fire. Get the Roast Pumpkin recipe.
Roasted Pork Loin with Apples View this post on Instagram

Pork loin is my favourite pork cut. Known as arista in Tuscany, it is often the star of my cooking classes. Now I tend to vary the menu as much as possibile, but during the first years I would rely on a simple, basic Tuscan menu which had the arista as the main course. This is also when I started dating @tommyonweb. . I would invite him for dinner to eat leftovers from the cooking classes, believing it would be nice – it is cool to have a girlfriend who teaches cooking classes, isn’t it? There was always arista on the menu, though. My mum took me aside and explained me that I had to change menu if I wanted him to come back, as it was getting boring day after day to have always the same leftovers! . So I started picking different cut of meat, making Tommaso and my students happy! . Pork loin is so versatile, though, that you could cook it day in day out and have completely different dishes every time: roast it with the bone or without, with fresh herbs and olive oil, with apples and onions, with prunes and pancetta, or, one of my favourites, with prosciutto, pears and pecorino. . Are you crazy about pork loin just like me? How do you usually roast it? #myseasonaltable #bakedinmud

A post shared by Giulia Scarpaleggia (@julskitchen) on Dec 14, 2018 at 10:57am PST

Straight out of Tuscany comes this roasted pork loin recipe that will fill your home with a tempting aroma long before the tender meat roasted low and slow with apples arrives at the table. Garlic and white wine round out a dish as fitting for a lazy Sunday family day as it is for a weekend gathering of friends. Get the Roasted Pork Loin with Apples recipe.
Related Video: Roasted Sausage, Squash & Kale Is One of Our Favorite Sheet Pan Dinners #CookingTechniques #NaggingQuestion #Braising #What'sTheDifference #Roasting
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