Last week, The Cutting Board Academy conducted another Food Literacy event for PNC Fairfax Connections’ Families in the kitchen event scheduled for every third Wednesday of the month at PNC’s Fairfax Connection center in Cleveland, Ohio.  This is our 4th year leading the Families in the Kitchen segment for PNCFC and it has been and continues to be amazing!

The theme of our segment for this month was “Fun with the Oven- Understanding a variety of Cooking Techniques with the Oven”.  Our discussion started with engaging our audience about their favorite food items to make with the oven and we got a variety of delicious answers!  We then discussed the different cooking techniques used with the oven.  We focused on understanding the differences between Baking, Roasting and Braising.  So, what is the difference between them???    Let’s talk about it!


First and foremost, let’s talk about the oven.  In the simplest of terms, it’s a dryer.  It’s a job is to cook foods by drying it out with heat and/or moving air.  This is why the results of many foods that come out of the oven are typically crispy, cracked and crunchy in texture, browned in color, etc. Traditionally there are 2 types of ovens used in the home:

Convention:  heat comes from a stationary source located on the top or the bottom of the oven.  With this setup, some foods have to be rotated in effort to ensure an even cook.

Convection:  uses moving air (via fan) and heat to cook food. This assists with providing a more even cook where there’s no need to rotate items while they are cooking.



ROASTING- Roasting heats foods by surrounding it with hot dry air in a closed environment (oven) or an open flame (grill or campfire).  Foods like meats and veggies are typically roasted. We demonstrated by roast a medley of fresh vegetables that included, carrots, yams, tomatoes, onions and stoplight bell peppers.  Check out the recipe.

BAKING- A similar technique to roasting that uses hot, dry air only in a closed environment (oven).  Flour-based foods like cakes, cookies, breads and some fruits and veggies can be baked.  We prepared a batch of Garlic and Cheddar biscuits to complement the discussion as an example.  You can grab the recipe here.

BRAISING- A tenderizing method where meats are first browned (partially cooked) in a pan on the stovetop and then cooked the rest of the way in a braising liquid in the oven.  Meats like (but not limited to) lamb, beef, pork, chicken and even beans can be braised as well.  We served a Braised Rosemary Chicken to display our braising example- check out the recipe here.


A great time was had by all at the Families in the Kitchen event. There are number of amazing things you can do with the oven and we hope we gave you a few more ideas.

If you are interested in attending any of the future Families in the Kitchen events and you are in the Cleveland area, JOIN US!  Stop by PNC Fairfax Connections every third Wednesday of each month.  And for more information about PNC Fairfax Connections, check out their website