A keen home cook, Paul has been passionate about baking for over 40 years. Born and raised in England, he now lives in Florida, USA.
I'm a huge fan of home baking. I love having complete control over the ingredients and the entire process from start to finish. I also find it enjoyable, and I can explore my creative side.
However, there are also some downsides associated with the cooking technique. This article lists and looks at seven negatives of baking at home.
7 Downsides of Home Baking
Here are seven cons associated with baking at home:
- Requires a range of equipment
- Multiple ingredients
- Kitchen issues
- Regular baking can encourage unhealthy eating
- Lack of variety
I look at each disadvantage in more detail below.
1. It's Time-Consuming
Baking doesn't always have to take a long time, but it almost always takes more than just buying the equivalent at the store.
To bake, you have to choose your recipe, assemble your ingredients, do the preparation, and then wait while your food bakes in the oven. There's normally also a whole lot of cleaning up to do afterwards.
It can be a drawn-out process. That's fine if you have the time and energy to enjoy it. However, if you live a busy life and you are mainly interested in the eating than the making, you might find it preferable to just to go to the store.
2. It's Messy
No matter how skilled you may be, baking tends to be an intrinsically messy business. Sticky cake or cookie mixtures, dough and pastry, as well as certain ingredients such as flour can get everywhere.
With a cooking technique like like roasting, you might just have a couple of baking trays and a few implements to clean up afterwards. Baking can involve spoons, whiskers, mixing bowls, rolling pins, baking trays, plus the preparation surfaces in the kitchen can get very messy.
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3. It Requires a Range of Equipment
Compared to other cooking techniques, baking does tend to require a wider range of equipment. The tools that you need aren't necessarily all big and expensive, there are just a lot of them, particularly if you bake a range of different foods.
Examples of tools and equipment include:
- Basic mixing utensils (e.g., wooden spoons, hand whisks, and spatulas)
- Essentials (e.g., mixing bowls and cooling racks)
- Basting brushes, cookie cutters, baking molds, and cups
- Equipment designed for oven use (e.g., baking trays, pans, cake, and muffin tins)
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Electronic devices (e.g., hand and stand mixers, digital scales)
4. You Need Multiple Ingredients
One of the frustrating things about baking, compared to other cooking techniques, is that many require a multitude of ingredients. It's extremely frustrating when you get halfway through making a recipe, only to discover that you lack a fundamental constituent.
Shopping for the ingredients can be time-consuming and frustrating. You can also end up with a kitchen cupboard full of obscure bottles, powders, and packets that are essential for certain recipes, but otherwise useless.
5. Your Kitchen May Not Be Suited
The size and quality of your kitchen can be an important factor when you bake. While roasting, boiling, or grilling food doesn't generally require a lot of room or resources, baking benefits much more from a reliable oven and plenty of preparation space.
You also need room to store the variety of equipment and ingredients that baking recipes can require. Baking can also heat up a small kitchen and living area, which can be problematic if you're in a limited space.
6. Regular Baking Can Encourage Unhealthy Eating
Baking is fun to do and it's easy to get into a regular habit of doing it at home. The problem is that much of the food produced can be high in sugar and fat. In my experience, the temptation is to eat way more baked food than is healthy
This can potentially lead to issues such as weight gain, diabetes and heart disease. It can be a particular problem if there's only one or two people in your household. You produce a cake, a batch of cookies, or an apple pie and find yourself eating a dessert with every meal and snacking in between.
It's a surprisingly easy trap to fall into. The only two workarounds, I've found, are to either give a large proportion of your baked food away, or simply limit your baking to special occasions.
7. It's Easy to Fall Into a Rut
Paradoxically, even though you can theoretically bake whatever you want at home, it can be easy to fall into a rut. You get used to making certain recipes in a certain way. Eating your own baked food can become repetitive and then develop into a challenge when it comes to moving outside of your comfort zone.
Bakeries can offer greater variety, unfamiliar foods, and inspiration. They also often have greater recourses at their disposal, so can employ baking methods that would be unthinkable in a home situation.
© 2022 Paul Goodman