A-Z Cooking: A Guide to (most) Methods of Food Preparation


(Cooking Instruments Galore)

Bake: cooking food by dry heat without direct exposure to a flame, typically in an oven or on a hot surface. Breads, cakes, meats, vegetables, fruits…any sort of food is a common food to bake.

Baste: To spoon, brush or pour drippings or liquid over a food before or during cooking in order to prevent drying, to add flavor, or to glaze it.

Blacken: a type of preparation common in Cajun cooking where food, typically fish, is covered in butter and herbs and then cooked at a very hot temperature in a cast-iron skillet.

Blanch: a cooking method that briefly immerses food in boiling water and then quickly transfers the food into cold water to halt the cooking process.

Boil: to cook food by immersing in boiling water.

Braise: to fry food, typically meat, lightly and then stew it slowly in a closed container.

Brine: to soak or saturate food in salty water

Broil: to cook food, typically meat or fish, by exposure to direct, intense radiant heat. Usually done in an oven.

Candy: to preserve food, usually fruit, by coating and impregnating it with a sugar syrup.

Caramelize: to cook food with sugar so that it becomes coated with caramel. Onions are one popular food that is usually caramelized.

Charbroil: grill food, especially meat, on a rack over charcoal.

Coddle: to keep food just below boiling point during the entirety of its cooking process. The term comes from the English word coddle, or to handle gently.

Cure: preserve foods like meat, fish, tobacco, or an animal skin, by various methods such as salting, drying, or smoking

Decoction: a method of extraction by which food is first mashed and then placed into boiling water to extract oils from herbs or flavor from meat or vegetables to create bouillon or stock.

Deep Fry: to fry food in an amount of fat or oil sufficient to cover it completely. In order to be considered deep-fried, food must be completely submerged in oil.

Deglaze: to dilute meat sediments in a pan in order to make a gravy or sauce, typically using wine.

Dehydrate: to remove water from food in order to preserve and store it. Food can be consumed in its dehydrated state or it can be reconstituted through boiling or soaking.

Double Boil: using a two-pot apparatus to cook delicate food. When water in the lower pot comes to a boil, the steam heats the upper pot, transferring enough heat to cook the food in the upper pot with out exposing it to the harsh heat of the stove.

Glaze: a liquid such as milk or beaten egg, used to form a smooth shiny coating on food. Today, the most commonly glazed food is a glazed donut, which typically uses a combination of sugar, milk, butter, and vanilla to create the shiny coating on the donut.

Grill: to cook something using a grill, or a metal framework that is used for cooking food over an open fire.

Pan Fry: to fry food in an amount of fat or oil that does not completely submerge the food in oil.

Parboiling: a preparation method by which food is first boiled in order to soften it before it undergoes the rest of its cooking process. For instance, potatoes are often parboiled to soften them before they are grilled or roasted.

Poach: to cook food in or over boiling water or cook by simmering in a small amount of liquid. When an egg is poached, the white is of a cooked consistency white the yolk is usually still partially runny.

Roast: to cook food, especially meat, by prolonged exposure to heat in an oven or over a fire. Food may be spit-roasted over an open fire, rotisserie-style roasted, or roasted in an oven with traditional, dry heat.

Sauté: to fry food quickly in a little hot fat.

Sear: to burn or scorch the surface of food with a sudden, intense heat. A common method of fish preparation is pan searing, where just the outside is fully cooked and the inside warmed yet still raw.

Smoke: to cure or preserve food, especially meat or fish, by exposure to smoke. This method of preservation gives the food a smokey aroma and taste, as well as a semi-dehydrated quality.

Sous-Vide: a method of treating food by partial cooking followed by vacuum sealing and chilling. Sous-vide aims to cook food at an equal consistency, eliminating difference in texture and taste associated with most traditional forms of cooking.

Steam: to cook food by heating it in steam from boiling water, typically until the food just becomes tender. A popular way of cooking in many Asian cultures, as well as a way to preserve many of the nutrients contained in food that could typically be lost during the cooking process.

Sweat: the gentle heating of coarsely cut vegetables in fat or oil, with the careful insurance that no browning takes place.

Toast: to cook or brown food, especially bread or cheese, by exposure to a grill, fire, or other source of radiant heat

By Taylor Reiter (Dunster FLP Rep)

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s