Cooking Definitions, Tips and Techniques

Baking is a method of cooking food that uses prolonged dry heat, normally in an oven.

Boiling is the method of cooking food in rapidly bubbling water or other water-based liquids such as stock or milk.

Braising is a combination-cooking method that uses both wet and dry heats: typically, the food is first seared at a high temperature, and then finished in a covered pot at a lower temperature while sitting in liquid.

Broasting is a method of cooking using a pressure fryer and condiments.

Browning is the process of partially cooking the surface of food (usually on high heat) to produce a brown color crust and added flavor through the Maillard reaction.

Caramelization is the browning of natural sugar found in food resulting in nutty flavor and brown color.

Chopped or rough chopped is the term used to describe cutting an ingredient without attention to size or shape.

Deglazing is the cooking technique of adding liquid to a dry pan for the purpose of removing and dissolving browned food residue from the pan to flavor sauces, soups, and gravies.

Diced is the term used to describe cutting an ingredient into an even size and shape (usually ½ – 1 inch).

Frying is the cooking of food in oil or another fat.

Julienne is the term used to describe cutting an ingredient into long thin strips, similar to matchsticks.

Marinate is the process of soaking foods in a seasoned, often acidic, liquid before cooking.

Poaching is a type of moist-heat cooking technique that involves cooking by submerging food in a liquid, such as water, milk, stock, or wine.

Purée (or mash) is cooked food, usually vegetables or legumes, that has been ground, pressed, blended or sieved to the consistency of a creamy paste or liquid.

Reduction is the process of thickening and intensifying the flavor of a liquid by simmering or boiling.

Roasting is a cooking method that uses dry heat to cook food evenly on all sides in an oven.

Sauté is a method of cooking food that uses a small amount of oil or fat in a shallow pan over relatively high heat.

Sear is a cooking technique used in grilling, baking, braising, roasting, sautéing, etc., in which the surface of the food (usually meat, poultry or fish) is cooked at high temperature until a caramelized crust forms.

Simmer is a food preparation technique in which food are cooked in hot liquid kept just below the boiling point of water.

Stir-fry is a cooking technique in which ingredients are quickly fried in a small amount of very hot oil while being stirred in a wok.

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