Cooking types and terms – popular culinary terms

There are a lot to know about Cooking types and terms! Whether you’ve been cooking for years or are just getting started, there are some terms in recipes that can leave you entirely perplexed and looking at the words for an extended period of time.

You can select the ideal way to employ for each food you prepare by having a basic awareness of the three different types of cooking techniques. You’ll learn how to utilize dry cooking to give meats a crispy, browned surface and how to use moist cooking to maintain meats fork-tender as you develop your own distinctive recipes. You’ll be able to employ a combination of dry and moist heat to tenderize tough portions of meat into juicy, delicious morsels as necessary.

Exactly what is a roux? What does clarified butter actually mean? More people than we can count have been confused by these and numerous more words. To aid you in the kitchen, we have compiled a list of common cooking terminology, their definitions, and related information.

What do you call the ability to cook?

The preparation, cooking, and presentation of food, typically in the form of meals, are all considered culinary arts.

Different Styles of Cooking

Dry heat cooking, moist heat cooking, and combination cooking are the three different types of cooking techniques. These techniques all use heat to modify food in various ways. Each of these three types of cooking can be categorized, from grilling to steaming. Being a great chef requires understanding and mastery of the various cooking techniques.

To produce consistent, flavorful outcomes in your cooking, you can use a variety of products and kitchen tools when you have a solid understanding of cooking processes. To discover more about the three primary categories of cooking, the skills that fit into each category, and the meals that these techniques compliment, keep reading.

1. Dry Heat Cooking

Cooking using dry heat is accomplished without the use of liquids like broth or water. Instead, it depends on the movement of hot air or the interaction of fat to heat food. Browning, a process where the amino acids and sugars in food turn dark and produce a distinctive aroma and flavor, requires temperatures of 300 degrees or higher. Both the distinct flavors of toasted bread and seared meat are effects of dry heat cooking.

  • Broiling
  • Grilling
  • Roasting
  • Baking
  • Sauteing

2. Cooking with moist heat

Foods are cooked using moist heat, as the name suggests, which requires the presence of liquid or steam. Healthy dishes can be prepared using this technique without the use of additional oil or fat. Additionally, it’s a fantastic technique to soften the rough fibers in some meats, such beef chuck or brisket. When cooking beans and fibrous vegetables, moist heat cooking causes the food to soften until it reaches the ideal level of softness. Moist heat cooking does not result in a browned crust like dry heat cooking does.

  • Simmering
  • Boiling
  • Poaching
  • Steaming

3. Cooking in Combination

Combination cooking employs both dry and moist cooking methods. To cook food until it is fork-tender, foods are simmered in liquids at a low heat for a very long time. This technique can be used to prepare even the most difficult beef slices since it gradually breaks down the fibers until they dissolve into the liquid.

  • Stewing
  • Braising

Cooking Terminology Glossary

Cooking phrases that are unknown to you may be used when you follow recipes. Below are definitions of some of the most popular culinary terms:

  • The term “al dente” refers to pasta that is firm and slightly uncooked.
  • Baste – to pour juices or liquid fat over cooked meat
  • Blanching is the technique of briefly scalding food in boiling water and then immersing it in cold water to stop the cooking process.
  • Brunoise – to divide goods into 1/8″ dice
  • Caramelize – to brown sugars by heating them.
  • Chiffonade – the process of rolling up leafy greens or herbs and cutting them into long, thin slices.
  • Clarified butter is milk fat that has been separated from the butterfat and the water and milk solids. Usually, it is made by melting butter and letting the different parts separate according to density.
  • Clarify refers to the process of melting butter and separating the particles from the butterfat.
  • Cure – the process of preserving foods by adding salt and taking out moisture.
  • Deglaze a heated pan with liquid to dissolve browned food residue.
  • Dredge – a dry substance, such as flour, is used to coat moist meals.
  • Emulsify – to combine two liquids, such as oil and water.
  • Fillet – a chunk of meat or fish sliced in half.
  • Flambe – to coat a food in a flammable liquid, such as brandy or rum, then briefly ignite it on fire
  • Fold – to include an element with a meticulous, airtight motion.
  • Julienne – the process of cutting meals into long, thin strips.
  • Meuniere – a style of cooking in which the meal is lightly coated with flour and sautéed in butter.
  • Parboil – to precook meals by briefly boiling them.
  • Reduce – to thicken a liquid combination by boiling or simmering it and allowing moisture to escape.
  • Roux, a combination of heated fat and flour, is used to thicken sauces. Usually, flour and fat are used in proportions of same weight while making roux.
  • Scalding is the process of heating a liquid just to the boiling point.
  • Spatchcock a whole chicken or turkey to make it easier to grill.


Who are the cooks who work in restaurants?

A chef is a skilled professional cook and tradesman who specializes in a particular cuisine and is trained in all areas of food preparation. The phrase “chef de cuisine” is where the word “chef” originates.

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