Cooking Methods – Learn the culinary terms for applying heat to food

cooking methods

Cooking Methods: Why you should care …

Cooking methods refer to how heat is applied to food. Any recipe that’s worth its salt has properly matched the cooking method with the food being cooked. Would you ever boil fish? I wouldn’t. I don’t. Boiling is a violent cooking method that’s suitable for few things. Perhaps some shellfish, but I prefer an almost boil, a simmer with lots of bubbles.

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Would you grill a piece of beef chuck? Well, this one depends on how you go about it. Beef chuck is a tough cut of meat unless it receives a lot of cooking time. So a low and slow grilling could do the job.

Most cooking comes down to three over-arching methods of applying heat to food: Dry, moist, and combination. Understanding these terms, how to properly execute them, and on which types of foods will take your cooking to the next level.

Additional Methods

With that said, we have a few other methods that are worthy of a mention. The first is microwave. It doesn’t use heat, but it does indeed cook food. Over the past few months, I have relied on the microwave quite a bit. The reason being, I’m on a diet, and part of my diet strategy is to reduce my intake of fat products. Tonight, I microwaved some rock fish and topped it with “sauteed” onions and tomatoes. I have sauteed in quotes because I did it without any fat. I’ll get to that in the future.

The next technique I want to mention is sous vide. Technically, I suppose sous vide is a dry method because food does not come in direct contact with a wet medium. The food is vacuum sealed and placed in a temperature-controlled bath. It’s not for me, and perhaps I’ll write an article about it.

The last one I’d like to mention is stir fry. Technically, stir fry is sauté. However, the technique is somewhat different. Sauté is a French method while stir fry is an Asian variation.

Today’s feature article is an absolutely terrific overview of all of the cooking methods. And admittedly, it is a lot of information, but let not your heart be troubled. In my upcoming lessons, I’ll dive into each one in more detail. And I’m sure I can find some videos of each method in practice.

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