There are many methods of cooking that are more suited to the type of food you are cooking or these techniques can reveal different flavors and textures to the same food items. Having a general knowledge of when to use these techniques is essential and basic to good cooking.
Methods of Cooking Explained
Cooking in an oven at a range in Fahrenheit of 300 to 450 degrees usually cooking foods made of batters or dough’s. Some dishes made of meats or vegetables can be baked.
The use of dry heat for the cooking of a food item in an oven.
Cooking items, usually meat, uncovered in an oven. Meat is usually prepared in a pan on a roasting rack. Pot roast and oven cooked steak are a few items to roast.
Broiling is the application of direct heat from a source above the item being cooked. Commercial kitchens usually are equipped with special ovens called Salamander Broilers for quickly melting cheese or putting a top brown on an item to finish the dish.
Grilling is similar to broiling but the direct heat is applied from under the food item.
Cooking, mostly outdoors, either directly or indirectly over hot coals. Sometimes offset cooking or smoking is referred to as barbecue. Grilling hot dogs in your back yard is a ‘cook out’ not a ‘barbecue’ or at least down South it is.
Normally used to cook steaks indoors pan broiling is done on the cook top. Usually you use a cast iron skillet as you need to start at a very high surface temperature on the pan. No fat or very little is used as the steak is added to the hot skillet to quickly brown both sides, reduce heat and finish either on the cook top or put it in the oven still in the skillet to finish to desired temperature.
– cooking food in fats such as butter or vegetable oil.
Deep frying – cooking an item completely submerged in oil heated around 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Deep frying item is completely covered in hot fat.
Pan Frying (sautéing) food item is fried in a small amount of fat.
Stir Frying uses very little fat, at high temperatures, the vegetable or meat is cut up into small pieces and the item is fried while kept in almost constant motion. Stir frying usually uses a wok which has large curved bottom and sides. Thee are two techniques for stir frying; the Chao technique and the Bao technique.
This is when the food item is completely covered in boiling water.
The food item is cooked in water, at just below the boiling point
This method of cooking uses steam from boiling water as the heat source to cook the item. Steaming food, mainly vegetables, retains more of the nutritional content of the food item as opposed to other methods.
Originally a process to preserve meat and seafood smoking meats has become somewhat synonymous to barbecuing. An offset process is used to keep control over the heat as lower temperatures and longer cook times are used to produce smoked items.
These are the basic cooking methods by which home cooks and professionals alike prepare dishes.