Get our free book (in Spanish or English) on rainwater now - To Catch the Rain.
Cooking is the process of preparing food, often with the use of heat. There are several cooking techniques. The application of heat is generally a necessity in cooking, as it kills any microbial parthogens that may be present in the food. Only in specific cases (very fresh food), heat may not be required.
Food preparation techniques
Boiling – the rapid vaporization of a liquid, which occurs when a liquid is heated to its boiling point, the temperature at which the vapor pressure of the liquid is equal to the pressure exerted on the liquid by the surrounding environmental pressure.
- Blanching – cooking technique which food substance, usually a vegetable or fruit, is plunged into boiling water, removed after a brief, timed interval, and finally plunged into iced water or placed under cold running water (shocked) to halt the cooking process.c
- Braising – combination cooking method using both moist and dry heat; typically the food is first seared at a high temperature and then finished in a covered pot with a variable amount of liquid, resulting in a particular flavour.
- Coddling – food is heated in water kept just below the boiling point.
- Infusion –
- Pressure cooking – cooking in a sealed vessel that does not permit air or liquids to escape below a preset pressure, which allows the liquid in the pot to rise to a higher temperature before boiling.
- Simmering – foods are cooked in hot liquids kept at or just below the boiling point of water, but higher than poaching temperature.
- Poaching – process of gently simmering food in liquid, generally milk, stock or wine.
- Steaming – boiling water continuously so it vaporizes into steam and carries heat to the food being steamed, thus cooking the food.
- Double steaming – Chinese cooking technique in which food is covered with water and put in a covered ceramic jar and the jar is then steamed for several hours.
- Steeping – saturation of a food (such as an herb) in a liquid solvent to extract a soluble ingredient into the solvent. E.g., a cup of tea is made by steeping tea leaves in a cup of hot water.
- Stewing – food is cooked in liquid and served in the resultant gravy.
- Vacuum flask cooking –
Grilling – a form of cooking that involves dry heat applied to the surface of food, commonly from above or below.
- Deep frying – food is submerged in hot oil or fat. This is normally performed with a deep fryer or chip pan.
- Hot salt frying –
- Hot sand frying –
- Pan frying – cooking food in a pan using a small amount of cooking oil or fat as a heat transfer agent and to keep the food from sticking.
- Pressure frying –
- Sautéing –
- Stir frying –
Microwave oven – type of oven that heats foods quickly and efficiently using microwaves, but, unlike conventional ovens, does not brown or bake food. This makes them unsuitable for cooking certain foods, or to achieve certain culinary effects. Additional kinds of heat sources can be added to microwave packaging, or into combination microwave ovens, to add these additional effects.
Roasting – cooking method that uses dry heat, whether an open flame, oven, or other heat source. Roasting usually causes caramelization or Maillard browning of the surface of the food, which is considered by some as a flavor enhancement.
- Barbecuing – method of cooking meat, poultry and occasionally fish with the heat and hot smoke of a fire, smoking wood, or hot coals of charcoal.
- Grilling – applying dry heat to the surface of food, by cooking it on a grill, a grill pan, or griddle.
- Rotisserie – meat is skewered on a spit - a long solid rod used to hold food while it is being cooked over a fire in a fireplace or over a campfire, or while being roasted in an oven.
- Searing – 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 so a caramelized crust forms.
- Brining –
- Ceviche –
- Drying –
- Fermentation –
- Marinating –
- Pickling –
- Salting –
- Seasoning –
- Smoking –
- Souring –
- Sprouting –
- Sugaring –
- Basting –
- Kneading –
- Milling –
- Mixing –
- Blending –