Moist Heat Cooking Methods

Blanch: Cooking foods (usually vegetables) briefly in boiling water or hot fat (oil) before finishing it. Blanching preserves color, lessens strong flavors, and aids in removing the peels of some fruits and vegetables.

Boil: Cooking food by immersing it completely in a liquid at boiling point (212 ºF/100 ºC).

Braise: Cooking food, usually a meat, by searing off the fat and then simmering slowly at a low temperature in a small amount of stock or liquid (about halfway up the meat) in a covered pot or dish. The liquid is later reduced and used as the base of a sauce.

Deep Fry: Cooking food through immersion in hot fat (usually an oil). These foods are often coated in breadcrumbs or batter before cooking.

Pan Fry: To cook food in fat in a skillet. This generally involves more fat (oil) than sautéing or stir-frying, but less than deep-frying. Usually the amount of oil will cover only halfway up the food.

cooking methods

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Pan Steam: Too cook foods in a very small amount of liquid in a covered pan over direct heat.

Steam: Cooking food by vapor bath. Usually achieved by using a double boiler or a steamer, where there is a pot of boiling water underneath and the food is cooked in a pot with perforations in the bottom on top of the boiling water.

Stew: A moist heat cooking method similar to braising, but with smaller pieces of meat that are usually seared or blanched beforehand. This also results in a shorter cooking time.

cooking methods

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Sweat: Cooking foods, usually vegetables, in a covered pan with a small amount of fat until they soften and release moisture, but do not brown.

Dry Heat Cooking Methods

Bake: Cooking food by surrounding it with dry heat in a closed environment aka an oven. A convection oven is ideal as it employs convection currents by forcing the hot air to circulate inside the oven, cooking the food quickly and evenly.

Barbecue: Cooking food by grilling it over a wood or charcoal fire. The meat is usually brushed with a marinade or sauce while cooking. Broil: To cook food by a heat source from above.

Grill: Cooking foods by a heat source from below the food. The heat may be fueled by gas, electricity, charcoal or wood. It is also a piece of equipment that the food is cooked on.

Pan Broiling: A cooking method similar to dry sautéing that stimulates broiling by cooking an item in a hot pan with little to no fat.

Roast: Cooking food in an oven or on a spit over a fire.

Sauté: Cooking food quickly in a small amount of fat in a pan on the stove. The food should constantly be moving around the pan.

cooking methods

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Sear: To brown the surface of foods in fat over high heat before finishing it in another cooking method (usually a braise or a stew).

cooking methods

Photo by Tiffany Zau

Stir-Fry: Similar to sautéing, where the food is cooked in small amounts over high heat, little fat and kept moving constantly. Usually done in a wok.

Combination Method: Using both dry and moist heat methods of cooking to the main item (for example, searing a meat before cooking it fully through braising or stewing).