Basic Cooking - Methods Of Cookery
1. Cookery is the science of preparing food to ensure that it will appeal to the eye, be palatable, and be easily digested and that it will retain a maximum of its nutritional benefit.
2. Cooking is the application of heat in order to:
a. Destroy bacteria or other micro-organisms and
any parasites that may be rpesent in raw food.
b. Soften the muscular fibres in meat.
c. Break down the starch grains in vegetables.
d. Generally make food easier to digest.
METHODS OF COOKING
3. Foods are cooked by two basic methods:
a. MOIST HEAT : Moist heat is the application of
heat with the addition of water, milk, stock, etc. This
method is generally used for the less tender cuts of
meat, fruits and vegetables, and specifically for those
items that require a softening process. There are four
types of cooking with moist heat.
i. Boiling: is cooking in water or another liquid
at a temperature of 100o C.
ii. Simmering or stewing: is cooking in water or
another liquid at a temperature within a few
degrees of boiling point.
iii. Braising: is similar to simmering, and is a
combination of roasting and stewing, it is used
mainly for cooking inferior joints, poultry, offals
and certain vegetables. Meat or poultry should be
sealed quickly in a hot oven on a bed of roots. It
should then be half covered with brown stock,
covered with a lid and put back into the oven at a
lower temperature about 180o C to raise. Meat
cooked in this way retains its own juices and also
absorbs the flavour of the vegetables with which
it is cooked.
iv. Steaming: is cooking by passing steam from
a closed boiler to a closed chamber or wet
steaming oven; or by placing a steamer over an
open boiler containing boiling water. Although in
many respects steaming has the same effects as
boiling, it is a more gradual process and allows
the natural juices to be retained more completely.
It is a satisfactory and economical means of
cooking puddings and potatoes.
b. DRY HEAT: Dry heat is a direct application of
heat without the addition of a liquid. There are four
basic methods of cooking with dry heat.
i. Grilling: is cooking by direct heat over coal,
coke or charcoal, or under a gas flame or electric
ii. Roasting: is cooking by dry heat in an oven.
Meat or poultry to be roasted should be put into a
baking tray basted with dripping and placed in a
very hot oven for just sufficient time to seal the
pores of the flesh and prevent the loss of
nutritious juices during the subsequent cooking
process. Cooking should then proceed at a lower
temperature of about 180o C.