Cooking Terms and Methods

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So Many Terms

Baste, Blanch, Poach, De-glaze, Whip…What does it all mean and furthermore, how do you do it?

Here are a few cooking terms and methods to get you started. Don’t let the words confuse you; cooking is all about experimenting and coming up with great combinations that suit your taste. So, if you have to mince something and you chopped it instead, who cares, it will still taste just fine.

Happy Cooking!

Terms and Methods

BASTE

  • a technique of pouring liquids over food by spooning or brushing while it cooks
  • a bulb baster is an inexpensive utensil that sucks up the juices and makes the process easier
  • butter, pan drippings, and broth are usually used
  • helps add flavor and maintain moistness


BEAT

  • a method of vigorously stirring or mixing
  • a spoon, wire whisk, fork, rotary beater, or electric mixer are usually used
  • introduces air into egg whites, egg yolks, and whipping cream; mixes two or more ingredients together; and makes a mixture smoother, creamier, and lighter

BROWN

  • a process of cooking food quickly until the outside is brown
  • can be done on the stove, under a broiler, in the oven, on the grill, or in a toaster oven
  • adds flavor and gives food a pleasant appearance

CREAM

  • the technique of mixing ingredients such as butter, margarine or shortening with sugar until it is light and fluffy
  • electric mixer or rotary mixer is usually used
  • blends and incorporates air into the mixture


CUT IN

  • a method of combining cold fats such as shortening or butter with dry ingredients
  • a pastry blender or a fork is generally used
  • creates a mixture of small coarse pieces

DEGLAZE

  • a technique of adding a liquid (wine, water, or broth) to a pan to loosen food particles
  • a fork or whisk is used
  • creates a liquid base that is used in gravies and sauces

FOLD

  • a way of gently incorporating one food mixture into another
  • Example: placing aerated whipped cream or egg whites on top of another mixture
  • a rubber spatula is used to quickly cut through the mixture to the bottom and then turning the ingredients over with a rolling movement - quarter turn the bowl and repeat until mixture is combined
  • helps maintain the volume in the mixture


POACH

  • a method of gently simmering (not boiling) food in liquid that just about covers the top of the food
  • a pan (skillet) or a poacher pan (egg poacher) is usually used
  • cooks foods that are prone to drying out during cooking and preserves the flavor

SAUTE

  • a technique of quickly cooking or browning food in a small amount of oil on medium to high heat
  • a skillet or saute pan is usually used
  • food is constantly stirred or tossed to prevent burning
  • butter can be added as flavor but not used alone because it will burn the food before it browns

SEAR

  • a technique of cooking meat at a very high temperature in order to quickly brown the outside and seal in the juices
  • can be done on the stove, in the oven, on the grill, or under the broiler
  • it is often the first step in the roasting or braising process


WHIP

  • a method of beating ingredients such as egg whites or whipping cream in order to incorporate air and increase volume
  • a rotary mixer, electric mixer, or whisk is usually used
  • creates a light, fluffy texture

© 2011 bellartdesigns

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