Common cooking terms ...
BAKE To cook by dry heat in oven.
BEAT To mix ingredients together using a fast, circular movement with a spoon, fork, whisk or
BATTER Any mixture of dry ingredients and liquids that is stirred or beaten and can be poured.
BIND Add a liquid, egg or melted fat to a dry mixture to hold it together.
BLANCH To put food in boiling water in order to either whiten or remove the skin.
BLEND To combine all ingredients thoroughly until very smooth or uniform.
BOIL To cook at boiling point.
BROIL To use direct heat to cook.
BROWNING To put a cooked dish or meringue under the grill or in the oven for a short time to give a golden color.
COAT To cover entire surface with a mixture, such as flour or bread crumbs.
CORE Using a sharp knife, remove the core/seeds of a fruit.
CREAM To stir one or more foods until they are soft.
CRISP-TENDER Describes the “doneness” of vegetables when they are cooked only until tender and remain slightly crisp in texture.
CREAMING Softening fat by friction with a spoon, usually followed by gradual incorporation of sugar.
CUTTING It is reducing to small pieces by means of a knife. When a similar result is obtained with a chopper knife or with a mechanical food chopper; the process is called chopping. Cutting into cubes is known as Dicing.
DRAIN To remove all the liquid using a colander, strainer, or by pressing a plate against the
food while tilting the container
FILTRATION Separating solids from liquids through fine meshed materials.
FLUTE To pinch the edge of dough, such as on a pie crust.
FORK TENDER Describes the “doneness” of a food when a fork can easily penetrate the food.
FOLDING Mixing materials with palate knife or wooden spoon by a careful lifting and dropping motion as in folding whipped egg whites.
GRINDING Reducing into small fragments by crushing as in grinding spices, as in coffee in a mill or in a grinding stone.
GREASE To lightly coat with oil, butter, margarine, or non-stick spray so food does not stick
when cooking or baking
KNEAD To press, fold and stretch dough until it is smooth and uniform, usually done by
pressing with the heels of the hands
MARINATE To soak food in liquid (e.g. lemon juice or a mixture such as French dressing) that will flavor it.
MASHING This is a method of breaking up of soft foods with pressure with the aid of a masher, fork or hands.
MINCING Cutting into very fine pieces.
OIL To apply a thin layer of vegetable oil on a dish or pan. Vegetable spray may be used instead.
MIX To stir ingredients together with a spoon, fork, or electric mixer until well combined
PARING Paring is the removing of surface layer in a circular motion by pressure of a knife edge all around the object.
PEELING Spoilt, soiled and inedible portions are removed. Skin of vegetables or fruits is either peeled or scraped. The outer layer can also be stripped by steam.
PRESSING Separating liquid portions from solids by weights or mechanical pressure.
PREHEAT To turn oven on ahead of time so that it is at the desired temperature when needed
(usually takes about 5 to 10 minutes)
REFINING Freeing any material from impurities.
RENDERING Removing fat from connective tissue by heat as in rendering lard (dripping).
SCALD To heat milk until bubbles appear (bubbles should not be “breaking” on the surface).
SAUTE To fry foods in a small amount of fat until golden and tender.
SIEVING Pressing through a fine wire mesh to remove impurities. It also helps in enclosing air and mixing ingredients evenly.
SIMMER To cook in liquid over low heat (low boil) so that bubbles just begin to break the
SHREDDING or GRATING Cutting into long narrow pieces by means of a shredder or a knife.
SIFT To pass through a fine sieve as to remove lumps.
SKIMMING Removing a floating layer by passing a utensil under it (ladle) as in skimming cream from milk.
SLICING Cutting into thin pieces but not so fine as in shredding.
SLITTING Making a slit in the middle, lengthwise.
STEAM To cook in the steam which arises from a pan of boiling water.
STEW To cook slowly in a small amount of liquid for a long time.
STIRRING Mixing materials with appropriate tools such as by a spoon in circular motion.
STIR FRY To quickly cook small pieces of food over high heat while constantly stirring the food until it is crisply tender (usually done with a wok
STOCK Water in which vegetable(s) or meat has been cooked. Stock liquid should be stored in the
WASHING This is necessary to remove superficial dirt. Meat, fish, vegetables and fruits are washed in cold water before any preparation i.e. peeling or cutting. If cut and soaked for a long time or washed after cutting, there is a great loss of water soluble vitamins and minerals. The more cut surface exposed, the more nutrition lost.
WHIP To beat rapidly to produce expansion through the incorporation of air, as in egg whites and whipped cream.