Cooking Terminologies | Some important cooking terms

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We use different cooking terminologies in our kitchen. If we know these terms it will help us to understand a recipe easier. In our cooking time, we use different cooking terms, different cutting terms, different shapes, different terms for mixing. Here are some cooking terminologies for you:

Cooking terminologies in Cooking Terms:

Cooking terminologies
Cooking terms

Baking:  To cook food with dry heat, normally in the oven.

Barbecue:  To grill meat or fish at outdoors using wood fire or in an open burner using charcoal. This type of cooking is usually slow and long, but it gives direct heat to the food.

Baste: To keep the food with gravy while cooking or to prevent from drying in the pan.

Blanch:   To cook slightly by putting into the full boiled water. This style of cooking is followed in South Asian countries, like Japan, Korea, and China.

Boil:  To heat any liquid item or water until bubbles break on the surface. In the case of oil, it is seen when a drop of water or salt is put in it.

Broil:  To cook or grill under strong and direct heat.

Fry:   To cook in hot oil. Cooking in a pan with a low layer of oil is called Pan-frying or Sautéing. Cooking in one-to-two inch layer of hot oil is called Shallow-frying. Cooking in deep hot oil is called Deep-frying.

Glaze:  To apply a thin glossy layer of sugar syrup for making the food crispy and sweetened.

Gratin:   To bake a cooked dish with a golden/brown crust of cheese, bread crumbs or sauce on top of the food.

Grill:   To cook with intense heat on an open burner or may be grilled inside the oven.

Pan-Broil:   To cook in a hot uncovered fry pan, while the oil or fat can be poured off as it accumulates.

Parboil:   To partially cook an item through boiling, or to blanch. Usually, this procedure is followed by for seasoning an item before final cooking.

Pinch:   A pinch is a very little amount of tiny particles like salt, spice etc that can be held between thumb and forefinger.

Planked:   It means the food is cooked on thick hardwood plank.

Poach:   To cook very gently, like egg-poach, while its hot liquid is kept inside covering the slightly hard portion.

Render:   To melt solid fat into liquid by heating slowly.

Roast:   To cook meat, potato or other solid food by dry heat in an oven.

Sauté:   To fry food in a low layer of oil.

Scald:   To reduce temperature just below the boiling point, so that bubbles do not break.

Sear:   To turn food color quickly into brown by intense heat. This method increases shrinkage but develops flavor and improves appearance.

Sift:   To add one or more grated or grinded dry ingredients through a sieve.

Simmer:   To cook over low heat, usually liquid at a temperature of about 180°. Bubbles at the surface of the liquid should break slowly.

Steam:   To cook over steam or inside a pressure cooker. Heat from stem can be taken by putting a rack inside a deep dish with boiling water and a sealed cover or allowing the stem to pass through a hole of the top cover.

Stew:   To simmer a small amount of liquid slowly and for a long time.

Terms for Different Shapes or Forms of food:

Beat:  To mix an egg or other food mixture rapidly for making foamy or smooth and light mixture by blocking air into the mixture.

Clarify:   To separate a liquid from its solid content, and giving it a clear liquid form.

Cream:   The soft and foamy form of butter or egg and sugar. The cream is prepared by beating with egg bitter or manually by beating continually with a spoon for making the food ingredients smooth and soft. It is applied to other food, like cake, custard, or such deserts.

Degrease:   To extract fat from the top surface of soup, stews, or stock. Normally the boiled liquid fatty food is cooled in a refrigerator to allow forming fat at the top. So that the layer of fat can be removed easily.

Knead:   To press dough with hand-palms and fingers as much as possible or use of any other mechanical pressing and rotating machine until the gluten in the flour is developed. Example: paratha dough.

Lukewarm:   Neither warm nor hot; almost same as the body temperature.

Puree:   Mashed foods either through boiling or using a hand, or by rubbing through a sieve or food mill, or by whirling in a blender, or food processor.

Plump:  To soak dried fruits in water or other liquid food item until they are softened.

Skim:  To remove fat or other impurities from the surface while cooking with a view to producing a clear and clean liquid form of the food.

Steep:   To boil a food item in fully boiled water with a view to change color, flavor, or other qualities.

Sterilize:   To destroy micro-organisms of any item by flushing in boiled water, or dry heating, or putting in the steam.

Truss:   To secure chicken or poultry with string or skewers, so that the shape is not broken while cooking.

Whip:   To create foam or expansion of an item such as cream or egg whites through rapidly beating or using a beater machine.

Terms for Mixing:

Batter: It is a liquid mixture of flour with water or milk, or another ingredient. It should be thin enough to pour.

Blend:  To crash into powder or liquid mixture of one or more ingredients through heavy grinding or by use of blender machine.

Caramelize:  To form sugar into liquid brown form through boiling for getting a special taste.

Dissolve:  To mix any dry food item into a solution of a liquid, so that the dry item is no more visible.

Dredge:    To sprinkle the coating of flour or crushed bread on the outer surface of other prepared food before cooking.

Drizzle:   To sprinkle a few drops of liquid lightly over some prepared food irregularly.

Garnish:  To decorate a food dish both to increase its attraction. Slices of vegetables, lemon, fried onion, fruit etc can be used for garnishing.

Marinate:   To soak, brush or season meat, poultry, sea food in the liquid mixture of other food ingredients with a view to softening their fleshes and allow other ingredients to be absorbed by the main food item.

Meunier:   Scour with flour and sautéd in egg crumb or butter.

Mix:   To combine ingredients usually by stirring.

Pickle:  Preserve vegetables and fruits in salt-water.

Stir:   To mix ingredients properly with a circular motion or to maintain even heating while cooking.

Terms for different Cutting of food ingredients:

Cooking terminologies
Different shapes

Chop:  To cut solid food items into small pieces with a sharp knife or other chopping machine. Usually onion, tomato, green chili, coriander leaves etc. are chopped and used for cooking.

Dice:  To cut solid food item into a small cube shape. Usually, Dicer machine is used to keep the uniform size.

Fillet:   To make pieces of fish or meat flesh, usually flat type pieces removing from bones of meat or fish.

Flake:   To break a food item into small pieces.

Grate:   To create various irregular shaped small pieces of a food item using a hand grater.

Grind:   To create tiny particles of a solid food item using hand grinder or mechanical grinding machine.

Julienne:   To cut onion, cheese, vegetables, fruits etc. into thin slices.

Mince:   To cut or chop food into extremely small pieces.

Pare:   To remove the outermost skin of a fruit or vegetable.

Peel:   To remove the complete skin or peels from vegetables or fruits.

Pit:   To remove pits (deep part) from fruits; example: apple, pineapple have pits.

Score:   To cut narrow grooves or slashes through the outer surface of the food.

Shred:   To cut or tear into small, long, narrow pieces.