Basic Cooking Terms

Basic Cooking Terms / Basic terms of Culinary language

Bake - to cook by dry heat usually in an oven.

Barbecue - to roast a meat slowly on a spit rack or rack over heat - basting frequently with a seasoned sauce.

Beat - to mix ingredients together using a fast, circular movement with a spoon, fork, whisk or mixer.

Blend - to mix ingredients together gently with a spoon, fork, or until combined. 

Boil - to cook in water or liquid in which bubbles rise continually and break on the surface.

Broil - to cook under direct heat. 

Brown - to bake, dry or toast over medium or high heat until surface of food browns or darkens. 

Brush - to coat food with butter or margarine -using a small brush.

Chop - to cut into small pieces, they don't have to be uniform 

Cook - to prepare food by applying heat in any form.

Cream - to beat sugar and fat together until fluffy.

Cut in - to cut fat into flour with two knives until it is distributed in small particles throughout the mixture.

Dice - to cut into small cubes. 

Drain - to remove all the liquid using a colander, strainer, or by pressing a plate against the food while tilting the container. 

Flour - to sprinkle or coat a food or utensil with flour. Food may be floured before cooking to add texture, while baking utensils are sometimes floured to prevent sticking.

Fold-in - to mix ingredients by gently turning one part over another with a spatula.

Garnish - to decorate the food - usually with another colorful food.

Grate or Shred - to scrape food against the holes of a grater making thin pieces. 

Grease - to lightly coat with oil, butter, margarine, or non-stick spray so food does not stick when cooking or baking.

Knead - to mix or work dough into a smooth elastic mass. It can be done manually or by machine.

Julienne -  means to cut something into long strips. 

Knead - to press, fold and stretch dough until it is smooth and uniform, usually done by pressing with the heels of the hands. 

Marinate - food is soaked in a mixture of spices, oil and possible vinegar to make it more tender and flavorful. 

Mash - to squash food with a fork, spoon, or masher. 

Measure - to determine the quantity or size of the food or utensil.

Melt - to heat a solid food , over very low heat until it becomes liquid or semi-liquid.

Mince - chop something into very tiny pieces.

Mix - to stir ingredients together with a spoon, fork, or electric mixer until well combined. 

Peel - to remove the skin of some fruits and vegetables.

Pinch - a small amount of dry ingredient.

Preheat -to heat an oven or a utensil to a specific temperature before using it. 

Puree - to grind or mash food until completely smooth.

Sauté - to cook quickly in a little oil, butter, or margarine.

Seasoning - to add salt, pepper or other substances to food to enhance flavor.

Simmer - to cook below the boiling point, bubbles form slowly and break on the surface. You need to stir occasionally when simmering as the food may stick to the bottom.

Sieve - to separate liquids from solids using a sieve.

Steam - to cook in the steam generated by boiling water.

Stir - to mix by circular motion until blended.

Toss - to mix ingredients lightly without mashing or crushing them.

Whip - to beat rapidly to introduce air bubbles into food. Mostly applied to cream, eggs and gelatin.

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