15 Basic Cooking Methods You Should Know
We all love to eat home-cooked food and we’d want our children to enjoy home-cooked meals as well. To encourage your children to eat home-cooked food, you’d have tried new recipes, but did you ever try new methods of cooking? If not, then you must try now and impress your family members, especially your kids. If you search for various recipes in cookery books or online but don’t understand a lot of the cooking terminology, then we are here to help. Read this article to learn about the basic cooking methods and techniques that are used in the kitchen.
15 Different Methods of Cooking You Should Know
There are really two important cooking methods that you need to know about; the dry heat method and the moist heat method. The dry heat cooking methods do not need any water and use dry heat to cook something; some examples are steaming, baking, grilling, and roasting. Under the moist heat cooking methods, we use liquids to cook the food; some examples include are boiling, frying, stewing, barbecue, and basting. Let us look at some of these methods further:
Grilling is the method of cooking food over direct heat. The food is exposed to the flames and the heat comes from the coals underneath the grate. You can grill over an open flame or in a grill pan. Grill grates are used, and the food that is grilled usually has charred lines on it.
For steaming, food is placed in a steamer which is kept over hot liquid. The steam cooks the food but the water or liquid being used for steaming does not come in contact with the food itself.
Searing refers to browning of food. Seared food has a brown and caramelised appearance from the outside. Food can be seared when small amounts of fat are used over high heat to give the outside a caramelized appearance, while the inside is not cooked through. Searing fish or meats is quite common.
When food that is cooked in water reaches 100° Celsius, it is in the boiling stage. In this method, the food is completely immersed in water and boiled until soft and tender.
To sauté food is one of the most common steps that we follow while cooking anything. Food is cooked in very little oil or fat until it turns tender. This is usually done in a pan and the food is cooked over medium to high heat.
In order to poach food, it needs to be submerged in water that is between 71° Celsius and 82° Celsius. The food remains in the water until it is completely cooked.
Broiling requires the source of heat to come from the top and mostly ovens are used to broil. The setting can be adjusted to broil so that the top heat source is the only one that comes on. However, while broiling, one must keep an eye on the food, as it cooks very fast.
Baking simply means cooking food items (usually uncovered) in an oven using dry heat. This method of cooking is used for foods like bread, cakes, cookies, muffins, lasagna, etc.
This method is similar to baking as it involves the use of an oven to cook the food. Mostly, meats or vegetables are roasted. Food is cooked until it turns beautiful golden brown.
Blanching and boiling are almost the same, but in blanching, the food is par-cooked, then it is submerged in an ice bath to stop the cooking process.
Stewing is similar to braising. The ingredients are first seared then cooked in liquid.
Deep-frying means cooking the food in hot oil or fat. The food is cooked until its colour turns to golden. It is crispy on the outside, and the inside is cooked completely.
Similar to searing, the ingredients are seared then cooked in water. Foods that are usually braised are high in protein like pot roasts.
Here the oil only reaches to about half-an-inch up the pan and food is cooked on one side first, before being turned over to the other side so it can be completely cooked.
Barbecuing requires food like meats and briskets to be cooked for long and slowly over a spit that is fuelled with the smoke produced from either coal or wood.
Here are some frequently asked questions:
1. Which Cooking Method is Best for Retaining Nutrients?
Steaming is a good way to retain nutrients. By steaming the food, the water-soluble vitamins are also retained, which otherwise are lost in the other cooking processes.
2. Why is Baking Healthier Than Frying or Grilling?
Grilling doesn’t use much fat and is often done over an open flame on a grill grate or a grill pan. Food is prone to sometimes burning and also produces carcinogens, which is a cancer-causing agent. Frying is done in oil or fat, and if the temperatures reach a higher point, it can also cause carcinogens. Since baking does not cause carcinogens to form and it also retains more water-soluble vitamins, it is considered to be a healthier alternative.
3. Is Barbecuing a Healthy Method of Cooking?
While most barbecued foods are thought to be unhealthy, barbecuing can be a very healthy method of cooking since less fat is needed to cook the food, and most of it even drips out during the cooking process, meaning that the food cooked is much healthier. Using leaner cuts of meat and more fruits and vegetables make barbecuing healthier than normal since there are less unhealthy fats retained in the meat by the end of the cooking process.
If you have previously been unaware of all the different types of cooking methods, we hope this article helps you. Cooking your own food is a wonderful experience and is also the best way to ensure good health since you know what you are putting in your food and will now know the best and healthiest cooking technique to retain as much of the nutrients and vitamins as possible.