Here are some most basic cooking techniques that help you to survive your first culinary year as a College or university student.
This involves applying the dry convection heat to your food in an enclosed environment. The dry heat involved in the baking process makes the outside of the food go brown, & keeps the moisture locked in.
Baking is regularly used for cooking pastries, bread, & desserts.
This means cooking your food in fat, there are few variations of frying:
- Deep-frying, where the food is completely immersed in hot cooking oil.
- Stir-frying, where you fry the food very quickly on high heat in an oiled pan.
- Pan-frying, where food is cooked in frying pan with cooking oil; &
- Sautéing, where the food is browned on one side & then the other with a small quantity of fat or oil.
Frying is one of the fastest ways to cook food, with temperatures typically reaching between the 175 to 225ºC.
Roasting is basically a high heat form of baking, where your food gets drier & browner on the outside by initial exposure to a temperature of over 500F. Roasting prevents most of the moisture being cooked out of the food.
The temperature is then lowered to between 425 & 450F to cook through the meat or vegetables.
This is a fast, dry & very hot way of cooking, where the food is placed under intense radiant heat. For Grilling, you can use various sources of heat: coals, gas flame, wood burning, or electric heating.
Before grilling, food can be marinated or seasoned.
Broiling is a similar method to grilling, where the heat source originates from the top instead of the bottom.
This means cooking your food in water vapor over boiling water. For this, it’s handy to have a steamer, which consists of a vessel with a perforated bottom placed on the top of another containing water.
Steam rises as the water boils, cooking food in the perforated vessel above.
This involves a small amount of hot liquid, ideally at a temperature between 160 & 180F. The cooking liquid is normally water, but you can also use stock, broth, juice or milk.
Common foods cooked by poaching include fish, eggs & fruit.
Simmering involves the cooking liquid on top of a stove in a pot or pan. It should be carried out on low heat, & you will see bubbles appearing on the surface of the liquid as your dish cooks.
Similar to grilling, the heat source comes from the top directly. You should be able to adjust your oven setting to broiling, but be careful, as this cooking method works quickly & your meal could easily become burned.
Here the food is part-cooked, & then immediately submerged in ice cold water to stop the cooking process.
First, the food is sauteed or seared, & then simmered in liquid for a long period of time until tender. Pot roasts, stews & casseroles can be cooked in this way if they contain larger food items such as poultry legs.
Again, the food is sauteed or seared first, & then cooked in liquid, but normally uses smaller ingredients such as chopped meats or vegetables.