Types of Cooking Methods
Top 10 Cooking Methods That You Should Know
Cooking is an art with many methods to master. You will see people focusing on a dish's taste by using the right spices. However, it is the different cooking methods which have the primary role to play.
Differentiating these cooking techniques from each other is the amount of heat, time, water and oil used to cook. The more you take time to understand these unique cooking techniques in detail, the better the chances of your dish being the best.
Top 10 Cooking Methods To Make Your Life Easy
First things first, based on the cooking style - either with water, no water or by using oil, you can divide the basics. Here, you have dry heat cooking, moist cooking and oil-based cooking. In all, along with water and oil, the amount of heat used to cook, the final output acts as a differentiating factor.
Dry Heat Cooking Style
Among all the cooking methods, in dry heat, there is no water used while preparing the food. When using this cooking style, you must be mindful and stay before the stove until the process is complete. Moving on, here is a list of the various cooking methods that come under the dry heat cooking style.
The baking method requires you to cook the food within an enclosed space without using any water. Typically, you need an oven to bake. In the process, you bake doughs or batters, altering the form of the starch present in the dish. You require an enclosed space to complete the process of baking. Under such conditions, the heat gets evenly distributed across all sides of the dish.
Many find the broiling technique quite similar to roasting. Unlike the latter, here, the food gets cooked by absorbing heat from the above the food. In the broiling method, you need to set the oven temperature at a minimum of 200 degrees Celsius and keep checking to prevent burning. Mostly it is meat, which is broiled. Other than that, one can also broil vegetables and fruits.
While grilling, your food (usually meats, burgers and fish) is directly placed over a heat source. You can adjust the source's temperature or continue moving and flipping the item for a uniformly cooked output.
In this type of cooking, dry heat and hot air surrounding the food are used to cook the dish evenly across all sides. You can roast your raw ingredients over an open flame or in a specially curated oven. Roasted meat and vegetables have a unique taste of their own, which comes from browning or caramelisation of the same.
Moist Heat Cooking Style
The moist cooking method relies on the presence of liquid to cook the main ingredient. It is the most appropriate cooking method to tenderise the tough fibres of any raw food item, especially meat.
In the boiling cooking method, you need to immerse raw ingredients in water (may it be vegetable, meat, or fish), let them get all the heat and cook until the water reaches its boiling point (100 degrees Celsius). Boil fibrous raw materials to make them soft and easy to eat.
The poaching method requires you to immerse the food into the water, maintaining the temperature between 60 to 80 degrees Celsius. This type of low-heat cooking, among all other cooking methods, helps retain the moisture and flavour of the food without needing excess oil.
“Sous Vide” originates from the French term "under vacuum." Here, you must place the vacuum-sealed raw material in a hot water bath, letting it slow cook. The best part about the technique is that it reduces contamination risks, prep time, and energy consumption.
Cooking Using Oil
You can ditch water but cannot say no to oil always. Here are the various ways of cooking using oil.
It is the healthiest option among all other cooking methods using oil. When on a diet and determined to abide by a strict rule, you can saute your vegetables in less oil on a pan over a burner. The term saute is derived from the French word "to jump," where you keep moving the food by flipping or tossing it on the pan.
The searing technique requires cooking the ingredient at a high temperature, adding a crispy browning crunch on the outside. You can add small amounts of butter, oil or fat to enhance the dish's flavour.
Stir-frying is a commonly used technique to cook Chinese or Korean dishes. Here you need an oiled kadhai and must continue stirring the ingredient using a pair of chopsticks or a spatula. This ensures the food is uniformly firm and thoroughly cooked from all sides. The stir-frying technique is further divided into the Bao and Chao methods.
Some Important Cooking Terms
Now that you are thorough with various cooking methods, it is time to help you with some important cooking terms. The particulars will help amplify your cooking skills and aid further communication at a restaurant.
Cure: The process of preserving food by adding salt. This will draw out all the moisture.
Deglaze: It means dissolving browned food residue in a pan using some liquid.
Flambe: Covering food in brandy or rum (flammable liquid) and lighting it by fire for a short duration to add a spark to the dish.
Cut and Fold: This technique is particularly used in baking for mixing the ingredient in the batter properly, making sure that it retains the air.
Scald: When you heat a liquid just to its boiling point.
When you are someone who loves cooking, in-depth knowledge about various cooking methods will help you amplify your skills. Also, for those who have chosen cooking as a profession, these techniques will help them with daily earnings. So for everyone, learning and working on various cooking methods is always a win win situation.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How to learn essential cooking methods?
Prioritise your cooking goals and the dishes you want to master. Then search the internet for various cooking methods and practice daily in the kitchen.
2. What is the most important thing in cooking?
You need to understand the basics of chopping and cutting. Also, you need to thoroughly learn cooking techniques to prepare dishes without burning the ingredients.
3. What is smart cooking?
Smart cooking is when you cook abiding by a particular schedule, nutrient content and serving portions.