explanation of some of the cooking terms you may see in recipes.
Select a letter below if you are looking for
a particular term, or just scroll through the list.
B C D
E F G J
K L M P
R S T W
To cook using dry heat by placing foods
in an oven (covered or uncovered, whatever your choice).
To moisten and improve the flavor of
foods (usually meats) by brushing on, drizzling or spooning over pan
drippings, fruit juices, sauces, etc.
To rapidly stir food in a circular motion
using a spoon or fork, rotary egg beater or electric mixer.
To boil or steam foods briefly in order
to either remove the skins (tomatoes, nuts, etc), whiten, or prepare
food for freezing by stopping the enzymatic action.
To mix ingredients together until thoroughly
To heat liquids until bubbles form on
the surface and steam forms.
A method of cooking foods (most often
used for meats) by quickly browning in oil and then cooking slowly
in liquid (wine, stock, etc) in a covered pot .
To cook food quickly (usually meats)
over high heat by either frying or grilling until the surface browns
sealing in all the succulent juices.
To melt either sugar or sugary foods
by cooking slowly over low heat until the contents become browned.
Be carful not to burn.
To cut food either into small chucks
(finely chopped) or large chunks (coarsely chopped).
To mix an ingredient or combination of
ingredients until soft, smooth and well-blended. Usually the ingredients
contain butter and sugar.
To mix butter, fats, etc. into dry ingredients
by using a pastry blender or two knives.
To cook food by placing in enough hot
oil cover the food completely.
To coat food with flour, bread crumbs,
The process used to make a great-tasting
sauce using the browned bits from the bottom of the roasting pan by
heating a little bit of wine or stock and stirring to loosen the brown
To sprinkle lightly with sugar or flour.
To bind together substances which do
not normally mix, such as oil and water. Egg yolk is a commonly used
for this purpose.
To cut the bones from meat or fish.
To break food into small pieces, usually
done with a fork
To cook food in hot fat over medium to
To combine two ingredients, usually a
heavier ingredient (whipping cream) with a lighter ingredient, (egg
white). Using a spatula, lift the heavier mixture from the bottom
and blend with the lighter mixture on top.
To prevent foods from sticking by lightly
coating a pan with butter, oil, cooking spray, etc.
To cook food on a rack under heat.
To transform food into pieces ranging
from small (fine grind) to large (coarse grind) using a food processor
To cut food into matchstick-sized strips
To mix dough on a floured surface by
pressing the dough down with the palm of your hands then folding it
over itself; repeat the process until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Adding a leaving agent such as yeast,
baking powder or baking soda to ingredients in order to allow either
dough or batter to rise.
A savory usually acidic sauce in which
meat, fish, or vegetable is soaked to enrich its flavor or to tenderize
To finely chop food, resulting in tiny
To combine ingredients until smooth and
To cook uncovered over high heat in a
pre-heated, lightly-greased heavy pan, constantly removing any fat
Partially cooking food in boiling water,
stock, etc for a few minutes just to tenderize the food, cooking is
normally completed using another method.
To remove skin from fruits and vegetables
using a knife.
To cook food slowly in simmering water,
milk, stock, etc.
Foods usually fruits or vegetables reduced
to a smooth, thick consistency using either a blender, food processor
or a sieve.
To boil a liquid, uncovered, until the
volume is reduced by evaporation, which thickens and intensifies the
To cook food in an oven, using dry heat,
placing food on a spit before a fire, or surrounding food with hot
embers, sand or stones.
To cook quickly over high heat in an
open frying pan with a small amount of butter, oil or cooking spray,
turning food frequently.
To heat milk to just below the boiling
To cook at very high heat for a short
period of time in order to brown meat and seal the surface ensuring
that the juices are trapped within.
To cut or tear food into long, thin strips.
To pass dry ingredients, usually flour
and baking powder, salt, etc. through a fine-meshed strainer or sifter
to blend ingredients thoroughly and remove larger pieces thereby lightening
the texture of the mixture.
To cook in liquid just below the boiling
To cook food slowly and for a long period
of time using a small amount of liquid in a covered pan or pot.
To cook food quickly over high heat with
a small amount of oil using a skillet or wok, being sure to constantly
To remove solid particles from a mixture
or liquid by pouring through a colander or sieve.
To brown with dry heat in an toaster
Top and Tail
To take the top and bottom off a vegetable
e.g. carrot or courgette
To blend foods together by gently turning
the pieces over until the ingredients are well mixed.
To add air and volume to food by beating
rapidly using a wire whisk, beater or electric mixer until mixture
is light and fluffy.