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General Cooking Terms

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

Cooking is a lot of fun for most people. For people that haven't had much experience with cooking, it may be a challenge for them. Seeing a word in your cookbook that you have never seen before may be frustrating for you as you are unsure what to do. I have created a list of common words that your cookbook may use. Also, there are examples on how to do the action that is listed. Reviewing these general cooking terms can help you become a better cook for your family.

Grease: To spread the bottom and sides of a pan with a greasy substance. Butter, margarine and oil are all ingredients you can use to grease your pan. This is usually done when you make cake or cookies. This prevents the food from sticking to the pan once you take it out of the oven. Often, skillets are greased depending what food is being cooked. Omelets and pancakes are too great breakfast foods that need to be cooked on a greased skillet.

Shred: To cut into thin pieces using a grater or a knife. This is usually done to shred cheese for a salad. Many people purchase a block of cheese rather than the shredded kind since it is cheaper.

Cool: To allow food to cool at room temperature. Many people get this term wrong as they believe that cooling something means to stick it in the fridge. We cool cookies by placing them on the counter at room temperature. Placing certain foods in the refrigerator may ruin the food.

Dice: To cut into small cubed squares. Many people enjoy their cheese diced when cutting from a block of cheese.

Fry: To cook in oil. People enjoy their fish fried over hot oil on the stove.

Caramelize: To melt foods containing sugar over a low heat until melted without burning. Many people melt sugar over the stove for a candy recipe. This can be a difficult procedure as it can sometimes be hard not to burn. Stirring constantly is a key action that needs to be well known.

Peel: To take the skin off. Many times, potatoes, carrots and cucumbers are peeled before they are cut since many people do not care for the flavor of the skin. Eating the skin is perfectly healthy however; some people do not prefer the taste.

Bake: To cook in heat without water, usually in the oven. Anything that touches water to make is boiled not baked. As soon as it hits dry heat it is considered baked. We generally bake pizza, potatoes and casserole in the oven using dry heat.

Roll: Flatten with a rolling pin. Usually this is done when making pizza crust. After rolling it into a ball you will need to flatten it with a rolling pin. This is the only way to flatten your crust for proper use.

Liquefy: Change a solid food into a liquid form. This is usually done in a blender. Food is liquefied usually when making a sauce or a spread.

Bread: To coat with eggs or milk and flour to create a breading. A lot of people enjoy their chicken and fish breaded to create a delicious coating.

Drain: Place food into a strainer and allow liquid to run off of it. This is usually done with excess fat on meat or washing fruits and vegetables. Whether it is fattening grease or just water, you wouldn't want that to get into your food. It could completely ruin the taste of your meal.

Melt: This term is used when heating a solid food into liquid. Many people melt cheese because they think it tastes better. A lot of people enjoy melted cheese on their vegetables. Butter is also melted when making certain recipes or even eating with popcorn.

Core: To core means to take out the stem and seeds. Many people core an apple as it is easier for them to eat. This can be done with a special kitchen tool or just a knife.

Fold: This means to mix very gently. Using a rubber scraper to stir the mixture is a way that people fold their mix. Many people do this when they are stirring cake batter. Using a rubber spatula is very gentle and allows the batter to be gently stirred around.

Toss: Mix the ingredients evenly with your hands lightly. Many people toss vegetables into their salad. You can also toss your food using a covered container and shaking the container.

Brown: To cook on medium heat on each side until the food changes color. This is usually done to ground beef for use on tacos or nachos. The meat will start out pink and will be fully cooked when it is all a brown color.

Boil: To bring liquid to a point so hot that large bubbles are formed. Water is boiled before noodles or vegetables are placed in. Placing the food in before the water is boiled could cause the food to get mushy.

Steam: To place food (usually vegetables) on top of the boiling water without touching it. Usually there will be a metal sheet with small holes in between the water and the cover to place food on. Vegetables are said to be healthier when steamed as they don't lose as many nutrients.

Simmer: Heat food just below boiling point. The liquid will bubble a small amount but not as much as it does when it is boiling. Usually soups are placed on a burner to simmer and to gain a great flavor.

Beat: Mix fast using an electric kitchen tool called a beater. A recipe with eggs will usually call for the eggs to be beaten before mixed with the other ingredients.

Whip: To make smooth and fluffy over and over again using a beater. The more you beat the mixture the fluffier it will become. This is usually done when making a topping for a cake.

Knead: To curve the dough toward you. This is usually done when making crust.



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