Cooking Techniques Dictionary: Chapter 2

Over the next few months we’ll be releasing a series of blogs identifying and explaining some of the cooking terms you are likely to encounter as you grow as a chef. From basic terms like ‘Bake‘ to more advanced terms like ‘Chiffonade‘, this list will help you improve your skills in the kitchen and follow recipes more closely. If there is a term you’d like us to define, let us know in the comments below! Read Cooking Techniques Dictionary: Chapter 1 here.

Basic

Barbecue: To cook foods on a rack or on a spit over coals.

Broil: To cook on a rack or spit under or over direct heat, usually in an oven.

Cube: To cut food into small (about 1/2-inch) cubes.

Drizzle: To pour melted butter, oil, syrup, melted chocolate, or other liquid back and forth over food in a fine stream.

Grate: To rub foods against a serrated surface to produce shredded or fine bits.

Marinate: To soak in a flavored liquid. Usually refers to red meat, poultry, or fish.

Reduce: To thicken a liquid and concentrate its flavour by boiling.

Skim: To remove surface foam or fat from a liquid.

Steep: To soak in a liquid just under the boiling point to extract the essence—e.g., tea.

Whisk: To beat ingredients (such as heavy or whipping cream, eggs, salad dressings, or sauces) with a fork or whisk to mix, blend, or incorporate air.

 

Intermediate

Aerate: To incorporate air into a mixture by sifting or mixing.

Bread: To coat with crumbs or cornmeal before cooking.

Cream: To beat ingredients, usually sugar and a fat, until smooth and fluffy.

Dust: To coat lightly with confectioners’ sugar or cocoa (cakes and pastries) or another powder.

Fillet: To cut the bones from a piece of fish.

Glaze: To coat foods with glossy mixtures such as jellies or sauces.

Mince: To cut into tiny pieces, usually with a knife.

Scald: To heat liquid almost to a boil until bubbles begin to form around the edge.

 

Advanced

Barding: Tying thin slices of fat such as pork or bacon, over meats or poultry that have little fat to help keep moist.

Braise: To cook first by browning, then gently simmering in a small amount of liquid over low heat in a covered pan until tender.

Caramelize: To heat sugar until it liquefies and becomes a syrup ranging in color from golden to dark brown.

Dredge: To cover or coat uncooked food, usually with flour, a cornmeal mixture or bread crumbs.

Flute: To make decorative grooves. Usually refers to pastry.

Larding: Inserting thin slices of fat directly into meat product to infuse moisture.

Render: To cook fatty meat or poultry, such as bacon or goose, over low heat to obtain drippings.

Sweat: To cook food in a pan, usually covered, without browning, over low heat to encourage flavors to be extracted from vegetables and spices.