Sauté this, reduce that, roast this, baste that…....What do all these words mean?
While a lot of people have seen these cooking terms and have put them to use more than once, not everyone is cooking savvy or educated in what these terms mean. So next time you decide to try a new recipe that requires a specific cooking method, check out these common cooking terms that will help you on your way without having to do the research yourself.
TIP – The first thing you should do when trying out a new recipe, is to read through the ingredients and cooking instructions. If you see anything you’re not familiar with, check out this handy list. If what you need is not on the list, you’ll likely find it in a good cook book or on the internet.
Common Cooking Terms
Baste - to moisten meat with marinade or with pan juices during broiling or roasting by using a spoon, brush or baster.
Blacken – to coat meat in seasonings and then char on a grill or in a skillet over high heat.
Braise – to brown meat in hot fat or oil and then slowly simmer it in liquid.
Broil - to cook food directly under a very high heat source. Note that the heat only comes from above.
Cube – to cut food into cubes.
Cure – to soak meat in a liquid that has been flavoured with salt and spices in order to enhance the flavour of the meat.
Deglaze - to add liquid such as wine, broth and vinegar to a hot pan in which foods have been fried or roasted, in order to collect any caramelized bits stuck to the pan.
Glaze – to cover food with a liquid, such as heated jam or maple syrup, in order to give it a shiny appearance.
Grill (or BBQ) - to cook food over very high heat on a metal grill such as a barbecue.
Marinate – to add flavour and tenderize food by immersing it in an acidic-based liquid for a few hours or overnight before cooking it.
Reduce - to cook a liquid, such as a sauce or gravy, over high heat, in order to decrease volume and intensify flavour.
Roasting – to cook uncovered in an oven or on a spit over an open flame.
Roux – is a thickening agent made from equal parts of butter and flour and is used to thicken soups, stews, sauces and gravy. The butter is melted over low heat and flour is then whisked into the butter and cooked until golden brown.
Sauté (or Brown) - to quickly fry or brown food, in a small amount of hot fat.
Sear - to quickly brown meats on all sides using very high heat. Searing meat locks in flavour and keeps it nice and juicy.
Simmer – to cook food in a liquid at a very low boil.
Toss – to lightly mix several ingredients together.
Don’t shy away from new cooking methods, you’ll be surprised at how easy they are and you’ll soon have your friends and family calling you a chef! Feel better now? Of course, this means you should be prepared to have a lot more people over for dinner, but who doesn’t love having company over?