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Cooking Terms

Bake: to cook foods by surrounding them with hot, dry air. Similar to roast, but the term bake usually applies to bread, pastries, vegetables, and fish

Barbecue: (1) to cook with dry heat created by the burning of hardwood or by the hot coals of this wood. (2) loosely, to cook over hot coals, such as on a grill or spit, often with a seasoned marinade or basting sauce.

Blanch: to cook an item partially and very briefly in boiling water or in hot fat. Usually a pre-preparation technique, as to loosen peels of vegetables, fruits, and nuts to partially cook French fries or other foods before service, to prepare for freezing, or to remove undesirable flavors.

Boil: to cook in water or other liquid that is bubbling rapidly, about 212°F (100°C) at sea level and at normal pressure.

Braise: (1) to cook covered in a small amount of liquid, usually after preliminary browning. (2) to cook certain vegetables slowly in a small amount of liquid without preliminary browning.

Broil: to cook with radiant heat from above.

Deep-fry: to cook submerged in hot fat.

Deglaze: to swirl the liquid in a sauté pan, roast pan, or another pan to dissolve cooked particles of food remaining on the bottom.

Dry-heat cooking methods: methods in which heat is conducted to foods without the use of moisture.

Fry: to cook in hot fat.

Glaze: to give shine to the surface of a food by applying a sauce, aspic, sugar, or icing, and/or by browning or melting under a broiler or salamander or in an oven.

Griddle: to cook on a flat, solid cooking surface called a griddle.

Grill: to cook on an open grid over a heat source.

Moist-heat cooking methods: methods in which heat is conducted to foods by water or other liquid (except fat) or by steam.

Pan-broil: to cook uncovered in a skillet or sauté pan without fat.

Pan-fry: to cook in a moderate amount of fat in an uncovered pan.

(en) Papillote: wrapped in paper (or sometimes aluminum foil) for cooking so the enclosed food is steamed in its own moisture.

Parboil: to cook partially in boiling or simmering liquid.

Parcook: to cook partially by any method.

Poach: to cook gently in water or other liquid that is hot by not actually bubbling, about 160° F to 180° F (71° C to 82° C).

Reduce: to cook by simmering or boiling until the quantity of liquid is decreased, often to concentrate flavors.

Roast: to cook foods by surrounding them with hot, dry air in an oven or on a spit in front of an open fire.

Sauté: to cook quickly in a small amount of fat, usually while mixing or tossing the foods by occasionally flipping the pan.

Sear: to brown the surface of a food quickly at a high temperature.

Simmer: to cook in water or other liquid that is bubbling gently, about 185° F to 205° F (85° C to 96° C).

Smoke-roasting: to cook with dry heat in the presence of smoke, as on a rack over wood chips in a covered pan.

Steam: to cook by direct contact with steam

Stew: to simmer or braise a food or foods in a small amount of liquid, which is usually served with the food as a sauce.

Stir-fry:  to cook quickly in a small amount of fat by tossing cut-up foods in a wok or pan with spatulas or similar implements. Similar to sauté, except that the pan is stationary.

Sweat: to cook slowly in fat without browning, sometimes under a cover.

Reference: Le Cordon Bleu Professional Cooking