Monday, July 29, 2013


Ways of cooking
(Personal Notes
Commercial Cooking NC II)

Dry heat Cookery Methods In dry heat cooking methods, the food being cooked does not use water to cook the food. The food is left dry and heat is applied to cook the food. Such methods of cooking are: baking, steaming, grilling, and roasting. When heat is applied to the food, the food cooks in its own juice or the water added to the food during its preparation evaporates during the heating process and this cooks the food. Heat is applied directly to the food by way of convection thus making the food to get cooked. The action or movement of air around the food, cooks it. Let us now have a look at each of these cooking methods

Baking In baking method of cooking, the food is cooked using convection heating. The food is put into an enclosed area where heat is then applied and the movement of heat within the confined space, acts on the food that make it get cooked.

Baking Blind (sometimes called "pre-baking") is the process of baking a pie crust or other pastry without the filling. Blind baking a pie crust is necessary when it will be filled with an unbaked filling (such as with pudding or cream pies) or when the filling has a shorter bake time than the crust. Blind baking a pie crust also helps prevent the pie crust from becoming soggy from its filling.

Steaming To steam food, water is added to a pot and then a stand is placed inside the pot. The water level should be under the stand and not above it. There is no contact between the food and the water that is added to the pot. Food is then placed on the stand and heat is applied. The hot steam rising from the boiling water acts on the food and the food gets cooked. It is the hot steam that cooks the food, as there is no contact between the food and the water inside the pot. This method of cooking for vegetables is very good as the food does not lose its flavour and much of the nutrients are not lost during the cooking.

Grilling There are two methods of grilling that are used these days. One type of grilling is the one that is commonly used by the people in the village. This is when food is cooked over hot charcoal on an open fire. The food is placed on top of the burning charcoal. Sometimes people improvise by using wire mesh and place it over the open fire to grill fish or vegetables. The other method is using grills that are inbuilt in stoves. In this method, the griller, which has a tray, is heated up and the food is placed on the grill tray to cook. The heat can be gas-generated or electric-generated depending on the type of stove used. The food is again left to cook on the grill with the doors of the grill open. People who can afford to buy a stove would use the grilling part to grill their food. What happens in this type of cooking is the heat seals the outside part of the food and the juice inside the food cooks it. The flavour of the food is not lost and much of the nutrients are not lost either. Food is frequently turned over to prevent it from burning and to ensure that equal heating and cooking time is applied to both sides of the food. By doing this, the food is cooked evenly and thoroughly.

Roasting With roasting, direct heat is applied to the food. The heat seals the outside part of the food and the juice inside the food cooks the food. Roasting is mainly used when cooking fleshy food like fish, meat or chicken. When heat is applied to the outer covering of the food, it seals it up thereby trapping all the juices inside the food. The action of direct heating, heats up the juices inside the food, which then cooks the food. Again there is very little nutrient lost and the flavour is not spoilt. Food is frequently rotated over the spit so that there is even heating applied to all parts of the food. This is so that heat is applied evenly to the food to make it get cooked properly.

Moist Heat Cookery Methods In moist heat cookery methods, liquid is used as a medium to cook the food. Such medium could be water, coconut cream or oil. These liquids are added to the food before heat is applied to it or sometimes heat is applied to the liquid before the food is added into the cooking utensils to be cooked. The moist heat cookery methods include: boiling, stewing, shallow frying, deep frying, barbequing and basting. All these moist heat cooking methods use liquid to cook the food in.

Boiling This is the most common method of cooking and is also the simplest. With this method of cooking, enough water is added to food and it is then cooked over the fire. The action of the heated water makes the food to get cooked. The liquid is usually thrown away after the food is cooked. In the case of cooking rice, all the water is absorbed by the rice grains to make it get cooked. During the heating process, the nutrients can get lost or destroyed and the flavour can be reduced with this method of cooking. If you over cooked cabbage, all the nutrients can get lost.

Broiling is cooking over or in front of a clear fire. The food to be cooked is usually placed in a greased broiler or on a gridiron held near the coals, turned often at first to sear the outside, - thus preventing escape of inner juices, - afterwards turned occasionally. Tender meats and fish may be cooked in this way. The flavor obtained by broiling is particularly fine; there is, however, a greater loss of weight in this than in any other way of cooking, as the food thus cooked is exposed to free circulation of air. When coal is not used, or a fire is not in condition for broiling, a plan for pan broiling has been adopted. This is done by placing food to be cooked in a hissing hot frying-pan, turning often as in broiling.

Stewing In the process of cooking using the stewing method, food is cooked using a lot of liquid. Different kinds of vegetables are chopped, diced or cubed and added to the pot. Sometimes pieces of selected meat, fish or chicken is also chopped and added to the stew. The liquid is slightly thickened and stewed food is served in that manner. This method is also used when preparing fruits that are going to be served as desserts. With this cooking method, every food is cooked together at the same time in one pot. The flavour, colours, shapes and textures of the different vegetables that are used, makes stewing a handy method of cooking. The only disadvantage is that some of the vegetables might be overcooked and thus the nutrient content becomes much less. It is therefore important that the vegetables that take the longest to cook to be put into the pot first and the ones that need least cooking to be put in last. In this way much of the nutrient contents of the food does not get lost.

Frying When food is fried using oil or solid fat it is important that you observe some rules in handling oil or fat. Simple rules to follow when frying: 1.Make sure there is enough oil or fat put in the frying pan or a deep frying pan. 2.The food to be cooked must not have water dripping from it. This is because when water comes into contact with hot oil or fat, you will have the oil sizzling and spitting out of the pan, which could burn your skin if you are not careful. 3.Put the food into the hot oil carefully. Try not to make a big splash as the oil could burn your skin. 4.The oil of fat should be heated to the right temperature before putting food into the pan to be fried. If the food is put in when the oil or fat is not heated to the right temperature, the food will soak up the oil and you will have food that is all oily or greasy. If the oil or fat is over heated, you will end up with food that is burnt. Sometimes the food especially dough nuts will turn brown on the inside but the dough inside is uncooked. To cook food using the frying method, there are two ways of doing it. There is the shallow frying and the deep frying methods.

Deep frying is a cooking method in which food is submerged in hot oil or fat. This is normally performed with a deep fryer or chip pan; industrially, a pressure fryer or vacuum fryer may be used.

Hot salt frying is a cooking technique used by street-side food vendors in China/India. Coarse sea salt is placed in a large wok and heated to a high temperature.

Shallow Frying In shallow frying, food is cooked in a frying pan with a little amount of oil or fat. The oil or fat is heated to the correct amount and the food is put into the heated oil. The food is turned over a few minutes or is stirred around a couple of times before it is cooked and dished out. If patties, potato chips or coated foods are fried, it is best to put a piece of brown paper or paper napkin inside the tray to soak up any oil from the food before serving it.

Deep Frying This is when a lot of oil or fat is used in cooking the food. The oil or fat is usually put into a deep pan and is heated to boiling point. Food is then put into the hot boiling oil and is cooked in that way. Such food as fish fingers, potato chips, meat balls, and dough nuts to name a few, are cooked using the deep frying method.

Hot sand frying is a common cooking technique[1] for street-side food vendors in China and India to cook chestnuts and peanuts. A large wok is filled with black sand and heated to high temperature. Nuts are buried in the hot sand and occasionally turned with a spatula, then the sand and nuts are separated through a wire-mesh screen.

Pan frying is a form of frying characterized by the use of minimal cooking oil or fat (compared to shallow frying or deep frying); typically using just enough oil to lubricate the pan (although, in the case of a greasy food such as bacon, no oil or fats may be needed). As a form of frying, pan frying relies on oil as the heat transfer medium and on correct temperature to retain the moisture in the food. The exposed topside allows, unlike deep frying, some moisture loss and contact with the pan bottom creates greater browning on the contact surface. Because of the partial coverage, the food must be flipped at least once to cook both sides.

Pressure frying is a variation on pressure cooking where meat and cooking oil are brought to high temperatures while pressure is held high enough to cook the food more quickly. This leaves the meat very hot and juicy. A receptacle used in pressure frying is known as a pressure fryer

Sautéing Is frying in a small quantity of fat. Food so cooked is much more difficult of digestion than when fried in deep fat; it is impossible to cook in this way without the food absorbing fat. A frying-pan or griddle is used; the food is cooked on one side, then turned, and cooked on the other.

Stir frying Stir frying is a technique that cooks foods quickly, using only a small amount of fat

Barbequing The method of cooking food by barbequing is usually associated with fund raising activities, parties or picnics. It is most suitable to cooking meat cutlets, fish or chicken pieces. The food is usually marinated with spices and tenderizers (for meat cuts) for sometime before it is cooked. With this method of cooking, a sheet of metal with stands is heated up and oil is used to cook the food. A sufficient amount of oil is heated up and food is added. The food is then turned over a couple of times before it is dished out.

Basting This method of cooking is usually associated with roasting. The juice or liquid that comes out of the meat being cooked is spooned over the roast frequently while it is being roasted. The outer part of the meat is moistened frequently during the cooking process with the juice that is being spooned over. Usually, the extra juice from the cooked meat is added to a mixture to make the meat sauce.

BraisingIs stewing and baking (meat). Meat to be braised is frequently first sautéd to prevent escape of much juice in the gravy. The meat is placed in a pan with a small quantity of stock or water, vegetables (carrot, turnip, celery, and union) cut in pieces, salt, pepper, and sweet herbs. The pan should have a tight-fitting cover. Meat so prepared should be cooked in an oven at low uniform temperature for a long time. This is an economical way of cooking, and the only way besides stewing or boiling of making a large piece of tough meat palatable and digestible.

Fricasseeing Is sautéing and serving with a sauce. Tender meat is fricasseed without previous cooking; less tender meat requires cooking in hot water before fricasseeing. Although veal is obtained from a young creature, it requires long cooking; it is usually sautéd, and then cooked in a sauce at low temperature for a long time.

Rotisserie Is a style of roasting where meat is skewered on a spit - a long solid rod used to hold food while it is being cooked over a fire in a fireplace or over a campfire, or roasted in an oven.

Searing (or pan searing) Is a technique used in grilling, baking, braising, roasting, sautéing, etc., in which the surface of the food (usually meat, poultry or fish) is cooked at high temperature so a caramelized crust forms.

Blanching Is a cooking process wherein the food substance, usually a vegetable or fruit, is plunged into boiling water, removed after a brief, timed interval, and finally plunged into iced water or placed under cold running water (shocked) to halt the cooking process. The meaning of blanching is "to whiten", but this is not always the purpose of blanching in cooking. Food is blanched to soften it, or to partly or fully cook it, or to remove a strong taste (for example of bacon, cabbage, or onions).

Poaching Poaching is particularly suitable for delicate food, such as eggs, poultry, fish and fruit, which might easily fall apart or dry out. For this reason, it is important to keep the heat low and to keep the poaching time to a bare minimum, which will also preserve the flavor of the food

Pressure cooking Is a method of cooking in a sealed vessel that does not permit air or liquids to escape below a preset pressure. Is the process of gently simmering food in liquid, generally milk, stock or wine.

Simmering is a food preparation technique in which foods are cooked in hot liquids kept at or just below the boiling point of water[1] (which is 100 °C or 212 °F at average sea level air pressure), but higher than poaching temperature.

Steeping Steeping or weltering may mean: Saturation in a liquid solvent to extract a soluble ingredient, where the solvent is the desired product. Tea is prepared for drinking by steeping the leaves in heated water to release the flavor and nutrients. Herbal teas may be prepared by decoction, infusion, or maceration; or Soaking to remove an ingredient; Example: salt from smoked ham or salted cod, where the solvent is not the desired product.

Smoking is the process of flavoring, cooking, or preserving food by exposing it to the smoke from burning or smoldering plant materials, most often wood.

Vacuum Flask Cooking It's a slow-cooking technique involving a thermal cooker, or vacuum flask, The pot/flask and contents are heated to cooking temperature, and then sealed in the flask. The flask more or less eliminates heat loss, so the food remains at cooking temperature for a long time, and slow-cooks without continued heating.

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