Methods of Cooking

Baking

This involves applying a dry convection heat to your food in an enclosed environment.

The dry heat involved in the baking process makes the outside of the food go brown, and keeps the moisture locked in.

Baking is regularly used for cooking pastries, bread and desserts.

Frying

This means cooking your food in fat – there are several variations of frying:

  • Deep-frying, where the food is completely immersed in hot oil
  • Stir-frying, where you fry the food very quickly on a high heat in a oiled pan
  • Pan-frying, where food is cooked in a frying pan with oil; and
  • Sauteing, where the food is browned on one side and then the other with a small quantity of fat or oil.

Frying is one of the quickest ways to cook food, with temperatures typically reaching between 175 – 225ºC.

Roasting

Roasting is basically a high heat form of baking, where your food gets drier and browner on the outside by initial exposure to a temperature of over 500F.

This prevents most of the moisture being cooked out of the food.

The temperature is then lowered to between 425 and 450F to cook through the meat or vegetables.

Grilling

This is a fast, dry and very hot way of cooking, where the food is placed under an intense radiant heat.

You can use various sources of heat for grilling: wood burning, coals, gas flame, or electric heating.

Before grilling, food can be marinaded or seasoned.

A similar method to grilling is broiling, where the heat source originates from the top instead of the bottom.

Steaming

This means cooking your food in water vapour over boiling water.

For this, it’s handy to have a steamer, which consists of a vessel with a perforated bottom placed on top of another containing water.

Steam rises as the water boils, cooking the food in the perforated vessel above.

Poaching

This involves a small amount of hot liquid, ideally at a temperature between 160 and 180F.

The cooking liquid is normally water, but you can also use broth, stock, milk or juice.

Common foods cooked by poaching include fish, eggs and fruit.