08/18/12

4 Common Cooking Methods Explained

When you’re preparing a dinner from one of our meal plans, or any other recipe, it’s important to understand some basic methods of cooking.

While there are countless techniques, and variations of techniques out there (and more being discovered every day)…here are 4 basic “stove top” techniques that you’re most likely to run into, in one of our recipes…

Grilling
If a recipe calls for something to be grilled, it generally means it should be cooked over an open flame or heat. Grilling can be done by charcoal or gas – on a barbeque for example – or it can be done using a grill of some sort on the burners of your stove. If none of these methods are available, you can often substitute with broiling.


Broiling
Broiling indicates cooking by exposing directly to a heat source such as a flame or element. Most ovens have a “broil” setting, which heats an element at the top of the stove rather than the one at the bottom, which is used for baking or roasting.

When broiling items in the oven, they should normally be placed on the top rack to give them the proper heat exposure.

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Frying vs Deep Frying
Both frying and deep-frying cook foods with a similar process, but the method is a little different in each case.

Frying can be done over any heat source, such as a stove element or an open flame. Oil or butter is heated and the food is cooked by its heat. The depth of oil can vary from a light sheen, to several inches deep, as long as the food being cooked is not submerged.

Deep frying, on the other hand, also involves oil but in this case the food is completely submerged in the oil. Deep frying is used for foods such as french fries, breaded chicken and doughnuts. It can be dangerous, however, because you’re dealing with boiling oil so proper equipment and safety precautions must be used.

Sauteing
Sauteing involved cooking food quickly in a small amount of fat. It is similar in process to frying, but because of the smaller amount of fat and faster cooking times, it brings out stronger flavors than frying will.

Knowing what is involved with the various cooking methods make it easier to plan when following a recipe. You’ll know what equipment and ingredients you’ll need that are unique to each method.

Any other cooking methods that you’re curious about? Post below, and we’ll get you an answer. Any tips from your own kitchen? Please share ’em!

Of course, if you ever have any questions about any part of a recipe…you know who to ask!

Happy Cooking!

– Chef Perry