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September 22, 2023
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Cooking Tips

Popular Cooking Methods Every Beginner Should Know About

While all of us enjoy eating delicious food, only some of us truly enjoy cooking it. Most of us vow to start eating healthy and cook more at home instead of going all out with restaurant meals but fail at times. Don’t worry, you’re not alone! We understand how overwhelming cooking can be if you’re not familiar with the terminology.

What does braised even mean? What is simmering? What’s the difference between sautéing and simmer? It’s normal to have such questions and luck for you, you’ve come to the right place!

If you’re a beginner who relies on YouTube and cooking channels to try out new recipes, we suggest you keep reading. While you can still check out new recipes from the list of cooking channels offered by AT&T Entertainment TV, we suggest you learn and understand the terms before diving in! So without further ado, let’s get started.

  • Stir-fry

A classic stir-fry involves bite-sized pieces of food prepared evenly. You will notice that Asian cuisines offer a variety of Stir-fry food and dishes. The chef keeps moving the food around in the pan by shaking the pan itself or using cooking tools. The oil is used in very less amount and the heat is set to high. Stir-fries are intense and fast. You must add and mix everything together so having every ingredient ready to go is important when using this method.

Start by adding the ingredients that take the most time to cook and later on add the ingredients that take the shortest time to cook. Usually stir-frying is done in a wok, but most people also use a large skillet.  Some of the most popular stir-fry recipes are stir-fried beef and lemon and chicken stir fry.

  • Sauté

If you’ve watched too many cooking videos, you have surely heard of the word ‘sautéed’ being used a couple of times. This cooking method quite literally means ‘to jump’ in French. The food in the pan or skillet is tossed around for a while until cooked. It’s a universal method that works flawlessly with different kinds of food: noodles, meat, fish, vegetables, and so on.

Depending on the food, you can use butter or different oils to sauté your food. The skillet or pan should be hot enough to caramelize or brown the food instantly, so you can cook the food using this method. Some popular sautéed dishes are sautéed spring greens, sautéed mushrooms, and sautéed garlic broccoli.

  • Sear

The browning of food, specifically fish and meat over high heat is known as searing. This method is used at the beginning of the recipe usually, so the flavor can emerge as time passes. A small amount of oil or butter is used to sear both sides of meat or fish. For meat, however, you may have to follow it by roasting or braising, which brings us to the next cooking method.

  • Braise

This cooking method is used with meat, most particularly with cuts of meat. It’s a long and slow cooking process that tenderizes the meat, after browning it first with a moderate amount of liquid on low heat.  The liquids can range from water to wine to broth to vinegar and even beer. Many recipes also include braising vegetables like onions and carrots with the liquid for extra aroma and flavor.

Some popular braising recipes are braised chicken and mushrooms, braised lamb chops, and braised cauliflower with capers.

  • Roast

Similar to baking, roasting involves cooking food in the oven, uncovered at high heat, instead of low heat. The goal of roasting your food is to make sure the inside remains tender while the outside is browned nicely so the baking pan you use must be shallow enough to circulate the heat properly without steaming the food.

Some popular roasting recipes are roasted turkey breast, roasted potatoes, and garlicky roast chicken.

  • Stew

Similar to braising, stewing involves cooking food cut into smaller pieces, while braising is done on large cuts of meat and chicken.  The food is first browned over high heat and then transferred to another pot with other ingredients like liquid and vegetables. The pot should be partially covered for stewing to do its trick.

Most of the time, stewed foods taste better the next day so if you have a slow cooker lying around and want to create wonderful stew recipes, now’s the time! Some of the most popular stew recipes are spiced chicken and barbecue beef stew & Moroccan chicken and potato stew.

  • Bake

Baking is referred to as cooking food in the oven, uncovered usually using dry heat. This type of cooking usually involves making cakes, bread, and other baked goods, even savory ones like chicken or lasagna. The temperature varies according to the recipe, however, once the temperature goes above 400 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s not baking anymore, it’s called roasting.

From making Macaroni and Cheese to fudge brownies in an oven, baking is a wonderful cooking method that is quite easy to master and perfect.

  • Broil

Cooking food under a broiler is known as broiling. The food is cooked under direct heat on a grill or below an electric coil or burner. The heat source is above the food in the broiling. The closer the food is to the source, the faster it will turn brown. Once browned on one side, you must turn the food to the other side for the process to complete.

One major concern with broiling is making sure the food doesn’t burn through since this cooking method is best for foods that cook quickly. Burgers, chicken breasts, kebabs, seafood, and fish are the best foods to cook with this technique. Just make sure you keep a check on time and check the food often.

  • Grill

Like broiling, grilling involves cooking food directly on heat, but the only difference is that grilling food is usually under the heat source. Food instantly caramelizes or turns brown so the flavor soaks through fairly easily. Various kinds of fish and poultry, as well as vegetables, are suited for grilling. The timing is different for every kind of food you’re grilling so experimenting is the way to go when you’re new to grilling.

By understanding the basic terminologies, you’re one step ahead of the rest in perfecting your cooking skills!

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