Cooking is an art, passion, love, trust and the way to touches the heart to anyone.
When a mom cooks their food for her child or when a handsome husband prepared the food for his loved ones or when a professional chef crafted the food for his/her guest, everywhere one can feel the passion, trust love, and an art.
To understand the basic terminology of cooking, and to feel it in a better way, to create an environment to become a chef, I as a chef bunched the different cooking methods, which you can use to enhance your cooking skills.
What is cooking?
It is a process in which different ingredients are combined with or without the application of heat to produce a dish that is meant for human consumptions.
Cooking helps to preserve color, gets a variety of taste, texture, enhances flavors, and makes the nutrients easily available.
How does heat works?
Heat can be transferred for cooking by three methods
Conduction – It is the passage of heat through a solid or one solid to another provided they are in contact.
e.g. -Pan on a direct heat
Convection – Involves the transfer of heat in liquids and gases in heating liquids or gases.
e.g.- when milk is heated in a container the milk in the bottom heated first. Then it rises to the top because it is lighter and the heavier milk takes its place at the bottom of the container.
Radiation – is the passage of heat in straight rays from a hot object. Any articles that come in the way of the rays will get hot. For example microwave, electric grills.
What are the different cooking methods?
For cooking different mediums are required.
Boiling: It is cooking by immersing the food in a pan of liquid. boiling temperature is 100° c. Simmering is considered at 82°- 99° c.
- The food items must be completely immersed.
- Fast boiling should be done to green vegetables or else it affects the color of food.
- Root vegetables with the exception of new potatoes must be placed in cold water to boil.
Blanching: Cooking the food in cold water and bring to boil.remove. it seals the juices and flavors.
Poaching: it is cooking gently in water which is just below boiling point i.e 93°c – 95° c.
- For items should be completely immersed in the liquid and as soon as the liquid, with the food item begins to boil, lower the temperature to allow poaching.
- Adding vinegar and salt helps in quicker coagulation and prevents disintegration.
- Whole fish should be placed into cold water to poach, but cuts of fish must be poached into boiling water.
Steaming: it is cooking by moist heat that is steam – indirect and direct.
- Indirect steam: When the food is placed in a closed pan, surrounded by ample steam from fast boiling water. For example, the cooking of Idli is the process of indirect steam.
- Direct steam: Place the food items in a perforated container or a saucepan of water.
- Green vegetables are not suitable for steaming as they lose the color.
Stewing: It is gentle simmering in a small quantity of water at a low temperature. It is a time-consuming method, but the advantage is that the coarser, older and cheaper types of meat are used as they are not suitable for grilling or roasting.
- While stewing the liquid cover the food items, it is done in the covered saucepan at a low temperature. That is converting the tissues into gelatin so the meat fibers fall apart and become digestible.
Braising: It is a combined method of roasting and stewing. The meat and poultry used for braising are mature, it is a time-consuming cooking method. First, sear the meat in hot fat to the desired color, then simmer it in a covered vessel with enough liquid.
- Braising should be done slowly to enable the interchange of flavor between the item and the liquid.
- Items of meat suitable for braising are those of tough nature.
- Fresh vegetables and herbs should be used as a bed for the joint.
Roasting: The term roasting was originally applied to the cooking of large pieces of cuts of flesh with or without bones, on an open fire, or as grilling.
The different types of roasting performed at present are
Pot roasting: it is done in a thick bottom pot or pan. Fat should cover the bottom of the pan. Skewers may use to turn or to prevent the meat from sticking to the pan.
Oven roasting: The meat is roast in a roasting tray in an oven with the addition of fat on the required temperature. the time depends upon the size of the meat & the required doneness of the meat.
Split roasting: it is cooking by direct heat, basting with fat. The skewer is constantly turned to ensure even coloring and cooking. Such roasting is very much used in Indian cuisine.
- The thicker the meat, the lower should be the cooking temperature.
- Meat is considered rare when it reaches the temp of 600c. this is the internal temperature of the cooked flesh. For well-done meat, the internal temperature is 82° c -85°c.
Poeling: It is similar to pot roasting but meat is entirely cooked in butter. usually, harder and cheaper types of meat are poeled. The poultry is done in heavy bottom earthenware utensils and served in the same. While cooking covered the utensil.
- Encasserole: The food item is poeled only in butter without the addition of vegetables when cooking is done some sauce is poured.
- Encocotte: The cooking process is the same as encasserole except the food item is cooked with butter saute vegetables, such as mushroom, artichokes, button onions, etc.
- The lid should be removed when the items are two third cooked to retain the color of the food item.
Grilling: The food item is cooked on grill rods and subjected to the action which could be from above or below. In an authentic grill, the heat is located below the grill bars, and if the source of heat is above the grill rods, the grilling equipment is called a salamander.
- The food items should small in size, flavored, oiled, seasoned, and of good quality.
- Heat should be intense to enable sealing at once and coloring, a brown crust should form, which seals the juices of the food.
Broiling: It is dry cooking and can be done by the source of heat above or below. it can be done on an iron rod or pan, where the food is cooked uncovered.
- The cooking pan or grill rods may be oiled slightly to prevent sticking in some special cases.
Baking: The food is cooked by the action of dry heat and sometimes steam is used in an oven. While baking the mixture in the product expands by air, steam, or carbon dioxide. The oven should have the correct temperature, according to the baked items.
Frying: Food is fried when it is placed or immersed in oil or fat at a sufficiently high temperature, usually brown the surface and partially or completely cook the interior of the food.
The types of frying are
- Deep frying: It is cooking of food by immersing in fat at a required temperature.
- Shallow frying: It is the cooking of food in a little fat.
Sautéing: The word comes from the French word Sautoir which means “to jump”. Food items are placed in a heavy bottom pan with a little hot fat and pan with items cooked over the fire.
- The fat should be hot.
- The limited quantity should be fry at a time, at too many items will reduce the temperature and the food will absorb fat.
- Wet food items should well be dried before cooking.
- The bottom of the vessel should thick to prevent the burning of food.
THEORY OF COOKERY BY KRISHNA ARORA