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Cooking Methods

The basic principles of cooking are the foundation for all professional chefs and if they are properly followed, any recipe can be prepared to the required standard. The preparations of all food items are based on a certain cooking method which is chosen following the type and quality of ingredients. The profound knowledge of cooking methods and ingredients will help to achieve a consistent food quality and taste. Therefore, it is most important to follow all principles of the cooking methods. We would also like to stress here that all the cuisines in the world are based on the same cooking principles. Except for certain national cuisines, such as Chinese cuisine or Southeast Asian cuisines, which work more with the methods of stewing, sauting (stir frying), deep-fat-frying and grilling. These methods are clearly chosen based in the type of equipment they have available which limits the application of other cooking method which are used in the Western Kitchen. Typical flavors of the various national or even regional cuisines obviously depend on ingredient availability and centuries old recipes handed down from generation to generation.

14 Cooking Methods
1. Blanching 2. Poaching 3. Boiling or Simmering 4. Steaming 5. Deep fat frying 6. Sauting or Pan Frying 7. Grilling 8. Gratinating 9. Baking 10. Roasting Stove Deep fat fryer Stove Oven Stove Stove/ Steamer Deep fat fryer Stove Grill Oven/ Salamander Oven Oven Spit Oven Oven Oven meat Oven vegetable Stove vegetables Stove Water: 100C Oil: 130C-150C Stove: 65C-80C Oven: 165C Boiling: 100C Simmering: 95C-98C 100C- 120C 170C-180C 165C- 200C 240C- 190C 240C- 280C 130C- 260C (Start: 200C-220C) (Finish: (Start: 220C) (Finish: 150C) (Start: 160C) (Finish: (Start: 200C) (Finish: (Start: 200C) (Finish: (Start: 140C) (Finish: (Stove: 95C-98C) (Stove: 95C-98C)

180C) 180C140C) 180C) 180C) 160C)

11. Butter Roasting 12. Braising 13. Glazing 14. Stewing

It is the cooking method used to pre-cook, cook or cleanse an ingredient in preparation for another cooking method or for preservation.

Where do we blanch?
We blanch ingredients on top of the stove, in pots or pans without cover with plenty of water, or in the deep fat fryer in oil. We can also blanch in the low or high-pressure steamer.

How do we blanch?
We blanch either in water, starting with hot or cold water, depending on the ingredients, or we blanch in oil.

Why do we blanch?
To clean and sanitize Cooking Methods

To destroy enzymes To prevent ingredients from sticking To improve the color of ingredients To pre-cook or cook an ingredient in preparation for another cooking method To pre-cook or cook an ingredient for preservation(freezing)

Blanching in Hot Water:

Use: Preparation of green vegetables and for freezing of vegetables with the exception of fruit vegetables. Reasons: To sanitize vegetables, preserve green color, reduce bitterness.

Wash, rinse, peel, trim and cut vegetables. Bring water to a boil and add salt. Place vegetables into the boiling water and wait until it fully comes back to a boil. Then blanch vegetables, depending on what king it is, for approximately 15-30 seconds. Strain water from vegetables and place tem n ice water to stop cooking. When cold, remove the vegetable and place them on a clean to towel or grid for drying.

Blanching in Oil:
Use: Meat, fish, poultry, vegetables & potatoes. Preparations: Breaded, Frying batter, potato. Reason: To pre-cook the product prior to service, this speeds up and makes the finishing of food more efficient when the order arrives. Steps: Prepare the product following the recipe Place product into the deep fat fryer at 130C- 150C Fry the product until cooked but not colored Remove from oil and place on a fat absorbent paper

It is the cooking method used to cook tender ingredients which are high in protein at a low temperature between 65C- 80C or 165C in the oven.

How do we poach:
We poach floating in liquid We poach in small amount of liquid/Shallow poaching We poach in water bath with stirring We poach in water bath without stirring

Why do we poach?
To prevent meat parts, poultry, fish and recipes containing egg from being overcooked. As these ingredients are high in protein, overexposure to high heat overcooks the protein, making it hard and food becomes dry.

Cooking Methods

Poaching in Floating Liquid:

Use: Generally for large and portioned meat, poultry, fish, sausages & dumpling. Reason: Ingredients must be fully covered with water so that they will be evenly cooked. Any boiling must be prevented as to not to overcook the ingredient.

Prepare the ingredient based on the recipe Bring the liquid first to a boil Place the ingredient into the liquid and monitor until the correct temperature is reached While cooking, never cover with a lid, to prevent it from boiling After the ingredient is cooked, remove it from the liquid or let it cool down with the liquid

Poaching in the water bath without stirring:

Use: Recipes w/ egg mixture, egg vegetable puree mixture etc. The objective is to thicken the mixture so that when served hot or cold it can be served in the container or is un-molded and the product has a pudding like consistency. Preparation: Caramel custard, crme brulee, eggs in cocotte, vegetable flan, terrines, egg royal etc. Reason: To gently cook the egg and prevent overcooking (coagulation); allow thickening.

Cooking Methods

Prepare recipe until ready to be poured into a mould. Line the poaching pan with paper (1/2 cm thick). This will prevent direct heat from your poaching container from coming into contact with the poaching pan. Place poaching container on top of the paper and place in into the oven. Pour hot boiling water onto the poaching pan until it reaches the same level as your poaching liquid in the poaching container. Poach in the oven until cooked. Once cooked, finish product based on the recipe.

It is a moist-heat cooking method used for less tender meats and causes some vegetable to change texture (making digestion of nutrients possible) and retain their inherent flavor and reduce strong flavors. You can either boil food starting with hot water or cold water, depending on the ingredient.

Boiling / Simmering starting with cold water:

Use: dried vegetables, potatoes and legumes. Preparation: Vegetable side dishes ad soups. Reason: So that the product can absorb water and tenderize faster.

Boiling/ Simmering staring with hot water:

Use: Vegetables and starch based recipes. Preparation: Soups, vegetable side dishes, rice dishes, pasta dishes and eggs. Reason: To achieve a rapid boiling point so that ingredients cook faster and excessive loss of nutrients and flavors is reduced.


It is a cooking method that uses dry or wet steam, with or without pressure. Common steaming equipments are: pressure steamer, convention steamer, pressure cooker, pot with lid and perforated insert, universal steamer unit and vacuum steamer for packed food.

Example of Steaming:
Use: Meat, fish, poultry, seafood, variety meats, grains products, legumes, vegetable, potatoes etc. Preparation: Steamed salmon, ox tongue, potato, green beans. Reason: Reduced cooking time with heat above 100C retains flavor, color and nutrients better. Food stays drier and can be immediately used for further processing. Steaming preserves ingredient shape very well as there is no agitation. Different kinds of ingredients can be cooked at the same time without absorbing each others flavor. The disadvantage in steaming is that we have no liquid to prepare sauces.

Pour water in to steaming container and place the perforated insert on top of the water. Place ingredient on top of the insert and ensure that it is not in contact with the water. Season based on recipe. Bring liquid to a quick boil and close the steaming container. Steam ingredients until cooked. Remove ingredients and further process based on recipe.

Cooking Methods

It is a process that cooks food in a hot fat bath at increasing or constant temperatures.

Basic Rules in Deep-Fat-Frying:

Use on heat-resistant and non-foamy oils. Ensure proper temperature at 180C and never heat oil above 200C. If deep-fat-fryer is not used, turn the temperature down to 90C. Never season with salt or any seasoning above the deep-fat-fryer. Never fry fish and pastry items in the same oil than other products. Never cover deep-fat-fryer when in use. Never cover deep-fat-fried food, as they will become soggy. Everyday filter the fryer oil and clean the deep fat fryer, or remove frying particles which have settled on the bottom of the deep-fat-fryer. Never use oil that foams(beer-like foam) and causes eye and lung irritating smoke at about 80C.


It is a quick cooking process that uses a small amount of very hot fat, without liquid.

Pan Frying in a Stainless Steel pan

Use: Sauting meat with sauces. Preparation: pork emince in mushroom sauce, beef stroganoff, sirloin with pepper sauce. Reason: We use a stainless steel pan so that we can use the meat drippings for deglazing as the drippings will add flavor and color to the sauces.

Add a small amount of oil (high smoking point) into the frying pan and heat it up close to its smoking point. Then add seasoned (no salt) meat to the oil and sear the surface of the meat as quick as possible. Give the meat appropriate coloring and saut until cooked. Only at the very end season it with salt and remove it from the pan and keep it in a warm place. Based on recipe, add additional ingredients and saut them briefly until cooked. Deglaze with liquid (generally wine) reduce until syrupy and then add base sauce. Simmer base sauce until it has a proper consistency, season sauce, remove it from the heat and add maybe cream or butter to refine the sauce. Add meat, if asked in the recipe, to the hot sauce and serve. Do not boil the sauce anymore otherwise the meat will get tough.

Sauting in a Non- Stick pan

Use: sauting meat, vegetables, potato, mushroom etc. Preparations: sauted beans, wiener snitzel, cordon blue, sauted spinach etc. Reason: We can use a non-stick pan for sauting the above listed preparation as we do not require any sauce to be made from the pan drippings.

Add oil into pan and heat up until hot. Add ingredients into the pan based on recipe and saut them to the desired point. Cooking Methods

Season them if necessary, remove them from the pan and serve, or use for the next preparation.

It is a cooking method that employs radiant heat from an electric, gas or charcoal-heated rack below the food. The most important is an absolutely clean, very hot grill. This enables meat surfaces to sear and seal in the juices, as soon as they come in contact with the grill. Grilling also produces vegetables with a crisp, brown surface and lovely flavors from the caramelized vegetable sugars. Use: Portioned and generally marinated meat, fish, seafood, poultry, vegetables, potato and mushrooms. Ingredients can also be wrapped in aluminum foil. Preparation: Beef tenderloin, veal escalope, chicken, seafood in aluminum foil, grilled sole fish etc. Reason: Grilling s a healthy cooking method as it s basically fat free. However, it is important not to burn the products as these could be cancerous. Steps: Generally, grilled or broiled item are marinated in a quick marinade. (note: marinades containing sugar or honey burns easily as the sugar caramelizes at 150oC) Remove products from marinade and slightly drain the marinade. Place it on the grill and cook it until done. While grilling, give the product the grill design and occasionally brush it with additional marinade or a heat resistant oil for additional flavoring and/ or browning. Remove the grilled item and serve with appropriate garnish, as well as with a composed butter or sauce on the side. Note: when grilling, it is important that the product, especially meat, is placed on a hot grill to sear the surface of the meat. In the second stage, the meat is placed on lower heat to finish the cooking. Also, oil does protect spices from burning and helps flavor the meat.

It is a cooking method for finishing and generally the food is already cooked. The food is always covered with ingredients which burn well, such as, eggs and cream cheese, butter sauces etc. Thereafter, ingredients are browned under the salamander or the oven with high upper heat. Use: eggs, soup, fish, seafood, poultry, meat, pasta potatoes & desserts are commonly gratinated. Preparation: potato gratin, cauliflower gratin, seafood gratin, gratinated onion soup, lasagna, etc. Reason: the browning is done for flavor and presentation. Generally, food is placed into a large or individual gratin molds or directly on the plate and then topped with one of the following ingredients or a combination of the ingredients: Cheese Heavy cream or heavy cream and egg yolk Mie de pan (white bread crumbs) Butter or butter in combination with extra hard cheese Sauce mornay (bchamel with cheese) White onion sauce White based sauce for fish, chicken, meat, mixed with egg yolk or hollandaise sauce


It is a dry-heat cooking method used for tender, whole pieces of meat, poultry, and fish, usually wrapped in dough, as well as, potato and pastry products.

Cooking Methods

Use: It is mainly used in the pastry and bakery in the production of pastry and baked goods. It is also used in the kitchen to bake meat in a dough crust, or with savory souffl and savory tarts. Preparations: Fillet Wellington, ham in bread dough, pizza, cheese souffl, quiche Lorraine, apple tart, fish n salt crust etc. Reason: when baking meat or other ingredients in dough, the meat will be much juicier and flavorful.

It is a dry-heat cooking method for tender, large pieces of meat, game & poultry, as well as, potatoes. In contrast to sauting and grilling, in roasting the meat is exposed to radiant heat from all sides. Because such large areas are browned, roasting is one of the most flavorful cooking method. Use: roasting in the oven is done with tender and large pieces of meat which are only cut after cooking. Further, potatoes can also be roasted. Preparation: Roasted poultry and fowl, beef tenderloin, beef sirloin, prime rib, pommes boulangere, pommes lyonnaise etc. Reason: Tender meat parts are roasted as the proteins are soft and do not require liquid to tenderize them. However, it is important in any meat roast or poultry roast, there is enough presence of fat, otherwise the roast will be dry. Potatoes are roasted to make them crisp and complement sauce dishes or grilled dishes. Bones are roasted dark brown to give the color to a brown stock or demi-glace. Vegetables are roasted in the process of making sauce for a roast, or special recipes like an onion soup. Tomato paste is roasted to remove the acidity and when used for brown stock, to give the paste a brownish color, so the sauce will not have a reddish sheen. Steps: Meat and poultry are generally bound with a string to give them a nice shape. Then the roast is seasoned with salt and pepper or any other seasoning mix. A small amount of oil is added into a roasting pan, heated up and the product is quickly seared on the stove to close the pore, but not strongly browned. Then the meat is placed into the oven to roast. While roasting, the product is frequently basted with its own jus to develop a nice brown crust or for poultry, a crisp skin. When the roast is cooked, a mirepoix or matignon (flavoring vegetable) is added. When the roast is cooked, it is place in a warm place for 15 minutes, so that its core temperature can equalize. Place the roasting pan on the stove, or if it is large, leave it in the oven and gently brown the vegetables and drippings, so that they eventually stick to the bottom of the pan. Pour off the fat. Deglaze with wine and scrape the bottom of the pan with a spatula to remove the drippings. Reduce the wine until it has a syrupy like consistency. Then add your brown stock and gently simmer until it thickens. Cooking Methods

Afterwards, strain the jus and finish according to the recipe.

Other Techniques that use the term Roasting

Tomato paste: tomato paste has to be slightly roasted in all recipes to remove the acidity. However, if the recipe requires a nice red color, the roasting should be on low heat. In recipes which require a brown color, the paste is roasted until it gets a brown shine. Vegetables are usually roasted to brown them slightly so that we can add additional color and flavor to the stock and sauces. Onions are roasted in certain recipes to develop a brown color and sweetness. At times, we would also refer to the term caramelizing onions. Garlic is commonly roasted in butter as garnish. However, dont burn garlic as t develops a bitter flavor When leeks are a part of the roasting vegetable, special attention has to be given not to burn the leek as it develops a very strong bitter flavor. Best is to add leeks at the very end of the roasting process and not really brown it. Flour is dry roasted for certain recipes to develop a brown color and flavor. Nuts either whole, shaved or cracked, are roasted in butter as garnish for cold and hot dishes and desserts.


It is a gentle cooking method which is a combination of cooking food in butter in a covered pan, and at the very end the product I roasted at high heat with the lid removed in order for its surface to brown. Use: mainly used for meat items with low connective tissue. Preparation: All types of poultry, tender beef, veal, pork leg of lamb etc. Reason: Cooking at his very low temperature will spare nutrients and food is easier to digest. Further, if properly executed, meat is moister than when roasting it directly in the oven. Steps: Place matignon and bacon into pan, place meat on top and pour hot melted butter over the roast. Quickly warm up the pan on the stove, cover with a lid and place into the oven. Frequently baste meat during the cooking process. During the last 10-15 minutes of the cooking, remove the lid from the pan and increase the temperature to brown the meat. When the meat is brown, remove it from pan and keep in a warm place. Continue roasting the matignon on the stove or in the oven until nicely brown. Remove excess fat, deglaze with wine to dissolve the pan drippings. Reduce until syrupy consistency. Add brown stock and reduce. Proceed with the recipe for finishing the sauce.

Use: braising is a method where food is cooked in a small amount of liquid in the oven or also in the pressure cooker. Braising is generally used for meat and fowl wit high connective tissue, fish and vegetable. Preparation: Braised beef shoulder, beef roulade, leg of lamb, pork shoulder, braised salmon and turbot, fennel, cabbage etc.

Cooking Methods

Reason: Braising is a tender cooking method where food is gently cooked in the oven and over a longer period of time, the product is tenderized. The long process slowly dissolves the meat proteins into gelatin. Vegetables become butter soft and flavorful. Steps: Season and brown meat well in hot oil to close the pores. Add mirepoix and roast it shortly, then add tomato paste and roast it too until light brown. Deglaze with wine or marinade and reduce until syrupy. Add stock to cover food by then bring to a boil on the stove, cover the pan and place it in the oven and braise it at 180C. From time to time, baste meat with sauce until cooked. Remove meat and keep it in a warm place. Reduce sauce further until proper consistency is achieved. Strain and season sauce. Cut meat and pour sauce on top of it.

Glazing is a cooking method similar to braising where in food is gently cooked in a liquid until such time that the food is tender. Root and fruit vegetable, as well as, meat with low connective tissue are commonly braised.

Glazing of vegetables:
Use: For glazing vegetables, we commonly use root, knob and fruit vegetables, as well as, chestnuts and water chestnuts. Preparation: glazed carrot Vichy, glazed water chestnut, glazed white radish etc. Reason: Glazing is mainly done to give vegetables a nice shine, which is produced by the reduced butter, sugar and water mixture. Steps: Combine butter, water, sugar, salt and white pepper and bring it to a boil. Add vegetables, cover with a lid and gently simmer by reducing the liquid slowly. When vegetables are cooked, the liquid should form a light syrup. Before serving, reheat vegetables in the syrupy like liquid, so that all vegetables are coated with the liquid and have a nice shine.

Glazing of White meat

Use: white meat and poultry with low connective tissue are generally glazed. Preparation: veal kidney, veal and pork shank, lamb and pork shoulder pork ham osso buco etc. Reason: when glazing white meat, the surface of the meat will have a shiny brown crust. The meat will become very moist and tender due to the slow and gentle cooking method in the oven. Steps: Add oil into braising pan, heat it up and brown met very lightly. Add mirepoix, saut briefly and deglaze with white wine and reduce until syrupy in consistency. Add liquid to cover food by 1/3, bring to a boil, cover with lid and finish cooking in the oven. Remove cover towards the end of the cooking, baste frequently and let sauce reduce to a syrupy like consistency. The frequent basting will create a shiny crust.

Cooking Methods

Remove meat, keep it in a warm place for at least 15 minutes so the meat core temperature can equalize. Finish sauce following the recipe.

It is a moist-heat cooking method used for less tender meats, which hare usually cubed. Although very similar to braising, with this method the meat is not browned in hot oil (the meat is only stewed lightly), giving it a distinctively different taste. Stews are generally served with a large amount of sauce. Use: meat with high connective tissue. Preparation: Fricassee, goulash, Irish stew, navarin, carbonade, veal stew etc. Reason: Stews could be considered one of the oldest forms of cooking. Before, ovens were not available, so braising, glazing, roasting and butter roasting were not yet developed. Steps: Heat up oil in a pan, add seasoned meat and sear briefly. Add onion and saut until translucent. Add tomato paste and roast briefly. Deglaze with wine and reduce until syrupy. Add brown stock until meat is completely submerged. Bring to a simmer until meat is done. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cooking Methods