Various Cooking Methods
7.03: Basic Cooking Methods
Being a masterful chef starts with understanding your ingredients and the diverse possibilities opened up by the cooking methods you choose. If you want to build your culinary skills, start by practicing and perfecting these seven fundamental cooking methods:
What: With steaming, the rising steam from a hot liquid does the cooking. You may choose steaming from your repertoire of cooking methods to showcase the natural, nutrient-rich flavors of seafood and vegetables, and allow the food to keep its texture, shape, and color.
*How: Bring water to a boil in a pot or saucepan. Place your food in a steamer basket and set the basket above the boiling water inside the pan. Steaming time depends on what is cooking.
What: Blanching is another quick cooking method that produces tender yet crisp vegetables, with their color and much of their nutrients still intact.
*How: Bring salted water to a boil. Add vegetables, return to a boil quickly, and cook vegetables for 2-7 minutes without a lid. Then, drain the water and stop the cooking by immediately dunking your produce in ice water or rinsing them in cold water.
What: Among the most popular cooking methods for meat and fish, searing involves using high heat to create an attractive, caramelized brown crust that builds flavor and results in an appealing taste and texture contrasts between the crisp exterior and delicate tender interior.
*How: Pat the food with a paper towel to remove moisture. Then, preheat your pan over high heat with a small amount of oil. Once the oil is shimmering hot, add your food and allow it a few minutes of uninterrupted cooking time per side. Do not flip it until it lifts easily from the pan. Thin cuts may be fully cooked by searing while thicker cuts require additional cooking methods.
What: Braising is done for large proteins after searing, and the food is cooked slowly over low heat, until tender while partially covered with a liquid such as stock or wine.
*How: Sear both sides of the meat and remove it from the pan. Add your liquid and return the meat to the pan and cover. Cook the meat in the oven or on the stovetop for a few hours, adding additional liquid as needed.
What: Poaching is an ideal cooking method for delicate foods like fish, fruit, eggs, or even poultry and requires submerging and cooking food in a liquid at a temperature below simmering.
*How: Heat liquid (water, stock, juice, milk, etc.) to between 160° to 180° Fahrenheit. Submerge your food in the liquid and ensure the temperature stays within that range. Most food will be ready in under 10 minutes.
What: Roasting uses the dry heat of hot air for cooking. It can bring out the full flavor potential of vegetables and achieve an even, tender, and golden-brown finish on large pieces of meat.
*How: Preheat your oven and place the food on a prepared dish or sheet. Add a bit of fat, such as olive oil or butter, to the outside of food to prevent it from drying. Dishes typically cook uncovered.
What: Grilling is a fast, dry, and high-temperature method for cooking on a metal grate over an open flame. Charred grill marks can add flavor but quickly dry food out if done improperly. Use grilling for small, tender food items that are high quality and consistent in shape.
*How: Oil and season food as desired. Heat the grill to a high temperature and ensure that temperature is maintained. After placing your food on the grill, flip it as few times as possible. Rest grilled meats before cutting.
7.04: Combination Cooking Methods
“Combination cooking methods” include both dry and moist heat cooking. Stewing, Braising and pot roasting is each “combination cooking methods,” which are wonderful for cooking difficult (tastier) slices of meats. These kinds of combination cooking methods need long, disciplined cooking to apply difficult slices of meat into those fork trend dishes that we usually refer to as luxury foods.
In the next sections, you will discover the few key points and fundamentals of combination cooking methods. Knowing these key point basics will accommodate you Stewing, Braising or pot roasting with no need for a recipe.
7.05: Applying Combination Cooking Methods
If you are an amateur cook, you may ponder which combination cooking methods to utilize when comes to various sorts of nourishment/some portion of cut meats. Try not to stress, the more you cook, practice and test, the more normal you would adjust to these cooking methods in the blink of an eye! There is no compelling reason to purchase a costly bit of meat to cook a delicate, delightful dish on the off chance that you have no full comprehension of how to apply the combination cooking methods.
Be that as it may, regardless of the possibility that you have full learning of those methods, you don’t need to bother with a costly bit of meat as well; a genuine culinary expert can influence the least expensive slice of meat to taste tasty! Despite the fact that it would be an awesome advantage in the event that you can completely comprehend those cooking methods that are required on those distinctive cuts from the creatures.
7.06: Moist Heat Cooking Methods
Moist heat cooking refers to various methods for cooking food with, or in, any type of liquid—whether it's steam, water, stock, wine or something else. This method uses lower temperatures, anywhere from 140 F on the low end to a maximum of 212 F, which is as hot as water can get.
Braising and Stewing
Whether animal or vegetable, the miracle of braising only happens when the food is partially submerged in the cooking liquid. The minute it’s fully covered it becomes a stew. Low heat is another crucial here — the gradual cooking of meat in a hot, moisture-heavy environment gives the connective tissues, gelatin, and collagen the chance to slowly melt into the liquid, enriching the sauce, while the meat absorbs any of the seasoning in the braising liquid. Braising or stewing for too long will result with tough meat.
Similar to braising, stewing call for slow cooking and low temps. With braising, where you are adding the least amount of liquid required to cook the meat or vegetables. Stewing requires full submersion, and usually call for the meat or vegetables to be cut into uniform pieces for even cooking. The result is a broth-gravy hybrid that’s just as desirable as the meat or vegetable itself.
Poaching, Simmering and Boiling
Poaching, simmering, and boiling are actually three different stages of the same cooking method. Each of these describes cooking food by submerging it in hot water, or another liquid, such as stock. What makes each one different is an approximate range of temperatures, which can be identified by observing how the water, or other cooking liquid behaves.
Poaching refers to cooking food in a liquid that has a temperature ranging from 140 F to 180 F. Poaching is typically reserved for cooking very delicate items such as eggs and fish. At poaching temperatures, the liquid will not be bubbling at all, though small bubbles may form at the bottom of the pot.
Simmering is distinguished by cooking temperatures that are hotter than with the poaching stage - - from 180 F to 205 F. With simmering, you will see bubbles forming and gently rising to the surface of the water, however, the water is not yet at a full rolling boil. Food that is simmered cooks very evenly. It's the standard method for preparing stocks and soups, starchy items such as potatoes or pasta, and many others. One of the downsides to simmering, though, is that vitamins and other nutrients can be dissolved out of the food and into the liquid.
Boiling is the hottest of these three stages, where the water reaches its highest possible temperature of 212 F. It is actually the method that is least likely to be used in cooking. This is because the violent agitation caused by churning bubbles characteristic of a rolling boil may often damage the food. Boiling would be a bad choice for cooking an egg outside its shell, as when preparing poached eggs, because the agitation would destroy the egg. The same holds true for pasta and delicate fish.
Once water is heated past the 212 F mark, it stops being water and turns into steam. As far as physical agitation goes, steaming is very gentle, making it ideal for cooking seafood and other delicate items. It also has the advantage of cooking quickly while avoiding the loss of nutrients through leaching.
Interestingly, steam's maximum temperature is also 212 F, just like water. Unlike water, though, steam can be forced to exceed this natural temperature limit by pressurizing it. The higher the pressure, the hotter the steam becomes. Cooking with pressurized steam requires specialized equipment, though - - it is not something that a home cook would typically use.
7.07: Dry Heat Cooking Methods
Dry heat cooking refers to any cooking technique where the heat is transferred to the food item without using extra moisture. This method typically involves high temperatures—300 F or hotter.
Grilling and Broiling
Grilling method uses the dry heat method that prepares the food ingredients on a grill. It is excellent that the meat is cut into smaller slices. Continuous monitoring is much needed in this cooking method as you do not desire to eat the burned meat!
The broiling method is related and nearly opposite to grilling process. Broiling method uses shining heat from an overheat source, and the food that is to broil may be set on an already heated metal grate then the heat from upside will prepare the food while the grill below checks it.
Sautéing and Pan-Frying
Sautéing requires a hot pan before cooking. When sautéing, it's important to heat the pan for a minute, then add a small amount of fat (such as oil) and let it heat up before adding ingredients to the pan.
Another key is not overloading or crowding the pan. Too much food in the pan dissipates the heat, causing the food to steam or boil rather than sauté. One method for maintaining a hot pan and ensuring the food cooks evenly is through tossing or flipping the food in the pan—sauté actually means "jump" in French. Some sauté pans have sloped sides to facilitate this, but it's generally only done with smaller pieces of food, especially vegetables.
Pan-frying closely resembles sautéing, but uses slightly more fat at a slightly lower temperature than sautéing. This makes it a good method for cooking larger pieces of meat that need longer to cook. Meat that is pan-fried is sometimes finished in the oven to cook through.
Roasting and Baking
The words roasting and baking are largely synonymous since they both describe a method of cooking an item by enveloping it in hot, dry air. This typically happens inside an oven and at temperatures of at least 300 F.
This technique cooks food fairly evenly since all of the food's surfaces are exposed to heat. This differs from pan-searing, for instance, where the surface that touches the hot pan gets much hotter than the side that faces up. Roasting and baking both require that the food be cooked uncovered when used as a dry heat cooking method so that it's the hot, dry air that delivers the heat, not the steam from the food.
Despite these similarities, roasting and baking can mean slightly different things depending on who you ask. Some chefs use the word "baking" only when speaking of bread, pastry and other bakery items. Some may use the word "roasting" only when referring to meats, poultry, and vegetables, but use the term "baking" for fish and other seafood.
Since deep frying involves submerging the food in hot, liquid fat, it might take some time to get used to the idea that it's actually a form of dry heat cooking. However, if you have ever seen the violent reaction of hot oil to a tiny drop of water, you know that oil and water are opposites that want nothing to do with each other. To avoid splatters, make sure anything you place into the hot fat is free from excess moisture. That might mean patting an item dry with a paper towel before frying it.
Deep frying requires keeping the oil at temperatures between 325 F and 400 F. Hotter than that and the oil may start to smoke, and if it's any cooler, it starts to seep into the food and make it greasy. Only high-temperature tolerant oils should be used for deep frying. If fried properly, deep-fried items should actually have very little oil on them.
Foods are often coated in a simple batter to protect it and seal in its moisture. The key to keeping the oil hot is to fry items in small batches, as introducing too much food to the oil will cool it off. Fried foods typically turn golden-brown once cooked.
7.08: Review/Critical Thinking
Please complete the following questions. It is important that you use full sentences and present the questions and answers when you submit your work.
Go to the Assessment area in the course to complete the assignment Review and Critical Thinking and submit the work as a file attachment.
The answers to the Review and Critical Thinking Questions are worth 10 points.
7.09: Cooking Assignment #7
You are to make one of the following:
This assignment will NOT be graded on presentation so please do not worry if your final product does not turn out perfectly. The goal for you on this assignment is to TRY YOUR BEST! At a minimum, you should take pictures of: (1) the ingredients prior to cooking, (2) a picture demonstrating a preparation or cooking technique, and (3) the completed product/dish. When you're finished, write a brief description of the techniques you used to prepare the dish. Write a separate paragraph evaluating the results. Include any problems you encountered and how you overcame them. It is ideal to put everything into ONE document/presentation. Submit in the Assessments area.
Using the Cooking Methods
7.10: Module 7 Quiz
Before you take the quiz for this unit take a moment to review what you have learned.
When you feel that you are ready to complete the Module 7 Quiz, Various Cooking Methods, click HERE.