If you’re fairly new in the kitchen or simply don’t have a lot of experience with kitchen terminology, I hope you’ll find this post useful.  While some terms are pretty straightforward, some don’t mean much unless you understand what they mean. These are some of the most common words you might find in a recipe.

  • Al dente – used to describe pasta cooked until it offers slight resistance to the bite
  • Baste – moistening foods during cooking with sauce or pan drippings to add flavor and prevent the food from drying out
  • Blanch –  immersing in rapidly boiling water, allowing to cook slightly
  • Blend – incorporating two or more ingredients thoroughly
  • Boil – heating a liquid until bubbles break continually on the surface
  • Broil – cooking on a grill under strong, direct heat
  • Caramelize – heating sugar in order to turn it brown and give it a special flavor
  • Clarify – separating and removing solids from liquids, making it clear
  • Dice – cutting food into small cubes of similar size and shape
  • Flake – breaking lightly into small pieces
  • Flambe’ – flaming foods by dousing in some form of potable alcohol and setting alight
  • Fold – incorporating a delicate substance into another substance without releasing air bubbles.
  • Fry – cooking in hot oil
  • Garnish – decorating a dish to enhance its appearance and provide a flavorful taste such as herbs or lemon slices
  • Grate – rubbing on a grater that separates the food in various sizes of shreds
  • Julienne – cutting vegetables, fruits or cheeses into thin strips
  • Knead – working and pressing dough with the palms of the hands
  • Marinate – flavoring and moisturizing pieces of meat, poultry, seafood or vegetable by soaking them with a liquid mixture of seasonings
  • Pan broil – cooking uncovered in a hot pan, pouring off fat as it accumulates
  • Pan fry – cooking in small amounts of oil
  • Peel – removing the peels from fruits or vegetables
  • Pickle – preserving meats, vegetables or fruits in brine
  • Pinch – a small amount you can hold between your thumb and forefinger
  • Poach – cooking very gently in hot liquid kept just below the boiling point
  • Puree – mashing foods until perfectly smooth
  • Reduce – boiling down to reduce the volume
  • Roast – cooking by dry heat in an oven
  • Sautee – cooking and/or browning food in a small amount of hot oil
  • Scald – bringing to a temperature just below the boiling point
  • Sear – browning very quickly by intense heat
  • Simmer – cooking slowly in liquid over low heat
  • Steam – cooking in steam in a pressure cooker or covered pot
  • Stew – simmering slowly in a small amount of liquid for a long period of time

Are you familiar with each of these terms?  Did you learn anything new?  Tell me in the comments below!

Similar Posts