To cook food means to heat it in order to make certain changes in it. Skillful cooks know exactly what changes they want to make and what they have to do in order to effect the changes. To learn these cooking skills, it is important to know how and why foods behave in a particular manner when they are heated.



Cooking methods are classified as `moist heat’ and `dry heat’


Moist-heat Methods are those in which the heat is conducted to the food product by water (liquid) or steam.


Dry-heat Methods are those in which the heat is conducted without moisture, that is, by hot air, hot metal, radiation or hot fat. We usually classify dry heat methods into two categories: with fat and without fat.


Different cooking methods suit different kinds of foods. For example, some meats are high in connective tissue and will be tough unless the tissue is broken down slowly by moist heat. Other meats are low in connective tissue and are naturally tender. They are at their best and juiciest when cooked with dry heat.


There are many factors to consider when choosing a method of cooking for meat, fish, poultry and vegetables, such as the flavor and appearance imparted by browning, the flavor imparted by fats and the firmness and the delicacy of the product.

Techniques used in the preparation generally aim at combining or mixing various food materials. Various foods are combined according to palatability and acceptance. Texture and flavor are controlled to an important degree by skill and method employed in combining component material.


1) Beating: mixing the materials briskly and dropping them with an appropriate tool. Sometimes it is used as synonyms with whipping.


2) Blending: mixing two or more ingredients thoroughly.


3) Cutting: it is the incorporation of fat in flour and other sifted dry ingredients with a knife. This method produces a coarse division of fat and does not result in blending as in cutting the fat into the mixture.


4) Creaming: softening fat by a fraction with a spoon, usually followed by gradual incorporation of sugar as in cake making.


5) Folding: mixing various materials with a palette knife/wooden spoon, by a careful lifting and dropping motion as in whipped egg whites into a cake mixture.


6) Kneading: manipulating by alternating pressure with folding and stretching as in kneading bread dough. A method of combination of water and flour proteins to make gluten.


7) Marinating: coating the surface of a material with marinade which is generally a mixture of oil and acid to soften up the fibers.


8) Stirring: mixing materials with an appropriate tool.


9) Whipping: rapid beating with a whisker or mechanical beater usually to incorporate air as in whipping egg white.

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