How to Cook

“It’s my belief that the best way to become a good cook is to learn these basic cooking techniques.” Once you learn how to handle these fundamental techniques, you will be able to handle most recipes. Cooking is not just about recipes….it is about how to take ingredients and make them taste as good as possible. Recipes are great road maps to show us how someone else got there, but one of the joys of cooking is to find your own paths. Knowing these techniques is like taking the car out for a spin in a new location. You’re not sure where you are going to end up, but getting there will be fun.

Baking

baking technique

Baking is defined as cooking food in an oven using dry heat. That’s all well and good, but since baking is one of the primary ways in which we cook food, let’s take a minute to look at baking, in depth. When we think of the term “baking” we are generally talking about cakes…

Boiling

boiling

How many times have you heard boiled potatoes, boiled cabbage, or boiled eggs? Boiling is a catchall term almost as broad as “cooking” itself. But cooking in hot water can and should occur over a broad range of temperatures, from poaching to simmering to gentle boil to the occasional full rolling boil. Learn the differences among the techniques, and never end up with dry pot roast…

Braising

braising technique

Braising is a cooking technique in which the main ingredient is seared, or browned in fat, and then simmered in liquid on low heat in a covered pot. The best equipment to use would be a crock pot, pressure cooker or Dutch oven. LeCrueset makes a range of enameled pots and pans that are good…

Frying

stir fry technique

Frying has gotten a bad rap, but if done correctly this cooking technique can yield a moist and juicy interior and a crisp exterior that is in no way greasy. Frying is also a versatile technique, suitable for everything from meats to vegetables. Learn the secrets to successful pan frying and deep frying so that you will get the results that you want every time.

Grilling

grilling

For all you guys out there who are already grill masters, read no further. But for the rest of us mere mortal home cooks who would like a few tips about grilling, read on. I have to warn you: when researching the technique of grilling, I found so many differing viewpoints…

Roasting

roasting technique

Who doesn’t love a roasted chicken or Sunday roast beef? Roasting is a dry heat cooking method. A more specific definition includes roasting in an oven, before a fire, or buried in embers or very hot sand. Think about wrapping a potato up in aluminum foil and nestling…

Poaching

poaching technique

Have you ever poached an egg to make Eggs Benedict? Poached pears in wine for dessert? Or delicately cooked a fish covered with water, stock or wine (poaching liquids) in a covered pan to preserve the moistness of the meat? These are examples of poaching you are probably familiar with…

Sauces

sauces

As a home cook, one of the hardest things for me to accomplish when first starting out was making a rich velvety brown sauce to serve on steak, lamb, veal, pork, or even chicken. I could put together a pretty good pan sauce using the dripping after sautéing or roasting a piece of meat…

Saute

saute technique

Saute in French means “to jump” and can be a method of cooking or a way to describe a dish like sauteed chicken breasts. The reason the French called this technique “to jump” is because you are cooking at a very high heat and you don’t want it sitting too long in the pan…

Steaming

steaming technique

Steaming is a basic cooking technique that is considered a moist heat cooking method where the cooking happens at a higher temperature than, lets say, braising or poaching but it is also considered a gentle way of cooking. Perfect for delicate foods including most vegetables, white meat poultry and fish…

Stewing

a stewing technique

Nothing hits the spot on a cold, snowy day than a rich and steaming bowl of stew. But what is, stew, exactly? Stew is not only the name of a dish, but it is also a cooking method. Stew, the dish, is loosely defined as meat or fish and vegetables cooked by stewing…

More Techniques

Learn more on other techniques like boiling, basting, pan roasting and more!

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