Cooking Terms Glossary


Cooking Terms Glossary

Al dente– The pasta is cooked until tender but still has a firm, chewy texture.

BakeTo cook in the oven.

BasteTo brush liquids such as fat, meat drippings, marinade, water or juices over meat during roasting to add flavor and to prevent it from drying out.

BatterA mixture of flour, butter, shortening or oil, and liquid. Batter usually describes cakes, cookies or muffins. A batter is different from dough because dough can be formed into a ball and it keeps its shape.

BeatTo beat means to stir or mix ingredients with a whisk, spoon or a mixer.

Blanch To blanch food immerse fruit or vegetable in boiling water for a minute or so, remove and place in a bowl of ice water. This is often used before freezing fruits or vegetables. Or you can blanch a fruit or vegetable such as tomatoes or peaches to remove their skins.

Blend Similar to beat. Add ingredients together and blending them with a spoon or a mixer.

Boil To cook a liquid such as water or broth so it reaches a boiling temperature. You will see bubbles in the pan.

Braise To tenderize meat, you brown meat or poultry in oil. Then place in roasting pan and cook in the oven or place directly in the crock pot.

BreadTo bread something is to coat it with bread crumbs, cracker crumbs, or other crumb mixture before cooking it.

BroilTo cook meat or other food under the heat source. This seals in flavor.

BrothBroth is a liquid made by cooking meat, vegetables or seafood with herbs, bones and water.

BrownSaute meat or vegetables in a frying pan with oil or butter until it turns brown in color

BrushTo brush food is when you use a pastry brush and brush the top of the food with melted butter or egg white.

Bundt pan-Tube baking pan.

Caramelize-Browning sugar over medium heat.

Chill-Place in refrigerator.

Chop To cut food into pieces with a knife, food chopper, blender, or food processor.

CoatTo cover both sides of a food with flour, crumbs or batter. See definition for bread.

Coats a spoon When stirring liquid in a saucepan the liquid will cover a metal spoon.

CombineAdding ingredients together and stirring.

CoreTo remove the inside of a fruit. Apples or pears are an example of a fruit that is usually cored.

Cream Mixing butter, shortening or margarine with sugar until smooth and creamy.

CrushTo crush a food into tiny pieces with a rolling pin or kitchen mallet.

Cube Cutting foods such as vegetables or meat into pieces with 6 equal sides.

Cut in Blend or cream butter or shortening into a flour mixture.


DashTo add a dash of something in cooking is less than 1/16 teaspoon. Since there is no 1/16 teaspoon you use a pinch amount.

Deep Fry To cook food completely covered in hot oil.

DeglazeAfter cooking or roasting meat you add liquid such as milk, broth or water to dissolve the juices stuck to the bottom of the pan. Often deglazing is used when making gravy.

DiceTo cut food into small cubes.

Dilute To thin a liquid by adding more liquid, usually water or milk, to it.

Direct heatDirect heat is when food is placed directly on a cooking source such as toasting or grilling.

Dissolve To dissolve something is to blend food together to make a liquid. For example, add water and sugar together and stirring until sugar is dissolved.

DotAdd small pieces of ingredients over food for even melting. (usually butter.)

DoughA dough is a combination of flour, liquid and other ingredients to make a firm mixture usually for bread or cookies.

DredgeTo lightly coat food with flour, bread crumbs or cracker crumbs. See “coat” above.

Drippings-are what is left in the bottom of a pan after roasting meat.

DrizzlePouring a liquid over food in a slow, light trickle.

DustTo sprinkle food with flour, spices or sugar. For example before kneading bread dust the counter top with flour.

Egg washBlending eggs with water and then coating or brushing baked goods.

EntréeThe main dish.

FilletRemove bones from fish or meat.

Firm ball stageIn regards to making candy. This is when a drop of boiling syrup dropped in cold water forms a ball that will give slightly when squeezed.

FlakeBreaking food apart with a fork usually used for fish.

FlambéTo light a sauce or liquid with flames.

Flute To press edges of a pie crust together in a decorative way.

FoldTo combine ingredients together carefully by stirring through the mixture and bringing the spoon back up to the top gently.

FryTo cook food in hot oil or butter until browned or cooked through.

GarnishTo add an edible decoration to make food more attractive.

GelTo let a food set or become solid by adding gelatin.

Glaze To coat food with a mixture that gives a shiny appearance. For example, a chocolate glaze on a dough nut.

GrateTo shred food into tiny pieces by rubbing against a grater.

GreaseTo coat or rub a pan with oil or shortening. For cakes you grease and dust the pan with flour.

GrillTo cook food over direct heat in a grill or direct flame.

Grind To crush food with a food processor, blender or grinder.

Hard-ball stageIn regards to candy making, this is when syrup has cooked long enough to form a solid ball in cold water.

HullTo remove leafs from fruits such as strawberries.

IceTo spread a glaze or frosting on a cake or to cool food down by placing on ice.

Julienne Cut food into long thin strips.

KneadMassage dough with your hands in a back and forth pressing and folding motion for several minutes until dough is smooth.

Lukewarm A temperature of about 95ºF, not too hot and not too cold.

MarbleTo swirl food together

MarinateTo season food by placing it in a flavorful mixture called a marinade.

MashTo press food to remove lumps.

MeringueEgg whites beaten until stiff. Then add sugar to the egg whites. This is used for topping pies or other baked items.

Microwaveto cook food in a microwave.

MinceTo chop in tiny pieces.

MixStirring ingredients together with a spoon or a mixer until well combined.

MoistenAdding liquid to dry ingredients to make wet but not too wet.

Pan broil To cook food in a skillet over high heat by itself and removing fat from pan as it cooks off meat.

Pan fryTo cook with a small amount of oil or butter.

ParboilTo cook food partly in boiling liquid. Also called blanching.

Parchment Heat-resistant paper used in cooking.

PareTo peel or trim a food, usually vegetables.

PeaksEgg whites whipped until stiff peaks form or they stay upright.

Peelto remove the outer skin of fruit and vegetables with a knife or vegetable peeler.

PinchTo add less than 1/16 teaspoon. See definition of dash.

PipeTo use a pastry bag or plastic bag with a corner cut off to decorate food.

PitTo take out the stone of a fruit such as cherry or peach.

Poachto simmer in boiling liquid.

Pressure CookingTo cook using steam trapped under a lid at a high temperature.

ProofThe process of adding yeast to warm water or milk.

Punch downIn regards to baking bread you push down risen yeast dough with your fist.

Purée To blend food together until it becomes completely smooth.

ReconstituteAdding water to dried food to return it back to its original consistency.

ReduceTo boil liquids down to enhance flavor or thicken.

Re-hydrateTo soak or cook dried foods in liquid.

RoastTo cook in an oven uncovered.

RouxA thickened paste made from butter and flour usually used for thicken sauces.

RubA mixture of ground spices that is rubbed over meat and then baked or roasted.

SautéCooking food in hot oil in a pan.

ScaldTo cook just under the boiling point.

Score Cut diagonal slits on the top of meat.

SearTo cook meat in a frying pan under high heat to seal in juices. Then the meat is usually cooked in the oven after searing.

SeasonTo flavor meat with salt, pepper or other seasonings.

Set Allowing food to become solid.

ShredTo cut with a knife, tear with your hands, or use a grater to cut food into long strips. For meat, two forks can be used to shred cooked roasted meat.

SiftTo remove lumps from dry ingredients with a mesh strainer or flour sifter.

Simmer To cook over low heat so food or liquid doesn’t reach the boiling point.

SkimTo take the top layer of fat from soups or other liquids with a slotted spoon or other utensils.

Skewer Used for cooking on a stick. Usually wood or metal stick.

Steam To cook food in a covered pan with a small amount of  boiling water.

SteepTo soak dry ingredients in liquid until the flavor is infused into the liquid.

Stew Cooking meat and vegetables in broth. This works best with less tender cuts of meat.

StirTo blend ingredients together.

Stir-Fry– Frying cut meat and vegetables on high heat with a small amount of oil.

StrainTo use a colander or strainer to drain liquid off cooked food.

ThickenTo stir together cornstarch and cold water and then adding to food to thicken.

Thin To add more liquid to food.

TossMix ingredients gently together to combine.

Unleavened-Baked goods with no baking powder, yeast or baking soda added.

Water BathTo cook a dish that is set in a larger pan. The larger pan holds boiling water.

Whip To beat ingredients together quickly with a spoon or mixer until light and fluffy.

Whisk To mix together by beating with a whisk or mixer.

Zest To remove the outer part of citrus fruits with a small grater.


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