Sweet Remedy

Cooking Definitions

Below you will find a list of cooking terms and their definitions. it is my hope that these cooking definitions help you become more fluent in the kitchen. Whenever I use one of these terms in a post or recipe I will link directly to this page in an effort to teach and help you cook smarter.

A

Al dente – To cook pasta or vegetables until there is still a firm bite. Basically you aren’t cooking the food completely through. No mushy pasta here! The exact transaltion is “to the tooth.”

Assemble – To put something together. In baking this could refer to a cake while in cooking it could be to plate the final dish.

B

Bake – To cook food in the oven (Doesn’t always refer to baked goods. You can also bake a chicken or a casserole!)

Baste – Brush a spoon a mixture (butter, marinade or other liquid) over food as it cooks to keep juicy and add additional flavors. Think: meats on the grill.

Batter – A thick mixture that usually consists of butter, eggs and flour that is usually baked in the oven. May contain a leveling agent such as baking soda or powder. Mostly found in muffins, cakes, and roll recipes.

Beat – Using a stand mixer or a spatula/whisk, stir rapidly to combine ingredients. Usually used in baking recipes when adding eggs.

Blacken – To cook meat in a skillet until dark and crispy yet not burned.

Blanch – To boil water and quickly add your ingredients. This is mostly used on vegetables and can be used to remove the skin of certain fruits like peaches and tomatoes.

Blend – To incorporate several ingredients together in a blender or food processor. This usually refers to making smoothies, milkshakes or salad dressings.

Bone/Debone – To remove the bones from an animal, usually poultry or fish.

Braise – To brown meat, in fat, over a lengthy period of time on the stove top or in the oven.

Brine – A mixture that is used as a marinade for meat.

Broil – To cook over a high flame for a short period of time, usually up to a minute

Broth – Made from the bones of animals with scrap vegetables. Used in soups, sauces and other dishes.

Brown – To cook until meat or vegetables are turing to a dark, golden or brown color. Usually the initial cooking of meat.

Brush – To lightly cover an ingredient (meat or vegetables) with a mixture using a brush.

Butterfly

C

Can – To preserve the fruits and vegetables of one season through the year. Usually used in reference to jams, jellies, marmalades and picked vegetables.

Caramelize – To cook on a food low for a lenghty amount of time until brown, soft and sweet. This is mostly done with onions and then used as an accent in certain dishes. It also may refer to heating sugar over low heat until it dissolves into a syrup known as caramel. Caramel is used In a variety of recipes and can be made into candies or used as an ice cream topping.

Carve – Using a sharp knife or carver to cut slices of an animal.

Chafe –

Chill – To put into the refrigerator or freezer with the intent of cooling down.

Chop – To cut something into pieces with a knife in a rapid downward motion.

Chunks

Churn – To move/turn liquid around in a container to make butter or ice cream, generally in a machine. If making ice cream the container would be cold and the freezing process would start here.

Clarify

Coddle

Combine – To put two separate things into the same bowl, pot or pan.

Core – To remove and disgard the core of a fruit such as an apple or pear.

Cream

Crimp

Crumb / Crumb Coat

Crumble

Crush

Cube

Curdle

D

Dash

Defrost

Degrease

Devil

Dice

Dilute

Dip

Dot

Drain

Dredge

Dress

Drizzle – To slowly pour a liquid onto something, for instance, drizzling olive oil onto a prepared salad.

Drop

Dry heat

Dust

E

Emulsify

F

Fillet

Firmly Pack

Flake

Flambe

Flip – To turn onto the opposite side in a sharp movement.

Floret

Fluff

Fold – With a spatula, gently lift up and over the ingredients by thrusting the spatula into the mixture and then using an upward motion to move the mixture to the opposite side of the bowl. Generally used to incorporate a lighter ingredient into a heavy mixture or batter. Usually seen in recipes that fold egg whites into a batter. Rotate the bowl as you go to get every inch of the mixtures.

Freeze – To place in a freezer until a liquid becomes a solid.

Frost

Froth

Fry

G

Garnish

Glaze

Grate

Grease and Flour

Grill

Grind

H

Hard Ball

Hull – To remove the tops from a fruit, such as the leafy green top of a strawberry.

Husk

I

Ice/Icing

Inject

Infuse – Soak herbs or tea in hot water so that the flavors extract into the water.

J

Julienne

K

Knead

M

Macerate- The process of steeping a food, usually a fruit in a liquid or sugar to soften the fruit and create a syrup that has the flavors of the liquid and fruit.

Marinate

Matchstick

Melt

Mince

Mix

Moist Heat

Muddle

P

Pan Broil

Pan Sear

Par Boil

Pare

Partially Set

Pat

Peel

Pinch

Pipe

Pit

Pith

Poach

Pound

Pour – To make a liquid flow from a container. Usually into another container. (i.e.: food processor, blender, glass or bowl.)

Preheat – Turn the oven on to a specific temperature to heat it before you being cooking or baking.

Process – To complete a task, usually in a food processor or blender. To render the ingredients together.

Pulp – A substance the remains after processing food in a food professor to remove the juices from the fiber.

Pulse

Pulverize

Pump

Puree

Q

Quarter – To cut a food into four pieces.

R

Reconstitute

Reduce

Reheat

Render

Rice

Rind

Roast

Rolling Boil

Rub

S

Saute

Scald

Score

Scorch – To heat the first layer or something.

Scoop – To remove a food from a container using a spoon.

Scramble

Scrape – To use a tool, such as a spatula, to remove a mixture (dough, batter, butter) from the sides of a bowl.

Sear

Season

Seed

Separate

Set

Shave

Shell

Shred -to tear or cut into tiny pieces or strips. This is usually done with a grater over a bowl or plate.

Sieve

Sift

Simmer

Sizzle

Skewer

Skim

Skin

Slice

Sliver

Snip

Soak – To let sit in a liquid for a specific amount of time. Usually water and overnight.

Soft Ball Stage

Soft Peaks

Spread

Sprinkle – To lightly distribute a finely grained food on top of a dish to be cooked or a finished dish.  (ie: sprinkling sugar on fruit.)

Steam

Steep- Soaking food or tea in another liquid which will absorb the flavor and nutrients.

Sterilize – Riding something from bacteria and germs. To do this in the kitchen, boil water and soak kitchen items for 10 minutes.

Stew

Stiff Peaks

Stir

Stir Constantly

Stir Fry

Stock

Strain – To remove liquid from larger pieces of food. Generally by use of a kitchen utensil called a strainer. You can also use fabric known as a cheesecloth.

Stuff

Sweat

T

Thaw

Thin

Thread

Toast

Toss

Trim

W

Wedge

Whip

Whisk – To rapidly stir in one direction with a whisk, a wired utensil.

Wilt

Z

Zest

This page is a work in progress and will be continuously updated. The list of definitions found here are generally from my own knowledge and experience in the kitchen. Once in awhile I employed help from Merriam – Webster Online or Dictionary.com.