Methods of Cooking Food

  • Post last modified:4 July 2023
  • Reading time:51 mins read
  • Post category:Uncategorized

Art of Cooking

To ensure desired texture, taste, flavor, and quality of cooked food, choosing the correct method of cooking is very important. The characteristics desired in the finished product determine which method of cookery will have to be chosen for any given food. While correct preparation of ingredients and correct mixing is necessary, greater skill is needed in the actual cooking of the food.

The Principles of Cooking Food

The cooking of food involves heating it in a variety of ways to make it more palatable. The heat to cook the food comes from a variety of sources, including electric elements or hotplates; gas flame from a stove or barbecue; the heat from a conventional oven; and heat generated by a microwave oven.

Heat is transferred to the food and cooking medium (the fat, water, stock, or milk) using convection, conduction, and radiation. It must be remembered that most foods are cooked by a combination of at least two of the processes of transferring heat, not just one. For example, a baked butter cake will be cooked by heat directly reflecting from the oven walls (radiation), heat circulating in the air of the oven (convection), and heat transferred from the cake pan to the cake mixture (conduction). The three methods of heat transference are:


When food is cooked through the convention process, the heat passes through another medium—either liquid or gas. When liquids or gases are heated, the heat is distributed throughout the cooking medium and food by convection currents. For example, in baking, the air in the oven gradually heats up until the heat is transferred to the product being baked. When food is boiled, the water (the cooking medium) is gradually heated by the process of convection. Once the water is heated, it transfers the heat to the food. The same principle applies to deep frying, except that oil is the cooking medium.

Cooking equipment that uses the process of convection to cook food includes deep fryers, stockpots, steamers, boilers, poachers, cooking pots, and ovens. Methods of cooking by convection include poaching, boiling, stewing, braising, baking, and roasting.


Conduction is the process in which heat is transferred to the food by direct contact with the cooking vessel (e.g., pot, pan, barbecue, hotplate). The heat passes through a solid or from one solid to another. For food to be cooked by conduction, it must be in direct contact with a heated item. This process relies on the use of good conductors, which allow the heat to transfer through them to the food. Metals are generally good conductors of heat, which is why the cooking equipment in a commercial kitchen is mostly metallic.

Cooking equipment that uses the process of conduction to cook food includes bratt pans, barbecues, woks, crêpe pans, solid grill plates, and stove hotplates. Methods of cooking by conduction include stir frying, shallow frying, and sautéing.


Radiation is the process of heat transference directly onto the food being cooked. The heat is transferred by electromagnetic waves, such as microwaves and infrared waves. These waves go directly to the food being cooked, and any object in the path of the rays will also become hot, such as a grill plate. When food is microwaved, the cooking process is due to the action of electromagnetic waves produced by the magnetron in the microwave oven. Infrared waves are produced from the grill. These waves cause the food, which is located close to the heat source, to first heat and then cook the food.

Cooking equipment that uses the process of radiation to cook food includes microwaves, salamanders, grillers, and toasters. Methods of cooking by radiation include grilling, toasting, baking, and microwaving. Moist heat or dry heat can be used to cook food in this way. The decision of which cooking method to choose depends on the desired result of the cooked product. For example, a boneless chicken breast fillet will taste and appear very different if it is poached in chicken stock, rather than being char-grilled, or crumbed and shallow-fried.

Methods of Cooking Food

Different cooking methods are suited to 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. There are many other factors to consider when choosing cooking methods for meats, fish, and vegetables such as the flavor and appearance imparted by browning, the flavor imparted by fats, and the firmness or delicacy of the product. The basic cooking methods are explained in detail. Cooking methods are mainly classified as:

  • Moist heat methods and
  • Dry heat methods.

The other cooking methods such as microwave cooking and solar cooking are also briefly explained.

Moist-Heat Methods

Moist-heat methods of cooking use a liquid cooking medium, usually stock, water, milk, or fruit juice. The liquid cooking medium transfers the heat to the food and cooks the food by convection. Methods of cooking with moist heat include boiling, poaching, steaming, braising, and stewing. In this method, heat is conducted to the food product by water (including stock, sauces, etc.) or by steam. The following are the moist heat methods:


Boiling is cooking food in boiling water, or other water-based liquids such as stock or milk. The boiling point is the temperature at which the vapor pressure of the substance equals the pressure above the substance. Increasing the pressure as in a pressure cooker raises the temperature of the contents above the open air boiling point.

Adding a water-soluble substance, such as salt or sugar also increases the boiling point. This is called boiling-point elevation. However, when these are used in small quantities to improve taste and palatability in small quantities, the effect is very small, and the boiling point will be increased by an insignificant amount. On the other hand, high concentrations of salt or ethylene glycol can cause significant freezing point depression.

Due to variations in composition and pressure, the boiling point of water rarely exceeds 212°F / 100°C, but rather close enough for cooking. No matter how high the burner is turned, the temperature of the liquid will go no higher. Boiling is generally used for certain vegetables and starches. The high temperatures toughen the proteins of meat, fish, and eggs and the rapid bubbling breaks up delicate foods.

Foods suitable for boiling include Fish, Vegetables, and Farinaceous foods such as pasta, Eggs, Meat, Sauces, Stocks, and soups. Boiling can be done in two ways: The food can be placed into already rapidly boiling water and left to cook. The heat can be turned down and the food can be simmered, or the food can also be placed into the pot, and cold water may be added to the pot. This may then be boiled until the food is satisfactorily cooked.

Water on the outside of a pot, i.e. a wet pot, actually increases the time it takes for the pot of water to boil. The pot will heat at a normal rate once all excess water on the outside of the pot evaporates.

  • Advantages of Boiling:

    • Older, tougher, cheaper cuts of meat and poultry can be made digestible.

    • It is appropriate for large-scale cookery.

    • Nutritious, well-flavored stock is produced.

    • It is safe and simple.

    • Full color and nutritional value are retained when cooking green vegetables, provided boiling time is kept to a minimum.
  • Disadvantages of Boiling:

    • There is a loss of soluble vitamins in the water.
    • Boiling water with the lid on wears out the pot.
    • It can be a slow method.
    • Foods may look unattractive.


Simmering is a cooking technique in which foods are cooked in hot liquids kept at or just barely below the boiling point of water (at average sea level air pressure), 100°C (212°F). To keep a pot simmering, one brings it to a boil and then adjusts the heat down until just before the formation of steam bubbles stops completely. Water normally begins to simmer at about 94°C or 200°F. Simmering ensures gentler treatment than boiling to prevent food from toughening and/or breaking up. Simmering is usually a rapid and efficient method of cooking.


Poaching is the process of gently simmering food in liquid, generally water, stock, or wine. Poaching is particularly suitable for fragile food, such as eggs, poultry, fish, and fruit, which might easily fall apart or dry out. For this reason, it is essential to keep the heat low and to keep the poaching time to a bare minimum, which will also preserve the flavor of the food.

The poaching liquid is called court bouillon and a classical court bouillon consists of an acid (wine, lemon juice), aromatic (bouquet garni), poaching liquid, and mirepoix. The temperature of the liquid should be around 160-185°F (70-85°C). Always remember that to serve chicken safely, it has to have reached a temperature of 165°F (74°C) in the core.

Poached eggs are generally cooked in water, fish in white wine, poultry in stock, and fruit in red wine. When poaching eggs a little vinegar and salt are added to a liquid to help in quicker coagulation and thus prevent tissue disintegration.

  • Advantages of Poaching:

    • No special equipment is needed.
    • A quick method of cooking and therefore saves fuel.
    • Poached foods are easily digested since no fat is added.
  • Disadvantages of Poaching:

    • Poached foods may not appeal to everybody as they are bland in taste.
    • Food can be scorched if water evaporates due to careless monitoring.
    • Water soluble nutrients may be leached into the water.


Blanching is a process of food preparation wherein the food substance, usually a vegetable or fruit, is plunged into boiling water, removed after a brief, timed interval, and finally plunged into iced water or placed under cold running water (shocked) to halt the continuing cooking process.

There are two ways of blanching in water:

  • Place the item in cold water, bring it to a boil, and simmer briefly, Cool the item by plunging into cold water. The idea is to dissolve blood, salt, and impurities from certain meats and bones.

  • Place the item in rapidly boiling water and return the water to the boil. Remove and cool in cold water. The purpose is to preserve the color and destroy harmful enzymes in vegetables, or to loosen the skins of tomatoes, peaches, and similar items for easier peeling.

Blanching can also be described as deep frying in oil at a lower temperature as with the initial cooking of chips. Blanching also weakens the structure of vegetables rendering them softer than fresh. This is beneficial as a pre-treatment for canning vegetables where the air in vegetables needs to be minimal.

  • Uses of Blanching:

    • Blanching loosens the skin on some fruits or nuts, such as onions, tomatoes, plums, peaches, or almonds.

    • Blanching enhances the flavor of some vegetables, such as broccoli by releasing bitter acids stored in the cellular structure of the food.

    • Blanching enhances the color of some (particularly green) vegetables by releasing gases trapped in the cellular material that obscures the greenness of the chlorophyll. Since blanching is done – and halted quickly, the heat does not have time to break down chlorophyll as well.

    • Blanching kills off bacteria and enzymes present in foods, thus delaying spoilage. This is often done as a preparatory step for freezing and refrigerating vegetables.


Steaming is a method of cooking using steam. Food is cooked in the steam produced by a boiling liquid (rather than placing the food itself in the boiling liquid). Steaming relies on the steam produced under pressure. The amount of pressure produced is determined by the type of equipment used.

It is a preferred cooking method for health-conscious individuals because no cooking oil is needed, thus resulting in a lower fat content. Steaming also results in more nutritious food than boiling because fewer nutrients are destroyed or leached away into the water (which is usually discarded). It is also easier to avoid burning food when steaming.

  • The advantages of Steaming are:

    • Steaming is mostly used for vegetables. It cooks them rapidly without mixing and minimizes the dissolving away of nutrients that occur when vegetables are boiled.

    • Steamed food is easily digested; steaming retains most of the nutrients and flavor. While steaming pour enough water and have the water boiling, if the water is evaporating add only, boiling water to replenish.

There are two different types of steaming: atmospheric steaming and high-pressure steaming, discussed in detail below.

Atmospheric Steaming

With atmospheric steaming, steam may be produced by placing water in the bottom of a saucepan and bringing it to a rapid boil. Food is kept in cooking vessels placed above the boiling water. The steam from the boiling water heats the plate, and thus the enclosed food.

Steaming works by first boiling water, causing it to evaporate into steam; the steam then carries heat to the food, thus cooking the food. Such cooking is most often done by placing the food into a steamer, which is typically a circular container made of metal or bamboo. The steamer usually has a lid that is placed on the top of the container during cooking, to allow the steam to cook the food.

Steam at normal pressure is 100°C it is the same as boiling water. But it carries much more heat than boiling water and cooks very rapidly. Cooking times must be carefully controlled to avoid overcooking.

The following foods are more suitable for atmospheric steaming are vegetables, except green vegetables, which discolor to an olive-green color; very tender cuts of meat, such as sirloin or fillet; most types of seafood, either whole or in pieces; poultry, whole or in smaller cuts; dried fruit (fresh fruits are not suitable, as they will deteriorate); puddings, such as sponge puddings or Christmas puddings; and dumplings.

High-Pressure Steaming

Steaming can also be carried out in high-pressure steamers, such as pressure cookers. These steamers work on the principle that higher pressure will produce higher temperatures, causing the food to cook faster. In this method, the temperature of boiling water can be raised above 100°C. Rice, dhal, meat, roots, and tubers are usually pressure cooked.

Steam enters the cooking chamber and builds up pressure. A safety valve is used to control the amount of pressure that builds up. The highest pressure that the unit is allowed to go to is predetermined and preset.

Foods suitable for steaming are those that can withstand quite high temperatures, as the temperatures created by steam are higher than the boiling point. These foods need to be able to withstand deterioration of color, flavor, and texture. Steaming is a nutritional method of cooking. It is especially useful for foods that contain the water-soluble vitamins B and C, as a large proportion of these vitamins are retained by this process.

Foods suitable for high-pressure steaming include vegetables; tougher cuts of meat; offal such as tongue and oxtail; and poultry (broilers).

  • Advantages of Pressure Cooking:

    • Cooking time is less compared to other methods.

    • Nutrient and flavor loss is minimized.

    • Conserves fuel and time as different items can be cooked at the same time.

    • Less chance of burning and scorching.

    • Constant attention is not necessary.
  • Disadvantages of Pressure Cooking:

    • The initial investment may not be affordable to everybody.

    • Knowledge of the usage, care, and maintenance of cookers is required to prevent accidents.

    • Careful watch on the cooking time is required to prevent overcooking.


Braising (from the French “braiser”) is cooking covered in a small amount of liquid, usually after preliminary browning. The meat is usually browned first using a dry-heat method such as pan-frying. A desirable taste and flavor can be obtained from the product and the sauce.

Braising also refers to cooking some vegetables such as cabbage at low temperature in a small amount of liquid, without first browning in fat, or with only a light preliminary saluting.

Foods being braised are not completely covered by the cooking liquid. The top of the product is cooked by steam held in the covered pot. Pot roasts, for example, are cooked in liquid that covers the item by one-third to two-thirds. The exact amount depends on how much sauce is needed for service. This method yields a flavorful, concentrated sauce.

In preparations with poultry and fish, no liquid is added. This is still considered braising since steam is trapped by the cover and the item cooks in its moisture. Braising may be done on the cooking range or in the oven.

Familiar braised dishes include pot roast, beef stew, Swiss steak, chicken cacciatore, goulash, carbonade, braised tilapia, and beef bourguignon, among others. Braising is also used extensively in the cuisines of Asia, particularly Chinese cuisine.

  • Braising in the oven has three major advantages:

    • Uniform cooking. The heat strikes the braising pot on all sides not just the bottom.

    • Less attention is required. Foods braise at a low, steady temperature without having to be checked constantly.

    • Range space is free for other purposes.

Dry-heat Methods

Dry-heat methods are those in which the heat is conducted without moisture that is by hot air, hot metal radiation, or hot fat. This type of cooking happens under a broiler, on a grill, in an oven, or a deep-fryer, wok, skillet, or sauté pan on the top stove. These methods serve to caramelize both natural and added sugars in food as it cooks, resulting in great flavor, texture, and appearance. Generally, foods prepared using dry-heat methods have a crusty surface and call for a minimum of additional liquid.

The dry heat methods are further divided into two categories:

Dry-Heat Without Fat


Roasting is a cooking method that utilizes dry heat, whether an open flame, oven, or other heat source. Roasting usually causes caramelization of the surface of the food, which is considered a flavor enhancement. Meats and most root and bulb vegetables can be roasted. Any piece of meat, especially red meat that has been cooked in this fashion is called a roast. Also, meats and vegetables prepared in this way are described as “roast”, e.g., roast chicken or roast squash. Some foods such as coffee and chocolate are always roasted.

Roasting originally meant turning meat or a bird on a spit in front of a fire. It is one of the oldest forms of cooking known.

Traditionally recognized roasting methods consist only of baking and cooking over or near an open fire. Grilling is normally not technically a roast, since grilled meat is usually seasoned with wet ingredients or marinated. Smoking differs from roasting because of the lower temperature and controlled smoke application.

There are four types of roasting: spit roasting, oven roasting, pot roasting, and pan roasting.

  • Pit Roasting: The food is brought in contact with direct flame. The food is braised with fat and is also turned regularly to ensure even cooking and browning e.g. barbecued meat.

  • Oven Roasting: Cooking food in an oven with the aid of fat. The food is placed in a fairly hot oven for 5 to 10 minutes. Cooking at a moderate for a longer time temperature produces a better product than cooking at a high temperature for a shorter period. Meat, poultry, and vegetables are cooked by this method.

    For roasting the food may be placed on a rack, in a roasting pan or, to ensure even application of heat, may be rotated on a spit or rotisserie. During oven roasting hot air circulates the meat, cooking all sides evenly. There are several theories for roasting meats correctly: low-temperature cooking, high-temperature cooking, and a combination of both. During roasting, meats and vegetables are usually basted on the surface with butter, lard, or oil to reduce the loss of moisture by evaporation. Recently, plastic oven bags have become popular for roasts.

    • Pot Roasting: In a thick heavy pan, enough fat is added and when the fat is hot the meat joint is browned. It is then lifted out and 2 or 3 skewers are put into the pan, on which the joint is placed. The joint should touch the fat. The pan is covered tightly with a lid and cooked on a slow fire. The joint can be basted occasionally with fat. Meat joints, potatoes, and other root vegetables can be cooked by this method.

    • Pan Roasting: Pan is heated and grains are added, occasionally stirring. Little fat, or sand is added to prevent burning. Roasting enhances the flavor. Corn is made into popcorn by pan roasting method. Coffee seeds are roasted before being powered.


Baking is the technique of prolonged cooking of food by dry heat acting by conduction, and not by radiation, normally in an oven, but also hot ashes, or on hot stones. It is primarily used for the preparation of bread, cakes, pastries, pies, tarts, and quiches. Such items are sometimes referred to as “baked goods,” and are sold at a bakery.

A person who prepares baked goods as a profession is called a baker. It is also used for the preparation of baked potatoes; baked apples; baked beans; some pasta dishes, such as lasagne; and various other foods, such as the pretzel.

Many domestic ovens are provided with two heating elements: one for baking, using convection and conduction to heat the food; and one for broiling or grilling, heating mainly by radiation. Meat may be baked but is more often roasted, a similar process, using higher temperatures and shorter cooking times.

The baking process does not add any fat to the product, and producers of snack products such as potato chips are also beginning to substitute the process of deep frying by baking to reduce the fat content of their products.

  • Advantages of Baking:

    • Baking lends a unique baked flavor to foods.
    • Foods become light and fluffy – cakes, custards, bread.
    • Certain foods can be prepared only by this method – bread, cakes.
    • Uniform and bulk cooking can be achieved. Eg. bun, bread.
    • Flavor and texture are improved.

    • A variety of dishes can be made.
  • Disadvantages of Baking:

    • Special equipment like an oven is required.

    • Baking skills are necessary to obtain a product with ideal texture, flavor, and color characteristics.

    • Careful monitoring is needed to prevent scorching.


Grilling is cooking by dry heat. The food is placed on a gridiron over the fire or on a grid placed in a tin under a gas or electric grill or between electrically heated grill bars.

  • Grilling over the Heat: Food is placed on greased grill bars and cooked on direct flame. The grill bars are brushed with oil to prevent food from sticking and can be heated by charcoal, coke, gas, or electricity. The bars should clear the article on both sides to give the distinctive flavor of grilling. Meat, poultry, and fish can be prepared by this method.

  • Grilling under the Heat: Salamander, cooking on grill bars or trays under direct heat. Steaks, chops, etc. are cooked on the bars but fish, tomato, bacon, and mushroom are generally cooked on trays.

  • Grilling between heat: Food is cooked between electrically heated grill bars.

  • Infra-red grilling: Cooking food by infrared radiation. By this method, cooking time is considerably reduced.


Cooking by direct heat from a gas flame, electric wire, or coal. Usually used for tender cuts of meat and the temperature is high enough to sear the surface.

Pan broiling is cooking food on a hot metal pan or on a stone on a grill with enough fat to prevent sticking. Excess fat accumulated while cooking is drained off.

Broiling is similar to grilling but uses a heat source above the food rather than below.


It is done on a solid cooking surface called a griddle without any amount of fat. The temperature is adjustable and is much lower around 3500°F / 1770°C than on a grill. In addition to meats, items such as eggs and pancakes are cooked on a griddle.

Grooved griddles have a solid top with raised ridges. They are designed to cook like grills but to create less smoke. Meats cooked on a grooved griddle do not have the charcoal grilled flavor imparted by smoke from burning fats.

Dry-Heat Methods Using Fat

In the dry-heat methods, food is mainly cooked by convection of heat through the frying medium. It is also cooked by conduction when the hot fat cooks the surface of the food.


Sautéing is a method of cooking food that uses a small amount of fat in a shallow pan over relatively high heat. Sauter means “to jump” in French — the food is cooked until it jumps.

Food that is sautéed is usually cooked for a relatively short period over high heat, to brown the food while preserving its color, moisture, and flavor. This is very common with more tender cuts of meat, e.g. tenderloin, pork chops, or filet mignon. Two important points to be considered while sautéing are:

  • Preheat the pan before adding the food to be sauteed. The food must be seared quickly or it will begin to simmer in its juice.

  • Do not overcrowd the pan. Doing so lowers the temperature too much and again the food is seared but begins to simmer in its juices.

Meats to be sautéed are dusted with flour to prevent sticking and to help achieve uniform color.

The food is sautéed in a liquid such as wine or stock, often swirled in the pan to dissolve browned bits of food sticking to the bottom. This is called deglazing. This liquid becomes part of a sauce served with sauteed items.


Frying is a method of cooking wherein the food to be cooked is brought directly in contact with hot fat. Frying techniques vary in the amount of fat required, the cooking time, the type of cooking vessel required, and the manipulation of the food. Stir-frying, pan-frying, shallow frying, and deep frying are all standard frying techniques.

  • Stir Frying: In this frying method a traditionally round-bottom iron pan called a wok is heated to a high temperature. A small amount of cooking oil is then poured down the side of the wok followed by dry seasonings (including ginger and garlic), then at the first moment the seasonings can be smelled, meats are added and agitated.

    Once the meat is seared, vegetables along with liquid ingredients (for example often including premixed combinations of some soy sauce, vinegar, wine, salt, sugar, and cornstarch) are added. The wok then may be covered for a moment so the water in the liquid ingredients can warm up the new elements as it steams off.

    To keep the meat juicy, usually, a cook would take the seared meat out before vegetables are added, and put the meat back right before vegetables are done. In some dishes, or if the cooking conditions are inadequate, different components may be stir-fried separately before being combined in the final dish.

    The food is stirred and tossed out very quickly using wooden or metal cooking utensils. Some chefs will lift the wok to the side to let the flame light the oil or add a dash of wine spirit to give the food extra flavor. Using this method, many dishes can be cooked extremely quickly (within a minute).
  • Shallow Fat Frying: Only a little fat is used and the food is turned slowly on both sides to ensure that both sides of the food are evenly cooked and browned. This method is generally applied to precooked foods or foods that require less time to work e.g. omelet, liver, fish, etc.) or for food that contain fat in themselves e.g. bacon, sausages, etc. Fat absorption is greater when food is shallow fried than deep fried.

  • Deep Fat Frying: The food is completely immersed in a large quantity of hot fat, (350°F to 400°F). Fats and oils should not be heated to high temperatures (smoking point) as the fat decomposes at high temperatures. On the other hand, if the fat is not hot enough the food beaks up and absorbs extra fat thus making the product too oily for consumption.

    Most of the foods that are to be deep fried require coating before frying to keep the food intact and also prevent fat absorption. Materials used as coating are egg, bread crumbs, Bengal gram flour and bread crumbs, oatmeal or vermicelli, thinly rolled pastry, etc. Sweets and savories are cooked by this method.

    Food cooked by deep fat frying has a better appearance and is evenly browned than shallow fat frying. While frying the following points should be considered:

  • The food should be made into suitable and of even sizes and shapes.

  • The coating should be applied evenly, to keep the bread crumbs intact. Bread crumbs if used should be smooth, evenly rolled, and pressed.

  • Food should be added at the correct temperature.

  • Too much food added at one time lowers the temperature and absorbs oil.

  • Fats thicken and become gummy or syrupy if heated several times. This condition is known as polymerization and is unfit for further use.

  • Cover the fats between frying periods when left in the pan and maintain them at a temperature lower than 200°F and store them in a refrigerator.

  • Fat becomes dark if cooked at too high a temperature for too long a period since the loose bread crumbs and small particles of food get charred. Such fat can be strained and reused.
  • Advantages of Deep Drying:

    • Advantages of Deep Drying: A very quick method of cooking.

    • The calorific values of food are increased since fat is used as the cooking media.

    • Frying lends a delicious flavor and attractive appearance to foods.

    • Taste and texture are improved.
  • Disadvantages of Deep Frying:

    • Deep frying produces large amounts of waste oil, which must be properly disposed of.

    • The food may become soggy due to too much oil absorption.

    • Fried foods are not easily digested.

    • Repeated use of heated oils will have ill effects on health. Deep fry shortenings contain trans-fat.

    • Cooking oil is flammable, and there have occasionally been fires caused by the oil igniting due to too high temperature.

Pan Frying

It is a form of frying characterized by the use of less cooking oil than deep frying; enough oil too, at most, covers the food to be cooked only halfway. As a form of frying, pan frying relies on oil as the heat transfer medium and on the correct temperature to retain the moisture in the food. The exposed topside allows, unlike deep frying, some moisture loss (which may or may not be desirable) and contact with the pan bottom creates greater browning on the contact surface (which may or may not be desirable.)

Because of the partial coverage, the food must be flipped at least once to cook both sides. Generally, a shallower cooking vessel is used for pan frying than deep frying. Using a deep pan with a small amount of oil does reduce spatter but the increased moisture around the cooking food is generally detrimental to the preparation.

A denser cooking vessel, the pan should feel heavy for its size, is necessarily better than a less dense pan since that mass will improve temperature regulation. An electric skillet can be used analogously to an electric deep fryer and many of these devices have a thermostat to keep the liquid (in this case, oil) at the desired temperature.

A popular entree that would be described as “pan-fried” would be fish or seafood.

Pressure Frying

Pressure frying is a variation in pressure cooking where meat and cooking oil are brought to high temperatures while pressure is held high enough to cook the food more quickly. This leaves the meat very hot and juicy. A receptacle used in pressure frying is known as a pressure fryer. Pressure frying is mostly done in industrial kitchens. Ordinary pressure cookers are not suitable for pressure frying. The process is most notable for its use in fried chicken products.

In a standard fryer, even though the fat may be at 350°F / 175°C. the temperature inside the food will not rise above 212°F / 100°C the boiling point of water. Just as in a pressure steamer, a pressure fryer raises this temperature and cooks the food more quickly without excessive surface browning. At the same time, the fat temperature can be lower, 325°F / 165°C or less. Pressure frying requires accurate time since the product cannot be seen while it is cooking.

Micro Wave Cooking

Microwave cooking refers to the use of a specific tool rather than a basic dry-heat or moist-heat cooking method. Both dry and moist heat methods may be employed with a microwave oven. Microwaving cooking method is unique. Depending on which specific techniques are followed, it may be a moist or a dry method of cookery. Generally, if food is cooked in the microwave using a lid, it is a moist method of cooking. If it is cooked in the microwave without a lid, it tends to be a dry method of cooking.

This equipment is used mostly for heating prepared foods and for thawing raw or cooked items. However, it can be used for primary cooking as well.

In microwave cooking, the radio waves penetrate the food and excite water and fat molecules pretty evenly throughout the food. No heat has to migrate toward the interior by conduction. There is heat everywhere all at once because the molecules are all excited together.

Microwaves act in three different ways.

  • Absorption: when the food is microwaved, the water molecules in the food get stimulated and heated up, so the microwave’s energy is concentrated on cooking the food faster.

  • Transmission: Microwaves are attached only to water molecules and so they ignore everything else except the food to be cooked.

  • Reflection: Microwaves are absorbed by food and pass through materials like glass, china, wood, paper, and plastic, but they reflect on metal.
  • Advantages of Microwave Cooking:

    • Food cooks evenly, quickly, and efficiently in the microwave.

    • Also, the nutrients are preserved and the actual taste of the food is retained to a higher degree.

    • Only a minimum amount of oil is required for cooking continental as well as traditional Indian dishes and so it seems desirable from a health point of view.

    • Also, shorter and more controlled cooking time means that the food does not get burnt or overcooked.

    • Food may be cooked and served in the same dish.

    • Another major advantage is that food is cooked minus the smoke, grease, and heat and so the kitchen remains neat always.

    • Microwave has multifarious uses like de-frosting, reheating, etc. food.
  • Disadvantages of Microwave Cooking:

    • Baked products do not get a brown surface.

    • Microwave cooking cannot be used for simmering, stewing, or deep frying.

    • Flavors of all ingredients do not blend well as the cooking time is too short.

Solar Cooking

Solar cooking is a very simple technique that makes use of sunlight or solar energy which is a non-conventional source of energy. A solar cooker consists of a well-insulated box that is painted black on the inside and covered with one or more transparent covers.

The purpose of these transparent covers is to trap heat inside the solar cooker. These covers allow the radiation from the sun to come inside the box but do not allow the heat from the hot black absorbing plate to come out of the box. Because of this, a temperature up to 140°C can be obtained which is adequate for cooking.

  • Advantages of Solar Cooking:

    • Simple technique: requires no special skill.

    • Cost-effective as natural sunlight is the form of energy.

    • The original flavor of food is retained.

    • There is no danger of scorching or burning.

    • Loss of nutrients is minimum as only little amount of water is used in cooking.
  • Disadvantages of Solar Cooking:

    • Special equipment is needed.
    • Slow cooking process.
    • Cannot be used in the absence of sunlight – the rainy season, late evening, and night.
Article Reference
  • Anita Tull (1996), Food and Nutrition, Oxford University Press.

  • Arora K (1982), Theory of Cookery, K.N. Gupta & Co.

  • Lynne E. Baltzer (2002), Food Preparation Study Course, Blackwell Publishing.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Aleksandr

    Hello, I write unique articles and would like to work with you, I live in Russia


      Hi, Currently we are working with indian writers only. But will surely contact when we will write about russia

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