Knowledge of Basic Cooking Terms


Boil: To heat liquid until bubbles burst to the surface, or to cook in boiling water.

Broil: To use direct heat to cook.

Coat: To cover entire surface with a mixture, such as flour or bread crumbs.

Core: Using a sharp knife, remove the core/seeds of a fruit.

Cream: To whisk one or more foods until they are soft.

Crisp-tender: Describes the “doneness” of vegetables when they are cooked only until tender and remain slightly crisp in texture.

Cut in: To mix fat into dry ingredients using a pastry blender, fork or two knives, with as little blending as possible until fat is in small pieces.

Dice: To cut into small, square-shaped pieces.

Darin: To put food and liquid into a strainer, or to pour liquid out of a pot by holding the lid slightly away from the edge of the pan and pouring away from you.

Flute: To pinch the edge of dough, such as on a pie crust.

Fold: To mix by turning over and over.

Fork-tender: Describes the “doneness” of a food when a fork can be easily inserted into it.

Knead: To mix by “pushing” and folding.

Marinate: To soak in a seasoned liquid to increase flavor and tenderness.

Mince: To cut or chop food into small pieces.

Mix: To combine ingredients using a fork or spoon.

Oil: To spread a thin layer of vegetable oil on a dish or pan. Vegetable spray may be used instead.

Sauté: To cook in a small amount of fat or water.

Scald: To heat milk until bubbles appear (bubbles should not be “breaking” on the surface).

Shred: To rub foods with a grater to divide into small pieces.

Simmer: To cook at a temperature that is just below the boiling point. Bubbles form slowly but do not reach the surface.

Steam: To cook over boiling water.

Stir fry: A method of cooking in which vegetables are fried quickly to a crisp-tender state while stirring constantly.

Stock: Water in which vegetable(s) or meat has been cooked. Stock liquid should be stored in the fridge.