Cooking is the process of preparing food by combining and heating the ingredients in different ways.
There are many, many ways to cook, and the techniques used to cook a meal have nearly as much of an impact on the final product as the ingredients themselves. However, some techniques are tried and true, and these are the ones we’re most interested in.
Here is a list of the main cooking techniques grouped into dry and wet methods:
Dry heat cooking involves cooking food in an oven, on a dry and hot surface, or over an open flame. It uses conduction or convection, typically at 300°F or higher.
This method of cooking browns the exterior of food, adding delicious caramelization and flavor (think crispy chicken skin and crusty bread).
Dry cooking of foods that initially lack structure, then become solid during the cooking process (e.g., cakes and muffins).
Dry cooking of foods that already have a solid structure before the cooking begins (such as meat and vegetables).
Moist heat cooking involves cooking with moisture — this could be steam, water, stock, wine, etc.
Compared to dry heat cooking, moist heat cooking takes place at much lower temperatures, ranging from 140oF to a maximum of 212oF. This is because of the fact that water cannot get any hotter than that.
Cooking of food with liquids at or near their boiling point.
Cooking food in hot oil or in other heated fats.