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Cooking Terms

Food Cooking Terms

Chill To cool a food below room temperature in the refrigerator or freezer, or over ice.
Whip To beat a food lightly & rapidly in order to incorporate air into the mixture and to increase its volume.
Al Dente “To the tooth”, a term to indicate pasta is cooked just enough to keep a firm texture.
Baste To moisten foods during cooking with pan drippings or a sauce in order to add flavor and prevent drying
Blanch To partially cook fruits, vegetables, or nuts in boiling water or steam.
Coat To evenly cover food with crumbs, flour, or a batter.
Cube To cut into uniform pieces, usually a half inch on all sides.
Cut In To work a solid fat such as shortening, margarine, or butter into dry ingredients, usually with a pastry blender.
Dash A measure equal to 1/16 teaspoon.
Dice To cut into uniform pieces, usually ⅛ to ¼ inch on all sides.
Garnish To add visual appeal to a finished dish.
Julienne To cut food into thin match like sticks about two inches long.
Knead To work dough with the heels of your hands in a pressing and folding motion until it becomes smooth and elastic.
Marble To gently swirl one food into another; usually done with light and dark batters for cakes or cookies.
Marinade A liquid in which food is allowed to stand in order to flavor or tenderize it.
Mince Chopping food into tiny irregular pieces.
Pare To cut off the skin or outer covering of a fruit or vegetable, using a knife or a vegetable peeler.
Butterfly To split foods in the middle without completely separating the halves, then spreading the halves to resemble a butterfly.
Preheat To heat an oven or utensil to a temperature before using it.
Score To cut narrow grooves or slits partway through the outer surface of a food to tenderize it or to form a decorative pattern.
Sear To brown a food, usually meat, quickly on all sides using high heat to seal in the juices.
Simmer To cook a food in liquid that is kept just below the boiling point; a few bubbles will form slowly and burst just before reaching the surface.
Snip To cut food, often fresh herbs, dried fruit, with kitchen shears into very small, uniform pieces using short, quick strokes.
Steam To cook a food in the vapor given off by boiling water.
Stew To cook food in liquid for a long time until tender, usually in a covered pot.
Wire Whisk Used for light duty beating such as sauces, gravies, and scrambled eggs.
Oven Mitt To protect your hands from hot foods.
Grater Is used for cutting food into small particles or slivers.
Rolling Pin To flatten dough for pie crusts and cookies.
Slotted Spoon Removes food from liquid
Broiler Used to brown food by direct heat in the oven.
Meat Thermometer Measures the internal temperature of meat
Tongs Used to remove food such as corn on the cob from liquid.
Bread Knife Has a serrated edge for cutting bread and tomatoes.
Rubber Scraper Removes food from spoons and the sides of bowls.
Pancake Turner Used to lift and turn hot food
Rotary Beater Used to beat egg whites into meringue and make whipped cream.
Pastry Blender Used to blend flour and shortening when making pie crust, etc.
Sifter Incorporates air into flour and other dry ingredients.
Colander To drain liquid from a food such as spaghetti.
Paring Knife To pare and cut fruits and vegetables use..
Vegetable Peeler To remove the outer layer from fruits and vegetables.
Candy Thermometer Measures the temperature of sugar syrup in a pan.
Wire Cooling Rack In cooling breads or cookies you would use...
Cutting Board Protects the counter or table top while you are cutting.
Apple Corer Removes the seeds or the center of fruit.
Saucepan Has a long handle and is used to cook things on the top of the range.
Spatula Used to level off dry ingredients when measuring.
Pastry Brush Used to spread liquid over food.
Kitchen Shears Used for opening packages, disjointing poultry, and cutting food.
Vanilla Hold spoon over a small cup and pour into measuring spoon.
Flour Stir. Spoon into dry measuring cup and level with a spatula. Don’t pack, shake, or tap the cup.
Brown Sugar Break up lumps. Spoon into dry measuring cup and pack firmly with back of spoon. Level with spatula.
Margarine/Butter Cut using measurement marks printed on the wrapper.
Molasses Set liquid measuring cup on a level surface. Pour in liquid and check measurement at eye level. Use a rubber scraper to remove.
Granulated Sugar Spoon into dry measuring cup higher than the top and level off with a spatula.
Milk Set liquid measuring cup on a level surface. Pour in liquid and check measurement at eye level.
Shortening Pack firmly into dry measuring cup so no air bubbles. Level with a spatula. Remove with a rubber scraper.
1/2 Egg Beat. Measure out two tablespoons.
Baking Soda Smash lumps. Measure with a measuring spoon and level.
Confectioner's Sugar Sift. Spoon lightly into a dry measuring cup and level.
T. or tbsp Tablespoon
t or tsp teaspoon
c. cup
lb pound
qt quart
oz ounce
pt pint
doz dozen
3 teaspoons 1 tablespoon
16 tablespoons 1 cup
8 tablespoons 1/2 cup
4 tablespoons 1/4 cup
5 1/3 tablespoons 1/3 cup
8 ounces 1 cup (liquid)
2 cups 1 pint
2 pints 1 quart
1 cup 1/2 pint
4 cups 1 quart
4 quarts 1 gallon
16 ounces 1 pound
1 pound butter 2 cups or 4 sticks
1/2 pound butter 1 cup or 2 sticks
1/4 pound butter 1/2 cup or 1 stick
1 pound granulated sugar 2 1/4 cups sugar
Created by: kspooner