Common Culinary Terms
Reading a recipe and aren’t sure about some of the terms included? Don’t worry, we have a list of common culinary terms for just that situation!
To cook food until just firm, usually referring to pasta, but can include vegetables.
To cook food in an oven using dry heat.
To moisten food while cooking by spooning, brushing, or squirting a liquid, such as meat drippings to stock, to add flavor and prevent it from drying out.
To stir rapidly in a circular motion to make a smooth mixture, using a whisk, spoon, or mixer.
To cook first by browning the food in butter or oil, then gently simmering in a small amount of liquid over low heat for a long period of time in a covered pan until tender.
To expose food to direct heat on a rack or spit, often used for melting food like cheese.
To cook over high heat (usually on the stove-top) to brown food.
To heat sugar until it liquefies and becomes a syrup.
To cut vegetables into large squares, usually specified by the recipe.
To beat ingredients (usually sugar and a fat) until smooth and fluffy.
Like chopping, it is to cut food into small cubes, usually about 1/2 inch.
To cut into small pieces, usually 1/4 to 1/8 chunks.
A spoonful of a semi-solid food, like whipped cream or masted potatoes, placed on top of another food.
To lightly coat uncooked food with a dry mixture, usually with flour, cornmeal, or bread crumbs, to be pan fried or sautéed.
To coat foods with a sauce, such as salad.
To pour liquid back and forth over a dish in a fine stream, usually melted butter, oil, syrup, or melted chocolate.
To coat lightly with a powdery ingredients, such as confectioners’ sugar or cocoa.
To cut the bones from a piece of meat, poultry, or fish.
To drizzle a flammable spirit over a food while its cooking, to ignite the just before serving.
To combine light ingredients, such as whipped cream or beaten eggs whites, with a heavier mixture, using a over-and-under motion.
To coat foods with mixtures such as jellies or sauces.
Creates tiny pieces of food, best for things like cheese to melt quickly or a vegetable used in a sauce.
To coat the interior of a pan or dish with shortening, oil, or butter to prevent food from sticking during cooking.
Cutting vegetables until long, thin stripes, approximately 1/4 inch thick and 1 inch long.
The process of mixing dough with the hands or a mixer
To soak in a sauce or flavored liquid for a long period of time, usually a meat, poultry or fish.
To cut as small as possible, most commonly used with garlic.
Cook larger chunks of food over medium-heat, flipping once only.
To partially cook by boiling, usually to prepare the food for cooking by another method.
To cook gently over very low heat, in barely simmering water just to cover.
To mash or grind food until completely smooth.
Like baking but concerning meat or poultry, it is to cook food in an oven using dry heat.
To cook small pieces of food over a medium-high heat with oil in a pan, usually to brown food.
To heat liquid almost to a boil until bubbles begin forming just around the edge.
To brown the surface of meat by quick-cooking over high heat into order to seal in the meat’s juices.
Done on a grater with larger holes, resulting in long, smooth stripes to cook or melt.
Bring a pot to a boil, then reduce the heat until there are no bubbles.
To remove fat or foam from the surface a liquid.
To cut vertically down, thickness sometimes specified by the recipe.
To cook food on a rack or in a steamer set over boiling or simmering water.
To soak a dry ingredient in a liquid just under the boiling point to extract the flavors, such as with tea.
To cook covered over low heat in a liquid for a substantial period of time.
To beat food with a whisk or mixer to incorporate air and increase volume.
To beat ingredients with a fork or a whisk.
The outer, colored peel of a citrus fruit.