Culinary Techniques

culinary techniques & cooking methods




Al dente is to cook pasta or vegetables until they are tender but still firm, not soft. Al dente means “to the tooth” in Italian.


Blend is to mix two or more ingredients together until combined.


Chiffonade is to stack, roll, and slice leaves (basil, collard) thin strips or shreds of herbs or vegetables. In French, chiffonade means “made of rags”.


Chop or chopped or chopping is to cut food into irregular shapes and sizes. Coarsely chopped pieces are large, finely chopped pieces are small.


Cutting board or mat is 


Dice or diced or dicing is to cut food into cubes of equal size. 


Fold or folded or folding is to gently combine ingredients without over-mixing. 


Grate or grated or grating is to slide an ingredient, such as citrus zest, across a surface of small, sharp-edged holes on a box grater-shredder to create tiny pieces.


Julienne is to cut food into long, very thin strips.


Knead or kneading is to mix or work dough by hand to soften and to stretch yeasted doughs to expand the gluten network. 


Melt is to 


Mince is to cut food into very small pieces. 


Mix is to 


Slice is to cut crosswise or lengthwise into desired thickness. Slice – to cut food lengthwise or crosswise with a knife, forming thick or thin pieces.


Stir or stir in is to 


Whisk or whisking is to stir a liquid vigorously with a whisk, adding air and increasing the volume. Whisking is done with a whisk, a kitchen tool made of looped wire attached to a handle. 




Bake or baking is to cook food in a hot oven. The food is cooked by the hot, dry air of the oven and heat transfer by contact with the pan. 


Boil or boiling is to heat a liquid until big bubbles constantly rise to its surface and break, at 212 F. A gentle boil is when small bubbles rise and break slowly. A rolling boil is when large bubbles rise and break quickly.


Deep fry or deep frying is to cook food by immersing it in hot oil. Deep fried foods are not healthy because of their high fat content. 


Roast or roasting is to cook food in a hot oven or on a spit over a fire. The hot, dry air of the oven cooks the food by heating it from the outside-in. The food’s texture changes from raw to cooked; meat gets firmer, vegetables get softer. 


Sauté or sauteing is to cook food in a small amount of fat in a pan on the stovetop over medium-high heat. 


Simmer or simmering is when bubbles get bigger as they rise to the surface of liquid that is being heated. Simmering usually occurs between 170 F – 185 F.


Steam or steaming is to cook food in a closed pot so the steam is trapped and cooks the food. Food is placed in a steaming basket that sits above the boiling water. Steaming is gentle and it retains the most nutrients of all the cooking methods. 


Stir-fry or stir-frying is to cook food in a small amount of fat over very high heat while stirring constantly. Stir frying is usually done in a wok.