What is Cooking?
Cooking is the art, technology, science and craft of
preparing food for consumption. Cooking techniques and ingredients vary widely across the world, from grilling food over an open fire to using electric stoves, to baking in various types of ovens, reflecting unique environmental, economic, and cultural traditions and
trends. The ways or types of cooking also depend on the skill and type of training an individual cook has. Cooking is done both by people in their own dwellings and by professional cooks and chefs in restaurants and other food establishments. Cooking can also occur through chemical reactions without the presence of heat, such as in ceviche, a traditional South American dish where fish is cooked with the acids in lemon or lime juice.
There are many ways to cook food. The outcome of a dish varies nearly as much through cooking methods as it does through the ingredients. Different cultures tend to have their own unique ways of cooking. These differences often come from historical necessities. Cooking techniques can generally be divided into 3 which is :
Dry-heat cooking method
Moist-heat cooking method
Combination cooking method
1.Dry-heat Cooking Method:
Dry-heat cooking methods are those that utilize air or fat. These are broiling, roasting, grilling, baking, sauteing, pan-frying and deep-fat frying. Foods cooked using this method have a rich flavor due to the caramelization and browning of the foods. Example grill the steaks, deep frying the chips and etc.
Broiling : cooking by exposing food to direct radiant heat, either on a grill over live coals or below a gas burner or electric coil. Broiling differs
from roasting and baking in that the food is turned during the process so as to cook one side at a time. Temperatures are higher for broiling than for roasting.
Roasting : cooking method that uses dry heat where hot air envelops the food, cooking it evenly on all sides with temperatures of at least 150 °C (~300 °F) from an open flame, oven, or other heat source. Roasting can enhance flavor through caramelization and browning on the surface of the food.
Grilling : is a form of cooking that involves dry heat applied to the surface of food, commonly from above or below. Grilling usually involves a significant amount of direct, radiant heat, and tends to be used for cooking meat and vegetables quickly.
Baking : is a method of cooking food that uses prolonged dry heat, normally in an oven, but also in hot ashes, or on hot stones. The most common baked item is bread but many other types of foods are baked. Heat is gradually transferred from the surface of cakes, cookies, and breads to their centre.
Sautéing : is a method of cooking food that uses a small amount of oil or fat in a shallow pan over relatively high heat. Various sautémethods exist, and sautépans are a specific type of pan designed for sautéing.
Pan-Frying : is a form of frying characterized by the use of
minimal cooking oil or fat (compared to shallow frying or deep frying) typically using just enough oil to lubricate the pan. In the case of a greasy food such as bacon, no oil or fats may be needed. As a form of frying, pan frying relies on oil/fat as the heat transfer medium and on correct temperature and time to not overcook or burn the food. Pan frying can serve to retain the moisture in foods such as meats such as fish and seafood. Because of the partial coverage, the food is typically flipped at least once to ensure that both sides are cooked.
Deep-Fat Frying : is a cooking method in which food is submerged in hot fat, most commonly oil, rather than the shallow oil used in conventional frying, done in a frying pan. Normally, a deep fryer or chip pan is used for this industrially, a pressure fryer may be used. Deep frying may also be performed using oil that is heated in a pot. Deep frying is classified as hot-fat cooking method. Typically, deep frying foods cook quickly because all sides of a food are cooked simultaneously as oil has a high rate of heat conduction.
2.Moist-heat Cooking Method:
Moist-heat cooking uses water or steam. They include poaching, boiling, steaming, blanching and simmering. We use moist-heat cooking to emphasize the natural flavor in foods.
Poaching : to cook something such as a fish, or
an egg with its shell removed, by putting it in gently boiling water or other liquid.
Boiling : is the method of cooking food in boiling water or other water- based liquids such as stock or milk.
Steaming : is a method of cooking using steam. This is often done with a food steamer, a kitchen appliance made specifically to cook food with steam, but food can also be steamed in a wok. Steaming is considered a healthy cooking technique that can be used for many kinds of food.
Blanching : is a cooking process wherein a food, usually a vegetable or fruit, is scalded in boiling water, removed after a brief, timed interval, and finally plunged into iced water or placed under cold running water (shocking or refreshing) to halt the cooking process. Blanching foods will help reduce quality loss over time.
Simmering : is a food preparation technique in which foods are cooked in hot liquids kept just below the boiling point of water.
3.Combination Cooking Method:
Combination cooking are methods that incorporate both dry- and moist-heat cooking. The two most important methods are braising and stewing. And now we have the third which is Sous Vide.
Braising : is a combination-cooking method that uses both lit wet and dry heats: typically, the food is first seared at a high temperature, then finished in a covered pot at a lower temperature while sitting in some (variable) amount of liquid (which may also add flavor).
Stewing : is a combination of solid food ingredients that have
been cooked in liquid and served in the resultant gravy. Ingredients in a stew can include any combination of vegetables (such
as carrots, potatoes, onions, beans, peppers, mushrooms, and tomatoes) and may include meat, especially tougher meats suitable for slow-cooking, such as beef. Poultry, sausages, and seafood are also used. While water can be used as the stew-cooking liquid, stock is also
common. Seasoning and flavoring may also be added. Stews are typically cooked at a relatively low temperature (simmered, not boiled), allowing flavor to mingle.
Sous Vide : is a method of vacuum sealing food into plastic and then simmering the package in water to heat throughout. Sous vide is a relatively new method, developed in the 70s. The method removes the product from the external environment where it cooked in a way that retains its natural flavor.