Different people use different methods of cooking foods. This can be determined by the availability of essential oils, location and even culture. In the world today, we have many cooking methods. Generally we can regroup them into three, the moist-heat cooking methods, dry heat cooking method and the combination method. We can use water or steam, fat and even air to cook foods. In science, this is the use of mediums, conduction, convection and radiation to transfer heat.
Under moist cooking method, water or steam is used as a medium to transfer the heat. This includes steaming of foods, simmering, poaching and boiling. The use of low temperatures in cooking foods under water is known as poaching. No bubbles are seen in the liquid here. Small bubbles are seen forming when simmering and medium heat is used. It is done mostly in stews and soups. Very huge bubbles are seen when boiling due to the very temperature used. Heat produced by the steam produced when water has reached a boiling point is used to cook foods when steaming.
When both the dry and moist cooking methods are used, this is known as the combination method. These are found in braising and stewing. Mostly the cooking method is done for most foods like in stews, vegetables, and pastries. Water is added and allowed to simmer in braising once the ingredients have been dry-heat cooked. Once more water is added to fully cover the ingredients then it is stewing.
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Then there is the dry-heat cooking which uses very high heat and no water is involved. These are cooking methods like sauteing where very high heat is used and very little oil. The oil is heated until it starts smoking then the ingredients are added. In pan-frying, oil is poured into the hot pan, and once it heats up then the ingredients are added up.
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Air is used in roasting and baking to transfer heat in the ingredients. Maintaining constant temperatures are necessary for a long duration of time and an oven is best preferred for this. The method is preferred when cooking large items. The browning effect of the roasting is desired by many, and it makes the natural juices in the foods blend well hence enhancing the flavors.
A dry-heat method also used in many places in the world is the grilling. Doing this requires skills and some experience, unlike roasting. It is done on a grill, and a good iron-cast surfaced one brings out the best-desired results to prevent burning of foods. Broiling is a part of grilling but now we use broiled foods on a preheated metal grate while heat from an overheat source cooks the meat.
In deep frying, which is very popular, a lot of healthy oil is used to cook food immersed in it.