5 Cooking Techniques Every Student Needs To Know

Do you know the methods behind your favorite meals? Master these textbook culinary terms and you’ll be cooking with the best of ‘em in no time.

—Words by Alina Bagamanova.

apricot-tart-roasting-apricots

1. Roasting

For this form of dry-heat cooking, leave your protein or vegetables uncovered in the oven and crank up the heat to brown and caramelize. Our favorite things to roast (Justin Bieber not included):  beets, green beans, zucchini, and brisket.

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2. Sautéing

This method of dry-heat cooking, borrowed from the French, requires a hot pan and a dash of oil. Make sure you constantly move the pan and stir your protein or vegetables to avoid burning—tossing and flipping yields the best results.

Blanching-1

3. Blanching

To retain color, flavor, and texture, bring a pot of water to a boil and cook vegetables until just softened. Afterwards, remove them immediately and plunge into an ice bath (a process known as “shocking”). The ice water will stop the cooking process and preserve the nutrients in your vegetables.

4. Searing

The goal: to caramelize while building and maintaining flavors. Fire up your pan until it’s scorching hot, coat with a thin layer of oil, and add your protein or vegetables. After browning, deglaze the pan by mixing wine, water, or broth with the fond (aka browned bits created by searing) for a smooth sauce.

porter-braised-chicken-590x4005. Braising

A combination of both moist and dry-heat cooking, this technique tenderizes meat—usually tougher cuts like lamb shoulder. After pan-searing, leave it to simmer in a stock or acidic liquid like wine, beer, or tomatoes. The end result: delicate forkfuls that will melt in your mouth.

These cooking techniques were originally featured in Baked’s Spring 2015 issue. Grab your copy on campus today!

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