Cooking Terms and Glossary

As an amateur cook, I need to familiarise and know some of the cooking terms and glossary whether it’s an American, British, French, Spanish or Indian terms. Each of the terms and glossaries has its brief definition.
In this article, I have mentioned the most common terms and glossaries. Of course, there is many I haven`t mentioned, but for me, they are more for the professionals.
Here we go:

An Italian term means “to the tooth”. It describes that pasta, rice or vegetable are cooked. It should have a slight resistance when bitten but should not be overdone or soft.

A sugar substitute is not produced by nature and a food additive that provides a sweet taste but has no nutritional value. Because they have unique attributes, they should not be substituted for other sweeteners

To cook using direct, dry heat at a specific temperature in the oven, covered or uncovered. It is usually to describe the making of cakes, bread, cookies or desserts.

Grilling done indoor or outdoor over an open charcoal or wood fire. Barbeque is the process of long, slow direct- heat cooking, including basting with a barbeque sauce.

To moisten with seasoned liquids, sauce or fats and adds flavour and prevents drying during cooking or grilling

A mixture containing flour and liquid, thin enough that can be poured or spooned or used to coat foods before deep frying

To mix, blend, whip or stir thoroughly and  rapidly in order to make a mixture smooth and lighter or fluffier using a fork, spoon, beater, whisk or electric mixer

A cooking method in which seasoned foods are cooked over a high heat until charred producing a crispy crust

To cook partially in a boiling water but still retain the flavour and appearance. Blanching loosen the skin like tomatoes

To mix two or more ingredients intensively by hand, blender or an electric mixer to reach the smooth and uniformity of the texture and flavour

To cook food in water or any form of liquid at a temperature until bubbles rise continually and break on the surface

To cook food by browning first the meat or poultry in the oil or butter then cook for a long period of time in a small amount of liquid at a low heat thus tenderises and enhance the flavour of the food

To coat the surface of the food with flour or breadcrumbs then with the egg mixture before cooking or frying to make it crunchy

A soft, creamy, cow’s milk cheese with a white rind and from France, it is considered to be the best in the world

Salt and water solution that is used for salting, preserving, pickling or curing vegetables, meat or fish and it adds flavor and tenderness to the food

To cook over a flame or under strong, direct source of intense heat with a measured or specified distance

A cube of fish, vegetable, chicken, pork or beef. These are made of small particles and dissolve quickly and are substitute for a broth or stock

A flavor concentrated meat, vegetable or fish stock and used to prepare the other dishes like soup, sauce or gravy

To cook quickly over or under a high heat to reach a desirable colour, texture and moistness which adds flavour and aroma, texture and pleasing appearance of the food

To slowly dissolve and brown the sugar with or without a small amount of water over a low to medium-low heat which gives an intense flavour. But be careful not to burn it

To cool the food to below room temperature depending on the call of the recipe like in the refrigerator or over the ice

To cut into pieces with a sharp knife, cleaver or other chopping devices into smaller pieces or small bits

To evenly or thoroughly cover the outer layer of  food in uniform with flour, crumbs or batter before cooking

To beat a fat, butter or shortening to soften it or to a fluffy consistency using a wooden spoon or electric mixer

To pinch or press dough together using fingers, fork or any utensil to form the desired shape like a pie crust in order to seal the edges. The term is for making pastry

A food that has been cooked until just tender but still crunchy without letting the edges get soft but tender inside

To smashed or pulverised food into smaller pieces using mortar and pestle or a rolling pin

A method for meat or fish by drying and salting or smoking in order to preserve for over a long period of time

An approximate amount or a  small amount added to the food for more flavoured taste like seasoning, salt, herbs and spices

To add water, wine, vinegar or broth in the pan from which the food has been fried, sauteed or roasted to help loosen the juice or fats or brown bits and make a delicious and flavoured sauce

To remove fat that forms on the surface or top of simmering stews, soups, stock, broth, sauce or other liquid

Method of frying food by submerging it in a hot oil or fat which some are coated in batter or breading and done at the right temperature retaining its moisture

To cut in small cubes or pieces of even or uniform sizes and shapes like the meat or onions

To soak for a short period of time in a liquid or dry mixture then coat it, cool it, or moisten it

To stir a solid or dry substance into a liquid in which nothing of the solid totally remains

To coat the food with flour, breadcrumbs or other fine or dry substances before cooking

To sprinkle or pour liquid lightly over the food using a strainer or shaking like powdered sugar icing

To remove bones or deboned a fish, meat or poultry which only the flesh remains and became boneless

To break gently into small pieces using fingers or a fork

To mix ingredients like whipped cream or eggs whites using a spoon, spatula or whisk until they are blended well

A French word. A method of cooking. To cut meat, sautéed and braised and served with sauce

Application of cooked or uncooked soft toppings to spread evenly but good enough to hold its shape

To cook in a hot oil or fat until it become a crisp, brown crust

To decorate a finished dish  or salad to make it look appetising and appealing to the eyes

To coat or brush with icing or sauce or any toppings to produce a smooth and shiny coating or surface to the food
like icing which is thin and glossy

To shred or rub the food using a grater or a food processor to make fine pieces or bits

French word “crust”.  Food that is browned in the oven that uses a sauce and topped with cheese or breadcrumbs

To coat a baking pan with a very thin layer of oil, butter or fat using a pastry brush

To cook food on a grill, coal or charcoal, burning gas, wood coal or electricity by direct heat below the cooking surface

To cut food into smaller pieces using an electric grinder or food processor and the texture can be fine or coarse

Known as frosting. A sweet covering or coating which is flavoured and coloured for cakes, cookies or bread and pastries

To cut food or vegetables into thin, long or short, or narrow strips

To press dough using the hands, mixer or food processor until it becomes smooth and elastic and the right consistency

Ingredient or substance used to help batter or dough which causes it to rise or expand making it lightening the texture and increasing the size of the dough

A temperature that is neither hot or cold

To gently twirl done with light and dark batters for cookies, bread or cakes using butter instead of oil

A seasoned liquid which seafood, meat, vegetables or poultry are soaked to tenderise and enhance the flavour

To soak in marinade or in a liquid seasoning to moisturise seafood, meat, vegetables or poultry which is giving a flavorful taste

To press hard to remove lump and make a smooth mixture using a masher, fork or electric mixer

To determine the quantity or size of the food or liquid

To heat a solid like sugar or butter over a very low heat until it becomes liquid

To roll or dip in the flour, fried in butter with lemon juice and sprinkled with parsley on top

To chop or cut into smaller, very fine pieces using a knife, blender, food grinder or food processor

To stir or beat using a hand, spoon, a beater or an electric mixer until the ingredients are well-combined and moistened

To add small amount of liquid to make it damp

To cook quickly and brown the food in a shallow, heated pan using a small amount of butter or oil

To boil the food until shortly and partially cook in boiling water

To thinly cut, remove or peel the outermost skin of a fruit or vegetable using a small knife or peeler

To preserve meats, vegetables and fruits in brined mixture or seasoned or a mixture of vinegar but normally vegetables and fruits are mostly done by this process

Pinch is the approximate or smallest amount that can hold by the thumb and forefinger of an ingredient

To gently submerge in a hot liquid just below the boiling point simmering lightly

To crushed or mashed using a heavy utensil to tenderise or flatten a meat or chicken

To partially or completely cook

To heat a pan, casserole or oven in a specified temperature before using it

To mash until it is smooth and create a thick paste using a blender or food processor

To boil down the volume of a liquid while boiling to intensify the flavour or thickens the sauce or stock

To cook the food by dry heat in an oven to brown the food, no liquid added but maintains the moistness

A Spanish term for sauce, made from finely chopped tomatoes with onions, cilantro and chiles

To cook the food quickly in a small amount of hot oil or fat while stirring at a high temperature until the food gets browned

To heat liquid like milk or cream to a temperature until it is just at the boiling point when tiny bubbles form around at the edge

To cut the surface or skin like pork without cutting through it. Score marks are shallow cuts normally parallel to each other in alternate directions which create a criss-cross pattern

To rub the outer skin like carrot using a sharp instrument like peeler

To brown quickly using intense heat which helps seal in the juiciness of the food and still intact the flavour and texture

A vegetable oil that has been processed into solid form that is used for frying or baking

To cut or slice into long, thin or narrow strips or pieces using a sharp knife or a slicer

To cook slowly in a hot liquid over low heat where small bubbles formed but not boiling so hard

To cut into even, flat, thin pieces

Spreading or scattering the toppings or sugar over a surface like bread, cake or frosting

To cook on a small amount of boiling water by placing on a rack above the boiling liquid

To destroy bacteria by boiling, steaming or dry heating at a specific temperature

To cook in a liquid in a covered casserole or pot for a long period of time until it becomes tender

To mix or blend the food until reaching the right consistency

To cook on a high temperature while turning and tossing until just cooked in a wok or in a pan

The strained, cleared liquid of meat, poultry or seafood used as the base of soup or stew

To beat like meat with a mallet or rolling pin

Food substances used to give a thick consistency like gravy or sauce

To mix or combine ingredients like salad

To tie the poultry or meat with a string to maintain a good shape while cooking

To beat rapidly like egg whites or heavy cream using a whisk, beater or electric mixer

The outer skin of a citrus fruit like an orange or lemon which used to flavoured a dish


Hope this is a little help understanding the terms and glossaries. Don`t hesitate to contact me
if you have any questions.
If I don`t know the question I will help as best I can to find out.



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Author: Oeystein

Hi, I'm a pensioner who likes to cook, my page will contain recipes advice and tips. I`m living in Norway, married to a Filipina, so in winter time we stay in Philippines and summertime we stay in Norway.

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