Cooking Methods

  1. Deep-frying

    Deep Frying

    Deep-frying involves submerging food in hot, liquid fat in order to cook it. Frying is considered a form of dry-heat cooking as water is not utilized in this method of cooking. Deep-frying requires keeping the oil at temperatures between 325°F and 400°F. Temperatures higher than 400°F may cause the oil to smoke and burn, if the temperature is lower than 325°F will result in the oil seeping into the food and make it greasy. After cooking, deep-fried items actually have very little oil on them, assuming they've been fried properly. Overheating or over-using the frying oil leads to formation of rancid-tasting products of oxidation, polymerization, and other deleterious, unintended or even toxic compounds such as acrylamide, a possible carcinogen, (from starchy foods). Deep-frying under vacuum helps to significantly reduce acrylamide formation,[2] but this process is not widely used in the food industry due to the high investment cost involved. Frying - especially deep frying - adds a serious amount of fat and calories to a meal, and as such should really be used only as an occasional cooking method. In addition, many people have trouble digesting fried foods and will experience upset stomach and/or diarrhea after a high-fat meal. Frying also destroys most nutritional value of the food.

  2. Smoking


    Smoke is an antimicrobial and antioxidant, but smoke alone is insufficient for preserving food in practice, unless combined with another preservation method. The main problem is the smoke compounds adhere only to the outer surfaces of the food; smoke does not actually penetrate far into meat or fish. In modern times, almost all smoking is carried out for its flavor. Artificial smoke flavoring can be purchased as a liquid to mimic the flavor of smoking, but not its preservative qualities In the past, smoking was a useful preservation tool, in combination with other techniques, most commonly salt-curing or drying. In some cases, particularly in climates without much hot sunshine, smoking was simply an unavoidable side effect of drying over a fire. For some long-smoked foods, the smoking time also served to dry the food. Drying, curing, or other techniques can render the interior of foods inhospitable to bacterial life, while the smoking gives the vulnerable exterior surfaces an extra layer of protection. For oily fish smoking is especially useful, as its antioxidant properties delay surface fat rancidification. (Interior fat is not as exposed to oxygen, which is what causes rancidity.) Some heavily salted, long-smoked fish can keep without refrigeration for weeks or months. Such heavily preserved foods usually require a treatment such as boiling in fresh water to make them palatable before eating. "Of various sources of N-nitroso compounds, intake of smoked and salted fish was significantly (RR = 2.58, 95% CI 1.21 − 5.51) and intake of cured meat was non-significantly (RR = 1.84, 95% CI 0.98– 3.47) associated with risk of colorectal cancer."

  3. Sauteing


    Sautéing is a method of cooking food, similar to stir frying, that uses a small amount of fat in a shallow pan over relatively high heat. This method preserves texture, moisture, and flavor. Due to the small amount of oil that is used this is a relative healthy cooking method.

  4. Steaming


    Steaming is a method of cooking using steam. Steaming is considered a healthy cooking technique and capable of cooking almost all kinds of food. By boiling water continuously, causing it to vaporize into steam; the steam then carries heat to the nearby food, thus cooking the food. The food is kept separate from the boiling water but has direct contact with the steam, resulting in a moist texture to the food. Overcooking or burning food is easily avoided when steaming it. Health conscious individuals may prefer steaming to other methods which require cooking oil, resulting in lower fat content. Steaming also results in a more nutritious food than boiling because fewer nutrients are leached away into the water, which is usually discarded.

  5. Braising


    Braising relies on heat, time, and moisture to break down the tough connective tissue collagen in meat, making it an ideal way to cook tougher cuts.

  6. Broiling


    Broiling is dry-heat cooking method that relies on heat being conducted through the air from above. Because air is a relatively poor conductor of heat, broiling requires the food to be quite close to the heat source. The surface of the food cooks very quickly, making this type of cooking ideal for poultry, fish and the tenderest cuts of meat. In fact, because of the extremely hot and dry nature of this cooking method, it is customary to marinate meats that will be broiled. This is a well-known method of cooking food without using excessive oil and is quiet popular in low fat diets.

  7. Barbecuing


    Barbecuing is a method and apparatus for cooking meat, poultry and occasionally fish with the heat and hot smoke of a fire, smoking wood, or hot coals of charcoal. Heterocyclic amines are the carcinogenic chemicals formed from the cooking of muscle meats such as beef, pork, fowl, and fish are subject to high heat. PAH’s are formed when animal or fish fats drip onto hot coals. The smoke and fire flare-ups drive these residues into the food. PAH’s are thought to increase the risk of stomach cancer. To minimize HCA and PAH marinate the meat first before cooking. You can also precook the meat and have proper ventilation which can cut down the smoke that permeates meats. Lastly knowing the correct cooking times for is important as meats and fish cooked at longer and higher temperatures dry out and split open exposing the inner parts to more intense heat and more HCA’s.

  8. Baking


    Baking is to cook food by dry heat without direct exposure to a flame, typically in an oven or on a hot surface. The baking process does not require any fat to be used to cook in an oven. Some makers of snacks such as potato chips or crisps have produced baked versions of their snack items as an alternative to the usual cooking method of deep-frying in an attempt to reduce the calorie or fat content of their snack products.

  9. Boiling


    Boiling is a method of cooking food in boiling water, or other water-based liquid such as stock or milk. Boiling is a very harsh technique of cooking. Delicate foods such as fish cannot be cooked in this fashion because the bubbles can damage the food. Foods such as vegetables, starchy foods such as rice, noodles and potatoes, eggs, meats, sauces, stocks and soups can be cooked with this. Boiling has several advantages. It is safe and simple, and it is appropriate for large-scale cookery. Older, tougher, cheaper cuts of meat and poultry can be made digestible. Nutritious, well-flavored stock is produced. Also, maximum color and nutritive value is retained when cooking green vegetables, provided boiling time is kept to the minimum. There are several disadvantages to boiling food. Boiling causes a loss of usually water-soluble vitamins from foods to the water (if the water is discarded), and some boiled foods can look unattractive. Boiling can also be a slow method of cooking food.

  10. Grilling


    Grilling involves heating the food from below. The surface of the food cooks very quickly, making this type of cooking ideal for poultry, fish and the tenderest cuts of meat. Studies have shown that cooking beef, pork, poultry, and fish at high temperatures can lead to the formation of heterocyclic amines, benzopyrenes, and polycyclicaromatic hydrocarbons, which are carcinogens. However, proper marination may reduce the formation of these compounds. Grilling is often presented as a healthy alternative to cooking with oil, although the fat and juices lost by grilling can contribute to drier food.

  11. Toasting


    Toasting is applying a dry heat to brown the food, usually in breads, grains, and nuts. The reaction is called the Maillard browning reaction which is a reaction of sugars and proteins and leads to a greater flavor in the food.

  12. Poaching


    Poaching is the process of gently simmering food in a liquid other than oil, generally milk, stock, water or wine. The poaching liquid is often flavored with spices, herbs, aromatic vegetables and wines. Poaching allows the food to cook through without the use of additional oil and prevents adding extra calories to the meal.

  13. Pressure-cooking

    Pressure Cooking

    Pressure Cooking is a method of cooking in a sealed vessel that does not permit air or liquids to escape below a preset pressure. Because the boiling point of water increases as the pressure increases, the pressure built up inside the cooker allows the liquid in the pot to rise to a higher temperature before boiling. Pressure is created at the beginning with boiling liquid, such as water, inside the closed pressure cooker and the trapped steam increases the internal pressure and temperature, which is maintained throughout cooking time. Foods are cooked much faster by pressure-cooking than by other methods, (except for small quantities in microwave ovens) and with much less water used than boiling, so dishes can be ready sooner. Less energy is required than when boiling, steaming or oven cooking. Since less water is necessary, the foods come to cooking temperature faster. Some food toxins can be reduced by pressure-cooking. A Korean study of aflatoxins in rice (associated with Aspergillus fungus) showed that pressure-cooking was capable of reducing aflatoxin concentrations to between 12 and 22% of the amount in the uncooked rice.

  14. Roasting


    Roasting is a method that uses more indirect diffused dry heat, whether an open flame, oven, or other heat source. Roasting usually causes caramelization of the surface of the food, which enhances the flavor. It is used in nuts, meats, and vegetables and is considered a healthier option since little to no oil is used.

  15. Microwaving


    Cooking with a Microwave involves using microwave radiation to heat polarized molecules within the food. This excitation is fairly uniform, leading to food being more evenly heated throughout (except in dense objects) than generally occurs in other cooking techniques. They heat food evenly but do not brown or bake food. Microwave ovens do convert vitamin B12 from the active to inactive form, making approximately 30-40% of the B12 contained in foods unusable by mammals. Spinach retains nearly all its folate when cooked in a microwave compared to losing 77% when cooked on a stove. However microwaving foods has been known to break down certain molecules into carcinogens and also because microwaves use radiation to cook food, they can leak and be dangerous.