Cookery Terms

There are many hundreds of terms for different techniques and items involved in cookery. Many of these come from French, Spanish and other languages and can seem daunting, however many are just different words for things you probably already do!

Here is a list of the basic and most important terms you might find when looking through recipes:


Bake - To cook food in a hot dry oven with temperatures usually above 150C

Baste - Spoon over liquid over food during cooking to keep from drying out (think Turkey at Christmas) 

Beat - Mix together with lots of energy, great workout for the arms too! 

Boil - To cook in boiling liquid. Water boils at 100C 

Braise - To cook slowly in a small amount of liquid. Think Beef Stew in the oven 

Brown - To pan cook meat, fish or veg in a pan to get colour 

Chill - Food stored below 5C 

Chop - Cut food into small pieces. Watch those fingers! 

Deep Fry - Cook food in lots of hot oil 

Freeze - Store food below -18C 

Grate - Use a grater to shred food down to a fine pieces 

Grill - To cook food quickly under a grill, either oven or freestanding 

Knead - Mix together dough with your hands. Big part of bread making 

Marinate - Soak food in a flavoured liquid (marinade) to let it absorb the flavour. Can be done the day before to save you some time! 

Pan Fry - To cook in a frying pan over the hob 

Par Boil - Half cook food to soften up first and reduce cooking time. Think roast potatoes 

Pinch - A measurement of ingredients, held between thumb and first finger 

Roast - To cook meat at a high temperature in a dry oven. What Sundays are made for! 

Sift - Shake dry ingredients through a sieve to remove lumps. Usually flour for cakes 

Simmer - Cook in water that is only just boiling 

Stew - Cook food in a pot or pan in liquid 

Stir Fry - To quickly fry food in a very hot wok/large frying pan. Great for a speedy dinner 

Whisk - Using a whisk to mix together ingredients and lets air into the mixture

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