A to Z Glossary of Cooking Terms


A La King – Food heated in a rich white, cream or sherry-flavored sauce.

A La Mode – Food which has been soaked or cooked in a marinade; also pie served with ice cream or any dessert having ice cream on top.

Al Dente – Italian term used to describe pasta that is cooked until it offers a slight resistance to the bite

Bake-To cook in the oven.

Bake Blind – To bake an empty pastry case. To keep the base flat and the sides’ upright, the pastry is usually lined with paper and filled with dried beans, rice or special baking beans.

Baste-To brush liquids such as fat, meat drippings, marinade, water or juices over meat during roasting to add flavor and to prevent it from drying out.

Batter-A mixture of flour, butter, shortening or oil, and liquid. Batter usually describes cakes, cookies or muffins. A batter is different from dough because dough can be formed into a ball and it keeps its shape.

Barbeque – Normally cooking done outdoors or over an open charcoal or wood fire. More specifically, barbecue refers to long, slow direct- heat cooking, including liberal basting with a barbecue sauce.

Beat-To beat means to stir or mix ingredients with a whisk, spoon or a mixer.

Blanch- To blanch food immerse fruit or vegetable in boiling water for a minute or so, remove and place in a bowl of ice water. This is often used before freezing fruits or vegetables. Or you can blanch a fruit or vegetable such as tomatoes or peaches to remove their skins.

Blend- Similar to beat. Add ingredients together and blending them with a spoon or a mixer.

Boil- To cook a liquid such as water or broth so it reaches a boiling temperature. You will see bubbles in the pan.

Braise- To tenderise meat,first brown meat or poultry in oil. Then place in roasting pan and cook in the oven or place directly in the crock pot.

Bread-To bread something is to coat it with bread crumbs, cracker crumbs, or other crumb mixture before cooking it.

Broth-Broth is a liquid made by cooking meat, vegetables or seafood with herbs, bones and water.  Also known as stock.

Brown-Saute meat or vegetables in a frying pan with oil or butter until it turns brown in color

Brush-To brush food with egg or butter with a  pastry brush.

Butterfly – To split food, such as shrimp, chicken breast or pork chops, through the middle without completely separating the halves. Opened flat, the split halves resemble a butterfly.

Cooking Terms Glossary C-D

Candied – Food normally fruit, nut or citrus peel that has been cooked or dipped un a sugar syrup.

Caramelize-Browning sugar over medium heat.

Chiffonade – To cut green leaf vegetables and herbs such as spinache or basil into strips

Chill-Place in refrigerator.

Chop- To cut food into pieces with a knife, food chopper, blender, or food processor.

Clarify – To separate and remove solids from a liquid, thus making it clear

Coat-To cover both sides of a food with flour, crumbs or batter.
Coats a spoon- When stirring liquid in a saucepan the liquid will cover a metal spoon.

Cobbler – A pie with only a top crust-  The filling is poured into s dish and then topped with a batter, biscuit or pie crust.

Combine-To add all ingredients together and stir.
Core-To remove the inside of a fruit. Apples or pears are examples of fruits that are usually cored.

Cream- Mixing butter, lard or margarine with sugar until smooth and creamy.

Croutons - Tiny cubes of bread fried in fat or toasted, and served as garnish on soups, salads and other dishes

Crush-To crush a food into tiny pieces with a rolling pin or kitchen mallet.

Cube- Cutting foods such as vegetables or meat into pieces with 6 equal sides.

Cooking Terms Glossary D
Dash-To add a dash of something in cooking is less than 1/16 teaspoon. See pinch.
Deep Fry- To cook food completely covered in hot oil.

Deglaze-After cooking or roasting meat you add liquid such as milk, broth or water to dissolve the juices stuck to the bottom of the pan. Deglazing is used when making gravy and sauces.

Dice-To cut food into small cubes.

Dilute- To thin a liquid by adding more liquid.
Direct heat-Direct heat is when food is placed directly on a cooking source such as toasting or grilling or on a BBQ.

Dissolve- To dissolve something is to blend food together to make a liquid. For example, add water and sugar together and stirring until the sugar is dissolved.

Dot-Add small pieces of ingredients over food for even melting. (usually using butter.)

Dough-A dough is a combination of flour, liquid and other ingredients to make a firm mixture usually for bread, biscuits or pasta.

Dredge-To lightly coat food with flour,icing sugar, bread crumbs or cracker crumbs. See “coat” above.

Drippings-Drippingsfats that are left in the bottom of a pan after roasting meat.

Drizzle-Pouring a liquid over food in a slow, light trickle.

Dust-To sprinkle food with flour, spices or sugar. For example before kneading bread dust the work surface with flour.

Cooking Terms Glossary E-H

Egg wash-Blending eggs with water and then coating or brushing baked goods.

Emulsify – To combine two liquid or semiliquid ingredients, such as oil and vinegar, that don’t naturally dissolve into each other. One way to do this is to gradually add one ingredient to the other while whisking rapidly with a fork or wire whisk.  This method is used ti make mayonaisse.

Entrée-The main dish.

Fillet-Fish or meat with bones removed.

Firm ball stage-In regards to making sweets. This is when a drop of boiling syrup dropped in cold water forms a ball that will give slightly when squeezed.

Flake-Breaking food apart with a fork usually used for fish.

Flambé-To light a sauce or liquid with flames.

Flute- To press edges of a pie crust together decoratively.

Fold-To combine ingredients together carefully being careful not to beat out the air by stirring through the mixture and bringing the spoon back up to the top gently.

Frenched - To “french” a bone means to cut the meat away from the end of a rib or chop, so that part of the bone is exposed.

Fry-To cook food in hot oil or butter until browned or cooked through.

Cooking Terms Glossary G

Garnish-To add an edible decoration to make food more attractive.

Gel-To let a food set or become solid by adding gelatin.

Glaze- To coat food with a mixture that gives a shiny appearance such as a light icing.

Grate-To shred food into tiny pieces by rubbing against a grater.

Gratin – From the French word for “crust.” Term used to describe any oven-baked dish–usually cooked in a shallow oval gratin dish–on which a golden brown crust of bread crumbs on a cheese or creamy sauce.

Grease-To coat or rub a pan with fat. For cakes you grease and dust the pan with flour.

Grill-To cook food over direct heat in a grill or direct flame.

Grind- To crush food with a food processor, blender or grinder. (See Mince)

Hard-ball stage-In regards to sweet making, this is when syrup has cooked long enough to form a solid ball in cold water.

Hull-To remove leafs from fruits such as strawberries.

Cooking Terms Glossary I-M

Ice-To spread a glaze or frosting on a cake or to cool food down by placing on ice.

Julienne- Cut food into long thin strips.

Knead-Massage dough with your hands in a back and forth pressing and folding motion for several minutes until dough is smooth.

Lukewarm- A temperature of about 95ºF, not too hot and not too cold.

Marble-To swirl food together

Marinate-To season food by placing it in a mixture called a marinade to infuse with flavour.

Mash-To press food to remove lumps.

Meringue-Egg whites beaten until stiff. Then add sugar to the egg whites. This is used for topping pies (Lemon Meringue) or other baked items.

Microwave-to cook food in a microwave.

Mince-To chop in tiny pieces. (See Grind)

Mix-Stirring ingredients together with a spoon or a mixer until well combined.

Moisten-Adding liquid to dry ingredients to make wet but not too wet.

Cooking Terms Glossary N-P

Pan fry-To cook with a small amount of oil or butter.

Parboil-To cook food partly in boiling liquid. Also called blanching.

Parchment- Heat-resistant paper used in cooking.

Pare-To peel or trim a food, usually vegetables.

Peaks-Egg whites whipped until stiff peaks form or they stay upright.

Peel-To remove the outer skin of fruit and vegetables with a knife or vegetable peeler.

Pickle – To preserve meats, vegetables, and fruits in brine or vinegar.

Pinch-To add less than 1/16 teaspoon. See definition of dash.

Pipe-To use a piping bag or plastic bag with a corner cut off to decorate food.

Pit-To take out the stone of a fruit such as cherry or peach.

Poach-to simmer in boiling liquid.

Pressure Cooking-To cook using steam trapped under a lid at a high temperature.

Proof-The process of adding yeast to warm water or milk.

Purée-To blend food together until it becomes completely smooth.

Cooking Terms Glossary Q-S

Reconstitute-Adding water to dried food to return it back to its original consistency.

Reduce-To boil liquids down to enrich the flavor or thicken.

Refresh – To run cold water over food that has been parboiled, to  quickly stop the cooking process.

Re-hydrate-To soak or cook dried foods in liquid.

Render – To make solid fat into liquid by melting it slowly.

Rice – To force food usually potatoes that has been cooked through a perforated utensil known as a ricer, giving the food a somewhat ricelike shape

Roast-To cook in an oven uncovered.

Roux-A thickened paste made from butter and flour usually used for thickening sauces.

Rub-A mixture of ground spices that is rubbed over meat and then baked or roasted.

Cooking Terms Glossary S
Sauté-Cooking food in hot oil in a pan.

Scald-To cook just under the boiling point.

Score- Cut diagonal slits on the top of meat.

Sear-To cook meat in a frying pan under high heat to seal in juices. Then the meat is usually cooked in the oven after searing.

Season-To flavor meat with salt, pepper or other seasonings.

Set- Allowing food to become solid.

Shred-To cut with a knife, tear with your hands, or use a grater to cut food into long strips. For meat, two forks can be used to shred cooked roasted meat.

Sift-To remove lumps from dry ingredients with a mesh seive or flour sifter.

Simmer- To cook over low heat so food or liquid doesn’t reach the boiling point.

Skim-To take the top layer of fat from soups or other liquids with a slotted spoon or other utensils.

Skewer- A stick used for cooking. Usually made from wood or metal.

Steam- To cook food in a covered pan with a small amount of  boiling water. The food is placed in another container with holes inside the pan so the the food does not touch the water.

Steep-To soak dry ingredients in liquid until the flavor is infused into the liquid.

Stew- Cooking meat and vegetables in broth or stock. This method is used for less tender cuts of meat.

Stir-To blend ingredients together.

Stir-Fry-Frying cut meat and vegetables on high heat with a small amount of oil. Usually in a Wok.

Strain-To use a colander, sieve or strainer to drain liquid off cooked food.

Cooking Terms Glossary T-Z

Thicken-To stir together cornflour and cold water or milk and then adding to food to thicken.

Thin- To add more liquid to food.

Toss-Mix ingredients gently together to combine. Such as with a salad.

Truss – To secure poultry with string or skewers, to hold its shape while cooking.

Unleavened-Baked goods with no baking powder, yeast or baking soda added.

Cooking Terms Glossary W

Water Bath-To cook a dish that is set in a larger pan. The larger pan holds boiling water.

Whip- To beat ingredients together quickly with a spoon or mixer until light and fluffy.

Whisk- To mix together by beating with a whisk or mixer.

Zest- To remove the outer part of citrus fruits with a small grater.

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts