13 cooking methods
Culinary Skills

13 cooking methods You Should Know

What is a Basic Cooking Method?

A basic cooking method is a way to prepare food. They are the first step in cooking and usually the simplest.

There are many different basic cooking methods which people use to cook their food. Some examples of these are boiling, frying, roasting, braising, steaming, poaching and microwaving.

How to Use the Different Basic Cooking Methods

Different cooking methods are used for different purposes. For example, deep frying is best used for preparing foods that have a high fat content, such as french fries or doughnuts. Braising is perfect for tough cuts of meat that need to be cooked slowly and in liquid.

The following will provide an overview of the different basic cooking methods and their uses:


Sautéing is a cooking technique which derives its name from the French verb for jumping. This cooking method is used to brown or caramelize the food and add flavor. It is often done over high heat but can also be done over lower heat when desired. Foods that are sauteed are usually cooked quickly so they retain their shape and texture.


This cooking method involves boiling water in a pot with a steamer basket in it to cook the food above it by using steam instead of boiling water below it like with boiling or poaching. Steaming retains more nutrients than other methods because there is little contact between the food and water which means less moisture.

steaming method


Poaching involves poaching in water that is just below the boiling point. This method is typically used for delicate items like seafood or eggs. Poaching is one of the essential ways to cook eggs but is also used for chicken, fish and fruit like pears.


This cooking method uses flavored liquid (such as broth) and high heat to cook large pieces of food such as beef, lamb, poultry or fish.


This cooking technique requires the heat source to be directly over the food, not too close or it will burn. Grilling is a favorite summer pastime and an easy skill to pick up.

Grilling method


This cooking method uses oil (and occasionally other ingredients like batter) to cook food in a shallow layer over very high heat.


This cooking method uses liquid at or slightly below the boiling point (185 degrees) and is used for thickening sauces, soups, stews, chilis, braising meats and many other dishes.


Blanching is scalding vegetables in boiling water or steam for a short time. It is typically followed by quick, thorough cooling in very cold or ice water. Blanching stops enzyme actions which otherwise cause loss of flavor, color and texture.

What foods should be blanched?

  • Almonds (1 minute)
  • Broccoli florets (3 minutes)
  • Cabbage (90 seconds)
  • Cauliflower florets (3 minutes)
  • Green beans (3 minutes)
  • Leafy greens (2 minutes)
  • Peas (90 seconds)
  • Peaches (30 seconds)




This cooking method uses water to cook food by submerging it in the hot liquid and then boiling it.


Pan-frying is a dry heat method of cooking, by relying on oil or fat as the heat transfer medium. The oil creates steam which helps cooks the meat while the exposed topside allows any steam to escape. Direct contact with the bottom of the pan creates greater browning and crisping.



This cooking method uses a liquid, often broth or water, mixed with one or more ingredients to cook food slowly in a covered pot.


Roasting is a cooking method that uses dry heat where hot air covers the food, cooking it evenly on all sides with temperatures of at least 150 °C (300 °F) from an open flame, oven, or other heat source. Roasting can enhance the flavor through caramelization and Maillard browning on the surface of the food.


baking, process of cooking by dry heat, especially in some kind of oven. It is probably the oldest cooking method. Bakery products, which include bread, rolls, cookies, pies, pastries, and muffins, are usually prepared from flour or meal derived from some form of grain.

baking method


Here are some frequently asked questions:

What is the difference between broiling and baking?

Both baking and broiling use dry heat to cook foods. Baking makes use of indirect heat at lower temperatures, while broiling relies on direct heat at higher temperatures.

Are grilling and barbecue the same thing?

Barbecuing cooks food slowly and often incorporates sauces or marinades. It infuses a smoky taste and makes food extra tender. Meanwhile, grilling cooks ingredients quickly and is normally done with very little oil, resulting in that crispy, charred, caramelized surface and those picture-perfect grill marks.

What is difference between braising and stewing?

Braising involves cooking large pieces of meat or chicken partially covered in liquid, while stewing uses smaller pieces of meat totally immersed in liquid. The liquid will usually be a combination of stock and water.

Is deep frying healthy?

Even if you use healthy oil, deep frying will add a lot of calories to food, so it’s best not to eat it too often. The extra calories typically come from coatings, including batter and flour, plus the oil that sticks to the food after cooking.

How long do you blanch vegetables?

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare a large bowl of ice water readily accessibly next to the stove. Carefully place the vegetables in the pot of boiling water, and using a spoon, help submerge the vegetables. Cook until the vegetables become crisp tender, but still bright green, about 3-5 minutes.

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