COMMON COOKING TERMS

Al Dente

Food cooked so it is still firm to the bite, but not soft.

Boil

The stage when the water is in full motion and the bubbles rapidly rise to the surface.

Broil

Cooking food under direct high heat.

Chop

To cut foods with a knife or food processor into smaller pieces, of no particular shape.

Cubes

To cut into 1/2 inch cubes.

Dice

To cut foods with a knife or food processor into tiny cubes.

Julienne

To cut into thin, long, matchstick strips.

Mince

To chop food into very fine pieces.

Saute

Actually meaning “to jump”! Referring to the constant motion of the food in a pan, either by stirring or shaking the pan. It usually requires the use of a hot pan and some oil or butter.

Simmer

The stage when the water is in motion but almost no bubbles break the surface of the water.

Set

The meaning changes slightly when referring to things like eggs, versus cookies or cheesecake. In general, it refers to the edges being slightly firm and the middle or top no longer looking wet.

Slice

Cutting flat, thin pieces.

Temper

To stabilize certain products. Mixing a small amount of a hot ingredient into a cold ingredient before adding them all together. For example, when a hot liquid, like soup, is mixed with cold cream, it is added slowly, whisking the entire time, so the dairy doesn’t curdle.

Tender

Easy to cut or chew; not tough.

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