6 Cooking Techniques Every Foodie Should Know
Jun 09, 2020 10:11 PM EDT | By Staff Reporter
Most food lovers know their way around the kitchen, as we all know that the best meals are prepared at home. However, some aspiring foodies may be more fond of taste testing and savouring flavours than crafting exciting meals, and the reason could very well be a lack of cooking knowledge. While not everyone has what it takes to tackle cooking techniques, the following six methods are enough to create a stable base of chef knowledge that will have you soon conquering the creative field of cooking.
Smoking And Grilling
Smoking gives a variety of foods an incredibly distinctive flavour that even non-foodies will instantly appreciate. Interestingly enough, the method of smoking food is a lot less common than it should be. When mastering the art of smoking meats and other foods, it is best to use an offset smoker that allows cooking low and slow as the results are exceptionally tender meat drenched with decadent flavour. A select type of other cooking methods, such as grilling or baking, can also replicate the characteristics of smoking although it is vital to understand how to grill or bake foods to give meals a smoked flavour.
Sauteing is by far one of the most versatile methods of cooking as you can prepare a wide variety of foods from fish to meat, vegetables, and even noodles. The technique saute means "to jump" when translated from French, which explains the method as food is tossed around in a skillet. When sauteing foods, you can use a variety of fats to perform this technique, from butter to different types of oil, or even a combination depending on the recipe you are preparing. The pan should be hot enough to brown the food quite fast while being tossed about in the pan. The result is the exterior of food being either browned or mildly caramelized.
The technique of searing food refers to browning. The method is most commonly used to cook meat and fish in a pan on high heat. More often than not, searing meat is done at the start of recipes, and the browning then caramelizes natural sugars in meat or fish, allowing a mouthwatering layer of flavour to emerge. Searing also adds incredible texture to foods. Recipes that suggest searing as the first step usually follows with braising or roasting to ensure meats or fish are exceptionally tender rather than tough and tasteless.
Steaming is a cooking technique that has recently gained quite a bit of popular. This is mostly because steaming vegetables allows food lovers to hold onto rich nutrient sources, unlike other methods of veggie preparation. Even though steaming is a straightforward cooking technique, time is of the essence as you will need to find the perfect balance between undercooked, just right, and overcooked. While sloppy overcooked veggies may have been quite the rage back in the 80s, these days, it's all about eating healthy.
Baking and Roasting
Baking and roasting are quite similar and may very well be one of the more challenging cooking techniques out there, especially when considering that there are so many different ways to bake meals and desserts. Ovens may seem quite simple, although, inferior quality ones can flop cakes, make the creation of sweet treats impossible, and burn foods on one side while leaving the rest raw. Therefore, it is best to read recipes thoroughly to ensure your oven is used at the correct heat and on the right setting when baking.
Braising is usually the technique of choice when it comes to creating dishes of exceptionally tender meat dishes. The method is often also referred to as slow-cooking. When braising, food is usually browned first, although not always. There are quite a few varieties of slow-cooking appliances available on the market that ensure temperatures are stable for long periods. However, these appliances are not essential for the technique. Slow cooking or braising vegetables and poultry with a variety of spices and herbs is a popular dish for this technique, although, we all know the sky is the limit when it comes to creativity in the kitchen.
If you are just starting your journey as an aspiring chef or food lover, it is a great idea to invest in a few cookbooks and recipes to help you navigate your way around the kitchen with confidence. Even though creativity is considered an essential quality for chefs, using recipes will help you define your skills as you master techniques.