Week 2 – Cooking Methods Part 1

This week we are going to talk about some of the most common and universal cooking methods: moist heat cooking methods like steaming and poaching, and dry heat cooking methods of roasting and baking.  After you understand the basics of when and why to use these methods here you can apply them to items you are cooking anywhere!

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Moist Cooking Methods

There are different types of moist cooking methods, but as a general rule, they almost always have to do with the amount of moisture used in the cooking process.  If you are going to steam or poach something, only fill the water up to about half way at the most on the item(s) you are steaming.  To simmer or boil items, then you can completely or mostly submerge the item(s).

Roasting and Baking

Roasting – To cook with dry heat in an oven or with other heat sources like hot coals.

Examples: Usually the term roasting refers to savory items such as chicken, potatoes, roast meats, etc.

Baking – To cook with dry heat especially in an oven,

Examples: Usually the term baking refers to sweet or bakery-type items such as cakes, muffins, bread, etc.

So as you can see there is very little difference between baking and roasting.  It almost always has to do with with what context the word is used in (whether you are referring to sweet or savory items), but the cooking method is almost always the same.  Now you can confidently answer these timeless questions:

Question #1 – Does that mean you could call roasted chicken, baked chicken instead? . . . . . . .  You bet!

Question #2 – Could you actually roast instead of bake a cake?  . . . . . . . Yes you could, but you probably won’t ever here of people referring to it as “roasting a cake.”

Specific recipes for using these processes will be available in the vegetable, starches and different meat sections!  So hang in there, you’ll be there soon enough!

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Chef Shawn Bucher    801-675-8091    shawn@firsttimerscookbook.com    www.firsttimerscookbook.com