Methods of Cookery

What is cooking?

Simple meaning of cooking is raw food converting in to the edible stage from the heat.

The reasons for cooking food is to improve,

  • Digestion
  • Texture
  • Taste and Palatability
  • Color and Appearance
  • To kill bacteria and gems

Methods of cooking depend on the following principals of cooking is through Radiation, Conduction and Convection.

  1. Boiling
  2. Poaching
  3. Stewing
  4. Braising
  5. Steaming
  6. Baking
  7. Roasting
  8. Grilling
  9. Frying
  10. Paper bag
  11. Microwave
  12. Pot roasting

Principals of Cooking

  • To cook food successfully, you must understand the science and principal of cooking.
  • As well as you must understand the ways in which heat is transferred.
  • Cooking is simply the transfer of energy from a heat source to a food.


  • Heat is transferred from the range top trough the solid base of the pots and pans. Also known as ”between heat” .


  • Heated air is convected around the oven. ex:- baking, steaming


  • Heat passes from it’s sources as direct rays. Also known as ”direct heat”. ex:- grilling, BBQ
Diagram showing how heat transfer illustration

12 Methods of Cooking


Boiling is the cooking of prepared food in a liquid at boiling point. This could be water, court bouillon, milk or stock.

There are two ways of boiling:

1. Hot Method

Place the food into boiling liquid, then reduce the heat for gentle boiling to take place, this is known as simmering. This method is used for vegetables, which contain chlorophyll and meats where its flavors need to be retained within the meat (sealing the pores).      

2. Cold Method

Cover the food with cold liquid, bring to boil, and then reduce heat to allow food to simmer. This method is used to cook root vegetables and meats, which require its flavors extracted.

2. Poaching

The cooking food in the required amount of liquid at just below the boiling point is called poaching. The cooking liquor is thereafter used for the prepare on of its sauce or served together with the food.

There are two ways of poaching.

1. Shallow Poaching:

Food, ex:- cuts of fish and chicken, to be cooked by this method is cooked in the minimum of liquid, half covered, that is water, stock, milk or wine. The liquid should never be allowed to boil but kept at a temperature as near as possible to boiling point.

Shallow Poaching

2. Deep Poaching 

This is cooking the food totally immersed in liquid without allowing to boil. Cod, Salmon, Turbot, Chicken and some vegetables are cooked in this method.

Deep Poaching

The purpose of poaching food is,

  • Easy to digest.
  • A suitable tender texture.
  • Safe to eat any kind of health condition.
  • Pleasant to eat.

3. Stewing

Stewing is the slow cooking of food out into pieces and cooked in the minimum amount of liquid (water, stock or sauce). The food and liquid are served together. Stewed foods can be cooked in covered pan on the stove or in a moderate oven. Poor cuts of meat and hard fruits are cooked using this methods.

Stewed Pineapple

4. Braising

It is a method of cooking which has a combination of stewing and pot roasting. The food is placed on a bed of root vegetables to prevent from the burning. Braising is be done using a braising pan with a tight fitting lid and placed in an oven or on fire. Good quality cuts of meat are cooked using this method.

Braised Lamb Shank

5. Steaming

Steaming is the cooking of prepared food by steam (moist heat) under varying degree of pressure.

There are two methods of steaming:

1. Direct Steaming: 

This is cooking by allowing the food to be in contact with steam directly. The utensils used are purpose built, which has a pan with boiling water and a perforated pan with a tight fitting lid over the pan of water to enable the food to come in direct contact with the steam.

2. Indirect Steaming:

In indirect steaming the food is placed in a container with a tight fitting lid, and partly immersed in an another pan of water, closed with a tight fitting lid and boiled. The heat of the water would cook the food immersed in water, while heat of the steam would cook the part of food not immersed.

  • Pressure Cooking method is also type of steaming method by using steam and the pressure. This method of cooking is done in a purpose built pan which is known as the pressure pan/cooker where the food is placed in it with all ingredients and closed with a tight fitting lid, and placed on the fire. The heat builds up the pressure within the pan, and cooks faster than the normal cooking time with the steam trapped in it. This enables the food to be moist and well boiled. All types of food could be cooked by using this method.

6. Baking

Baking is cooking of food by dry heat in an oven. The moisture contained in the food is converted into steam in this method of cooking. Cakes, Pastries, Breads, Meat and Vegetables could be cooked in and oven.

(Baking is an wide area to learn and I will make separate blog only for baking area, so you can learn more about baking on that.)

7. Roasting

Roasting is food cooking in dry heat with the aid of fat/oil in an oven or in a spit. Basting should be done frequently to keep food moist and to prevent the dryness of the food.

Roasted Whole Chicken

8. Grilling

There are three methods of grilling.

  1. Over Heat : ex:- charcoal BBQ, gas or electric heated grills.
  2. Under Heat : ex:- gas or electric salamanders
  3. Between Heat : ex:- electrical oven
Over Heat Grilling by Charcoal Grill
Under Heat by Salamander
Electric Oven – Between Heat

9. Frying

Frying is cooking food in heated oil or fat, which may be either shallow fried, deep fried or saute frying.

1. Shallow Frying

Shallow frying is the cooking of food in a small quantity of preheated fat or oil in a shallow pan or on a flat surface.

Shallow Frying

2. Deep Frying

This is the cooking of food immersed in preheated deep oil or clarified fat.

Deep Frying

3. Saute Frying This is method using very little amount of oil or fat and toss in a frying pan or a saute pan. This term when used for potatoes indicates that potatoes had been tossed in the frying pan or saute pan. In similar manner certain items only will be sauteed. 

Saute Potatoes
  • Stir Fry is also a common cooking method in this era under the frying method. It is fast frying strips of meat, chicken or vegetables in a wok with very less amount of oil and under the high heat of gas flame. This is very common in Chinese cooking and now it is very famous all around the world.

10. Paper bag Cooking

Known as en papillote, this method of cookery in which food is tightly sealed in oiled grease proof paper or foil so that during cooking no steam escapes and maximum natural flavor and nutritive value is retained.

11. Microwave Cooking

This is a method of cooking and re-heating food using high frequency sound waves, which generates heat due to friction, cooking food from inside to outside without a color change.

Microwave Oven

12. Pot Roasting

Pot roasting is a cooking on a bed of root vegetables in a covered pan, known as poele, using this method of cooking, maximum flavor of the all ingredients will be protect.

Pot Roasted Beef

25/04/2020 by @cheflakey

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