Definition of Terms Used in Food Preparation
Category : Hints, Tips and Tricks

Bake To cook by dry heat in an oven, either covered or uncovered
Barbecue To roast or cook slowly, basting with a highly seasoned sauce
Baste To moisten food with liquid or melted fat during cooking to prevent drying of the surface and to add flavor
Batch Preparation A predetermined quantity or number of servings of food that is to be prepared at selected time intervals in progressive cookery for a given meal period to ensure fresh, high quality cooked food to customers
Beat To make a mixture smooth by using a fast regular circular and lifting motion which incorporates air into a product
Blanch To partially cook in deep fat, boiling water or steam
Blend To mix two or more ingredients thoroughly
Boil To cook in liquid at boiling point (212°F.) in which bubbles rise and break at the surface
Braise To brown in small amount of fat, then to cook slowly in small amount of liquid below the boiling point in a covered utensil
Bread To cover with crumbs or other suitable dry coating ingredient; or to dredge in a mixture of flour seasonings, and/or condiments, dip in a mixture of milk and slightly beaten eggs and then dredge in crumbs
Broil To cook by direct exposure to heat
Brown To produce a brown color on the surface of food by subjecting it to heat
Chop To cut food into irregular small pieces
Cream To mix until smooth, so that the resulting mixture is softened and thoroughly blended
Crimp To pinch together in order to seal
Cube To cut any food into square-shaped pieces
Dice To cut into small cubes or pieces
Dock To punch a number of vertical impressions in a dough with a smooth round stick about the size of a pencil to allow for expansion and permit gases to escape during baking
Dredge To coat with crumbs, flour, sugar or corn meal
Fermentation The process by which yeast acts on the sugars and starches in the dough to produce carbon dioxide gas and alcohol, resulting in expansion of the dough. During this period, the dough doubles in bulk
Flake To break lightly into small pieces
Fold To blend two or more ingredients together with a cutting and folding motion
Fry To cook in hot fat
Garnish To decorate with small pieces of colorful food
Glaze A glossy coat given to foods, as by covering with a sauce or by adding a sugary syrup, icing, etc
Gluten A tough elastic protein that gives dough its strength and ability to retain gas
Grate To rub food on a grater and thus break it into tiny pieces
Grill To cook, uncovered, on a griddle, removing grease as it accumulates. No liquid is added
Knead To work dough by folding and pressing firmly with palms of hands, turning between foldings
Marinade A preparation containing spices, condiments, vegetables, and aromatic herbs, and a liquid (acid or oil or combination of these) in which a food is placed for a period of time to enhance its flavor or to increase its tenderness
Marinate To allow to stand in a marinade to add flavor or tenderness
Mince To cut or chop into very small pieces (finer than chopped)
Panbroil To cook uncovered in a hot frying pan, pouring off fat as it accumulates
Pare To cut away outer covering
Paste See Guidelines for Preparing Sauces and Gravies for definition
Peel To remove the outer layer of skin of a vegetable or fruit, etc
Progressive Cookery The continuous preparation of food in successive steps during the entire serving period (i.e., continuous preparation of vegetables, cook-to-order hamburgers, steaks, fried eggs, pancakes). This procedure ensures fresh, high quality cooked food to customers on a continuous basis. See Batch Preparation
Proof To allow shaped and panned yeast products like bread and rolls to double in size under controlled atmospheric conditions
Reconstitute To restore to liquid state by adding water. Also to reheat frozen prepared foods
Rehydrate To soak, cook, or use other procedures with dehydrated foods to restore water lost during drying
Roast To cook by dry heat; usually uncovered, in an oven
Roux See Guidelines for Preparing Sauces and Gravies for definition
Saute To brown or cook in small amount of fat
Scald To heat a liquid over hot water or direct heat to a temperature just below the boiling point
Scale To measure a portion of food by weighing
Scant Not quite up to stated measure
Score To make shallow cuts across top of a food item
Seasoned Flour or Crumbs A mixture of flour or crumbs with seasonings
Shred To cut or tear into thin strips or pieces using a knife or a shredder attachment
Sift To put dry ingredients through a sieve
Simmer To cook gently in a liquid just below the boiling point (190°F.-210°F.); bubbles will form slowly and break at the surface
Steam To cook over or surrounded by steam
Stew To simmer in enough liquid to cover solid foods
Stir To mix two or more ingredients with a circular motion
Temper To remove from freezer and place under refrigeration for a period of time sufficient to facilitate separation and handling of frozen product. Internal temperature of the food should be approximately 26°F. to 28°F
Thaw To remove from freezer and place under refrigeration until thawed Internal temperature should be above 30°F.
      (a) Completely             Thaw To remove from freezer and place under refrigeration approximately 48 hours before intended use.
      (b) Partially             Thaw To remove from freezer and place under refrigeration approximately 18 hours before intended use.
Toss To mix ingredients lightly
Wash The liquid brushed on the surface of unbaked pies or turnovers to give a golden brown color to the crust or on the surface of proofed breads and rolls before baking and on baked bread and rolls to give a shine to the crust
Whip To beat rapidly with wire whip to increase volume by incorporating air