If you don’t know your "blanch" from your "broil," and if "sauté" is a foreign word to you (okay, you’d be right on that count), you may have some difficulty interpreting some of those recipes that you’d like to try out. This handy-dandy glossary of the most common cooking methods will help clear up some of that cooking mumbo-jumbo, so that you can run through your favorite cookbook recipes without a hitch.
definition | To cook in a closed environment (namely, an oven) using indirect heat. Roasting is generally done at temperatures above 450° F; baking refers to cooking done at lower temperatures.
equipment | Oven; oven-proof pans.
advantages | Roasting makes the exteriors of foods crisp while, ideally, keeping the interiors moist (by slowly cooking them through).
most often used for | Root vegetables, meats and poultry all taste delicious roasted. Baking is generally reserved for breads, pastries, cakes and cookies; it is also useful for warming/re-heating foods.
equipment | Charcoal or gas grill/barbecue, or an open fire, for grilling; an oven for broiling. Metal spatula; tongs.
advantages | Broiling/grilling makes the exteriors of foods very crisp and gives food a slightly smoky flavor. Grilling over wood can impart the food with an improved flavor.
most often used for | Best used for thin cuts of meat and seafood that will cook thoroughly before burning; often the meats are marinated before cooking. Vegetables are also tasty grilled or broiled.