“Do you eat to live or live to eat”?
If there is one thing that a man must do is to eat because food is essential to the human body. There are numerous kinds of food in the UK. If you decided to try a new type of dish every day, you might do so for several months. If you walk inside a restaurant, the menu has various types of food listed alongside the prices.
Each type of food is cooked differently. There are some popular cooking methods that any chef or cooking enthusiast must know. Several methods of cooking might be used to prepare one type of food. Different cooking methods use different appliances and ingredients. It’s no coincidence that some cooking methods guarantee healthy, nutritious, and delicious food than others.
This article describes the 10 most popular cooking methods in the UK. If you are a chef or like experimenting in the kitchen, keep reading.
Popular Cooking Methods In The UK
There are three major cooking methods; moist heat cooking, dry heat cooking, and combination cooking. All the cooking methods are divided into three categories. It’s essential to understand the different types and methods of cooking for you to become a great chef or home cook.
- Dry Heat Cooking – grilling, broiling, baking, roasting, and sauteing
- Moist Heat Cooking – boiling, poaching, steaming, and simmering
- Combination Cooking – stewing, and braising
Dry Heat Cooking
Involves cooking food in the absence of water, broth, or moisture. It depends on the circulation of hot air, and high temperatures are used. Dry heat cooking yields the browning effect creating unique flavours and aromas.
Frying involves cooking food with fat or oil. It is one of the quickest techniques to cook food with temperatures ranging between 175 – 225 ⁰C. Fried food is crunchy and retains the original taste. The technique is, however, not the best to health conscious individuals because of the excess oil used. It’s most famous for cooking fried chicken, french fries and doughnuts.
There are various methods of frying:
- Deep Frying – food is completely dipped in hot oil until it turns golden and gets ready.
- Air Frying – using very little oil you can make this deliciously crispy air fryer fried chicken.
- Pan-frying – food is cooked with less oil on a frying pan. It’s ideal for small portions of food.
- Stir-frying – food is fried using an oiled pan under very high temperatures for a short time.
- Sauteing – food is browned on one side while a small portion of oil or fat is applied on the second side.
This technique involves subjecting food to dry heat in an enclosed chamber. The dry heat browns the exterior coating of food and locks the moisture inside. Baking uses indirect heat and does not use fat and is thus a healthy alternative. It’s usually used to cook bread, cakes, cookies, desserts, and pastries.
Roasting is one of the most famous cooking methods across the world. It is very similar to baking since it is done inside an oven and uses indirect heat. Heat is supplied evenly from all directions leading to uniform browning. This method of cooking is slow but the best for coaxing flavours out of vegetables and meats.
Roasting is done at 90 – 175 ⁰C for tougher cuts or roughly 230 ⁰C for tender cuts. The best foods for roasting include meats, vegetables, and poultry.
Sautéing is done over a hob using a hot shallow pan with a small amount of oil to coat food. The oil film used for coating allows for even burning and browning. This technique cooks food within a brief period.
To achieve the best results, keep tossing the food up and down and avoid overcrowding food on the pan. The oiled pan should also be pre-heated before adding food. It’s ideal for cooking poultry, meats, and vegetables.
Moist Heat Cooking
As the name suggests, moist heat cooking uses a liquid. It is an ideal method for healthy cooking since only a small portion of oil or fat is used. It’s also excellent in tenderizing foods with tough fibers, such as beef. The method is also used to soften food such as legumes and fibrous vegetables.
Boiling is probably the most basic method of cooking. Everyone can boil food and serve it. It is a soaking method of cooking that involves putting food into boiling water till it’s cooked. It’s primarily used for cooking root vegetables with low water-soluble vitamins. You can boil Irish potatoes, sweet potatoes, or meat before frying.
Similarly, you use hot water like boiling. However, in steaming, food is not immersed in boiling water. The food is placed in a perforated compartment from where the water vapour emerging from the boiling water cooks it.
Steaming is an ideal method for individuals interested in healthy cooking. No fat or oil is used in this technique. Steaming is also ideal for green vegetables with little or no water-soluble vitamins.
Food is completely submerged in a hot liquid, ranging from 60 ⁰C to 80 ⁰C. The low – moderate heat is best for delicate items. The moisture and flavour in food are preserved with no oil. Ideal foods for poaching include eggs, fruits, poultry, and fish.
Simmering resembles poaching in many ways. Nonetheless, the former uses higher temperatures than the latter. To achieve simmering temperatures, heat water to the boiling point, then lowers the temperatures slightly. You can cook countless types of food using this technique, such as grains, legumes, soups, rice, meats, and some vegetables.
Stewing involves submerging food completely in hot liquid. Small pieces of meat are best for stews. During cook time, fat and collagen fibers melt away while fibrous vegetables break down. The result is always a thick, flavourful meal with soft vegetables and chunks of meat. It’s perfect for cooking meat and vegetables.
Like stewing, braising involves cooking food in a hot liquid. The only difference is that braising requires the food to be first seared in a hot oiled pan, and the food is partially submerged in hot water while cooking. Braising is done under low heat and thus cooks for an extended time, yielding very tender meats. Braising is best for cooking legumes, meats and vegetables.
Popular UK Cooking Methods: Summing Up
Equipped with the most popular cooking methods in the UK, you ought to take up a challenge and try some unique recipes. Cooking is all about trying things out.
Lastly, different cooking methods are helpful in certain instances only. You should pick the proper technique depending on your requirements; for instance, you may prefer healthy cooking and thus prefer steaming over frying.
Did you know that most recipes involve more than one cooking method?