Glossary of Cooking Techniques
Ways to Reduce Fat While Keeping Flavor
Bake– To cook in the oven by dry heat. Encasing fish or chicken in a protective coating such as bread crumbs before baking helps retain moisture and adds flavor
Braise– To brown, then simmer in a small amount of liquid (water, stock, wine, or juice) in tightly cover pan. Browning is accomplished without adding fat by first heating the pan and then adding the food. Braising tenderizes by prolonged moist heat yielding a tender and flavorful product!
Broil– To cook under radiant heat on a rack that can be raised or lowered to control cooking temperature. Broiling can quickly turn lean cuts of meat, poultry, and fish into tender and tasteful entrees without adding fat.
Deglaze– To release the food particles and drippings in a roasting or saute pan by adding a liquid such as stock, water or wine, and stirring over heat. Creates flavorful, lowfat sauce or can be used as the base for a more complex sauce
Dry Rub– To rub a mixture of dried or fresh herbs and spices onto the surface of meat, poultry, or fish before cooking. This adds fragrance and flavor as well as an appetizing crust without calories or fat
Dry Saute– To cook by sauteing without fat, usually in a non-stick pan or in a small amount of liquid. Ingredients are stirred or tossed constantly to ensure even cooking. This is and excellent way to cook thin cuts quickly without adding fat
Grill– To cook over radiant heat source on an open grid. Grilling requires no additional fat and allows any natural fat from meat or poultry to drip away. Also terrific for vegetables to create a natural smoke flavor
Marinate– To soak a food in a seasoned liquid before cooking for flavor, moistness, and tenderization. For tenderization, an acidic ingredient must be used. Marinating is a great way to add flavor and tenderness to meat, poultry, and fish, eliminating the need for additional fat.
Smoke– To roast by placing on a rack over layer of chips spread in the bottom of a pan. A second pan is inverted and used as a tight fitting lid. The pan is then put over direct heat on a burner or a flattop. This is one of the more flavorful dry cooking methods using no added fat
Poach– To cook gently in a flavorful liquid held just below boiling point. Poaching maximizes flavor without adding fat and maintains the shape and texture of the original product without toughening it. The poaching liquid, which contains very little fat, can be used as a base for a sauce
Stew– A cooking method very similar to braising, but usually involving smaller pieces of meat and a shorter cooking time than braising. The long slow cooking creates a rich complex sauce which can be easily “defatted” by cooling the stew and skimming the fat