13 Techniques Everyone Should Know

I used to skip over recipes if they called for a technique I wasn’t comfortable with. For example, the idea of cooking lamb used to scare me because if I were to mess up, it would be like throwing $25 down the drain. Now that I have been cooking for a while, I have slowly begun to trust myself and I have realized that most of those “fancy” words aren’t so scary. If you can master these techniques, you’re cooking will be elevated to an entirely new level and everyone in your life will be super impressed!

1. Butterfly: to cut meat almost in half lengthwise so you can open it like a book

Butterfly_7.23.2012-450x300

2. Truss: tying the wings of a bird (chicken, duck, etc.) to it’s body to ensure even cooking

chickentrussing

3. Cream: to blend to the consistency of a cream (usually butter or heavy cream)

creaming-butter-and-sugar-300x224

4. Fold: to incorporate one ingredient to another by gently turning them over one another

folding

5. Baste: to add moisture to food while it’s cooking (marinade, butter, drippings, etc)- think Thanksgiving turkey!

Baste

6. Render: to cook the fat out of meat by applying heat and melting it (this happens every time you cook bacon)

rendering

7. Sear: browning the sides of food over very high heat

sear

8. Deglaze: to loosen bits of food from a pan that stuck while cooking by adding liquid over high heat

deglaze

9. Braise: to cook food by submerging it in liquid over low heat from a long period of time

braise

10. Poach: to cook in liquid below 185 degrees F (think poached eggs)

poach

11. Simmer: to cook something just below or just at the boiling point

simmer

12. Blanch: to cook something in boiling water for a short time and then stop the cooking process by dropping the food in ice water

blanch-484

13. Shock: to stop the cooking process abruptly by dropping food in ice water

shock

Check out this article from Buzzfeed for detailed definitions, explanations and tricks!

Photos courtesy of (in order):

http://whiskedfoodie.com;

http://www.joepastry.com;

http://www.onceuponachef.com;

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com;

http://shopnsavefood.com;

http://notdabblinginnormal.wordpress.com;

http://forum.thefreedictionary.com;

http://www.the-chicken-chick.com;

http://deniebernier.com;

http://lookimadethat.com;

http://www.bonappetit.com;

http://www.realsimple.com

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