Different Types Of Cooking Methods To Try


by Sid Wilson | Published On

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To prepare a delicious meal, choosing the proper cooking method helps one understand the best ways to prepare meat, vegetables, and seafood.

There are three main types of cooking methods: dry heat cooking, moist heat cooking, and combination cooking methods.

All these methods use heat and different techniques to prepare a meal and attain different results.

Types Of Cooking Methods

Types Of Cooking Methods

  • Dry Heat Method

    The dry heat cooking method is a method that is used without any added water and broth to prepare a meal. This method mostly relies on the hot air’s circulation or direct contact with heat to cook food thoroughly.

    Oil is a liquid but it is a type of fat which is why it is considered a dry heat cooking method as it does not include water or broth.

    Cooking methods such as stir-fry, pan-fry, and frying use oil as their cooking medium but they are still considered dry heat cooking methods.

    Other methods such as boiling, grilling, roasting, baling, and sautéing are also considered dry heat cooking methods. Examples of dry heat methods are toasted bread and seared meat with a crispy exterior and tender interior.

  • Moist Heat Method

    Moist heat cooking method involves liquid or steam to cook food, this method is usually used to make low-fat foods.

    To cook vegetables, rice, and beans, moist heat is necessary to make them soft and tender. Moist heat cooking method includes steaming, poaching, boiling, and simmering.

    The moist heat method does not extract soluble nutrients from food and the result is soft and healthy dishes.

  • Combination Method

    The combination cooking method uses both dry and moist methods at the same time. In a combination cooking method, food is usually cooked with added water or broth at a low temperature for a long period.

    This method includes braising and stewing which uses either a dry heat method or the moist heat method, both of these methods are used in cooking hard foods that are difficult to cook with any other method.

    Tender foods such as fish and vegetables can be cooked well with both braising and stewing but they require less liquid with low heat and less cooking time.

Heat Cooking Methods

  • Broiling

    Broiling is done by transferring high heat to food which causes browning to happen as fast as it could. Browning is a heat reaction where the amino acids in food turn brown which makes the food more delicious and aromatic.

    As broiling cooks food quickly with high heat, the food needs to be observed to prevent it from burning.

    This method is usually done for a small amount of time or it is done after the food has already been cooked with any other type of method. You can either use an electric broiler or an oven to broil your
    food.

    Foods that are suitable for broiling-

    • Meat
    • Fish
    • Poultry
    • Fruits and Vegetables
  • Roasting

    Roasting uses indirect heat to cook food from every side. This method takes a longer time to cook but it makes the meat flavor more prominent it can be cooked at low, medium, and high temperatures as well.

    As low as 93 °C, the most commonly used medium temperature at 176°C or even at a higher temperature of about 232°C, the temperature mostly depends on the type of food you’re roasting.

    Foods that are suitable for roasting-

    • Meat
    • Poultry
    • Fruits and vegetables
  • Baking

    Just like roasting, baking also uses indirect heat to cook food properly. In roasting, the food is cooked in an oven for a long amount of time whereas in baking it is done at a lower temperature than in roasting.

    Baking typically includes cooking foods such as bread, cake, cookies, biscuits, etc. Both of these techniques are mostly the same, but the difference is just that the baking is done at a lower temperature than roasting.

    Foods that are suitable for baking-

    • Bread
    • Cakes
    • Cookies
    • Pastries
    • Pizza
    • Pies
  • Sauteing

    Sauteing is done in a shallow pan over your stove-top burner and to sauté your food you don’t need much oil to cook your food it is done just so the food does not stick to the bottom of the pan.

    Sauteing cooks food quickly so the food is supposed to be monitored closely and flipped/tossed before the cooking time is complete.

    To saute your food perfectly, keep these little things in mind oil your pan before turning on the heat, don’t put too many ingredients at once, and keep tossing and flipping your food.

    Foods that are suitable for sautéing-

    • Meat
    • Poultry
    • Vegetables
  • Grilling

    Grilling is usually done by putting the food over a heat source and cooking food faster. Grills are used as a pan in which the food is put on and underneath is the source of heat such as a gas flame of the more natural option of burning wood.

    Foods that are suitable for grilling-

    • Burgers
    • Meat
    • Poultry
    • Fish
    • Vegetables
  • Pan-Frying

    in pan-frying, the food is cooked on a hot pan with some oil in it, just enough that the food is partially submerged in the oil.

    Foods that are suitable for pan-frying:

    • Meat
    • Fish
    • Vegetables
    • Food dipped in batter
  • Deep-Frying

    In deep-frying, the food is fully dipped in oil. The foods that are cooked through this method are cooked fully from the inside and crispy on the outer side.

    Foods that are suitable for deep-frying:

    • French fries
    • Food coated in batter
    • Donuts

Moist Heat Cooking Method

  • Boiling

    In boiling the food is submerged in hot water to cook it thoroughly from the inside out. There are two types of which you can boil your food.

    First, a slow boil, and second: a fast boil. In slow boil, the food is cooked at low heat with slow bubbles, unlike fast boiling in which the food is cooked at high heat with more bubbles.

    Although this method makes the food full of moisture, it takes away some of the nutrients from the food.

  • Steaming

    Steaming is done by placing really hot water which produces steam. The steam contains moisture and has enough heat to cook food properly with a lot of moisture.

    There are a lot of steaming devices in which you can steam your food easily such as an electric food steamer, a steaming basket, a pot of boiling water, a microwave, wrapping food in aluminum foil to steam in an oven, and instant cookers.

    I have also discussed several methods to steam the food.

    Foods that are suitable for steaming-

     

    • Fish
    • Vegetables
  • Simmering

    Simmering is just like boiling but it cooks at a lower temperature than boiling. To achieve simmering you need to bring the water to a boil and lower the flame to cook the food.

    Foods that are suitable for simmering:

    • Rice
    • Meats
    • Soup
    • Vegetables
    • Oats
    • Rice
    • Beans
  • Poaching

    Poaching is one of the gentle methods of cooking in which the food is submerged in hot water (for about 40-80°C) to cook it. The water temperature is not that hot to cook delicate food evenly and is full of moisture.
    Foods that are suitable for poaching-

    • Eggs
    • Fish
    • Poultry
    • Fruit
  • Sous Vide

    It is a method of cooking in which the food is cooked slowly in hot water, for a long amount of time, and at a low temperature.

    In this method, the food is packed in a sealed bag and is then put in the hot water which is below the boiling point to cook it.

    Foods that are suitable for poaching:

    • Meats
    • Fish
    • Poultry
    • Eggs
    • Vegetables

Combination Cooking Method

  • Stewing

    Stewing is similar to boiling but the only difference between them is that in boiling the food is fully immersed in water and in stewing the food is partially immersed in water.

    It is usually cooked at low temperatures for a short amount of time. Stewing is used for making gravy or sauce with small pieces of meat and vegetables.

    Foods that are suitable for stewing-

    • Meats
    • Vegetables
  • Braising

    Braising is similar to stewing and the difference is with the amount of water that is required to cook. The food is fried first and then it is transferred to a pan with water and cooked at a low temperature for a long amount of time to get the most tender meat and soft vegetables.

    Foods that are suitable for braising:

    • Meats
    • Vegetables
    • Beans

Dry Heat Cooking Vs Moist Heat Cooking

In the dry heat cooking method, oil and fats are used to prepare a meal but in the moist heat cooking method, the food is prepared by immersing the food in water to cook them.

You can say that because the fact that the moist heat cooking method does not use oil to make food, it is the healthiest method for cooking.

The food cooked with the dry heat cooking method is usually browned and crispy unlike in most heat cooking where the food is soft and tender.

Here are some of the healthy cooking methods you can try. The cooking methods mentioned below use little to no oil to cook food and do not take away the nutrients from the meal.

  • Poaching
  • Steaming
  • Grilling
  • Baking
  • Stewing

Conclusion

After reading this article, you could able to choose the right cooking method for you. Whether you want to make your food less greasy, crispy, tender, or soft these can all be achieved by dry cooking method, moist cooking method, and combination cooking method.

There are many sub-methods involved that will help you to choose from more options, but keep in mind that some dishes require two different methods for you to prepare the perfect meal.

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Sid Wilson

Being a father, a golf lover, and an engineer by profession are the things that define Sid Wilson. He spends most of his time in his garage building and experimenting with stuff. Unscrewing things and then screwing them up is his favorite hobby. Doing these things in his garage has made him what, he is today.

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