Sauté, parboil, mince? When reading recipes, we come across many of these terms. Some we know, others we don’t. Cooking is a skill that is learned, and much like any specific skill there’s often a language that comes with it. Here at Budget Meal Planner we’ve created a basics cheat sheet to help you follow recipes more easily and accurately!
You’ll commonly come across this term for pasta dishes. Some people say it means undercooked, but in reality, this is how many pastas should be cooked. Cooking al dente means it’s cooked, but there is still some firmness left to it, enough to chew.
This is the electric grill rods that are located at the top of an oven. To broil something, you have to preheat those rods until they become exceptionally hot, then place food directly under it. This usually means you have to move your oven rack to the highest spot.
This is when an egg-based mixture is cooked too quickly and the protein separates from the liquids, leaving a lumpy mixture behind. Usually something you want to avoid.
This is when you boil food just slightly. Most of the time this is done when vegetables are soon to be roasted, as parboiling speeds up the cooking time.
To mince something is to cut it into very fine, small pieces. Many times this is done for garlic.
The most common term of all. This is a general cooking method, done for pretty much anything cooked in a skillet. To sauté means to cook in a little fat (oil, butter, etc.) over high heat.
This is a method of cooking that involves cooking food over high heat until caramelization or you brown the surface. This isn’t meant to cook food all the way through, rather seal the flavors in for when you proceed to cook them in a liquid.
Liquids can be simmered, this mean that you are cooking them just under boiling. Often, you will bring a pot of liquid to boil, then lower it to simmer for a long period of time.
Usually done for any citrus fruit; zest is when you remove the outer layer of the skin using a grater or a peeler.