Dry Cooking Techniques

Reading Guide

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Read to Learn

Content Vocabulary

Key Concepts

• bake

• dredging

• Demonstrate dry cooking

• carryover cooking

• breading


• smoking

• batter

• roasting

• heat lamp

Main Idea

• sear

• pan-fry

Dry cooking causes moisture in

• basting

• deep-fried

food to evaporate into the air.

• open-spit roast

• recovery time

Dry cooking techniques include

• sauteing

• grilling

baking, roasting, sauteing,

• stir-frying

• griddle

stir-frying, pan-frying, deep-

• wok

• broiling

frying, grilling, and broiling.

• frying

Academic Vocabulary

Graphic Organizer

Use a matrix like the one below to list the different dry cooking techniques, with a short description of each.

Dry Cooking Techniques



Graphic Organizer Go to this book's Online Learning Center at glencoe.com for a printable graphic organizer.

English Language Arts

NCTE5 Use different writing process elements to communicate effectively.


NCTM Geometry Use visualization, spatial reasoning, and geometric modeling to solve problems.


NSESB Develop an understanding of the interactions of energy and matter.

Social Studies

NCSS VA Individuals, Groups, and Institutions

Apply concepts such as role, status, and social class in describing the connections and interactions of individuals, groups, and institutions in society.

NCSS I B Culture Predict how data and experiences may be interpreted by people from diverse cultural perspectives and frames of reference.

NCTE National Council of Teachers of English

NCTM National Council of Teachers of Mathematics NSES National Science Education Standards

NCSS National Council for the Social Studies

Dry cooking techniques include baking, roasting, sauteing, stir-frying, pan-frying, deep-frying, grilling, and broiling. Do not let the word dry fool you. It is called the dry cooking technique because no moisture is directly used in the cooking process. Any moisture that comes from the food evaporates into the air. Some dry cooking techniques use oil and fat to transfer heat. Others use metal and radiation of hot air to create heat. This section will introduce you to dry cooking techniques.


Baking is a very popular dry cooking technique. Bread and chicken are foods that are commonly baked. Fish, vegetables, fruits, breads, and pastry items also can be baked.

To bake, you use dry heat in a closed environment, usually an oven. No fat or liquid is added to the cooking process. Any moisture that comes from food is turned into steam and evaporates into the air. This is because the food is baked uncovered.

A large food product will continue to cook for 5 to 15 minutes after you remove it from the oven. This is called carryover cooking, or the cooking that takes place after you remove something from its heat source. This happens because the outside of the food is hotter than the inside of the food. This effect, or result, continues until the temperature throughout the food becomes stable. Carryover cooking can add 5 to 15 degrees to the food's final temperature. There is no way to stop the carryover cooking that happens at the end of dry heat cooking. You must keep this effect in mind when you plan cooking times.


Smoking is usually done with meats, but also can be done with other foods, such as nuts, vegetables, and cheeses. Smoking is a form of cooking that uses low heat, long cooking times, and wood smoke for flavor. Commercial smokers are usually kept at a temperature of 225°F (107°C). Smoking is done with hot coals, to which smoking wood chunks of hickory, mesquite or just about any

Roasted Foods Roasting adds a rich flavor to meats and vegetables. What other foods could be roasted?

hardwood or fruitwood is added. Foods are placed on the opposite side of the smoker as the coals and wood. This keeps the food from cooking too quickly.


Like baking, roasting uses dry heat in a closed environment to cook food. Foods commonly roasted include meat and poultry. These foods are placed on top of a rack that is inside a pan. This allows air to circulate all the way around the food so that it cooks evenly. In general, roasting involves longer cooking times than baking.

Carryover cooking also applies to roasting. Remove roasted foods from the oven just before they reach the desired doneness. Remember to use a thermometer to check the internal temperature of foods for safety. The carryover heat that occurs will complete the cooking process.


Roasting differs from baking in that sometimes the outside of the food product is seared. To sear means to quickly brown the outside of food at the start of the cooking process. Searing enhances flavors and adds color. It also helps to build body in juice drippings that can later be used to make sauces. Searing can be done two different ways: in a pan on the rangetop or in the oven.

When you sear foods on the rangetop, heat the pan, then place the food in a pan that contains a small amount of heated oil. Brown the meat on one side, and then turn the meat until all of its surfaces are browned. After this is done, place the pan in a hot oven to finish the cooking process.

When searing in the oven, place the food, such as a roast, in a pan in a 450°F to 475°F (232°C to 246°C) oven. Cook the meat for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the outside begins to turn golden brown. Then, reduce the heat to 325°F to 350°F (163°C to 177°C) to finish the cooking process.



John F. Kennedy is elected President of the United States

Julia Child's cooking show The French Chef debuts on TV

Cooking Through Time

Cave drawings dating back to the Stone Age show that prehistoric life centered around the gathering and preparation of food. Prehistoric people had no choice but to grill or roast their food on small open fires. During the Middle Ages, the cauldron was the main cooking pot in the kitchen. Seventeenth-and 18th-century people cooked food over fire in kettles or on spits.

Chefs such as Elizabeth David and Julia Child have made an impact on cooking history by introducing both new and historic cooking methods to the masses through their cookbooks and television shows. Although some cooking methods have evolved, others remain the same today as they were in prehistoric times.

History Application

Imagine that you are a TV news reporter doing a story on Julia Child's life and career. Research Julia Child's career and write a short biography on her life. Explain how she revolutionized the cooking world.

NCSS V A Individuals, Groups, and Institutions Apply concepts such as role, status, and social class in describing the connections and interactions of individuals, groups, and institutions in society.

Some meats should be basted during the cooking process to avoid dryness. Basting involves moistening foods with melted fats, pan drippings, or another liquid during the cooking time.

Open-Spit Roasting

Many cooks prefer to roast food over an open fire. This is called open-spit roasting. To open-spit roast, place the food, usually meat such as pork, on a metal rod or a long skewer. Then, slowly turn it over the heat source. Place a drip pan under the food to catch its juices. Many commercial roasters will automatically turn the spit during the long cooking time.

Check the internal temperature with a thermometer before you remove food from the spit. Remember that the food will continue to cook for another 5 to 15 minutes after you remove it from the heat source.

Pan-Frying Tip Chill cuts of meat before you pan-fry them. The outside of the meat will brown before the inside finishes cooking.

Sauteing and Stir-Frying

Sauteing (s6-'ta-i{) is a quick, dry cooking technique that uses a small amount of fat or oil in a shallow pan to cook foods. Sauteing is generally used with delicate, or fragile, foods that cook relatively quickly. These foods include fish fillets, scallops, tender cuts of meat, vegetables, and fruit. Most sauteed foods are served with a sauce.

During sauteing, you will want to seal the surface of the food. To do this, preheat a pan on high heat, then add a small amount of fat or oil. When the fat or oil is heated and nearly smoking, add the food. Do not overcrowd the pan. Doing so will lower the temperature of the food, and it will not cook properly. After the food is sealed, lower the temperature so that the food cooks evenly throughout. Foods may need to be turned in the pan while they are sauteing.

Stir-frying is a dry cooking technique that is similar to sauteing. When stir-frying, you use a wok. A wok is a large pan with sloping sides. Stir-fried foods require less cooking time than sauteed foods. Vegetables and tender, boneless meats are often stir-fried.

To stir-fry, place a wok over high heat, add a small amount of fat, and then add small pieces of food. Because of the wok's size and shape, it is important to constantly stir the food as it cooks.


It is hard for most people to resist crispy foods, such as fried chicken and French fries. Foods like these are prepared using a dry-heat cooking technique called frying. During frying, foods are cooked in larger amounts of hot fat or oil.

The outside of the food becomes sealed when it comes in contact with the hot oil during frying. The natural moisture that is in the food turns to steam, which bubbles up to the surface. Because the outside of the food is sealed, fried foods are often moist and juicy on the inside.

Foods are usually coated before frying. To do this, foods can be dredged, breaded, or battered.

Dredging One way to prepare foods for frying is to dredge them. Dredging means to coat foods with flour or finely ground crumbs.

Breading Another way to add texture and flavor to fried foods is to add a breading, or a coating made of eggs and crumbs.

Batter Another tasty way to prepare fried foods is to batter them before frying them. This adds texture and flavor. Batter is a semiliquid mixture that contains ingredients such as flour, milk, eggs, and seasonings. Dip the food into the batter immediately before frying.

Tips to Follow After Frying

After food has been fried, remove it from the oil and drain it well on an absorbent surface such as paper towels. You can also add seasoning at this time. Fried foods are best served and eaten immediately after being cooked. If you cannot serve fried foods right away, they can be temporarily stored under a heat lamp. A heat lamp uses light in the infrared spectrum to keep food warm during holding without becoming soggy.


One way to fry food is pan-frying. To pan-fry, heat a moderate amount of fat in a pan before adding food. Use enough fat to cover about one-half to three-quarters of

Continue reading here: Dredge

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