Cooking Methods

Cooking methods are classified as moist heat or dry heat.

Moist-heat methods are those in which the heat is conducted to the food product by water or water-based liquids such as stock and sauces, or by steam. Dry-heat methods are those in which the heat is conducted without moisture— that is, by hot air, hot metal, radiation, or hot fat.We usually divide dry-heat methods into two categories: without fat and with fat.

Different cooking methods are suited to different kinds of foods. For example, some meats are high in connective tissue and will be tough unless this tissue is broken down slowly by moist heat. Other meats are low in connective tissue and are naturally tender. They are at their best and juiciest when cooked with dry heat to a rare or medium-done stage.

Many other factors must be considered when choosing cooking methods for meats, fish, and vegetables, such as the flavor and appearance imparted by browning, the flavor imparted by fats, and the firmness or delicacy of the product.These factors are discussed in later chapters with respect to individual foods.

The basic cooking methods are summarized here.Their practical application to foods is discussed in detail in the remainder of the book and reinforced by your instructors' demonstrations and your own experience and practice.

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