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Methods of Cooking

Introduction

What is cooking?

Cooking is a process of preparing food by applying heat.

Objectives

By the end of the lesson you should be able to:

  • Discuss reasons for cooking food.
  • Identify different methods of cooking.
  • State general rules for different methods of cooking.

Why do we cook food?

  • To improve flavour or taste of food.
  • To improve appearance and make it more appealing.
  • To kill germs and parasites hence making it safe for human consumption.
  • To preserve it.
  • To make it tender/ soft, hence easy to chew, digest and absorb.
  • To improve the texture.

Factors that Determine Methods of Cooking

  • Type of food to be cooked.
  • Personal taste/ preference.
  • Person being cooked for.
  • Time available.
  • Cooking equipment available.
  • Number of people to be served.

  • Amount of money available.

General Rules of Cooking

There are two main categories of methods of cooking namely:

  • Those that use moist heat
  • Those that use dry heat

Moist Methods

  • Boiling
  • Stewing
  • Steaming
  • Frying

Boiling Method

Boiling is cooking food completely immersed in boiling water.

General Rules

  • Moist foods should be put in cold water and then heated to boil.
  • The water should be at the boiling temperature throughout until food is cooked.
  • The food should be immersed in water.
  • Avoid overcooking.

Suggested Foods for Boiling

Eggs, Meat, Starchy foods like Sweet Potatoes, Maize, Rice, Beans, Githeri, Bone soup

Click at the top to view the video clip on frying

General Rules for Boiling

  • Most foods should be put in cold water and then heated to boil.
  • It should be at boiling temperature throughout until food is cooked.
  • The food should be immersed in water.
  • Avoid overcooking.

Suggested Foods for Boiling

  • Eggs
  • Meat
  • Starchy foods like sweet potatoes,maize, rice
  • Beans
  • Githeri
  • Bone soup

Suggested Foods for Boiling

  • Eggs
  • Meat
  • Starchy foods like sweet potatoes,maize, rice
  • Beans
  • Githeri
  • Bone soup

Boiling

The following is a video clip showing boiling method of cooking.


Click on the PLAY button to view the video

Stewing Method

Stewing is cooking food in a measured amount of liquids. Once the food has boiled it is allowed to simmer.

General Rules

  • Sufficient amount of liquid water or stock should be added for a stew of the right consistency.
  • The saucepan or pot used should have a tight fitting lid to avoid loss of nutrients.
  • Use gentle heat or cook slowly to avoid hardening proteins and damaging food texture and flavour.

Suggested Foods for stewing

Tough cuts of meat, fruits like pears and pineapples, vegetables like carrots and peas, smoked fish

Click at the top to view the video clip on stewing

General Rules for Stewing

  • Sufficient amount of liquid water should be added.
  • The saucepan or pot used should have a tight fitting lid to avoid loss of nutrients.
  • Upon boiling, simmer to avoid denaturing proteins and damaging of texture and flavour of food.

Suggested Foods for stewing

  • Tough cuts of meat
  • Fruits like pears and pineapples
  • Vegetables like carrots and peas
  • Smoked fish

Suggested Foods for stewing

  • Tough cuts of meat
  • Fruits like pears and pineapples
  • Vegetables like carrots and peas
  • Smoked fish

Stewing

The following is a video clip showing stewing method of cooking.


Click the PLAY button to view the video

Steaming Method

This is cooking food using steam from boiled water. Steaming can be done directly or indirectly.

General Rules

  • Have water boiling prior to steaming.
  • The steamer must have a tight fitting lid to avoid loss of steam.
  • The temperature of the water bath must be boiling throughout.

Suggested Foods for steaming

Fish, Green vegetables, Tender cuts of meat

Click at the top to view the video clip on steaming

General Rules for Steaming

  • Have water boiling prior to steaming.
  • The steamer must have a tight fitting lid to avoid loss of steam.
  • The temperature of the water bath must be boiling throughout.

Suggested Foods for Steaming

  • Fish
  • Green vegetables
  • Tender cuts of meat

Suggested Foods for Steaming

  • Fish
  • Green vegetables
  • Tender cuts of meat

Steaming

The following is a video clip showing steaming method of cooking.


Click on the PLAY button to view the video

Frying Method

This is cooking food in hot fat or oil. The food can either be deep, shallow or dry fried.

General Rules

  • Use a heavy/ strong pan, which has no seam or rivets.
  • All oils/ fats should be of good quality and of high smoking point to avoid overheating fat/oil and burning.
  • Fill the pan until 2/3 (two thirds) of oil to avoid overflowing when deep frying.
  • Heat the fat/ oil to the right temperature before putting in food.
  • Do not overload the fryer as this lowers the temperature of the oil.
  • Foods to be fried should be dry or coated to prevent splattering.

Suggested Foods for frying

Doughnuts, Fish, Chips, Chapatti, Pancakes, Eggs, Meat


Click at the top to view the video clip on frying

Rules Rules for Frying

  • Use a heavy/ strong pan, which has no seam or rivets.
  • All oils/ fats should be of good quality and of high smoking point to avoid overheating fat/oil and burning.
  • The deep frying oil should not be more than 2/3 (two thirds) full to avoid overflowing when deep frying.
  • Heat the fat/ oil to the right temperature before putting in food.
  • Do not overload the fryer as this lowers the temperature of the oil.

  • Foods to be fried should be dry or coated.

Suggested Foods for frying

  • Doughnuts
  • Fish
  • Chips
  • Chapatti
  • Pancakes
  • Eggs
  • Meat

Suggested Foods for frying

Doughnuts
Fish
Chips
Chapatti
Pancakes
Eggs
Meat

Frying

The following video clip shows frying method of cooking.


Click the PLAY button to view the video

Dry Methods

Roasting Method

Cooking food using direct source of heat which can be done using an oven or over a charcoal fire.

General Rules

  • Ensure frequent basting or turning of food to keep it moist and ensure even cooking.
  • Food to be roasted should be of good quality e.g. tender cuts of meats.
  • The oven or fire should be ready when beginning to roast.

Suggested Foods for roasting

Meat, Maize, Chicken, Potatoes, Arrow roots, Yams, Cassava

Click at the top to view the video clip on roasting

General Rules for Roasting


  • Ensure frequent basting or turning of food to keep it moist and ensure even cooking.

  • Food to be roasted should be of good quality e.g. tender cuts of meats.

  • The oven or fire should be ready when beginning to roast.

Suggested Foods for Roasting

  • Meat
  • Maize
  • Chicken
  • Potatoes
  • Arrow roots
  • Yams
  • Cassava

Suggested Foods for roasting

  • Meat
  • Maize
  • Chicken
  • Potatoes
  • Arrow roots
  • Yams
  • Cassava

Roasting

The following video clip shows roasting method of cooking.


Click on the PLAY button to view the video

Baking Method

Cooking food using hot dry air which is done in an oven.

General Rules

  • Heat the oven before baking.
  • Observe the baking duration for the item being baked.
  • Test for readiness before removing from the oven.

Suggested Foods for baking

Potatoes, bread, cakes, fish, biscuits, pastries and pies

Click at the top to view the video clip on baking

General Rules for Baking

  • Heat the oven before baking.
  • Observe the baking duration for the item being baked.
  • Test for readiness before removing from the oven.

Suggested Foods for Baking

  • Potatoes
  • Bread
  • Cakes
  • Fish
  • Biscuits
  • Pastries
  • Pies

Suggested Foods for Baking

  • Potatoes
  • Bread
  • Cakes
  • Fish
  • Biscuits
  • Pastries
  • Pies

Baking

The following video shows baking method of cooking


Click on the PLAY button to view the video

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