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What Are the Different Methods of Cooking?

Many cooks use an outdoor grill to prepare certain foods.
French fries, which are deep fried.
Tagines are commonly used to cook Moroccan food.
Baked fish and vegetables with a rich mornay sauce.
Variations on stewing exist worldwide.
A wok cooks food evenly and at a high temperature, making it ideal for Asian stir-fry dishes.
Grilling may involve cooking food over flames produced by propane.
Steaming food is considered a healthy cooking method.
Many of the best Southern dishes are pan-fried, like liver and onions dredged in spices.
With its high smoking point and mild flavor, peanut oil is ideal for stir-fries.
Certain foods are healthier when they are cooked by boiling.
Grilling involves cooking meat over an open pit.
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  • Written By: Felicia Dye
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 13 November 2014
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There are many different cooking methods used around the world, such as stir-frying in China or smoking in Guinea. In Morocco, a special pot is used to produce a dish called tagine. In the southern United States people commonly eat deep fried foods. Steaming, however, is considered to be one of the healthiest methods of cooking no matter where the food is prepared.

In parts some parts of the world where electricity is unreliable, the smoking of food is popular so that it can be preserved without refrigeration. This is a process that involves cooking food over low heat for long periods of time. The exact means of doing this can vary. In Guinea, for example, fish is covered with heavy paper and smoked over coals in large warehouses. Preparing food in this way tends to add a distinct flavor.

Grilling, or braaing as it is called in South Africa, is an outdoor cooking method. It involves cooking food over a bed of hot coals or over flames produced by propane. When coals are used, individuals may add scented wood chips or other items that will flavor the food as it cooks. This method is mostly used to prepare meats, but other items, such as potatoes or corn, may be cooked in this manner.

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Stir-frying is a cooking method that is popular in China. To prepare food in this manner, as it is traditionally done, a special pan called a wok is needed. This pan, which is generally deep with a rounded bottom, is heated before a small amount of oil is added. Seasonings, meat, and vegetables are then added and cooked as they are quickly tossed or scattered around the wok with a utensil. This method allows food to be cooked rapidly.

In Morocco, food is commonly cooked with a special ceramic pot called a tagine. The bottom portion of this pot is shaped like a bowl and the top portion has a shape similar to a funnel. It can be used on top of a stove, in an oven, or placed on top of an open flame. The stew that is prepared in this pot is also called tagine. It will be described by the type of meat it contains.

Deep frying is a cooking method that is popular in many places, such as the southern United States. This method is considered to be one of the worst with regards to health. Before an item is deep fried, it is often covered in batter. Then, it is submerged into extremely hot oil or fat and cooked until it is crisp. The high levels of saturation of oils and fat in foods cooked this way have been linked to health problems such as high cholesterol and atherosclerosis.

One of the methods of healthiest methods of cooking is steaming. This normally involves placing items such as vegetables or fish above boiling water and allowing the heat from the rising vapor to cook the food. Doing this eliminates the need for oils and fats and it also helps to preserve the vitamin and mineral content of the food. A less healthy alternative is boiling. This method is not as highly recommended because the contact with high temperature water tends to extract nutrients from the food.

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pleonasm
Post 3

@Iluviaporos - There's a really interesting non-fiction book called Salt that goes into some detail about food preservation and preparation in the past. I've got to admit, I'm glad we don't ferment fish very much these days. It sounded like it probably smelled really gross.

I'd rather just cook my food fresh. It seems like either preservation is either risky because it might go wrong, or risky because the chemicals aren't that safe.

And vegetables, in particular, taste the best when they have been processed or cooked as little as possible.

lluviaporos
Post 2

@clintflint - Hot smoking is one of my favorite ways to prepare food as well. I can still remember being a kid and tearing into the smoked fish my father had just caught and cooked on the spot.

I guess fresh food is almost always going to be amazing anyway. I read in a book a little while ago, where a time traveler was explaining to someone that food in the past was always either disgusting or the best thing you ever ate, because they had to grow everything and eat it fresh. There was no room for error.

I don't know if that was entirely true though, as I'm sure they've been preserving food in different ways for a long time.

clintflint
Post 1

I am so glad that it has become common to add wood chips to a grill these days in order to get that smoky flavor on your meat. My father showed me how to do it (because he liked being able to just hand the steaks over for me to cook!) and it's absolutely delicious.

Apparently it can be a little bit carcinogenic to smoke your meat, but honestly, the taste is worth it.

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