What are Some Common Cooking Techniques?

Felicia Dye

People tend to eat the same types of foods most of the time, but this does not mean they cannot enjoy variety. There are a number of common cooking techniques such as baking, frying, and grilling. With many foods, if you change the method, you can change the outcome of a single item.

Barbecuing involves cooking meat over an open fire.
Barbecuing involves cooking meat over an open fire.

Take eggs as an example. There are several cooking techniques people use to prepare them. Some people eat their eggs scrambled. This method involves cracking the eggs into a container and whipping them before pouring them into a hot greased pan. As they cook, they are agitated so they become scrambled. Other people poach their eggs by cracking them and allowing the interior to fall into boiling water.

Some people poach eggs by cracking them and allowing the interior to fall into boiling water.
Some people poach eggs by cracking them and allowing the interior to fall into boiling water.

Eggs are far from being the only food that can be prepared with multiple cooking techniques. Meats and vegetables can also be prepared in different ways. One common method of cooking both of these is by frying. Furthermore, there are several frying methods and each can change how a product turns out.

Some people like to deep fry their food.
Some people like to deep fry their food.

The first method in this category is pan frying. This usually involves battering or seasoning the food before it is cooked. Once this is done, it is placed in a shallow pool of hot cooking oil. Deep frying is similar but it requires enough cooking oil to submerge the food. There is also sautéing, which may seem similar to pan frying, but this method requires minimal oil, high heat, and a lot of movement of the food.

Grilling is a cooking technique that involves placing food onto a grill that may be heated by gas, charcoal, or electric. Preparing food in this manner usually results in a striped imprint being left on the food. Although grilling is considered a summertime favorite in many places, it has become the subject of debate since some health experts believe that char-grilled food may be carcinogenic.

Some cooking techniques require the use of an oven, which is an enclosed compartment that generally has adjustable heat. One oven cooking method is baking. There are a lot of foods that can be prepared this way, such as pastries, meats, and casseroles. Another oven cooking method is broiling.

Although these two methods use the same compartment, they are different. Baking uses encompassing heat to cook items. Broiling uses the close range radiation from the oven’s heating implement to cook.

Meat can be tenderized by stewing it.
Meat can be tenderized by stewing it.

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Discussion Comments


There's the cheater's way of fixing corn on the cob, too. Microwave the corn, with the shuck on it, for 90 seconds on high. Perfectly cooked corn, and the shuck and silks just fall off. Easiest way ever to cook corn on the cob!

There are so many different cooking techniques, you couldn't list them all in an article, but I do think some of the more obvious ones were left off, like boiling, steaming, braising, etc. I would certainly have thought those techniques merited a mention, since they're simple and commonly done. I use braising a lot because it's great for cooking tougher cuts of meat so they turn out very tender and moist.


I'm a little surprised the article didn't mention broiling or roasting as good cooking techniques. These require little added fat, and are usually very good for people who have to watch their fat and cholesterol.

Roasting vegetables is my favorite way of cooking most of them. All you have to do is heat the oven to about 350 degrees Fahrenheit, spread your veggies on a foil covered baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, and cook for about 20 minutes. This works for everything except dense root vegetables, like beets. Those will take about three times as long. But roasting in general is a great way to cook most vegetables.

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