How To Cook AnythingCooking methods in the culinary arts include dry heat methods like sautéing and roasting, and moist heat methods such as steaming and braising. Here's an overview of dry heat and moist heat cooking methods, including examples and recipes for each one.
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Cooking methods in the culinary arts are divided into two categories:
- Dry heat cooking, such as roasting, broiling or sautéing.
- Moist heat cooking, like braising, steaming or poaching.
Since deep-frying involves submerging food in hot, liquid fat, it might take some time to get used to the idea that it's actually a form of dry-heat cooking. Although deep-fried foods have a reputation for being oily or greasy, greasy food is merely a sign of poor cooking technique and not an indictment of deep-frying itself.
Moist-heat cooking refers to various methods for cooking food with, or in, any type of liquid — whether it's steam, water, stock, wine or something else. Relative to dry-heat cooking methods, moist-heat cooking uses lower temperatures, anywhere from 140°F on the low end to a maximum of 212°F — which is as hot as water can get.
Braising is a form of moist-heat cooking in which the item to be cooked is partially covered with liquid and then simmered slowly at a low temperature. Though it can be done on the stovetop, braising is best done in the oven, because the heat fully surrounds the pot and causes the food to cook more evenly than if it were only heated from below.
Steaming is a moist-heat cooking technique that employs hot steam to conduct the heat to the food item. Steaming can be done on a stovetop, with a pot containing a small amount of liquid that is brought to a simmer. The item to be cooked is then placed in a basket suspended above the liquid and the pot covered.