This cooking methods are known collectively
as the dry-heat techniques which includes grilling, broiling, barbecuing,
roasting, baking, and others. Grilled and broiled items should have a
highly flavored exterior, smoky and slightly charred. Their interiors
should be evenly moist and juicy. Roasted foods should develop a rich
roasted aroma, a well-developed color and texture.
Sautéed and stir-fried foods should also
develop the appropriate degree of browning. Their textures will vary
according to the food being prepared, but in general, they remain
resilient but tender enough to produce a pleasing effect when eaten.
Pan-fried and deep-fried items have a tender interior and crisp exterior.
Understanding how these techniques actually
cook the food makes it clear that the reason for selecting a particular
cooking medium depends on the desired result. In sautéing, for example,
the butter or oil chosen for a preparation contributes flavor as well as
pan lubrication. Pan-fried and deep-fried foods tend not to depend upon
the flavor of the cooking oil to develop a particular effect. Oils that
have specific cooking properties, such as their high smoking point, are
best. These oils are nearly neutral in flavor, for the most part.
Certain kinds or cuts of meat, poultry and
fish are best prepared using certain techniques. Considering the food's
What is the texture - firm, delicate, dense?
Are there any bones?
Is the food naturally lean or oily?
What is the size, shape and thickness of the
Because dry heat does not have a tenderizing
effect, any food prepared by one of these techniques must be naturally
tender or should be prepared in a way that will introduce additional
moisture. This can be done by barding or marinating foods.
No matter what food you are preparing or
which cooking technique you intend to use, two abilities are of great
importance. It is extremely important to select the proper cuts, shapes
and sizes of foods for grilling, roasting, sautéing or frying. You also
must be adept at gauging the exact point at which foods are perfectly
cooked - a skill acquired only through experience.