Culinary Lingo

by Roberta Duyff, MS RDN FAND

Culinary Lingo

Braise, broil, poach, simmer … What does it all mean? Whether you are new to the kitchen or just need a refresher, understanding the basics of common cooking techniques will help you navigate through recipes and get healthy meals on the table with ease. Here are some terms and definitions to get you started:

Braise: to simmer over low heat in liquid-water, broth, or even fruit juice-in a covered pot for a lengthy time.

Broil: to cook with direct heat, usually under a heating element in the oven.

Grill: to cook with direct heat directly over hot coals or another heat source.

Panbroil: to cook uncovered in a preheated, nonstick skillet without added fat or water.

Poach: to cook gently in liquid, just below boiling.

Roast: to cook uncovered with dry heat in the oven.

Sauté: to cook quickly in a small amount of fat, stirring so the food browns evenly.

Simmer: to cook slowly in liquid, just below boiling.

Steam: to cook with steam heat over (not in) boiling water, or wrapped in foil or leaves (such as lettuce or banana leaves) packets, over boiling water or on a grill.

Stew: to cook in liquid, such as water, juice, wine, broth, or stock, in a tightly covered pot over low heat

Stir-fry: to cook small pieces of meat, poultry, fish, seafood, and/or vegetables in a very small amount of oil, perhaps with added broth, over very high heat, stirring as you cook.

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About the author:

Roberta L Duyff MS RDN FAND

Roberta Duyff, MS RDN FAND

Author of "Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Complete Food and Nutrition Guide, Fourth Edition" and "365 Days of Healthy Eating from the American Dietetic Association" (both published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New Jersey).




  • Cook healthy

    Involve your child in the cutting, mixing and preparation of all meals. Even a snack can be healthy.

  • Eat right

    Sit down together as a family to enjoy a wonderful meal and the opportunity to share the day's experiences with one another.

  • Shop smart

    To encourage a healthy lifestyle, get your children involved in selecting the food that will appear at the breakfast, lunch or dinner table.

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