Kitchen Vocabulary

Some vocabulary words have video links to help you learn more! Click on them to check them out.

Al Dente: Food that is cooked to be firm to the bite.
Baking: The cooking of foods by dry heat in an oven. (Check out the skill video to learn more!)
Baste: To moisten food to prevent drying out while cooking.
Blanch: Cooking a food in boiling water for a few seconds, then removing from heat, and placing in an ice-bath to stop the cooking process. (Check out the skill video to learn more!)
Boil: Bringing liquids, such as water, broth, or stock to a high temperature (212 °F).
Braise: Method where the food is first sautéed at a high temperature, then simmered at a low temperature in liquid to finish cooking.
Broil: Cooking food using direct, intense dry heat from the oven. (Check out the skill video to learn more!)
Caramelize: A slow process of cooking to draw the natural sugars out of a food, which results in a brown color and sweet, nutty flavor.
Chiffonade: A method for slicing vegetables leaves or herbs. Stack leaves, roll tightly, and slice leaves perpendicularly to create thin strips. (Check out the skill video to learn more!)
Chop: To cut food into large, non-uniform pieces. (Check out the skill video to learn more!)
Clean and Separate: A food safety method to prevent food borne illnesses. Clean all foods, kitchen surfaces, and wash hands thoroughly before cooking. Prevent cross contamination by using a different cutting board and keeping raw meats separate from other foods. (Check out the skill video to learn more!)
Cube: To cut food into small cubes.
Defrost: Warming foods that have been frozen.
Deglaze: Cooking method to loosen and dissolve leftover pieces in a pan after cooking meat.
Dice: Cutting foods into small, uniformed size pieces. (Check out the skill video to learn more!)
Drizzle: To pour a fine stream of liquid over foods.
Emulsion: A blend of two liquids that don’t normally bind together, such as oil and vinegar. To emulsify, whisk the two liquids together until they form a creamy mixture.
Grill: Cooking foods quickly on a rack over direct, dry heat.
Ice-bath: A bowl filled with water and ice. Typically used when blanching, to stop a food from cooking.
Infuse: To soak herbs, vegetables, or fruits in a liquid to extract flavor.
Julienne: Cutting foods into uniformed, thin strips. (Check out the skill video to learn more!)
Knead: Working dough or mixture by hand to combine ingredients.
Marinate: Soaking foods in liquid prior to cooking in order to further flavor. (Check out the skill video to learn more!)
Mince: To very finely chop.
Mise en place: A process in which the ingredients are prepared and organized before cooking.
Mix: Combining ingredients so that they are evenly dispersed.
Pan-fry: To cook a food in a pan using a small amount of oil.
Peel: To remove the outer skin or rind of a fruit or vegetable.
Poach: Gently cooking a food in liquid just below boiling point to preserve its structure. (Check out the skill video to learn more!)
Purée: To blend food until it has reached a smooth, creamy consistency.
Reduce: Method of cooking where liquid is thickened and flavor is intensified by being rapidly boiled in a pan.
Roast: Cooking foods in the oven using high, dry heat.
Sauté: To quickly cook foods over high heat, using minimal oil or fat.
Season: Adding flavor to a food to enhance its taste. Common seasonings include herbs, salt, pepper, spices, lemon juice, and vinegar. (Check out the skill video to learn more!)
Sear: Cooking the surface of a food at a high temperature until browned.
Simmer: Cooking foods in hot liquid that is kept just below the boiling point (212 °F).
Slice: To cut a food into a thin, flat piece. (Check out the skill video to learn more!)
Spiralize: To cut foods into a spiral or ribbon shape. (Check out the skill video to learn more!)
Steam: Cooking foods using the vapors (steam) from water.
Stir-Fry: Cooking foods in a small amount of oil, over high heat, while stirring constantly.
Sweat: To cook vegetables over low heat so that they become soft and release natural liquids.
Toast: To cook or brown food by exposing it to a source of radiant heat.
To taste: Seasoning food to your own preference.
Toss: To combine ingredients by gently lifting and moving around using a cooking utensil.
Vinaigrette: A salad dressing made by combining an acid with oil and seasonings.
Whisk: Process of beating an ingredient quickly to incorporate air.
Zest: Scraping the peel or rind of a citrus fruit to add flavor.