Cooking is an art form; taking raw ingredients and turning them into delicious meals is an art. And, whether you’re cooking for a dinner party or just for yourself, it’s essential to make sure your food tastes as good, if not better, than it’s supposed to. But, unless you’re a pro chef, cooking can sometimes seem like a complicated process. Does it take more experience? Is it just better to learn from someone? The answer is no, and this is why.
Cooking and baking are two skills that you don’t see very often in old movies. They are typically the ones that get relegated to the “other” categories, like “Oh, she’s a singer,” or “Oh, he’s a painter,” or “Oh, she’s a dancer,” or “Oh, he’s a barber.” But old movies are great at showcasing other skills, like sewing and knitting. And what better way to demonstrate those skills than with food? It’s no surprise that most old movies have featured some sort of kitchen scene, whether it be a family dinner, a dinner out with friends, or, of course, a “cooking show” where the star of the episode actually cooks.
Cooking at home is a great way to save money and eat healthier, but running to the store for ingredients every time you want to make a new meal can get expensive. Instead of buying new groceries every time you cook, choose foods that are in season so you aren’t paying an arm and a leg for foods that won’t be good to eat for another month or two.
Types of Cooking Methods
Cooking methods and techniques differ quite a bit from cuisine to cuisine. From stir-fry to sous vide, there are dozens of cooking methods to mix and match to make a meal. But not all cooking methods are created equally.
- Dry Heat Cooking
Dry heat cooking involves the use of heat and air, such as baking and roasting. Roasting is the process of cooking food by exposing it to heat from hot surfaces. Heat is transferred from food to the surrounding air as the air gets heated by the food. Air and smoke can circulate around food as it cooks, which can increase cooking speed. In roasting, the food is first heated and then exposed to air. This cooks food much faster than dry heat cooking methods, such as boiling or frying.
The types of cooking methods run the gamut from frying to steaming, grilling, baking, roasting, braising, and poaching. But for the purposes of this description, we will focus on dry heat cooking, which includes roasting, baking, and broiling.
- Moist Heat Cooking
Moist heat cooking is a great way to introduce more vegetables into your diet. The cooking process slowly releases heat into the food, allowing it to retain more nutrients. Although there are a variety of cooking methods, moist heat methods involve cooking in a vessel that uses liquid at a low temperature. For example, when you cook pasta in a sauce or sauce over vegetables, what’s actually happening is a moist heat cooking method. The liquid in the sauce (or the vegetables) is simmering at a temperature below the point at which your food starts to brown.
- Combination Cooking
Combination cooking is a method used to cook food by putting two or more different types of food together. The combination of foods can be cooked at the same time or at separate times. There are many cooking methods out there, from baking to broiling to grilling. But one method that rarely gets a mention in combination cooking is also known as stewing, braising, or braising. As the name suggests, combination cooking combines two or more cooking methods into one technique.
When it comes to cooking, a lot of people like to stick to what they know. Since we’ve been cooking the same way for years, it’s tempting to just stick with what we know. But it’s important to remember that there are different types of cooking methods, so when making a meal, make sure you’re selecting the best one for the job.
It’s easy to fall into the rut of making the same dishes over and over again. Sure, you may add or swap a few things out, but you’re still making the same dish in the same kitchen, with the same ingredients, and in the same amount of time. You may be obsessing over your Instagram feed, but how often do you engage in real cooking? It’s time to stop boredom in the kitchen and get creative.
The culinary world has changed drastically over the years. Cooks have access to a myriad of ingredients, tools, and appliances that help them create delicious meals. But one development that has emerged in recent years is an appreciation for classic cooking techniques as standbys for cooking up delicious meals.
The key to cooking delicious food at home is to combine the best of the old with the new. And one technique that continues to stand the test of time.