Tips: Terminology

by on April 18, 2016 » Add the first comment.
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  • Temperature
    • Low heat: 225°F to 249° F – (107°C to 120°C)
      – Boiling, simmering, poaching
      – Unrefined canola oil
    • Medium low heat: 250°F to 324°F – (121°C to 162°C)
      – Slow cooking, stews, stocks, reductions
      – Unrefined corn oil
    • Medium heat: 325°F to 374° – (162°C to 190°C)
      – Gentle cooking temperature, also for finishing food started at high heat
      – Extra virgin olive oil and butter – Low temperature frying
    • Medium high heat: 375° to 449°F – (190°C to 232°C)
      – Pan fry and quicker general cooking of foods
      – Refined canola oil – High temperature frying
    • High heat: 450°to 650°F – (232°C to 343°C)
      – Saute, sear, Wok stir fry
      – Refined sunflower and peanut oil – Very high temperature quick frying
  • Braise
  • Sauteé
  • Sear

Good Housekeeping has quite a comprehensive dictionary of cooking terminology.



  • TEMPER – If you combing your egss and hot liquid all at once, you will cook some of your eggs, resulting in lumps. To temper your eggs and liquid together means that you take just a little tiny bit of your hot liquid and whisk it into your eggs, then a bit more, then a bit more. Once they are combined, about 50/50 you can mix the entire thing together.
  • CLARIFIED BUTTER – Melt butter slowly, and the milk solids will settle on the bottom. Pour off the clear oil, leaving (and discarding) the milk solids.
  • ZEST – Use a microplane and shave off the colored part of an orange, lime or lemon. Try not to get the pith.
  • MICROPLANE – Essentially the same as a file, but this is for food. You SHAVE off tiny pieces of citrus, nutmeg, etc and use it as part of your flavoring.
  • PITH – The white part of citrus that is just under the colored skin. Usually very bitter.


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