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Our cooking techniques reference guide

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There is a whole lot of jargon used in the kitchen that you should get your head around.

Chefs throw around words like ‘searing’ and ‘braising’, but what do these terms really mean? Sometimes it’s best to keep things simple, so we’ve created a glossary with all the most commonly used phrases in one place. Keep this guide handy next time you use our recipes to whip up a feast for your family and friends.

Bake: To cook food in an oven, surrounded by dry heat. This is called roasting when applied to meat or poultry.

Baste: To moisten food for added flavour and to prevent drying out while cooking.

Blanch: To cook briefly in boiling water to seal in flavour and colour; usually used for vegetables or fruit, to prepare for freezing.

Blind bake: To bake a pie or pastry crust part-way, without the filling before adding the filling and baking the pie or pastry until done.

Braise: To cook first by browning, then gently simmering a small amount of liquid over low heat in a covered pan until tender.

Butterfly: To split a food item nearly in half (usually meat or fish). When you are butterflying an item, you do not cut all the way through, rather, you leave the two pieces slightly attached at one edge. Click here to learn how to butterfly chicken.

Caramelize: To heat sugar until it liquefies and becomes a syrup ranging in colour from golden to dark brown.

Cream: To beat ingredients, usually sugar and a fat, until smooth and fluffy.

Cure: To preserve meats by drying and salting and/or smoking

Deep-fry: To cook by completely immersing food in hot fat.

Dredge: To cover or coat uncooked food, usually with a flour, cornmeal mixture or bread crumbs.

Flambé: To drizzle liquor over a food while it is cooking, then when the alcohol has warmed, ignite the food just before serving.

Glaze: To coat foods with glossy mixtures such as jellies or sauces.

Knead: To blend dough together with hands or in a mixer to form a pliable mass.

Purée: To mash or grind food until completely smooth, usually in a food processor, blender or sieve.

Sauté: To cook food in a small amount of fat over high heat.

Sear: To brown the surface of meat by quick-cooking over high heat in order to seal in the meat’s juices.

Truss: To tie whole poultry with string or skewers so it will hold its shape during cooking.

Now that you’ve learnt all about various cooking techniques and culinary terms, it’s time to put on an apron and test out your new-found skills.. So, check out our huge collection of NEFF recipes or attend a free product demonstration where our home economists will teach you some new tips and tricks for using your NEFF appliances.

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