Cooking and Crafting Glossary

The following cooking glossary provides basic (sometimes broad) meaning and definition, based on our experience, for words and phrases used within this website. In depth information may be available on the page where used or other resources over the internet.

Term or PhraseDefinition
blanchTo partially cook a food in boiling water or steam and instantly dosing in an ice bath to halt the cooking process to intensify and set color and flavor.
carmelizeto brown sugar
convectionthe process of natural heat circulation, usually aided by a fan in convection ovens.
crimpTo pinch or press pastry or dough together using your fingers, a fork, or another utensil.
cut inThe process in which a solid fat, such as shortening, butter, or margarine, is worked/mixed into dry ingredients.
dashsmall measurement of approximately 1/16 to 1/8 a tsp/
kneadTo work dough with the heels of your hands in a pressing and folding motion until it becomes smooth and elastic.
moistenTo add enough liquid to a dry ingredient or mixture to make it damp
pareTo cut off the skin or outer covering of a fruit or vegetable
pinchA small measurement. literally a pinch between a forefinger and a thumb.
pitprocess of removing seed from fruits or vegetables
plumpto allow food to soak and increase it's size and moisture content.
poachTo cook a food by partially or completely submerging it in a simmering liquid.
puree1-To process or mash a food until it is as smooth as possible.
reduceTo decrease the volume of a liquid by boiling it rapidly to cause evaporation. As the liquid evaporates, it thickens and intensifies in flavor. The resulting richly flavored liquid, called a reduction, can be used as a sauce or as the base of a sauce. When reducing liquids, use the pan size specified in the recipe, as the surface area of the pan affects how quickly the liquid will evaporate.
scaldto bring to a simmer
searTo brown a food, quickly on all sides using high heat. This helps seal in the juices.
sievea utensil with a screen mesh or perforated bottom used to separate large fragments from smaller matter.
siftto separate, aerate or spread by passing through a sieve.
simmerTo cook food in a liquid that is kept just below the boiling point; a liquid is simmering when a few bubbles form slowly and burst just before reaching the surface.
temper1- The first is a process of heating and cooling chocolate to form stable crystals.
utensiltools or vessels used in food services and consumption.
weepingWhen liquid separates out of a solid food, such as jellies, custards, and meringues
whippingTo beat a food lightly and rapidly using a wire whisk, rotary beater, or electric mixer in order to incorporate air into the mixture and increase its volume.
zestThe colored outer portion of citrus fruit peel. It is rich in fruit oils and often used as a seasoning. To remove the zest, scrape a grater or fruit zester across the peel; avoid the white membrane beneath the peel because it is bitter.