Dry Heat Cooking
In this method of cooking, heat is transferred to the food by radiation through the air, metal and fat that heats the metal at high temperatures sometimes even higher than 100 degrees celcius. This method majorly relies on the use of extremely high temperatures to achieve the required heating specifications.
This is a method of cooking that involves exposing food to heat either from below or above the food surface. It takes place by the help of heat transferred through air which transmits the heat to the food. Air being a poor heat conductor, the food to be grilled has to be placed close to the source of heat as possible.
The grill is fast heated before the food is placed to be grilled (Eileen, 2010). It is sometimes used to marinate meat that will be grilled due to the high temperatures involved. Food is usually turned once during grilling and a grid is used to give the food distinctive grill marks. This type of cooking is ideal for poultry and fish. This is due to their soft and tender meat and the ease with which the grill marks form on their surfaces.
Grilled Strip Steak
- Preparation time: 15 minutes
- Cook time: 20 minutes
- Total time: 35 minutes
- 3 boneless beef strip steaks
- Kosher salt to taste
- 4 tea spoonful compound butter
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Allow the steaks in a room temperature for about 15 – 20 minutes
- Trim any excess fats and leave about ¼ inch around the edge
- Preheat the grill
- Brush the steaks with butter and season them generously with kosher salt
- Place the steaks on the grill and do not overcrowd them.
- Cook for 4-5 minutes, depending on steak thickness and grill temperature. After about 2 minutes, rotate the steaks 45 degrees to give them cross hatched grill marks
- Using a pair of tongs, flip the steaks and cook for another 4 minutes.
- Remove the steaks from heat and cover them with foil and allow them to rest in a warm place for about 5 minutes.
- Place the steak on plates on top of each other with a tablespoon of butter and serve immediately
- Serve 3
Roasting refers to a method that uses hot and dry air to cook food. The food to be roasted may be put in an oven or over an open flame. Roasting is mainly used to enhance the flavor and aroma of the food through browning on the surface of the food.
Caramelization refers to the browning of food caused when carbohydrates are heated and maillard takes place in meat. Thus, it ensures that food is evenly cooked since all the food surfaces are directly exposed to the heat evenly. Roasting is also preferred where foods are required with less moisture content.
Roasting is mainly used for larger cuts of meat like beef tenderloins. Although recommended for the whole poultry, it sacrifices the surface browning which is a source of much flavor since breast meat is drier and can be cooked faster than leg meat; hence the overall food will be unevenly cooked.
Recipe for Roasting Turkey Breast
- Preparation time: 10 minutes
- Cook time: 1 hour
- 4-5 lbs turkey breast
- 2 tablespoonful’s melted butter
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Kosher salt to taste
- ½ cup turkey stock for basting
- Preheat oven to about 4500F
- Place turkey breast on a rack in a roasting pan
- Brush turkey with melted butter and then generously season with kosher salt and black pepper
- Roast for 45 minutes while basting since a good taste requires basting twice at 15 minutes interval.
- Remove turkey when thermometer reads 1550F. Cover the turkey closely with foil for about 10 minutes before serving.
- Serve 6-8 people
It is usually hard to internalize the concept that deep frying is actually a form of dry heating because it involves submerging the whole food in hot liquid fat, hence often thought to be a method of wet cooking. However, the golden brown color on the surface of deep fried food is a clear indicator of dry heating. The violent reaction between water and oil is also a clear indicator that they can never be jointly used.
Deep frying requires that the hot liquid fat be maintained at a temperature between 3250F and 4000F. Temperatures higher than this may cause the oil to smoke while lower temperatures may result into seepage of the oil into the food hence making it greasy. It is for this reason that deep fried foods appear to have very little oil on their surface and may be assumed to have been poorly fried.
In order to ensure the deep frying oil stays hot throughout, it is recommended to introduce food in the oil in batches and too much food in the oil will cool it off. Assuming each food has some small percentage of attached moisture, the overall moisture content will build up in the oil thus cooling it. The reaction between water and hot oil is usually violent. For this reason, it is always advisable to ensure food put into the oil is free of any excess moisture. You may wipe the food with dry paper or towel before putting it into oil.
Deep Fried Chicken
- Preparation time 30 minutes
- Cook time 10 minutes
- Total time 40 minutes
- 2lbs. cut up chicken
- Sauce mixture
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 cup hot sauce
- Seasoning blend
- 1.5 tea spoonful’s freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- Dredging mixture
- 2 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon salt
- Heat peanut oil in a large deep pot to about 3500F
- Rinse and pat dry chicken pieces with a paper towel
- Sprinkle chicken generously on both sides with seasoned blend
- Once piece at a time, roll the chicken in flour mixture and drop into oil
- Fry until brown and crisp
- Drain on paper toweling
- Serves 5 people
Moist Heat Cooking
Moist heat cooking involves the use of liquid or steam is used to cook food. Broth and wines are used both as heat transfer media and as flavors. As compared to dry heating methods, moist heating methods use lower temperatures since the liquids added serves as the media for heat transfer.
This involves cooking food by submerging it hot water that has reached its possible highest temperature of 2120F (Riccio, 2009). Boiling can take different forms. A full rolling boil is characterized by violent water bubbles. This is suitable to produce heat for even steaming purposes. Boiling is recommended for harder whole foods like potatoes and bananas. It is also used in the preparation of large meat pieces.
Recipe for Boiled Meat
- Preparation time: 30 minutes
- Total time: 30 minutes
- Total time: 1 hour
- 1 lb. boiled beef
- 1 onion
- 4 carrots
- ¼ dessert spoon of butter
- 4 tea spoonful’s of tomato sauce
- Dried mushrooms
- Place a mixture of chopped onion, carrot, celery, and butter in a stockpot.
- Add boiled meat to the pot
- Season with salt and pepper to taste
- Set the pot on fire
- Sprinkle meat with tomato sauce once onions start turning translucent and continue
- While cooking, put a few dried mushrooms in boiling water
- When the meat is cooked, put it on a platter
- Blend the sauce, add soaked mushrooms and spoon the sauce over them.
- Serve 4 people
This is a method of moist cooking that uses hot steam to conduct the heat to the food item. Once the water is heated beyond its boiling point, it stops being water and changes into steam. Steaming is does not involve agitation and bubbling of water, hence it is recommended for delicate items like seafood. It also avoids the loss of nutrients through leaching since it does not involve the submerging of the food item in water.
Steaming can be done on a stovetop. A small pot containing water that is brought to simmers placed on the stove. The food is then placed in a basket which is suspended above the liquid and the pot covered. This allows the hot steam to circulate through the pot, thus cooking the food.
Recipe for Steamed Eggs
- Total time 20 minutes
- Prep time: 5 minutes
- Cook time: 15 minutes
- 2 eggs
- Water for steaming
- For refrigerated eggs, leave them out at room temperature for about 3 minutes
- Prepare a steamer over a relatively high heat. Ensure you are getting plenty of steam
- Steam the eggs for about 12 minutes
- Allow to cool and run under a little cold water before peeling.
This is a method of moist cooking that involves cooking food in its own juices by adding a very little quantity of moistening agent. As the food cooks, it is flavored with extracts from the stewed food (Cunningham, 2011). During stewing, evaporation is minimized by covering the stewing vessel with a fitting lid and simmering the stew on a stove. Stewing is recommended for cooking meat since it offers an economical way as it allows for the use of less expensive cuts of meat.
Recipe for Kale Stew
- Prep time: 20 minutes
- Cook time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Total time: 1 hour 50 minutes
- 6 large peeled and cubed potatoes
- ¼ cup butter
- 10 cups of water
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 pounds kale (rinsed, dried and chopped)
- Place the potatoes into a large pot. Add butter and water and bring to a boil
- Cook potatoes for about 20 minutes until tender
- Reserve the cooking liquid and mash the potatoes until smooth
- Return the cooking water to the pot. Add salt and pepper. Simmer for 20 minutes
- Add fresh kale and sausage, stir and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Serve when still hot
Cunningham, M. (2011). The Fannie Farmer Cookbook (revised). New York, NY: Bantam Books.
Eileen, B. (2010). Choosing a career in the restaurant industry. New York, NY: Rosen Publishing Group.
Riccio, A. (2009). The Italian Experience In New Haven : Images And Oral Histories. New York, NY: SUNY Press.