Glossary of Cooking Terms

New to cooking? Confused about what certain words mean? Look no further!

beat — To make a mixture smooth or to introduce air by using a brisk, regular revolving motion that lifts the mixture over and over.

blend — To combine two or more ingredients by mixing thoroughly.

chop — To cut into small pieces with a sharp knife.

cube — To cut into small squares of equal size.

dice — To cut into small cubes. The recipe usually tells you the size of the cubes.

fold — To combine by using two motions: (1) cutting vertically through the mixture and (2) turning over and over by sliding the implement across the bottom of the mixing bowl with each turn of he bowl. Usually accomplished with a spatula, and usually used to incorporate light mixtures, such as egg whites, into other mixtures, such as cake batter.

grate — To cut food into fine shreds by rubbing it on a grater. Most graters have both large holes and fine holes. You can spray the grater with non-stick spray to help in cleanup.

grind — To make food smaller by using a mortar and pestle, a food grinder, or a food processor. A coffee grinder can also be used to grind spices, but you should use it only for spices and not coffee.

julienne — To cut into long thick strips.

mise en place — A French term that basically means “everything in its place”. This means that you have everything you need (recipe, utensils, ingredients) prepped and within easy reaching distance of your cooking area before you start cooking. This makes cooking easier and also means that you are less like to rush and get injured or burn something as a result.

mix — To combine ingredients in any way that evenly distributes them.

sliver — To cut into long thin strips.

stir — To mix foods with a circular motion for the purpose of blending or obtaining uniform consistency.

toss — To lightly blend ingredients by lifting them and letting them fall back in the bowl.