When we talk about stovetop cooking methods, the versatility of having a burner stove is often under-acknowledged for its ability to function and adapt to the various techniques. Read to know more about some of the most-used cooking methods.
Cooking techniques – more importantly dry heat cooking techniques – is just about any method that facilitates the transfer of hot air or hot oil, as its primary energy sources. This would typically involve methods like broiling, grilling, roasting and deep-frying, whereas moist heat – for what its worth – involves energy transfer through water molecules; think steaming, boiling or simmering. However, when we usually speak of cooking techniques in context with stovetop cooking, focussing on the dry heat methods – mainly because they are more aggressive – can be tricky to control.
Having a gas stove that is efficient, allows you to cook your meals faster and enables you to clean up easily, is one that becomes a crucial element in understanding dry heat cooking techniques. Find these features with Glen’s Ultra Slim Mirror Glass Gas Stove – its features also include four forged brass burners, model options – manual and auto-ignition, revolving inlet nozzle and 8.0 mm thick tempered glass. Let us take a brief look into some of the methods.
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Typically known as the Maillard reaction, browning is a complex chain of chemical reactions which enable the caramelisation of protein and sugars in food. The existing amino acids and sugar interact with the heat and cause compounds to break down and recombine in new permutations – giving ingredients their aroma and savoury flavour.
Although closer in process to browning, caramelisation of food mainly involves the heat reacting to the existent sugars in food; eg: caramelising onions in butter. Not only does caramelising enhance the taste of food, it also provides an inherent sweetness to food that browning does not involve. When the complex carbohydrates like sucrose breakdown into simpler sugars like fructose or glucose, caramelisation takes place.
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Cutting and cooking ingredients that are processed in a uniform manner using the swirl and toss motions, is typically the first cooking technique that is applied to the beginning of most recipes. Usually done with a medium or medium-high heat application, sauteing mainly involves coaxing the flavour out of ingredients using fats like butter or oil, to enhance the overall taste of a dish.
When the outer surface of a piece of meat, fish or vegetable must be exposed to the highest heat setting on a stovetop, resulting in browning without burning, searing occurs. The idea is to allow food to develop a complex, almost crispy outer layer, without letting the centre of an ingredient cook fully. This is typical of grilling a piece of fish or lamb in a dry pan or using a modest amount of fat to quicken the process.
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Usually involving a hybrid of searing and pan-frying ingredients but finishing off on a lower heat setting and allowing food to cook in its own moisture, is how pan-roasting takes place. To illustrate this better, imagine a piece of salmon placed skin-side down in a pan coated with olive oil, heated at a high temperature. When the skin comes in contact with the hot surface, it will develop a ‘crust’, after which the temperature of the heat source will be lowered to let the centre cook evenly.