||This article is incomplete. (November 2012)
Food preparation at the Naval Air Station, Whidbey Island, Washington state
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to food preparation:
What is food preparation? 
- Food preparation – preparing foodstuffs for eating, which generally requires the selection, measurement and combining of ingredients in an ordered procedure to achieve a desired result. It includes but is not limited to cooking.
What type of thing is food preparation? 
- Art – an art, one of the arts, is a creative endeavor or discipline.
- Skill – learned capacity to carry out pre-determined results often with the minimum outlay of time, energy, or both.
Essence of food preparation 
- Chef – a person who cooks professionally for other people. Although over time the term has come to describe any person who cooks for a living, traditionally it refers to a highly skilled professional who is proficient in all aspects of food preparation.
- Cooking – act of preparing food for eating. It encompasses a vast range of methods, tools and combinations of ingredients to improve the flavour or digestibility of food. It generally requires the selection, measurement and combining of ingredients in an ordered procedure in an effort to achieve the desired result.
- Cuisine – specific set of cooking traditions and practices, often associated with a specific culture. It is often named after the region or place where its underlying culture is present. A cuisine is primarily influenced by the ingredients that are available locally or through trade..
Food preparation techniques 
Cooking techniques 
Baking – the technique of prolonged cooking of food by dry heat acting by convection, normally in an oven, but can also be done in hot ashes or on hot stones.
Boiling – the rapid vaporization of a liquid, which occurs when a liquid is heated to its boiling point, the temperature at which the vapor pressure of the liquid is equal to the pressure exerted on the liquid by the surrounding environmental pressure.
- Blanching – cooking technique which food substance, usually a vegetable or fruit, is plunged into boiling water, removed after a brief, timed interval, and finally plunged into iced water or placed under cold running water (shocked) to halt the cooking process.
- Braising – combination cooking method using both moist and dry heat; typically the food is first seared at a high temperature and then finished in a covered pot with a variable amount of liquid, resulting in a particular flavour.
- Coddling – food is heated in water kept just below the boiling point.
- Infusion –
- Pressure cooking – cooking in a sealed vessel that does not permit air or liquids to escape below a preset pressure, which allows the liquid in the pot to rise to a higher temperature before boiling.
- Simmering – foods are cooked in hot liquids kept at or just below the boiling point of water, but higher than poaching temperature.
- Poaching – process of gently simmering food in liquid, generally milk, stock or wine.
- Steaming – boiling water continuously so it vaporizes into steam and carries heat to the food being steamed, thus cooking the food.
- Double steaming – Chinese cooking technique in which food is covered with water and put in a covered ceramic jar and the jar is then steamed for several hours.
- Steeping – saturation of a food (such as an herb) in a liquid solvent to extract a soluble ingredient into the solvent. E.g., a cup of tea is made by steeping tea leaves in a cup of hot water.
- Stewing – food is cooked in liquid and served in the resultant gravy.
- Vacuum flask cooking –
Grilling – a form of cooking that involves dry heat applied to the surface of food, commonly from above or below.
Frying – cooking food in oil or another fat, a technique that originated in ancient Egypt around 2500 BC.
Microwave oven – type of oven that heats foods quickly and efficiently using microwaves, but, unlike conventional ovens, does not brown or bake food. This makes them unsuitable for cooking certain foods, or to achieve certain culinary effects. Additional kinds of heat sources can be added to microwave packaging, or into combination microwave ovens, to add these additional effects.
Roasting – cooking method that uses dry heat, whether an open flame, oven, or other heat source. Roasting usually causes caramelization or Maillard browning of the surface of the food, which is considered by some as a flavor enhancement.
- Barbecuing – method of cooking meat, poultry and occasionally fish with the heat and hot smoke of a fire, smoking wood, or hot coals of charcoal.
- Grilling – applying dry heat to the surface of food, by cooking it on a grill, a grill pan, or griddle.
- Rotisserie – meat is skewered on a spit - a long solid rod used to hold food while it is being cooked over a fire in a fireplace or over a campfire, or while being roasted in an oven.
- Searing – technique used in grilling, baking, braising, roasting, sautéing, etc., in which the surface of the food (usually meat, poultry or fish) is cooked at high temperature so a caramelized crust forms.
Hot Smoking 
Smoking – the process of flavoring, cooking, or preserving food by exposing it to the smoke from burning or smoldering plant materials, most often wood. Hot smoking will cook and flavor the food, while cold smoking only flavors the food.
Chemical techniques 
Mechanical techniques 
History of food preparation 
International cuisine 
A sample of some cuisines around the world:
General ingredients 
Japanese silky tofu
General food preparation concepts 
See also 
External links