Dry Heat Cooking Methods

Dry heat cooking methods include broiling, grilling, roasting, baking, sauteing, pan-frying, and deep-frying. Obviously, it would be very hard to be a gourmet cook and not be familiar with all of these cooking methods.

Certain meats and vegetables thrive under the broiler, while others cry out for the roaster. It all depends on the cuts and what you want to do with them.

Here’s a quick run down of the major dry heat cooking methods to give you a basic sense of what they’re all about . . .

Broilingdry heat cooking methods

Broiling, an often overlooked but wonderful dry heat cooking method, uses radiant heat from an overhead source to cook foods.

Procedure for Broiling Foods

  1. Heat the broiler.
  2. Wipe the broiler grate clean with a lightly oiled towel. This will remove any particles and help season it.
  3. Prepare the food to be broiled. Rub, season, or marinate it, as desired.
  4. Put food in the broiler, presentation side down. If the item is oblong, place at a 45-degree angle to the bars on the grate. Cook long enough for the food to develop lines. Pull out the sliding grate and turn food over at a 90-degree angle, working from left to right.

Grillingdry heat cooking methods - grilling

Grilling is a dry heat cooking method similar to broiling, except grilling uses a heat source beneath the cooking surface.

Procedure for Grilling Foods

  1. Heat the grill.
  2. Use a wire brush to remove any burnt particles and then season with a lightly oiled towel.
  3. Prepare the food to be broiled. Rub, season, or marinate it, as desired.
  4. Place food on the grill, presentation side down.
  5. Turn the food to produce the crosshatch marks associated with grilling. If the item is oblong, place it at a 45-degree angle. Rotate food 90-degrees and let it cook long enough for the grates to char it. Turn the food over and finish cooking it. You don’t have to create crosshatch markings on the reverse side.

Roastingdry heat cooking methods - roasting

The roasting and baking dry heat cooking methods surround the food with dry, heated air in a closed environment. Heat is transferred by convection to the food’s surface, and then penetrates the food by conduction. The surface dehydrates, and the food browns from carmelization.

Procedure for Roasting or Baking Foods

  1. Preheat the oven.
  2. Prepare the food. Marinate or season as desired.
  3. Place the food on a rack or in a roasting pan or baking dish.
  4. Roast the food, uncovered. Baste as necessary. Baste – moisten foods during cooking.
  5. Cook to desired internal temperature. Many foods will undergo “carryover cooking”. Carryover cooking occurs after a food is removed from a heat source. This happens by the residual heat remaining in the food. (Always use a thermometer to check the internal temperature of the item being roasted.)

Sauteingdry heat cooking methods - sauteing

Sauteing is a dry heat cooking method that uses conduction to transfer heat from a hot saute pan to food with the aid of a small amount of fat. Foods are usually cut into small pieces and high temperatures are used in sauteing.

Stir-frying is a variation of sauteing. A wok
is used instead of a saute pan.

Procedure for Sauteing Foods

  1. Prepare the food to be sauteed. Season and cover in flour, if desired.
  2. Heat the saute pan and add enough fat (oil or clarified butter) to just cover the pan’s bottom. Heat the fat to the point where it just begins to smoke.
  3. Add food to the pan, presentation side down. The food should be as dry as possible. A pan that is too large may cause the fat to burn.
  4. The food should be turned to achieve the proper color. The heat should be high enough to complete the cooking process before the food begins to stew in its own juices.
  5. Doneness is determined by timing or touch.

Pan-Fryingdry heat cooking methods - pan frying

Pan-Frying is similar to sauteing and deep-frying. It is a dry heat cooking method in which heat is transferred by conduction from the pan to the food, using a moderate amount of fat. Foods to be pan-fried are usually breaded.

Procedure For Pan-Frying Foods

  1. Prepare the food. Batter or flour as desired.
  2. Heat enough fat or oil to cover the item one-third to halfway up its sides. The oil should not be as hot as used in sauteing, but should crackle. If the temperature of the oil is too low, the food will absorb excess amounts of fat. If the temperature of the oil is too high, the food will burn on the outside before the inside is done.
  3. Add food to the pan. Always turn the food away from you to prevent being burned by the oil. Use tongs to do this and do not pierce the food.
  4. Fry the food until brown on both sides.
  5. Remove the food and drain on a paper towel.

Deep-Fryingdry heat cooking methods - deep-frying

Deep-Frying is a dry heat cooking method that uses conduction and convection to transfer heat to food submerged in hot fat. Deep-Frying sounds similar to boiling, but boiling is a moist-heat method containing water and deep-frying is a dry heat cooking method, since the food is submerged in fat that does not contain water.

The boiling point, 212 degrees, is the hottest temperature at which foods can be cooked in water. With the deep-frying dry heat cooking method, temperatures of up to 400 degrees are used.

Procedure for Deep-Frying Foods

  1. Prepare the food. Bread or batter as desired.
  2. Heat the oil or fat to the desired temperature.
  3. Carefully, place the food in the hot fat.
  4. Doneness is determined by timing, surface color, or sampling.
  5. Transfer food to a pan lined with paper towels.

In my opinion, if you master all of the dry heat cooking methods mentioned above, you will be well on your way to becoming a gourmet cook. So, what are you waiting for?