Helpful Cooking Terms

At Sardel, our goal is to encourage people to feel comfortable in the kitchen and appreciate the simple pleasures of cooking at home. For this reason, we want to do more than simply sell high-quality cookware at a fair price.

We also want to provide content that helps people become more informed cooks, like this cooking glossary. Becoming a better cook is easier than most people think, and it is our goal to prove it.

Sauté or Stir Fry

Sautéing, also commonly referred to stir frying, is when you cook ingredients quickly in a small amount of oil or fat. The word “sauté” in French literally means “to jump,” just like vegetables jump in a skillet when you’re sautéing . Anytime you heat oil in a pan, add vegetables or other ingredients and stir them around, you’re sautéing.


      Searing is when you cook things like meat or fish over high heat so the surface develops a browned crust. This process adds a distinctive flavor and a unique textual component. It’s best to use a pan that can handle higher temperatures, such as our stainless steel skillet which is designed just for this kind of cooking. If you’ve ever struggled with this technique, it’s most likely because the pan wasn’t hot enough, or because you used the wrong type of pan.


        Braising is when an ingredient is first seared on the stovetop and then finished cooking in some type of liquid on low heat, typically for an extended period of time.


          Blanching means to quickly cook something in boiling water and then immediately transfer it to ice water. Blanching is typically performed on fruits and vegetables to keep their color vibrant, maintain their flavor, or make them easier to peel.


            Deglazing means removing pieces of food that have stuck to a pan by adding a liquid, often wine or stock, and then heating that liquid to a boil or simmer. By stirring and scraping, you’ll release the food from the pan to create what’s known as a pan sauce or gravy. This is often performed after searing or stir frying, which leaves flavorful pieces of food stuck to the pan. This method can also be used to give your pan a good cleaning.


              Reducing means to thicken a liquid by simmering or boiling it. This is also a great way to increase flavor.


                Boiling is when you cook ingredients in a liquid that’s heated to its boiling point or the highest possible temperature for that liquid. Boiling is often for blanching ingredients, or for cooking things like hard boiled eggs or pasta. When heating water, you’ll know it’s reached its boiling point when it begins to bubble.


                  Simmering is when you cook ingredients in a liquid that’s heated just below its boiling point. Think of simmering as a temperature range for cooking ingredients in a liquid. It’s often used to cook rice, soups, stews, or stocks, or for when boiling is too hot for what you’re cooking (such as delicate foods).


                    Poaching is when you cook ingredients in a liquid that’s heated just below its simmering point. People often associate poaching with eggs, but it can be used to cook a wide range of delicate ingredients, such as fruits, vegetables, or fish. Think of poaching as a temperature range for cooking ingredients in a liquid that’s slightly cooler than simmering.  


                      Roasting is a method of cooking in which ingredients are cooked uncovered in the oven. Roasting can be performed in Sardel pans, which are all oven-safe, by first cooking the ingredients on the stovetop and then transferring the pan to the oven to finish up. This is often referred to as pan-roasting.


                        Skimming refers to removing excess fat from the surface of a liquid.

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