- Saute – Dry Method. It is French for “to jump,” which is what your food should do when it hits your pan. A common mistake made with this method is using too much oil. You only need to put a small amount in a hot pan ( ½ a tablespoon is the most you’ll ever need). All you are looking to do is keep your food from sticking to the pan; food will not stick to a hot pan.
- Frying – Dry Method. This can be broken down into pan-frying, which is what most people will do when they are at home. There is also deep-frying, which I do not recommend unless you have the proper fryer to use. Otherwise, using a lot of oil at high temperatures becomes a fire hazard. Pan-frying works just as good, and you use far less oil.
- Roasting – Dry Method. Using your oven for cooking with, doing things like turkey for Thanksgiving or Brussel sprouts on a typical weekday dinner. This is one of the easiest ways to cook since you can do multiple items at the same time, and it requires little supervision.
- Boiling/Steaming – Wet Method. I don’t typically recommend using either of these two methods unless you are cooking starches like pasta, rice, or potatoes.
- Braising – Combination Method. This is a 2-stage cooking method. You will sear your meat in a hot pan, forming a crust on both sides. Then you will place it in a roasting pan, with the cooking liquid 2/3 of the way up the meat (which will be the sauce) and cover with foil before finishing in the oven.