Cooking can be fun or confusing when cooking terms are not always familiar or sound like another language.
We list terms with fabulous photos for you (and little chefs) to learn “recipe language” as you enjoy your kitchen experience.
CHOPTo cut food into (more or less) bite-sized pieces.
SLICETo cut into flat, thin pieces.
DICETo cut food into very small (1/8-to 1/4-inch) cubes.
MINCETo cut into tiny pieces, usually with a knife.
MIXTo stir or beat two or more foods together until they are thoroughly combined. May be done with an electric mixer, a rotary beater, or by hand with a wooden spoon.
BLENDTo thoroughly combine 2 or more ingredients, either by hand with a whisk or spoon, or with a mixer.
SIFTTo put one or more dry ingredients, especially flour or powdered sugar, through a sifter or sieve to remove lumps and incorporate air.
FOLD INTo put one or more dry ingredients, especially flour or powdered sugar, through a sifter or sieve to remove lumps and incorporate air.
WHISKTo beat ingredients (such as heavy or whipping cream, eggs, salad dressings, or sauces) with a fork or whisk to mix, blend, or incorporate air.
WHIPTo beat a food lightly and rapidly using a wire whisk, rotary beater, or electric mixer in order to incorporate air into the mixture and increase its volume.
MASHTo press or beat a food to remove lumps and make a smooth mixture. This can be done with a fork, potato masher, food mill, food ricer, or electric mixer.
PEELThe skin or outer covering of a vegetable or fruit (also called the rind). Peel also refers to the process of removing this covering.
JUICE/SQUEEZEThe natural liquid extracted from fruits, vegetables, meats, and poultry. Also refers to the process of extracting juice from foods.
GRATETo rub foods against a serrated surface to produce shredded or fine bits.
ZESTThe outer, colored part of the peel of citrus fruit or to scrape off the outer colored part of the peel of (a piece of citrus fruit) for use as flavoring.
CRUSHTo condense a food to its smallest particles, usually using a mortar and pestle or a rolling pin.
BOILTo produce bubbles and vapor when heated.
SIMMERTo cook liquid alone or with other ingredients over low heat (never boiling).
PUREETo make food into a paste or thick liquid using a sieve, blender, or food processor.
PINCH/DASH/SPRINKLEAs much of a spice or herb as may be taken between the finger and thumb.
STEAMTo cook food covered, over a small amount of boiling water. Ideal for vegetables.
DRAINTo remove liquid from food through a strainer or blot it dry through a paper towel.
GARNISHTo decorate food to enhance the look of the dish.
TOSSTo quickly and gently mix ingredients, such as a salad or pasta using a large spoon and fork.
SHREDTo tear into long pieces.
DRIZZLETo slowly pour a very thin stream of liquid over food.
SNIPTo cut herbs into small bits.
DOLLOPTo make a shapeless blob of something, especially soft food.