1 of 2


Food may be cooked in many ways. There are two types of heating method in cooking i.e.
(I) wet method i.e. boiling, stewing, frying and steaming.
(ii) dry method i.e. baking, roasting and grilling.
This method involves cooking in boiling water. Sufficient water is used to cover the food and the water is heated to boiling point (100), then the heat is reduced a bit and the food left to simmer in a covered pan until it is cooked. Examples of food that can be cooked with this method include root vegetables, meat, fish, egg, legumes, cereals etc.
(I) It is a simple and quick method of cooking
(ii) It does not require constant attention.
(iii) It is a moist method and therefore softens food and make them easy to digest.
(iv)It is a suitable method of cooking for all health conditions.
(v)Many foods can be cooked with this method.
(I)Some food nutrients such as water-soluble vitamins and minerals are removed from the food into the water. The stock must therefore be used in cooking to avoid loss of such nutrients.
(ii)Foods often look unattractive, appetizing or tasty unless they are garnished or served with stew or soup as a main dish.
(iii)Food may break into pieces during cooking.
(iv)It is a long, slow method of cooking.

Stewing is a long and slow method with an appropriate quantity of liquid. It involves cooking food slowly or at low heat in small quantity of water for a long time in a covered sauce pan at a temperature just below boiling point. Examples of food that can be stewed include fresh and dried fruits, all vegetables except green ones, tough cuts of meat, poultry etc.
(I) Conserves food nutrients.
(ii) Economical on fuel as small quantity of heat is required.
(iii) Makes appetizing and attractive dishes.
(iv) The flavor of the food is retained.
(v) Tenderizes tough food e.g tough cuts of meat.
(I) It is a slow method of cooking so, it takes longer time.
(ii) It requires more attention than boiling to ensure that the food does not burn.
(iii) The prolonged cooking can destroy some food nutrients such as vitamin C in fruits and vegetables.
This is a method of cooking by steam from boiling liquid(water). There is no direct contact between the food and the boiling water. Steaming can also be carried out above 100 by means of pressure cooker. Examples of food that can be steamed include small pieces of meat, pudding, fresh and dried fruits,small fish or fillet.
(I) Easily digested. It is therefore a suitable method for preparing meal for children, invalids and pregnant women.
(ii)There is no loss of nutrients into cooking water.
(iii) There is less risk of over cooking.
(iv) More than one dish can be cooked in a pot.
(i) It is a slow method of cooking because of the lengthen process.
(ii) Steamed foods are not as palatable as foods cooked with other methods.
(iii) Not many types of food can be cooked with this method.
(iv)Steamed foods need careful garnishing to make them look attractive.
Frying is a method of cooking in hot oil or fat. There are various types of frying:

  1. Deep Frying: Enough oil is used to cover the food completely, so that it is immersed in the oil. There is no need for constant turning as the food will cook evenly in the deep oil. The pan should be heavy and deep. The food may be coated with plain flour seasoned with salt, butter, egg or bread crumbs to protect its shape, seal the nutrients and prevent it from breaking up.
    The stages involved in deep frying are melting stage, bubbling stage, frying stage and decomposition stage. Examples of food that can be fried include root vegetables, akara, fried yam, plantain, doughnut etc.
  2. Shallow Frying: This is a type of frying whereby foods are cooked in a heated fat covering the bottom of the pan. Enough fat is used to prevent the food from sticking to the frying pan. This method requires constant turning to cook evenly on both sides. Examples of food that can be cooked using this method include pancake, fish, egg etc.
  3. Braising: This is a brief frying of food in a shallow fat after which the food is cooked. It is suitable for tougher cuts of meat. The larger the cut of meat, the longer the braising time.
  4. Dry Frying: This method is used for food which already contains plenty of fat. The fat melts and runs out of the food. Examples of food that can be cooked with this method include bacon, sausages and other fatty parts of pork.
  5. Sauteing: This is a method of frying food quickly n a shallow pan of hot fat turning it until it is evenly browned. It is a kind of shallow frying because little fat is used. It is usually used as a preliminary method in the preparation of soups, stews, sauces and leafy vegetables.
    (I)It is a fast method of cooking.
    (II)Fried foods are attractive and tasty.
    (iii) No loss of soluble nutrients(if the food is coated before frying).
    (I) It needs skill and is dangerous unless done carefully.
    (ii) Fried food is unappetizing and greasy when cold.
    (iii) If the fat is too hot, the food may be burnt and not cooked.
    (iv)Fried foods are not easily digested.
    Pressure cooking is a quick method of cooking food by superheated steam in a closed vessel with a strong and firmly secured lid and safety valve. The special sauce pan used is called a pressure cooker. Examples of food that can be cooked by this method include tough cuts of meat, dried meat and dried legumes. To obtain maximum result, the pressure pot instructions must be followed such as the cooking time required for different foods, how to open the pressure cooker, how to close it, how much liquid to use, the correct pressure weight for different food.
    (i) It saves time as cooking time is reduced to at least at least a third of the usual time
    (ii) It is very economical on fuel.
    (i) It requires special skill.
    (ii) If the correct pressure weight is not used, the food may not be properly cooked.
    TO DO AT HOME: Find out the meaning of pastries and the hints on successful pastry making