Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

Score a verb meaning to make cuts in something which is to be cooked. The cuts may be shallow or deeper and may form a grid pattern or be a series of diagonal incisions. In any case the purpose is usually either to facilitate the penetration of heat, thus shortening the cooking time, or to permit the penetration of added flavours. The rationale underlying the first of these two purposes is discussed in detail under heat.

Scoring is often applied to fish, especially when it is to be grilled (US broiled). Leaving a sizeable fish whole and grilling it risks having the outside overcooked by the time sufficient heat has penetrated the interior. The crimping of fish is done for a different purpose.