Cooking Methods and Utensil Materials

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About
Each of the basic methods of cooking, from grilling over a fire to irradiating in a microwave oven, has its own particular influence on food. This chapter briefly explains how these methods work, and describes the properties of the various metal and ceramic utensils we use to heat foods.
First, though, it’s good to consider an important transformation that foods undergo when they’re subjected to sufficient heat, no matter what the cooking method. The browning reactions come up in every chapter this book. They have remarkable effects on both the flavor and appearance of a host of foods, from condensed milk to grilled meats, from chocolate to beer.