Culinary Terms for Kids
What is your favorite food? Every kid likes to eat, but many do not understand the time and effort that is needed for a yummy home cooked meal. Whether you’re just helping out mom or dad, or if you’re making a snack for yourself, there are a lot of words that show up on recipes you’ll need to know. Keep reading to learn what some of them mean.
What is batter?
Batter is a mixture of water and flour that can become cake, waffles, bread or certain other foods when heated in the oven. Sometimes people also add baking powder so when the batter is heated it gets fluffy.
What does it mean to baste?
When you baste the food you’re cooking it means you are dripping some sort of sauce or glaze on top of it to keep the surface moist or shiny. Basting can also add a lot of flavor to a dish. Common dishes that are basted include turkey, pork, steak and chicken – anything cooked rotisserie.
What is the difference between beating, kneading and stirring?
These are three ways of mixing. The difference is the motion of your hands. When beating, you will mix using an up-and-over motion. Kneading involves a pressing motion followed by stretching of the dough. Stirring is a circular motion.
What is blending?
When you blend a mixture it means you mix together two ingredients until they are one solid color and texture. If you put different kinds of fruit in a blender it will chop it up into juice and you won’t be able to tell where the strawberries or bananas are.
What is the difference between boiling and broiling?
Boiling is cooking in liquid, usually water. To boil, first you need to heat the liquid enough so that it bubbles. This means that the liquid is so hot it’s turning into gas. With broiling (with an R), food is heated directly from an open flame or hot surface. It is not submerged underwater.
What does it mean to chop ?
Chopping something means cutting it into small pieces.
What does it mean to core a fruit?
When you core a fruit it means you’re cutting out the middle part where the seeds can be found. Normally people aren’t supposed to eat the inside of a fruit, so many dishes ask for you to core the fuit before adding it.
What does it mean to dice ?
When you dice, you are cutting something into tiny cubes.
What is dough?
Dough is like batter in that it is a mixture of flour and water. The difference is that there is less water used in dough so it is thicker. Dough is frequently used to make bread, pizza, and noodles.
What is drizzling?
Think of drizzling like “basting lite.” Instead of pouring a sauce all over a food, drizzling is just pouring about a spoonful. Drizzle slowly so that all parts of your dish get a little bit of the flavor.
What does it mean to fry?
Frying is a way of cooking food, just like boiling and broiling. The difference is that frying requires a food to be dipped in hot oil or fat. Frying can be done in a pan, a griddle or a deep fryer. Some fried foods you’re probably aware of include doughnuts, potato chips, and obviously fried chicken.
What is grating?
Grating food requires a utensil known as a grater. When you rub food against the grater it cuts off little pieces of it. It will be almost like powder. The most commonly grated foods are cheese and orange peels.
What is marinating?
You create a marinade mixture of oils and acids to give foods flavors. Once you have the marinade ready, it is easy to marinate food. You just let it sit in the marinade for a certain amount of time.
What does it mean to mince?
Mincing is the same as simply cutting up food, but it must be sliced into very small pieces.
What does it mean to pare?
Paring is just a word for peeling or cutting off an outer layer of a fruit or vegetable.
What does it mean to roast ?
Roast is a word which simply means, “to bake”
What does it mean to scald?
You have probably heard water being called “scalding hot” but a scald is actually a very specific term. Scalding liquid is like boiling it, but the scald does not have large rapid bubbles. Instead it only had small bubbles at the edge of a pan.
What does it mean to sear?
When you cook food it usually turns golden brown slowly. Searing food speeds the pace. Simply use intense heat and it will become brown very quickly, however, it is easy to sear it too much and burn the food.
What does it mean to whip ?
When you beat something quickly in order to add air
What is whisking?
Whisking is the same as beating except it requires the use of a utensil called a whisk. Whisking helps to blend a mixture.
Need even more help? Take a look at some of these websites filled with other cooking terms as well as kid friendly recipes:
- Recipes: Check out these awesome suggestions from Kids Health.
- Moms Who Think: A fun bunch of recipes for you to make in your kitchen with mom or dad.
- Kiss Recipes: A list of common cooking terms, many of which are not found on the list above.
- Kids Cooking Activities: Print out recipes and also food facts and blank coloring pages.
- Glossary: This is Betty Crocker’s dictionary of over 1000 cooking terms.
- Kid Friendly Recipes: Here are dozens of tasty dishes for you to try making at home. Spanish language recipes are available too.
- Rock Candy: Rock candy is really neat to make because you get to see sugar crystals form. Try it!
- Recipes for Kids: Here are some healthy recipes you can try on your own but make sure you practice kitchen safety.
- Learning is the Secret Ingredient! (PDF): Here are tons of reasons why you ask your parents to teach you how to cook.
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