How Well Do You Know Cooking Terminology?


By: Becky

5 Min Quiz

Image: shutterstock

About This Quiz

Do you fancy yourself the next Gordan Ramsey, Michael Symon, or Paula Deen? Do you enjoy preparing different types of meals using different cooking techniques?  Do you know how to cook so well that you could teach it? Well then, this quiz is for you! 

A majority of kitchen users understand how to boil water and fry an egg, but many who don't have a lot of experience cooking may become confused at terminology they don't recognize. There are many different tools, methods, and ingredients that are used in cooking. In order to fully comprehend recipes and techniques, you need to understand basic and commonly used cooking terminology. For example, those who are cooking pros generally know that to scald means to bring a liquid to a temperature just below the boiling point. They also know the definition for the term marinate, which means to enhance the flavor and moisture of a meat, fruit, or vegetable by soaking it in a mixture that is referred to as a marinade. 

This quiz will test the knowledge you have when it comes to cooking terminology. Take this quiz to find out if you have what it takes to name terms and techniques like a five-star chef!

Which is a technique in which you separate the liquid and solid parts of a dish?

To sieve is to separate coarser liquids and solids. It is also used to reduce soft solids to a pulp.


What is the term for the definition "to cut and remove the bones from a piece of meat, poultry, or fish"?

Several types of meat are often served in fillet form. This meat usually comes from the lower loins of an animal.


What is a practice of treating food by partial cooking followed by vacuum-sealing and chilling?

Sous vide cooking generally takes upwards of seven hours. It's done by cooking food in a water or steam bath.


What do cooks do when they enhance the flavor and moisture of a meat, fruit, or vegetable by soaking them in a mixture?

When marinating, foods such as meat, are typically left to soak in a liquid marinade for long periods of time. This is done to enhance flavor and moisture.


What is it called when one removes a substance from the surface of a liquid?

When chefs skim a liquid they're often removing scum or fat from the surface during cooking. This results in a purer product.


Which of the following is a cooking method that combines searing the food at high temperature, then finishing it in a covered pot at low temperature?

When braising a dish, first the food is browned using a high heat method. The cooking is then finished using a lower heat method in order to retain moisture in the dish.


What is it called when one brings a liquid to a temperature just below the boiling point?

Scalding occurs when a liquid is heated almost to a boil. One of the first things to happen are bubbles form around the edges.


What is the name for dish with duck cooked in its own fat?

Confit usually consists of duck legs slowly cooked in their own rendered fat. The cooking of confit happens around 200 degrees Fahrenheit.


What is it called when an individual submerges a food in boiling water for a moment, then removes and submerges it in ice water?

Blanching is usually done on fruits and vegetables. Its purpose is to preserve flavor.


What is a thickening agent made of equal parts fat and flour?

Rouxs are typically used as thickening agents for gravys, stews, and sauces. They can be light or dark, depending on how long they are cooked.


What is it called when one coats a piece of food in flour or breadcrumbs before cooking it?

Dredging happens when a wet food is rolled through a dry material. An even coating is preferred for even cooking.


What is the word for decorating or embellishing food?

When one adds to a finished dish in order to embellish or decorate it, it's called garnishing. This is sometimes done to add contrasting flavors.


What is a moist-heat cooking method that involves cooking by submerging food in a liquid?

Poaching occurs when a food is completely submerged in a heated liquid. It differs from boiling as it happens at a much lower temperature.


What is it called to make shallow cuts in the surface of a food?

Scoring aids in the absorption of flavor. It also helps retain moisture.


What is the definition of cooking food at a high temperature until a caramelized crust forms?

Searing foods, such as meat, increases the flavor via caramelization. Searing is the first step in several other cooking methods, such as braising.


What is the process of beating an ingredient vigorously to incorporate air?

Whipping is generally done using a food mixer. Foods commonly whipped include egg whites and heavy cream.


What is it called to soak in a liquid just under the boiling point to extract the essence?

The purpose of steeping is to release flavors. When we steep tea, we extract the flavor from the tea leaves into the water.


Which of the following is a cooking method used to prepare meat with either its own juices or some type of marinade?

Basting helps to retain the natural flavor of meat. It is usually done using a baster.


What is it called when you soften a fat by beating it at room temperature?

Creaming is done when a soft and thick consistency is needed. This method is used in creating cake batter and cookie dough.


What is the definition of a food that has been cooked but is still firm when bitten?

Al dente means to cook just long enough to be firm to the bite. It is Italian for "to the tooth."


What is it called when you soak or saturate a food in salty water?

The purpose of brining is to add or preserve flavor in food. It is also used as a way to preserve the shelf life of certain foods.


Which of the following is the term used to describe cooking a food until it becomes brown and/or sweet?

Caramelization occurs when sugar breaks down. This is also known as a Maillard reaction.


What is a smooth, creamy, highly seasoned soup?

Bisque is of French origin. It is often created using seafood that is still good but not new enough to be served fresh.


What is it called to cut food into short, thin strips?

Vegetables for garnish are oftentimes sliced using the julienne method. This involves slicing them into match size pieces.


What is a term used to describe cooking/browning food in a small amount of fat?

To saute is to cook a food in a pan using fat. Butters and oils are often used.


What is a thin piece of fabric, originally used for wrapping cheese?

Cheesecloth is a thin, loosely woven, cotton cloth used to make cheese. It is also sometimes used to protect food.


What is it called when someone cuts the colorful part of the skin of a citrus?

Zesting is done to remove the skin of the fruit. This is the part that contains the oils and aroma.


What is the term for softening or breaking up fruit using a liquid?

Maceration is usually done with fruits and vegetables. It is also used to infuse the flavor of the liquid into the fruit.


What is the term for a slicing method that produces a 1/8-inch dice?

Brunoise is a knife cutting method in which the food is first julienned and then turned a quarter turn and diced again. Common foods used include carrots, leeks, and celery.


What is it called when a solid fat is melted?

Render means to cook the fat out. This is done by slowly heating the fat until it melts.


What is the process of breaking solid, firm food items into small pieces by rubbing them against an instrument?

Grating is done using a tool known as a grater. There are varying sizes of raised slots to create a variety of cuts.


Which of the following is a French culinary phrase meaning "everything in its place"?

Mise en place is one of the first terms taught in culinary school. It refers to having all of your ingredients ready to go and in place before you begin cooking.


What is the term for a paste or thick liquid blended from a cooked food?

When a food is pureed, it goes from a solid form to a more liquid consistency. This is achieved by methods such as blending.


What is the term for shredding or finely cutting leafy greens to use as a garnish for soup?

Chiffonade is a cutting method in which leafy green vegetables, such as spinach or basil, are sliced into small ribbons. More often than not, these ribbons are then used to garnish soup.


What is it called when someone bakes a pie crust without the filling?

Dry baking is used to keep pie crust from becoming soggy from​ a wet filling. It is also used when the filling of a pie has a shorter bake time than the crust.


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