Shopping for food at the grocery store is the easy part of making dinner—figuring out how to turn your haul into a meal you’ll actually want to eat is where things get tough.
After choosing the ingredients to star in your dish, next you need to decide how to prepare them. Flipping meat and vegetables in a pan a few times and calling it a day may be your go-to strategy, but it’s not the only way. There’s a whole list of cooking methods out there that can help elevate your food from amateur home cooking to gourmet cuisine. If that sounds overwhelming, this chart compiled by Fairmont San Francisco can make things easier for you.
The infographic below includes all sorts of chef jargon, like blanch, confit, and sous vide, but it's laid out in such a way that even beginners can understand. The color-coded key indicates the effects each preparation produces and the pictures show which ingredients they should be paired with. Braising, for example, makes food tender, and it’s a perfect match for tough cuts of beef and lamb. Searing, on the other hand, makes food crisp and works best with tender meat, fish, and shellfish.
If you still feel lost, the actual definitions of each cooking method along with the required tools are provided below the chart. Check out our list of essential cooking techniques for a deeper look at how to execute some of these tricks at home.
Produced by Fairmont Hotels and Resorts