The Cooking Techniques Every Frugal Cook Needs To Know To Save Money

7 Dec

The Cooking Techniques Every Frugal Cook Needs To Know To Save Money

cooking methods
Picture by dmitrymoi @

The majority of us do not learn to cook properly.

Sure, we learn to follow recipes and prepare the fundamentals.

But we do not learn the science and fundamental techniques of cooking well.

And that’s the big gap that separates the home cook from the expert cook.

A pro cook learns cooking techniques and techniques. A home cook learns recipes.

Why should you discover cooking techniques like the pros?

Because learning the cooking techniques enables you to create flavorful, salty foods, with all the ingredients you have available instead of being a servant to the recipe

Master the cooking methods and you can make meals out of whatever ingredient is cheap, available, in the season or available.

Recipes become inspiration instead of prescription.

Over the past few weeks, we have covered a whole assortment of frugal ingredients such as staples, vegetables along with beef.

Now’s article covers the fundamental cooking techniques that you will need to know to flip those ingredients into foods your family will love.

Guide to Critical Cooking Strategies

Cooking is chemistry.

It is all about the effects of using heat to food in various ways to get various flavours and textures.

Master heat application and you have mastered cooking.

There are three basic Procedures for implementing warmth (aka cooking meals):

  1. Dry-heat cooking
  2. Wet-heat cooking
  3. Combination dry and wet-heat cooking

Obtaining the cooking process will affect the final outcome of this dish.    

Dry-Heat Cooking

If you cook food with the dry heat method, you are cooking meals using hot metal, oil, air or radiation.  

Dry-heat cooking is all about crispness and flavour via browning and caramelising.


Sauteing entails cooking smallish pieces of food in just a little oil or fat over high heat, providing meals a flavourful brown crust. Food may be a sauted sauteing or just may brown food before stewing or braising for extra flavour.

To saute successfully, follow the following rules:

  1. Heating the pan well. Sauteing is about implementing high heat. Food caramelises and extends brown at around 160°C. To look at the pan is hot, add a drop of water — it ought to ‘dance’ around the pan and vanish quickly.
  2. Work with an oil that has a high smoke point such as rice bran oil or clarified butter. Don’t use your best olive oil, it will burn.
  3. Don’t overcrowd the pan. It is important to maintain a temperature that is high when sauteing. Too much food in the pan will lower the heat causing the food to boil in its own juices.
  4. Switch your meals just once or twice and let it brown and caramelise.

Foods to saute contain fish, lean legumes, thicker tender beans that are finished off in the oven, tender vegetables such as asparagus, bite sized meals.

Pan Frying

Pan Frying, also known as shallow frying, is similar to sauteing however, it employs a little bit more oil or fat and a slightly reduced temperature.

This approach provides a brown and crispy exterior and a tender centre. Coated foods such as chicken schnitzel are usually pan fried.

To pan fry, begin with a moderate to high heat to brown your meals. The oil ought to be hot enough that the meals sizzles as soon as it hits the pan.

Once browned, decrease the heat to cook through.

It’s possible to lower the warmth of the pan by ‘deglazing’, so removing your beef and adding a cold liquid to swiftly bring down the temperature. You end cooking the beef at the reduced temperature, when the liquid has evaporated. Or you’ll be able to complete the beef in the oven at around 200°C for 10 minutes or so before cooked to your liking.

As with sauteing, do not overcrowd the pan or flip the meals too many times.

Foods to pan fry comprise coated or Spicy foods such as schnitzel or tuna rissoles, tender meats, sturdy but tender vegetables such as potatoes (especially diced or grated into rosti) or beans, fritters, eggs, peppers.

Stir Frying

Stir Frying is very similar to sauteing, but it typically entails and even higher warmth and the food has been kept in constant movement or stirred continuously. A wok provides results that are best, particularly on a gas fire, however, a pan works fine.

Foods to stir fry contain pre-assembled vegetables (hard vegetables might be blanched first) and thin strips of beef.

Deep Frying

Deep Frying is cooking foods by completely submerging them in hot oil. The hot oil provides a brown, crispy finish to food.

To deep fry successfully, the oil needs to be between 160°C and 220°C. Too low and the petroleum seeps into the food, which makes it greasy. Too high and the oil smokes. Sunflower, Canola or rice bran oil will be the best oils for deep frying.

Use a deep kettle and just fill it half full of oil. It is important to not leave hot oil unattended.

Preheat the oil to the ideal temperature, then pat on foods dry and then submerge in the oil till cooked through. Cooking times will be based on the foods.

Eliminate food using a slotted spoon or tongs and drain meals on a paper towel.

To ensure the oil remains hot enough, it is very important to cook foods in little batches and not overcrowd the pan.

Foods to deep bake include…nearly anything really — actually ice-cream! Though I admit that this is a process I seldom use.

Baking / Roasting

Baking and roasting use exactly the same process: hot atmosphere cooks and surrounds meals, usually in an oven. A convection oven has a fan that circulates the atmosphere, which cooks food.

You can get a wide selection of cooking results based on the size of the oven, rack position, and timing. Some dishes use a very hot oven to brown a temperature and then the meals to cook the food. Meringue and roast pork are good examples of this technique.

Foods to bake/roast contain cakes, pastries, eggs, meat, fish and vegetables.

Broiling / Immunology / Barbecuing

Broiling, grilling and barbecuing all demand applying heat directly to meals at near range. Food is cooked evenly and quickly using a high temperature.

Broiling entails applying warmth from above (in Australia we call it grilling). When grilling and barbecuing, a top heat is applied from below.  

For effective grilling, ensure that your grill or broiler is hot before you begin and your meals is an even thickness.

Foods to broil/grill contain poultry, meat, bread, vegetables, kebabs, fish and sweet foods.

Wet-Heat Cooking

Wet-heat cooking entails cooking using a liquid such as water or inventory. Here is the procedure of choice when you want to create your foods tender and to soften rough fibres.

Because there’s no oil included, wet-heat cooking is also a low carb method of cooking.


Boiling is ingesting meals in liquid at 100°C until cooked through. It is great for quickly and cooking pasta cooking green vegetables such as beans in order that they keep their color and feel.

To boil food, bring your boiling liquid to the boil — there’ll be lots of large bubbles rolling around. Place food in the water and cook to your liking.

Boiling is also utilised to reduce liquids or sauces during evaporation.

Foods to boil contain pasta and grains, dried beans, eggs, hard vegetables such as potatoes (for mashing) and green vegetables such as beans, simply don’t overcook differently they go soggy.


Simmering is like boiling but it is done at a lower temperature. It is a way. Simmering liquid has bigger and fewer bubbles. Stews, stocks, soups and braises are cooked in this fashion.

Insert vegetables and meat to some cold liquid and bring to a boil before reducing the warmth and cooking till food is cooked through.

Foods to simmer comprise tougher meat cuts, including grains, beans and vegetables.


Blanching involves dunking meals — usually vegetables — in boiling water for a very short period of time without ingestion through and then quitting the cooking process by dunking them in cold water. This helps to keep your food’s shape and feel.

To blanch meals, bring a large pot of water to the boil and put food in the water in little batches to be certain the water does not shed temperature. Boiling time will probably be depending on size and feel of the meals.

Eliminate food from boiling water using a slotted spoon and place in a bowl of ice water to halt the cooking process then drain.

Foods to blanch comprise tough vegetables before stir fryingpan, vegetables that you need to freeze, potatoes before eating, fruits such as tomatoes or peaches to help eliminate the skin easily and hard vegetables such as broccoli or carrots you do not wish to eat raw.


Steaming involves putting food on a rack or in a steamer basket over boiling water to indirectly cook the meals. This helps to keep your food’s texture, nutrition, flavour and form.

To steam foods, then put in a steamer basket over boiling water. Be sure that the water isn’t being touched by the food. Put the lid on to help trap in warmth. Cook till cooked through to your own liking. Cooking time varies based on the food you are cooking.

Foods to steam comprise vegetables, fish and shell-fish, conservative puddings, grains, meat, dims sims.


Poaching is done at a really low temperature, approximately 70 — 80C. The liquid should be moving but without bubbles. This approach makes meals moist and is ideal for delicate foods such as eggs.

It is also a great method to impart flavour to your meals by spoonful in water or stock that’s flavoured with herbs and spices.

To poach meals, completely submerge in the liquid. Cook till cooked through, as in the event of chicken, or until done to your liking.

Foods to Reduce contain eggs, fish, chicken, fruit and vegetables.

Combination Dry and Wet-Heat Cooking

The third category is a blend of those 2 methods: browning meals by sauteing to the flavour and after that cooking food in liquid till tender.


Braising usually refers to cooking a large joint of beef.

An illustration is braising in which you repaint a roast, for example, to brown before adding it to the slow cooker to cook in a liquid.

Foods to braise contain joints of beef, particularly rougher cuts, or vegetables. Braised cabbage or peas in inventory make a tasty side dish — something somewhat different from the normal old boiled vegetables.


Stewing is precisely the identical thing as braising but usually refers to smaller pieces of food. Usually, there is a stew done on the stove top, whereas there is a casserole cooked in the oven.

Foods to stew comprise beef, particularly rougher cuts, company vegetables and grains.

Cooking is not just about being aware of what components are inexpensive. It is also understanding how to cook them. It is possible to consider and flip it, by knowing the cooking techniques readily available.

Within the next article, we’ll look at how to create your own foods from scratch.  

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