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How Can You Be So Heartless? 50 Cooking Terms that Hurt

Whip, grill, beat, debone – did you do these to your food as you prepared your Christmas dinner or your New Year’s feast or even your regular meals? Has it ever occurred to you that you treat your food so harshly when you cook them? What if these cooking terms were applied to you, wouldn’t you be hurt too? You might even get maimed or killed by the violence indicated in some of these terms!

Consider the following terms as you cook eggs.


What You Do to Eggs

Crack, beat, whip, boil, poach, fry, scramble are some of the many things that you do to eggs when you cook them. Then you also slice them after they have been hard boiled. Can you imagine that? Just look at how these actions are described or explained:

1. Crack - split or snap apart sharply or separate into parts with suddenness or violence. How violent can you get?

2. Beat – stir or agitate rapidly in circular motion

3. Whip – beat rapidly using a wire whisk or a mixer to make ingredients like egg whites fluffy



4. Boil – heat up in water until liquid bubbles vigorously over the surface

5. Fry – cook in hot oil. Have you ever experienced getting splatters of hot oil? Do you remember the burnt marks?

6. Poach – submerge and cook slowly in simmering liquid like water, broth or milk

7. Scramble - mix into a disordered mess by beating or using a whisk

8. Slice - cut into thin flat pieces using a knife or slicer 

Don't those terms just make you shudder at how cruel we can be to eggs? What about other foods like bread and pies?

slicing butter

slicing butter

What You Do to Bread and Some Baked Goodies

Bread or some baked goodies are foods that are also subjected to so much harshness. Just consider these terms:

9. Dredge: To sprinkle thoroughly with sugar or another dry powder.Well, this is not as bad as it sounds.

10. Cream: The process of beating fat and sugar together to blend them uniformly and to incorporate air. Actually this term does not sound like it hurts at all. However, the description sounds like it does hurt. Imagine being beaten?

11. Slash - to cut (sour dough) in strands and cooked all together in certain ingredients for a period of time

12. Knead –to press, fold turn and stretch repeatedly using the heels of your hand. Term is applied to soft dough to make it soft and elastic

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And what do we do to our dough after kneading them? We also Knock it Down or Punch it Down!

13. Knock Down or Punch Down - punch and knead the dough to remove the air out after it has risen so that it goes back to the original volume before rising.

And if those are not enough insult to our bread, we also Proof the Yeast! Yes, proof the yeast until it is proven alive!

14. Proof the Yeast - This means that you dissolve the yeast in a little warm (not hot!) water with a touch of sugar. Then you let it sit until it starts to bubble. This way, you know that the yeast is alive!

In addition, we also Bake Blind! Whoa, what does this mean?

15. Bake Blind - is to bake a pie crust or shell while empty. To prevent pastry from puffing up, the shell is usually lined with baking paper and filled with "blind beans".

Are you sorry yet that you do treat your bread and pie badly?

Vegetables and fruits are not in any better position when it comes to our method of cooking.



What You Do To Fruits, Vegetables and Nuts

16. Peel -to pull away, strip or cut off the outer covering of a fruit or vegetable.

17. Trim – cut and shape

18. Mince – cut or chop into very small pieces

19. Dice – cut into tiny cubes

20. Blanch – plunge into boiling water briefly, then into cold water. This helps to loosen the skins of fruits and vegetables

21. Grate - to rub food against an appliance that cuts it into fine shreds or forms small particles. Often used with cheeses and rinds of citrus fruits.

22. Scald –heat milk just below boiling point or immerse fruits and vegetables in boiling water to remove their skins

Ah, meat, poultry and fish are even at a more helpless position after the way we treat them.

Grating coconut

Grating coconut

What You Do To Meat, Poultry, Fish and Other Products

Can you just imagine being chilled, deboned, skewered, stripped or grilled? Just look at these cooking terms.

23. Broil – cook directly under or above a heat source

24. Chill - to make cold without freezing

25. Chop – to cut food into bite-size pieces using quick heavy blows of knife or cleaver

26. Debone – remove the bones

27. Drain - to deplete or empty the liquid or water and make gradually dry

28. Grate – reduce a large piece of food to small particles or thin shreds by rubbing against a coarse serrated surface

29. Grill- to cook over hot coals or other heat source

grilling chicken and pork

grilling chicken and pork

30. Grind - to reduce food to fine particles using a mortar and pestle, blender or food processor.

31. Heat - to make warm or hot

32. Invert - turn inside out

33. Parboil
To cook food in a boiling liquid just until partially done. Cooking may be completed using another method or at another time.

34. Pierce – to penetrate with a sharp object

35. Pound – to strike hard repeatedly and flatten or reduce to powder

36. Prick – to make small holes on the surface

37. Reduce - to boil down the volume of a liquid in order to concentrate the flavor.

38. Roast – oven-cook food in a shallow uncovered pan


40. Sear - to cook meat quickly at high heat to seal the surface of the meat and produce a brown color.

41. Shred –cut into narrow strips

42. Skewer- to impale or pierce small pieces of food

43. Sliver - to cut into long thin pieces with a knife. Often used with almonds or pimentos.

44. Steam - to cook in a covered container over boiling water. The container should have small holes in it to allow the steam from the water to rise.

45. Stew - to simmer slowly in enough liquid to cover.

46. Strip - to remove superficial matter or to make bare; to press eggs or milt out of a fish 

47. Sweat - to cook gently, usually in butter, a bit of oil, or the foods own juices to soften but not brown the food.

48. Toast
To brown with dry heat in an oven or toaster.

skewered meat "isaw" (a Flipino street food)

skewered meat "isaw" (a Flipino street food)

roasted pig "lechon" (Filipino fiesta food)

roasted pig "lechon" (Filipino fiesta food)

What You Do To Flavoring and Spices

Can you imagine what happens when we pinch salt or dash sugar?

49. Pinch – hold between the tips of the thumb and forefinger

50. Dash - sprinkle a small amount

So that's my 50 list! Can you add some more? Please add them in the comments.


How Can You Be So Heartless?

Did you stop to think how much you hurt your food as you prepared them for that perfect Christmas feast? Hah, I bet you didn't!

Can you imagine being stewed, scored, scalded or roasted just like your favorite poultry and meat ?

Well, I hope you'll still enjoy your food even if you grate, shred, slash and pierce them! After all, these are the only ways to prepare food.

If you can suggest gentler ways of preparing food, please tell us.

Bon appétit!


If you enjoyed this, you might also enjoy my other humor hub:



Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary (accessed 6 January 2011) (accessed 6 January 2011) (accessed 9 January 2011)


jill of alltrades (author) from Philippines on April 09, 2015:

Hi poetryman,

Thanks for visiting and for sharing some interesting words used in programming.

All the best!

poetryman6969 on April 08, 2015:

We do have some funny ways to talk about food.

Let's see in programming we have: Kill the child process. And we sometimes ask if that killed the parent as well.

We have others but they temporarily slipped my mind.

grep awk sed

jill of alltrades (author) from Philippines on January 26, 2015:

Hello Jayce,

Well, I had fun putting this together. Thanks for dropping by and for leaving a comment.

Jayce on January 24, 2015:

Sunrsiripg to think of something like that

jill of alltrades (author) from Philippines on October 05, 2011:

Hello RTalloni,

Nice to see you again!

Hahaha, I did not think of it that way - that doing all that chopping and beating can be a form of de-stressing too! Of course I know people who love to cook but now I wonder if they also use cooking for de-stressing.

I'm happy that you learned some new terms here and that this made you smile!

God bless!

RTalloni on September 30, 2011:

This is good--now I can think of cooking as a way to de-stress...beating, chopping, pounding...well, my cooking needs de-stressing. :)

I too learned some new terms. Thanks for that and the smile!

jill of alltrades (author) from Philippines on September 22, 2011:

Hello iZeko,

It's nice to see you!

I'm happy that you enjoyed this hub. I had fun putting it together.

Thanks very much for your visit and wonderful comment!

God bless!

iZeko on September 20, 2011:

Hahaha! I never thought of it that way. It sounds more like a massacre than cooking. That was a fun read!

jill of alltrades (author) from Philippines on August 17, 2011:

Thanks for dropping by Louis! Thanks too for your addition. Now I know a South African term!

God bless!

Louis Fourie from Johannesburg, South Africa on August 16, 2011:

29. Grill- to cook over hot coals or other heat source, in South Africa we call it "Braai"

jill of alltrades (author) from Philippines on June 11, 2011:

Hello tlpoague,

Sometimes we just do things automatically we don't even give them a thought. I'm really happy that you enjoyed this! I had fun doing it.

Thanks for the visit and wonderful comment!

God bless!

Tammy on June 10, 2011:

I have never thought about how violent I can be to my food. After reading this, I will never look at food the same way. Thanks! It was a great read!

jill of alltrades (author) from Philippines on May 24, 2011:

Hi Cloverleaf,

I'm happy that you found this hilarious! That's great!

Thank you very much the vote up. :)

God bless!

Cloverleaf from Calgary, AB, Canada on May 23, 2011: