Cooking time and temperature greatly determine the nutritional value of the end product of your recipe. Vitamin c for example, once heated for a temperature beyond a particular point breaks down the nutrients in it.
Cooking method in general can be divided into two categories
- Dry heat cooking- cooking food in an Oven/ flame without adding water. This process involves roasting, sautéing and baking.
- Moist heat cooking- covered cooking or cooking involved liquid content. This process involves boiling and steaming.
Stir frying or sautéing helps to retain characteristic crunchiness and nutrients to a great extent. This process involves sautéing of food quickly on a hot pan using small amount of oil.
Sautéing makes food appetizing and retain its flavours. The right apparatus for a perfect sauté is a pan that has a dense, heavy bottom which spreads the heat evenly without any hot spots. While cooking a Mediterranean style dish, olive oil shall be put to use, but if you are prepare an Asian dish, sesame oil might be the better choice
Grilling adds a beautiful charring or browning flavour to your dish. A grill generally exposes your food directly to flame whereas Broiling is done in an oven with heat coming from the top. For the smoky flavour, the best method would be barbecuing which is not possible in a gas grille or boiler oven.
High temperature grilling possesses health risk due to presence of carcinogenic compounds. This can be eliminated by marinating the meat well in advance and turning it during heating.
Roasting is a process of browning the surface of the individual contents of a recipe without compromising the cooking of its inside. The added value of this method of cooking is to obtain golden and crunchy meat skin and the juice that concentrates inside the skin. This method is widely used for cooking meat. Though it destroys vitamins it retains minerals in the food.
Deep fry involves food immersed in hot oil. This delivers a crispy texture at its exterior and soft, moist interior. The choice of oil should have a very high smoke point, like avocado, refined sun flower oil and peanut oil.
Boiling is a versatile style of cooking where as poaching refers to slowly cook food by simmering in hot liquids. The temperature of the stove should be moderate as high temperatures can kill the nutrients in the liquids. Water is first boiled and food, lentils, vegetables are dropped in it and boiled in reduced heat and covered by a lid to maintain pressure and temperature for quickening the process of boiling.
Steaming is the process of cooking the food in a steamer. The food does not touch the boiling liquid and the lid put over the pot helps to cook food in steam and moisture in the vessel. This is a great option to cook vegetables and sprouts without loss or very little loss of minerals, vitamins, minerals and nutrients.