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Efficient cooking methods - catering for galley staff

Cooks on all seagoing vessels should give a considerable thought while choosing appropriate cooking methods for all the prepared meals for ship staff. He should understand well the similarities and differences of the various cooking methods.

Chief cook being in charge of preparing meals from a list of ingredients, he should always try to use all available resources and appropriate cooking method for each item. This will enable him to produce tasty and nutritious meals while also ensuring that food stock is used economically. For example, using expensive items for roasting or stewing should be avoided, since for such meals, less tender and cheaper products should be used. In the following paragraphs, the main advantages and disadvantages of the various cooking methods are explained.

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Different Cooking Methods

Cooking methods are dividing into three categories:
  1. Dry-heat :Dry-heat cooking methods are quick and add crispness and flavor to food but do not tenderize. Tender, thin or small portions are appropriate for this method of cooking. This method uses hot air or fat to cook food. Methods include: sautéing, pan-frying, deep-frying, grilling, roasting and baking

  2. Moist-heat : Moist-heat cooking uses liquid such as water, stock, or steam to cook food. Most seafood, vegetables, tender cuts of poultry, such as chicken breasts and some fruits, rice, and pasta, are ideal for moist-heat cooking methods. It’s better to choose less expensive cuts of meat, poultry, or seafood because moist-heat cooking can break down tough cuts of meat due to the long and slow cooking process.Methods include:poaching, simmering, boiling and steaming

  3. Combination heat: Combination cooking methods are suitable for severe or less expensive cuts of meat, such as; beef round or pork shoulder, some vegetables and certain firm-fleshed seafood like swordfish, tuna or monkfish. Methods include: braising and stewing
comparing different-cooking-method-ship-staff

Comparing Different Cooking Methods

Sautéing : There should be just a thin coating of fat in the pan (about 1/8th inch). Sautéing uses conduction to transfer the heat from the hot pan to the food.

Pan-frying : The food should be partially submerged in fat. The fat should cover approximately 1/3 to ½ of the product, which is to be cooked. The heat is transferred through both conduction and convection: the conduction of the hot pan to the food, and also through the convection of the fat which partially surrounds the food.

Deep-frying : To deep-fry, the food is entirely submerged in hot fat. Heat is transferred to the menu in deep-frying through conduction of the hot fat which surrounds the food.

Grilling & Broiling :Though these terms are often used interchangeably, they are distinctly different. While both use a radiant heat transfer, the heat source from grilling comes from the bottom, or underneath the food. Whereas, the heat source from broiling is on top, or above the menu.

Roasting and Baking : Roasting and baking are the same things; the difference is the terminology. Generally speaking, meats, poultry, and vegetables are roasted.

Baking is generally applied to breads, pastries and other sweet confections. Over and under-heat is transferred to the surface of the food through the convection of the hot air, and then penetrates the food through conduction.

Fig: Cooking & holding temperatures

Poaching, Boiling, Simmering & Steaming :These four cooking methods are similar in that they are all moist-heat cooking methods and they all use convection as the mode of heat transfer.

The table right shows the cooking temperature for different types of food.

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