Cooking Basics - Alabama Cooperative Extension System

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Fry. Pan fry – Cook in frying pan over medium heat with small amount of oil. Deep fry – Cook in hot oil deep enough for food to float. Cooking Basics 1 ...
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U ni v e r sities

Cooking Basics

Table of Contents Cooking Terms ……………………………………………………… 1 Measurement Equivalents ………………………………………… 3 Substitutions for Kitchen Equipment ……………………………… 4 Food Yields ………………………………………………………… 5 Ingredient Substitutions …………………………………………… 7 Recipe Success …………………………………………………… 10

Cooking Terms Bake/Roast Cook food uncovered in an oven or similar appliance. Beat

Make mixture smooth with rapid, regular motion using a wire whisk, spoon, hand beater, or mixer. When using a spoon, lift the mixture up and over with each stroke.


Mix two or more ingredients thoroughly.


Heat a liquid until bubbles break on the surface or cook in boiling water.


Slowly cook meat or poultry in a small amount of liquid in a covered pot.


Use direct heat to cook.


Cook quickly until surface of food is brown.


Cut food into small pieces.


Cover entire surface with a mixture such as flour or bread crumbs.


Using a sharp knife, remove the core and seeds of fruit.


Stir one or more foods until they are soft.

Crisp-tender The “doneness” of vegetables when they are cooked only until tender and remain slightly crisp in texture. Crush

Use a garlic press or a blunt object to smash foods such as garlic until the fibers separate.


Cut food into small, ½-inch cubes.


Less than 1/8 teaspoon.


Cut into small, square-shaped pieces.


Put food and liquid into a strainer or colander, or pour liquid out of a pot by keeping the lid slightly away from the edge of the pan and pouring away from you.


Pinch the edges of dough such as on pie crust.


Mix by turning over and over.

Fork-tender The “doneness” of a food when a fork can easily penetrate the food. Fry

Pan fry – Cook in frying pan over medium heat with small amount of oil. Deep fry – Cook in hot oil deep enough for food to float. Cooking Basics 


Rub food on a grater or chop in blender or food processor to produce fine, medium, or coarse particles.


Cover or lubricate with oil to keep food from sticking.


Work dough by folding and stretching with heel of hand.


Allow food to soak in liquid to increase flavor and tenderness.


Cut or chop food into small pieces.


Combine ingredients using a fork or spoon.


Apply a thin layer of vegetable oil on a dish or pan. Can substitute vegetable oil spray.


Remove outer covering of foods by trimming away with a knife or vegetable peeler.


Heat oven to desired temperature before putting food in to bake.


Cook food over low heat in a small amount of hot, simmering liquid.


Cook in a small amount of oil or water.


Heat milk until bubbles appear. Bubbles should not be “breaking” on the surface.


Rub foods against a grater to divide into small pieces.


Remove lumps or lighten the dry ingredients by putting them through a strainer or a sifter.


Cook at a temperature just below the boiling point. Bubbles form slowly but do not reach the surface.


Cut food into thin pieces.


Cook over boiling water.


Cook food over low heat in a large amount of simmering liquid.


Quickly frying vegetables to a crisp-tender state while constantly stirring.


Water in which vegetables or meat has been cooked; should be stored in the refrigerator.


Slowly change from a frozen state to a liquid state.


Mix foods lightly with a lifting motion, using forks or spoons.

 Alabama Cooperative Extension System

Measurement Equivalents 1 tablespoon

= 3 teaspoons

¼ cup

= 4 tablespoons

¹⁄ ³ cup

= 5 ¹⁄ ³ tablespoons

½ cup

= 8 tablespoons

²⁄ ³ cup ¾ cup

= 10 ²⁄ ³ tablespoons = 12 tablespoons

1 cup

= 16 tablespoons

1 pound

= 16 ounces

1 fluid ounce

= 2 tablespoons

8 fluid ounces

= 1 cup

½ pint

= 1 cup


1 pint

= 2 cups

tbsp. = tablespoon

1 quart

= 4 cups

tsp. = teaspoon

½ gallon (64 ounces)

= 2 quarts

oz. = ounce

1 gallon

= 4 quarts

16 ounces

= 1 pint

c. = cup

32 ounces

= 1 quart

pt. = pint

34 ounces

= 1 liter

qt. = quart

68 ounces

= 2 liter

l. = liter

128 ounces

= 1 gallon

lb. = pound

Cooking Basics 

Substitutions for Kitchen Equipment Kitchen Equipment Biscuit/cookie cutter Cookie sheet Cooling rack Cutting board Grater Ladle for serving soup Measuring cup Measuring spoon Mixing bowl Pancake turner Pastry blender Pie pan Pot holder Potato masher Rolling pin Rotary beater Round cake pan Strainer Vegetable peeler Wire whisk

Substitute Items Lid, rim of jar, rim of can, rim of drinking glass Cake pan, pizza pan Oven rack Sturdy plate Sharp knives Cup with handle Marked jar of baby food or bottle Regular teaspoon or tablespoon Kettle, pan, or storage container 2 knives, fork 2 knives Round cake pan Folded towel Fork Plastic baby bottle Fork Square or oblong pan Pan with a lid or cover Sharp knife 2 forks or jar with tight lid

 Alabama Cooperative Extension System

Food Yields Food




1 pound

3 medium = 3 cups slices


1 pound

3 to 4 medium = 1 ½ cups mashed = 2 cups

sliced Beans, dry

1 pound

2 to 2 ½ cups dry = 6 cups cooked

Bread crumbs

4 slices bread

2 cups fresh crumbs = 1¹⁄ ³ cups dry crumbs

Butter, margarine, or shortening

1 pound

2 cups


1 pound

6 cups shredded = 2 to 3 cups cooked


1 pound

3 cups sliced = 2 ½ cups shredded


4 ounces


1 pound

1 to 1¹⁄ ³ cups shredded 40 to 50 cups brewed


1 pound

3 cups dry = 12 cups cooked

Eggs, medium

1 dozen

2 cups

Egg whites, large

8 eggs

1 cup

Flour, all-purpose

1 pound

4 cups sifted

Flour, whole wheat

1 pound

3¹⁄ ³ to 3 ¾ cups

Graham crackers

12 squares

1 cup crumbs

Ground meat (beef, pork, turkey)

1 pound

2 cups ground


1 lemon

2 to 4 tablespoons juice

Macaroni, spaghetti

1 pound

5 cups dry = 8 to 10 cups cooked

Milk, evaporated

6-ounce can

1 ½ cups reconstituted

Cooking Basics 


½ cup dry

1 cup cooked


1 pound

2 large


1 orange

6 tablespoons juice


1 pound

3 medium = 3 ½ cups sliced = 2 cups mashed


1 pound

2 ¾ to 3 cups

Rice, regular white or brown

1 pound

2 ½ cups dry = 7 ½ cups cooked

Soda crackers

22 crackers

1 cup crumbs

Sugar, white granulated

1 pound

2 cups

Sugar, brown

1 pound

2 ¼ cup, firmly packed

Yeast, active dry

1 packet

1 tablespoon

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Ingredient Substitutions Ingredient



Baking powder

1 teaspoon

¼ teaspoon baking soda plus 5/8 teaspoon cream of tartar ¼ teaspoon baking soda plus ½ cup sour milk or buttermilk (if using sour milk or buttermilk, decrease liquid called for in recipe by ½ cup)

Beef or chicken broth

1 can (14 ½ ounces)

2 teaspoons instant beef or chicken bouillon granules with water to equal amount of broth needed

Bouillon cube

1 cube

1 tablespoon soy sauce

Dry bread crumbs

¼ cup

¼ cup cracker crumbs or corn meal 1 cup soft bread crumbs


1 cup


to 1 cup shortening plus ½ teaspoon salt 1 cup margarine

Catsup or chili sauce

1 cup

1 cup tomato sauce plus ½ cup sugar and 2 tablespoons vinegar (for use in cooking only)

Corn syrup

1 cup

1 cup sugar plus ¼ cup liquid (use the type of liquid that is called for in recipe)


1 tablespoon

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour or 2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca

Cooking Basics 




Egg (for use in cake batter only)

1 egg

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

Flour, all-purpose

1 tablespoon

½ tablespoon cornstarch or quick-cooking tapioca (for thickening)

Flour, all-purpose

1 cup sifted

1 cup minus 2 tablespoons sifted all-purpose flour

Flour, cake

1 cup sifted

1 cup minus 2 tablespoons sifted all-purpose flour


1 clove, small

¹⁄8 teaspoon garlic powder

Gelatin, flavored

3-ounce package

1 tablespoon plain gelatin plus 2 cups fruit (prepared with water) juice

Herbs, fresh

1 tablespoon

1 teaspoon dried herbs


1 cup

1½ cups sugar plus ¼ cup liquid (use liquid called for in recipe)


1 medium

2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 to 2 teaspoons lemon rind

Lemon juice

1 teaspoon

½ teaspoon vinegar (for use as acid source in cooking only)

Milk, buttermilk

1 cup

1 cup yogurt or 1 cup sour milk (make sour milk by putting 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice in a measuring cup and adding milk up to 1-cup mark)

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Milk, whole

1 cup

½ cup evaporated milk plus ½ cup water

Milk, skim

1 cup

5 tablespoons nonfat dry milk and 1 cup water

Onion, fresh

1 small

1 tablespoon dry minced onion, rehydrated

Prepared mustard

1 tablespoon

1 teaspoon dried mustard

Parsley, dried

1 teaspoon

3 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley

Shortening, melted

1 cup

1 cup vegetable oil

Sour cream

1 cup

1 cup yogurt

Sugar, white

1 cup

1 cup corn syrup minus ¼ cup liquid in recipe; 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed; 1 cup honey (reduce liquid in recipe by ¼ cup); 1¾ cup powdered sugar, packed

Tomato juice

1 cup

½ cup tomato sauce plus ½ cup water

Tomato sauce

1 can (15 ounces)

1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste and 1 cup water


1 can (16 ounces)

3 fresh medium tomatoes, cut up


1 cup

1 cup buttermilk or sour milk (make sour milk by putting 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice in a measuring cup and adding milk to 1-cup mark)

Cooking Basics 

Recipe Success 1. Read recipe carefully. 2. Clear work area. 3. Set out ingredients and supplies. 4. Prepare and measure ingredients. 5. Make recipe. • • • • •

Use measuring cups to measure dry ingredients. Use clear measuring cups to measure liquid ingredients. Use measuring spoons to measure small amounts of ingredients. Place clear measuring cup on level surface and check at eye level to make sure correct amount is measured. Liquid should just touch measurement line. Spoon dry ingredients into measuring cup and level excess using the straight edge of a knife.

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NOTES ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ Cooking Basics 11

EFNEP-232 Stephanie Woodyard, Extension Specialist, Family Programs For more information, call your county Extension office. Look in your telephone directory under your county’s name to find the number. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work in agriculture and home economics, Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, and other related acts, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Alabama Cooperative Extension System (Alabama A&M University and Auburn University) offers educational programs, materials, and equal opportunity employment to all people without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, veteran status, or disability. 12M, New March 2007, EFNEP-232 © 2007 by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. All rights reserved.