Cooking Terms and Tools

Understanding these terms will make following recipes and experimenting with beef cooking more enjoyable and successful.



Quickly brown the surface of meat at a high temperature to seal in juices and enhance flavor.


Soak meat in a flavorful liquid mixture (marinade) to add flavor and tenderness. Marinating is often done before grilling, roasting, or braising.


Cook meat slowly in a covered pot with a small amount of liquid. This method is great for tougher cuts and results in tender, flavorful meat.


Cook food under direct heat in an oven or broiler. It's similar to grilling but uses overhead heat.


Cook meat or vegetables in an oven, typically at a high temperature. Roasting can produce a flavorful crust on the outside while keeping the inside moist.


Cook food on an open grid over an open flame or hot coals. Grilling imparts a smoky flavor and attractive grill marks.


Cook meat in a hot pan with oil or fat, browning it on both sides. This is often done before finishing the cooking process in the oven.


Allow cooked meat to rest before slicing or serving. This allows juices to redistribute, resulting in a juicier final product.


Add liquid (usually broth or wine) to a hot pan to dissolve and incorporate flavorful bits stuck to the bottom after searing or sautéing.


Simmer a liquid to evaporate water, concentrating flavors and thickening the sauce or broth.


Quickly cook food in a small amount of fat over medium-high heat. This method is often used for vegetables or thinly sliced meats.


Cut food into thin, matchstick-like strips. This term is commonly used for vegetables.

Resting Time

Allow meat to rest after cooking to allow juices to redistribute. The length of resting time depends on the size and type of meat.


Cook sugars in food until they turn brown, enhancing sweetness and creating a rich flavor.

Medium-Rare, Medium, Well-Done

Terms indicating the level of doneness for meat. Medium-rare is cooked to about 130-135°F (54-57°C), medium to 140-145°F (60-63°C), and well-done to 160°F (71°C) or higher.


As you gain more experience, you may discover additional tools that suit your cooking style. Starting with these basics will set you up for success in the kitchen.

Chef's Knife

A high-quality, sharp chef's knife is a versatile tool for chopping, slicing, and dicing. It's a must-have for any kitchen.

Cutting Board

Choose a sturdy cutting board made of wood or plastic. It provides a safe and stable surface for chopping ingredients.

Pots and Pans

Start with a medium-sized saucepan and a skillet. These are basic cookware essentials for boiling, sautéing, and simmering.

Baking Sheet

A baking sheet is useful for roasting vegetables, baking cookies, or cooking sheet pan meals.

Mixing Bowls

Have a set of mixing bowls in various sizes for mixing, whisking, and preparing ingredients.

Measuring Cups and Spoons

Accurate measurements are crucial in cooking. Get a set of measuring cups and spoons for both dry and liquid ingredients.


Tongs are versatile for flipping, tossing, and serving. Look for a pair with a non-slip grip.


A spatula is handy for flipping pancakes, burgers, or omelets. Choose one with a heat-resistant head.

Wooden Spoon

Wooden spoons are useful for stirring, mixing, and sautéing. They are gentle on cookware and won't scratch surfaces.

Can Opener

A manual or electric can opener is essential for opening canned goods.


A colander is handy for draining pasta, rinsing vegetables, or washing fruits.


A vegetable peeler makes it easy to peel potatoes, carrots, and other vegetables.


A box grater or handheld grater is useful for grating cheese, vegetables, or citrus zest.

Kitchen Thermometer

A kitchen thermometer or Meat Thermometer  ensures accurate cooking temperatures.


A whisk is essential for beating eggs, mixing batters, and incorporating air into sauces.

Meat Mallet

A meat mallet helps tenderize meats and poultry, especially for thin cuts.

Canister Set

Keep frequently used dry ingredients like flour, sugar, and rice organized with a set of canisters.

Kitchen Shears

Kitchen shears are handy for cutting herbs, opening packaging

Oven Mitts

Protect your hands from hot surfaces with oven mitts or pot holders.

Kitchen Timer

A timer ensures precise cooking times and helps prevent overcooking.