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The preparation of comestibles by heating. In meats, overcooking can result in the production of carcinogenic polycyclic amines; undercooking carries the risk of parasitic (e.g., Taenia solium, T saginatus) or bacterial (e.g., Escherichia coli 0157:H7, Salmonella spp) infections.
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.


[L. coquere, to cook]
The process of heating foods to prepare them for eating. Cooking makes most foods more palatable and easier to chew, improves their digestibility (and sometimes their nutrient bioavailability), and destroys or inactivates harmful organisms, or toxins that may be present. Cooking releases the aromatic substances and extractives that contribute odors and taste to foods. These odors help to stimulate the appetite.


Not all toxic substances are inactivated by heat. Most microorganisms and parasites are destroyed in the ordinary process of cooking when the food is heated to internal temperatures of 160°F to 175°F. Pork must be cooked completely throughout to kill the encysted larvae of Trichinella.


Protein: Soluble proteins become coagulated. Soluble substances: These, including heat-labile vitamins, are often inactivated by boiling, and even mineral substances and starches, although insoluble to a certain extent, may be altered in this process. Starch: The starch granules swell and are changed from insoluble (raw) starch to soluble starch capable of being converted into sugar during digestion and of being assimilated in the system.

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References in periodicals archive ?
The investigation of the Chicago grocery showed that processed meats were being stored at improper temperatures and that potential sources of cross-contamination were not controlled (i.e., cutting boards and utensils were inadequately sanitized, and the same scale was used for raw meats as well as cooked pork).
It cooked and resold 18,400 pounds to unsuspecting consumers, who ate the fecally contaminated product in their prepackaged foods.
To successfully reheat cooked white or brown rice, place it in a container that allows at least 2-3 inches of extra room.
Always use, where possible, separate utensils for raw and cooked meat
A small serving of our Best Bites--four ounces (uncooked), three ounces (cooked), or five ounces if the (cooked) meat comes with sauce or gravy--has no more than three grams of saturated fat and 480 milligrams of sodium.
Add ingredients and simmer until vegetables are tender and rice is cooked.
* Texture not as crisp as fresh; better as a cooked dish rather than in a salad.
Meanwhile, an uncharred steak that had been cooked longer at a lower temperature might be heavily laced with the carcinogens.
a) keep the chicken refrigerated until just before cooking b) remove the skin after the chicken is cooked c) remove the skin before the chicken is cooked d) before broiling or grilling the chicken, pre-cook it in a microwave for a few minutes and pour off the Juices e) any of the above
Place circles over small hemisphere molds, brush with egg wash and place in oven until cooked through and golden brown.
1 cup of cooked pasta with 1/4 cup marinara sauce, 1/3 cup carrot sticks, 1 cup cooked broccoli (frozen or fresh), 1 whole wheat roll (Men eat 2 rolls with 2 teaspoons vegan margarine.), and a juice pop made with 1 cup frozen grape juice
We cooked Eucalyptus grandis chips at 170[degrees]C and 160[degrees]C to kappa number 16-17 using high/low residual alkali (14-18 and 3-4 g/L).