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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.


[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.

References in periodicals archive ?
Although the patriotic language vanished, the notion that the health of the family was dependent on a mother's cooking skills dominated postwar discourse about cooking.
Thicken slow-cooker dishes by mixing Gold Medal Wondra quick-mixing flour (it will not clump) with liquids prior to cooking.
55) In the recipes and rhetoric of postwar cookbooks, we can see how cooking became a cultural battleground and how American anxieties about gender roles fermented in the kitchen.
Or pierce and cook in a microwave oven with skins on, on a plate -with no water -then peel after cooking.
Cook's Illustrated) is really about home cooking (ultimate versions of most recipes).
In the book, Ray includes a master list of the 70 items she always has on hand for her mixed bag of cooking styles, ranging from Mediterranean to Mexican to Asian to American.
area, considers himself a unique hybrid, melding traditional Spanish cooking and dishes with the bounty of local ingredients in this country.
If I have a choice, I use fresh ingredients,'' says Compestine, ``but Maggi products are really suited to cooking Chinese food at home without spending hours in the kitchen.
Or pierce and cook in a microwave oven with skins on, on a plate - with no water - then peel after cooking.