Roasting, grilling, braising, stewing, stir-frying: What's the difference?
We have often savored food that's either roasted, grilled, braised, stewed, or stir-fried. However, have you ever noticed the difference between these cooking techniques? Well, right from their process to the texture and flavor they yield, these culinary methods differ from each other on many grounds. Here's how roasting, grilling, braising, stewing, and stir-frying are poles apart from one another.
Roasting is a cooking technique in which dry heat is used to cook the food. It is carried out in an oven or inside an open fire. Browning the surface and enhancing caramelization, this technique is often used for vegetables, fish, and other meats. Baking and roasting use the same methods; however, the terms change when applied to different kinds of dishes.
Grilling is a process in which the offering is given radiant heat either from above, below, or from the sides. You may have noticed the dark lines and spots on grilled food, which is a result of cooking it on a rack placed over a heating source like a charcoal fire. Grilled dishes are robust, pleasantly charred with flavors, and feature a crust.
Braising is a combination cooking technique in which both dry and wet heat are offered to the food. In this method, you first make the food brown at a high temperature, followed by simmering it inside a pot filled with liquid. Although it is quite similar to stewing, this culinary process uses less liquid and is usually used for relatively larger cuts of meat.
A slow cooking method, stewing involves cutting the food into small pieces and cooking them in a liquid, stock, or sauce. The food is served with the cooking liquid used, which keeps its flavor intact. Offerings like seafood, pork, lamb, sausages, and poultry are often stewed. Stews may look similar to soups, but the former has lesser liquid and is thicker than the latter.
Stir-frying something is cooking it with very less oil and stirring and tossing it continuously in a wok. This method originated in China and is now a common technique used to cook food across cuisines. Additionally, this culinary practice cooks food quite fast and thoroughly, which is why one has to keep tossing it. Ideally, a carbon-steel wok is used for stir-frying food.