A Comprehensive Glossary of Culinary Terms – I

A Comprehensive Glossary of Culinary Terms – I

Think you know every culinary term used in your kitchen? Get ready to think again.

Reading a recipe and aren’t sure about some of the ingredients, terms, and recipe techniques included?

Recipes can sometimes be a minefield of terms, jargon and foreign words. Even for the most gifted Chefs, there are terms in a recipe that make them stop and say “huh?”.

Don’t worry, we have compiled an extensive list of common culinary terms to help you out!

Some of the most common are defined here. Take a look at our list to get cooking.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z



To drizzle or spread baked goods to decorate with a thin frosting.


The technique of making shallow incisions into meats or fish with a sharp knife for the purpose of either tenderisation or to insert herbs/spices into the flesh.

Indirect Grilling

Indirect grilling is a barbecue slowly cooking technique in which the food is placed to the side of the heat source instead of directly over the flame as is more common. This can be achieved by igniting only some burners on a gas barbecue or by piling coals to one side of a charcoal pit. A drip tray is placed below the food to prevent fat from the food igniting and generating a direct flame. Indirect grilling is designed to cook larger (e.g. pork shoulders, whole chicken) or tougher foods (e.g. brisket, ribs) that would burn if cooked using a direct flame. This method of cooking generates a more moderate temperature (about 135- 175°C/275-350°F) and allows for an easier introduction of wood smoke for flavouring.

Infuse (or Infusion)

To allow the flavour of an ingredient to soak into a liquid until the liquid takes on the flavour of the ingredient. Teas are infusions. Milk or cream can also be infused with flavour before being used in custards or sauces.


The technique of inserting thin strips of pork fat called “lardons” into lean cuts of meat using a larding needle. Similar to larding, with interlarding, the fat is left protruding from the surface of the meat whereas larding is achieved by submersing the fat wholly in the flesh.


Food such as meat, poultry, seafood, or vegetables, wrapped around a filling such as cheese, cured meats, or nuts.


The process of exposing food to radiation, designed to eliminate disease-causing germs from foods.

Isinglass (or Fish glue)

A pure, transparent form of gelatin, obtained from the air bladders of certain fish, used in the production of glue and jellies. It is a form of collagen used mainly for the clarification or fining of beer. It can also be cooked into a paste for specialized glueing purposes.


A term used in cooking to describe either the inedible parts of an animal such as hair or skin.

Did we leave any out? What would you add to this list of culinary terms? Comment below!
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