A Comprehensive Glossary of Culinary Terms – J

A Comprehensive Glossary of Culinary Terms – J

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


Jacquarding (or Needling)

The mechanical process of poking holes into the muscle of meat in order to tenderize it, also known as needling. As opposed to tenderizing it “chemically” with a marinade. Commercially, Jacquarding is done with machines called “Jacardi.”

Jamaican Jerk

A Caribbean cooking technique, also, the seasoning blend used. Primarily used in grilled preparations such as pork or chicken, the seasoning blend usually consists of ground chillies, thyme, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice (called “pimento” in Jamaica), cloves, garlic, scallions/onions, brown sugar, ginger, salt and Scotch bonnet peppers. Modern recipes also apply jerk spice mixes to fish, shrimp, shellfish, beef, sausage, lamb, vegetables, and tofu. The seasonings are either dry-rubbed into the meat or mixed with a liquid to create a wet marinade with a very hot spice mixture called Jamaican jerk spice. Jerk is a style of cooking native to Jamaica.


The French word for “ham.”

Jambon Cru

French for “raw ham”.


A French term for the knuckle end of a pork leg or ham. It’s usually braised or poached, eaten fresh, smoked, or salted. Also used in reference to preparation of stuffed chicken leg because of its similar shape. It is traditionally served with sauerkraut or used in soups.


A cooking vessel with deep sides handles on each end, and a lid, having the same shape as a ham. Used for cooking a whole leg or shoulder of pork.

Jelly Roll (or Swiss roll or Cream roll)

Dessert made by spreading a filling of whipped cream, jam, or icing on a sponge cake and rolling it up into a log shape. When other foods are shaped “jelly-roll-style”, it refers to rolling them into a log shape with fillings inside.

Jelly Roll Pan

A rimmed baking sheet used most often to bake thin cakes. Once cooled, these cakes often are rolled around fillings or cut in strips and stacked. Most jelly roll pans are 151⁄2 x 101⁄2 x 1 in., although some are slightly smaller and others slightly larger. Jelly roll pans are also referred to as half sheet pans, although those are slightly larger, 163⁄4 x 113⁄4 in.


An oversized wine bottle holding about three litres (4/5 of a gallon).


To cut meat and poultry into large pieces at the joints using a very sharp knife.


The natural liquid extracted from fruits, vegetables, meats, and poultry. Also refers to the process of extracting juice from foods. It can also refer to liquids that are flavoured with these or other biological food sources such as meat and seafood.


To cut vegetables, fruits, or cheeses into even slices, then into long, thin strips, where the shape resembles matchsticks. Food is cut with a knife or mandoline strips.

Juniper berry

The female seed cone produced by the various species of junipers. is not a true berry but a cone with unusually fleshy and merged scales, which give it a berry-like appearance. The cones are used as a spice, particularly in European cuisine, and also give gin its distinctive flavour. Add to marinades and sauces for game and lamb.


A French word loosely translated into “juice”, but has a more specific meaning than the translation. In French cookery, it is primarily a sauce made by diluting the pan juices of a roast with liquid then boiling it in the roasting pan until all of the sediment has absorbed into the stock. Also used to describe thickened or clear brown stock, especially veal.

Jus Lie

Meat juice that has been lightly thickened with either arrowroot or cornstarch.

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