Tips & Techniques > What are Moist- & Dry-Heat Cooking Methods?

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There are many different methods in which to cook foods. These methods can be broken down into two categories: moist-heat cooking and dry-heat cooking.

Moist-heat cooking methods use water, liquid or steam to transfer heat to food. Common moist-heat cooking methods include: poaching, simmering, boiling, braising, stewing, pot roasting, steaming and en papillote.

Dry-heat cooking methods involve the circulation of hot air or direct contact to fat to transfer heat. Most often, this promotes the caramelization of surface sugars in foods. Common dry-heat cooking methods include: pan frying, searing, roasting, sauteing, sweating, stir-frying, shallow- and deep-frying, grilling, broiling, baking and rotisserie cooking.