Dry heat cooking allows for the development of complex flavors and aromas through either caramelization or the Maillard reactions. Techniques in this category include those in which heat is transferred to the food without using a water-based liquid.
(A Maillard reaction is the chemical reaction that occurs between amino acids which reduces sugar and gives browned food its distinctive flavor.)
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Sautéing, Pan-Frying and Deep Frying
When sautéing, a small amount of fat or oil is added to a pan and heated before adding the other ingredients.
While similar to sautéing, pan-frying uses slightly more fat and a slightly lower temperature.
Deep frying involves using enough fat or oil to submerge the food you are cooking. This technique is usually done between 325 F and 400 F.
Pro-tip: The key to Sautéing, Pan-frying, and Deep frying is to not crowd the pan. Too much food in the pan lowers the temperature of the oil and doesn't allow moisture to dissipate, causing the food to steam, boil or become greasy.
Roasting and Baking
Roasting and baking involve cooking an item in hot, dry air within an enclosed space where air can move around the food freely. Both of these cooking techniques typically happen inside a closed oven at temperatures of at least 300 F.
While roasting and baking use the same technique, they can mean slightly different things, depending on who you ask. "Baking" is usually refers to bread, pastries, and other bakery items. "Roasting" usually refers to meats, poultry, and vegetables. Howver, there are exceptions. for example, baking is used when referring to cooking fish and other seafood items.
Broiling and Grilling
Broiling and grilling rely on the heat conducted through the air in an open setting. These methods require that the item to be cooked is close to the heat source since open air is a relatively poor conductor of heat.
The distinguishing factor that separates broiling and grilling is that grilling involves heating the from below, while broiling involves heating food from above.