Healthy Cooking Basics & Tips | Kentucky Nutrition Education Program

Eat Well

Cooking Basics & Tips

Cooking for your family is one of the healthiest things you can do for them (and for you!) Here is some basic cooking information that will help you get started.

Before you begin cooking:

  • Read the recipe carefully and plan each step.
  • Gather all the ingredients and utensils you will need.

As you cook:

  • Measure the right way! A recipe works much better if you use the exact amount needed.
  • Dry and liquid measuring cups are shaped differently. Use a dry measuring cup for dry ingredients and a liquid measuring cup for liquid ingredients.

Equivalent Weights and Measures

4 Tablespoons=1/4 cup=2 fluid ounces
8 Tablespoons=1/2 cup=4 fluid ounces
12 Tablespoons=3/4 cup=6 fluid ounces
16 Tablespoons=1 cup=8 fluid ounces
2 cups=1 pint=16 fluid ounces
4 cups=2 pints or 1 quart=32 fluid ounces
16 cups=4 quarts or 1 gallon=128 fluid ounces

Cooking Terms

Braise:To brown meat in a small amount of fat, then cook slowly in a covered container with a small amount of liquid.
Cream:To stir or mix ingredients until they are soft and creamy.
Marinate:To allow food to stand in an oil and acid mixture to add flavor or tenderize.
Poach:To cook food by slipping it into hot liquid.
Sauté:To cook in a small amount of fat.
Simmer:To cook in liquid below the boiling point.  A liquid is simmering when bubbles form slowly and break just below the surface.
Stir Fry:To cook and stir small pieces of food quickly in a small amount of oil until just tender.


c = cup
t or tsp. = teaspoon
T or Tbsp. or Tbs. = tablespoon
oz. = ounces
lb. = pound

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