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Roasting And Grilling

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Roasting is a method of cooking food:

1.       In an open pot over a glowing fire, e.g. roasted ground nuts.
2.       On a grid over smokeless cinders or charcoal, e.g. roasted plantains.
3.       In hot ash or sand, e.g. roasted sweet potatoes or cassava.
4.       In a little oil in a pot (pot roasting, e.g.  Chicken, whole pieces of meat.
Grilling is a method of cooking under, in front of or over an open smokeless fire. It may also be done by means of heat from an electric element or gas burner directed down on to the food. It is a quick method of cooking. Grilling is mostly used for meat and fish.

General Rules For Roasting And Grilling 


1.       Only the best quality foods should be used.
2.       Use only tender cuts of meat and small pieces of fish cut meat into thin pieces to ensure through cooking.
3.       Use a hot glowing, smokeless fire to brown the food quickly.
4.       Heat the grid before using; this helps to brown the food quickly.
5.       Grease wet foods before placing on the grid, e.g. fish and meat. This prevents them from sticking and also from drying up .
6.       Turn food repeatedly to prevent over-cooking  on one side.
7.       See that the pot or sand used for roasting is clean.
8.       Use a wooden spoon for stirring groundnuts in a pot, so as to ensure even roasting.  A handful of clean sand put in the pot when roasting groundnuts helps to give good results.
9.       Food roasted in sand or ash should not be peeled before roasting. The skin acts as a protective covering.

Baking

Baking is method of cooking by heat in an enclosed space; the enclosed air is heated and the hot air cooks the food.
                Usually an oven is use for  baking. In some parts of west African people use large flat – bottomed iron pots, placed over  a slow fire. Small pieces of lighted firewood are placed on the top of the cover of the pot. This is to brown the top of the food. This method is suitable for baking cakes. It is a slow method and it wastes much time.

General rules for baking

1.       Heat the oven to the correct temperature before putting in the food. Test with pieces of paper if there is no thermostatic control.
2.       Plan to do a lot of baking in one day and save fuel.
3.       Avoid crowding the oven, as this prevents that hot air from circulating.
4.       Avoid  baking food that gives off moisture (e.g. meat) with foods that should be crisp when baked (e.g. pastry). The moisture soften the pastry and spoils the good result.
5.       Bake together foods which takes about the same length of time to avoid frequent opening of the oven, as this reduces the temperature in the oven.
6.       Avoid banging the oven door, t prevent an inrush of cold air.
Meat and poultry can be cooked in an oven if one is available. This method of cooking is called oven roasting.

Pressure cooking

Pressure cooking is rapidly gaining favour in the average home. The speed with which the food cooks has several advantages:

1.       The food cooks so quickly that more of the valuable nutrients are retained than by any other method of cooking.
2.       Cooking time is saved considerably.
3.       Led fuel is used because after  the cooker has been heated up to cooking pressure the heat is reduced for further cooking.
Foods that are pressure cooked are cooked in steam under pressure. The temperature is therefore above the boiling points of water. The pressure is usually 15 Ib per square inch higher than atmospheric pressure.

                Pressure cookers are heavy aluminum pans having tight-fitting lids which prevents the steam from escaping until a certain pressure has been reached. The food cooks quickly in the super-heated steam. There is very little water.

                There are several brands of pressure cookers and complete instructions for use are supplied by each manufacturer. Each makes has its distinct features and for best results the instructions should  be studied carefully before using the pressure cooker.
                Some people think that these cookers are a bit dangerous, but in reality they are no more dangerous than any cooking utensil used to prepare boiling or hot food, provided you follow the instructions for use.

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