This question pertains to food preparation methods. There are a number of web sites that have a culinary glossary wherein cooking terminology is discussed at length. There is no single resource that lists just those terms that apply directly to ingredients.

What is the official definition for preparatory culinary actions that are found in ingredient lists?

To clarify... In recipe books, ingredients are itemized (usually) independently from the directions. The itemization often contains a preparatory adjective (and adverb). For example, in the phrase "3 apples, peeled", the word peeled indicates some action to be performed on the ingredient.

No single resource provides a glossary that defines just these preparatory actions. A definition for the word "mix" is not needed because "3 apples, mixed" would never appear in an ingredients list--the word "mix" is used in directions.

closed as too broad by Cindy, rumtscho Dec 22 '14 at 10:52

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 1
    I'm a little confused what you're trying to find out here. You seem to be saying that the web sites aren't good because they have lots of stuff, not just things specifically about ingredient preparation? So all you want is for someone to filter a glossary down to the parts you care about? (That doesn't exactly seem like a real question...) Is the actual problem that they're not completely consistent, and you're looking for some kind of "official" definition? – Cascabel Sep 25 '14 at 23:07
  • An official definition would be exquisite. The specificity of ingredient lists is because a glossary of all culinary actions would be ginormous. – Dave Jarvis Sep 26 '14 at 1:25
  • I didn't mean there were official definitions. If you have a specific term in mind, we can probably try to figure out what's commonly meant by it (possibly depending on locale). As for the rest... are you just trying to get us to provide some kind of general reference resource here, to save you from having to look them up in one of many existing glossaries? Or is there something you're actually having trouble finding? – Cascabel Sep 26 '14 at 3:05
  • The resources which list such definitions are known as textbooks, they explain what methods there are in cooking and how they are executed. I agree with the close vote, making such a post here would be too long and not especially helpful. – rumtscho Dec 22 '14 at 10:52

Preparatory Ingredient Adjectives

Adjectives are split into their own categories. Items that are missing information are marked as such. All items have a definition and an example of how they would appear within an ingredient list, not directions.


  • Beat - Stir vigorously in a circular motion (3 eggs, beaten).
  • Blend - ? (3 cups blueberries, blended).
  • Sift - Force through a mesh (3 cups flour, sifted).
  • Whip - Beat vigorously to increasing the volume with air (3 cups cream, whipped).


Fragmentation involves splitting food into smaller chunks.

Using Blades

  • Brunoise - Julienned, turned a quarter, and diced to produce cubes ⅛-inch in isze (3 carrots, brunoise).
  • Chop - Quick, heavy blows of a knife (3 carrots, chopped).
  • Core - Remove the insides of a fruit (3 apples, cored).
  • Cube - Cut into half-inch cubes; or tenderize with a mallet that imprints cube shapes (3 potatoes, cubed).
  • Dice - Cut into cubes about ⅛ to ¼ inch wide (3 celery stalks, diced).
  • Grate - Reduce to shreds, to powder, or to fine fragments (3 cups cheese, grated).
  • Grind - ? (1 tsp pepper, ground).
  • Halve - Cut into two parts (3 vanilla beans, halved).
  • Julienne - Cut into long thin strips (3 cucubmers, Julienned).
  • Mince - Cut or chop food into very fine pieces (3 cloves garlic, minced).
  • Shred - Cut food into thin strands (3 cups carrots, shredded).
  • Slice - ? (?, sliced).

Using Pressure

  • Mash - Crush until a smooth textured mixture (3 potatoes, mashed).
  • Pull - ? (?, pulled)
  • Pulverize -
  • Purée - Make creamy smooth using a food processor, blender, or sieve (3 apples, puréed).


Extraction involves taking an action to obtain the edible parts.

  • Hull - Remove the outer covering (3 corn cobs, hulled).
  • Juice - ? (3 lemons, juiced).
  • Pare - Remove skin or outer layer using a knife (3 pears, pared).
  • Peel - Remove skin or outer layer (3 zucchinis, peeled).
  • Pit - Remove a large, usually hard, seed (3 dates, pitted).
  • Press -
  • Shell - Remove the natural, outer covering (3 crabs, shelled).
  • Shuck - Remove the natural, outer covering (3 oysters, shucked).
  • Squeeze - Remove juice by applying pressure (3 oranges, freshly squeezed).


  • Clean - ? (?, cleaned)
  • Debone - Separate flesh from the bone of meats (6 oz. salmon, deboned).
  • De-vein - ? (3 shrimp, de-veined).
  • Pluck - Remove feathers from a bird (3 ducks, plucked).
  • Rub -


  • Barbeque - ? (?, barbequed)
  • Boil - Heat a liquid until bubbles break on its surface (3 cups boiling water).
  • Blanch -
  • Broil - ? (?, broiled)
  • Confit -
  • Cook - ? (?, cooked)
  • Fry - ? (?, fried)
  • Grill - ? (?, grilled)
  • Melt - Heat until it liquefies (3 cups melted butter).
  • Roast - ? (?, roasted)
  • Sauté - Heat quickly in oil over heat (3 chopped onions, sautéed).
  • Scald - Heat milk nearly to boiling (3 cups milk, scalded).
  • Score - Shallow cuts into an item that do not fragment it into multiple pieces (6 oz. ham, scored).
  • Simmer - ? (?, simmered)
  • Steamed -
  • Toast - Heat to remove moisture (3 slices bread, lightly toasted).


  • Brine -
  • Cure - ? (?, cured)
  • Dry -
  • Macerate -
  • Marinate -
  • Pack - Compress to remove excess air (3 tbsp brown sugar, packed).
  • Pickle -
  • Rub - ? (?, rubbed)
  • Shock -
  • Season -
  • Smoke -
  • Soak -

Preparatory Ingredient Adjective Adverbs

  • Coarsely
  • Finely
  • Freshly
  • Lightly
  • Quickly
  • Roughly


See also this reference.

  • 1
    This might be easier to manage if you broke it into categories .. eg, those that involved removing outer coatings, and then differentiate between shucking / shelling / peeling / paring / etc. Other categories from your list are cutting, crushing, cooking, mixing, separating/cleaning. You'd then also see terms you were mising (eg, riced, roasted, blend, separate, julienne, ground, pull, simmer, fry, etc.) ... but then we get into issues like broil vs. grill – Joe Sep 25 '14 at 23:59

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