The Best and Worst Cooking Methods

When it comes to cutting calories and fat in cooking methods, culinary cleverness is essential. Broiling is not the only way to avoid fat. Cooking method also influences fat content significantly. Let’s look at different methods and how best to use them:

Baking or Roasting:
Cover the pan or wrap the food in foil to maximize moistness. Marinate with low-fat broth mixed with fruit or tomato juice, or use the juice alone. With the right coating, baking can mimic “deep-fried” foods with far less fat. If roasting, set the meat on a rack so the fat can drain away.

A calorie-saving method, but because of the loss of nutrients, not a highly recommended method. Steaming is better. However, by boiling potatoes in their skins or using boilable plastic bags, you can avoid nutrient loss.

This is an easy, tasty alternative to boiling that minimizes nutrient loss. Flavoring the poaching liquid with a little wine, broth and/or herbs adds a lot of flavor! Poaching works very well with fish and chicken; keeps food moist without the use of fat.

By using a steaming basket (wire or bamboo) you can have moist, tender food with little or no nutrient loss. No addition of fat is necessary.

This method generally uses fat. However, if you use nonstick cookware or non stick sprays and broth to saute in, you can obtain delightful results. Works especially well with thinly cut meats and vegetables.

Stir Frying:
Basically the same rules apply as for sauteing. Use of a nonstick type wok and broth makes this an excellent low-fat method.

Don’t add fat during cooking. The slow cooking allows meat to give off its fat. You can then chill the food and skim the fat off. The same methods apply for pressure cooking and slow cookers.

Limit oil. Using wine, fruit juice concentrate or broth as a marinade can save calories. Also trim all fat or skin before cooking, and use a rack that allows fat to drain away to reduce fat content.

Deep Frying:
There is no way to significantly decrease the amount of fat from this method. Skip it and look for other methods that give similar results with much less fat!

Pan Frying:
This method also uses unwanted fat. But you can minimize the amount by using nonstick cookware and/ or spray coatings.