Each to their own...

We can’t make a straightforward comparison between different food cooking methods because no one technique is preferable to another. Each one, in fact, can be employed correctly according to the recipe, the time we have available, and circumstances. In the table below we have summarised the main cooking techniques and a series of pointers to help you get the best out of each method.

Cooking technique Temperatures reached Considerations

Boiling

100°C
120°C in a pressure cooker
Makes it possible to minimise the addition of fats, favouring the use of herbs and spices. Use as little water as possible to avoid the excessive loss of vitamins and minerals.

Steaming

Less than 100°C Reduced loss of nutrients, organoleptic qualities of foods preserved.
No cooking fats required.

Braising and stewing

Less than 100°C The long cooking times required lead to a significant loss of vitamins and minerals which, however, collect in the cooking liquid. It is possible to limit the addition of cooking fats by using non-stick pans.

Traditional oven cooking

150 - 240°C There is a very limited loss of nutrients, particularly if the oven is pre-heated. A few little extra additions (oven-proof paper, non-stick baking tins) can help to reduce the need for cooking fats.

Frying

170/180°C Fry in a sufficient amount of hot oil and always keep the oil at a constant temperature. Always use extra virgin olive oil and avoid reusing oil that has already been used for cooking.

Grilling/griddling - barbecuing

Over 200°C Prevent foods from coming into direct contact with the flame and do not consume burnt parts. Opt for non-stick griddle pans which allow you to control the temperature. Do not salt food before cooking it.

Microwave ovens

- Reduces cooking times.
Very limited loss of nutrients.
Little cooking fat required.
Not possible to cook large pieces of food.


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