Cooking Time Guide: How Long Should You Cook Your Food?
In every culture, food is a central part of life. It not only nourishes the body but also plays an important role in traditions and celebrations. One of the most important aspects of cooking is time. Depending on the dish, the cooking time can be short or long, simple or complex.
Here is a general guide on how long it should take to cook your food, depending on the cooking method.
Assume all foods are prepared from scratch. These do not apply to pre-made/canned foods.
Boiling & Stewing Cooking Time
Slow-boiling water has the same temperature as fast-boiling water, and both do the same amount of work. So, conserve electricity or gas.
In general, stewing is the most economical way to cook cheaper and tougher cuts of meat and poultry. Using this method, food is cooked for a long time in sufficient water to cover it — slightly below boiling point.
|Boiling & Stewing Foods||Quantity||Approximate Time|
|Hominy — fine||–||1 hour|
|Oatmeal — rolled||–||30 min.|
|Oatmeal, coarse — steamed||–||3 hours|
|Rice — steamed||–||45 – 60 min.|
|Rice — boiled||–||15 – 20 min.|
|Wheat Granules||–||20 – 30 min.|
|Eggs — soft boiled||–||3 – 6 min.|
|Eggs — hard-boiled||–||15 – 20 min.|
|Fish, long — whole||per lb.||6 – 10 min.|
|Fish — cubical||per lb.||15 min.|
|–||3 – 5 min.|
|Beef — both corned and à la mode||–||3 – 5 hours|
|Soup stock||–||3 – 6 hours|
|Veal, Mutton||–||2 – 3 hours|
|Sweetbreads||–||20 – 30 min.|
|Sweet corn||–||5 – 8 min.|
|–||15 – 20 min.|
|–||20 – 30 min.|
Beets — young
|–||30 – 45 min.|
|–||30 – 45 min.|
|–||30 – 60 min.|
|Beans — String and Shelled||–||1 – 2 hours|
Baking Cooking Time — for Meat
Baking is not only a delicious way to cook, but it can also be a healthy cooking method. Baked goods are typically lower in fat than their fried or grilled counterparts, and they can be just as tasty. When baking, you can also control the amount of salt and sugar that goes into your food, making it a great option for those watching their intake of these ingredients.
|Baking Meat||Doneness||Quantity||Approximate Time|
|Beef, sirloin||rare||per lb.||8 – 10 min.|
|Beef, sirloin||well done||per lb.||12 – 15 min.|
|Beef, rolled rib or rump||–||per lb.||12 – 15 min.|
|Beef, long or short fillet||–||1||20 – 30 min.|
|Mutton||rare||per lb.||10 min.|
|Mutton||well done||per lb.||15 min.|
|Lamb||well done||per lb.||15 min.|
|Veal||well done||per lb.||20 min.|
|Pork||well done||per lb.||30 min.|
|Turkey||–||10 lbs.||3 hours|
|Chickens||–||3 – 4 lbs.||1 – 1½ hours|
|Goose||–||8 lbs.||2 hours|
|Tame duck||–||1||40 – 60 min.|
|Game duck||–||1||30 – 40 min.|
|Grouse, Pigeons||–||1||30 min.|
|Small birds||–||1||15 – 20 min.|
|Venison||–||per lb.||15 min.|
|Fish — long, thin fish||–||6 – 8 lbs.||1 hour|
|Fish — thick Halibut||–||4 – 6 lbs.||1 hour|
|Fish — small||–||1||20 – 30 min.|
|Braised meat||–||–||3 – 4 hours|
|Scalloped dishes||–||–||15 – 20 min.|
Baking Cooking Time — for Grains & Vegetables
|For baking grains & vegetables||Approximate Time|
|Rice and Tapioca||1 hour|
|Potatoes||30 – 45 min.|
|Baked beans||6 – 8 hours|
Baking Cooking Time — for Bread, Cakes & More
Baking baked goods are commonly thought of as unhealthy because it involves using excessive butter and sugar. However, you can adjust and create healthier versions of cakes and bread. For example, you can make a healthy version of banana bread by using whole wheat flour and adding nuts for extra protein. Or, you can make a cake using Greek yogurt instead of buttercream frosting.
|For baking bread, cakes & more||Approximate Time|
|Loaf bread||40 – 60 min.|
|10 – 20 min.|
|Gingerbread||20 – 30 min.|
|Sponge-cake||45 – 60 min.|
|Plain cake||30 – 40 min.|
|Cookies||10 – 15 min.|
|Bread pudding||1 hour|
|Steamed brown-bread||3 hours|
|Steamed puddings||1 – 3 hours|
|Pie-crust||about 30 min.|
Broiling & Grilling Cooking Time
It is important in broiling and grilling to sear the surface quickly to retain the rich juices, then turn the food constantly until it is richly browned. When pan-broiling, you cook the food in an oiled, hissing-hot cast-iron skillet, turning frequently and draining fat as it dries.
Pan-broiling is virtually the same as sautéing, except the fat remains in the skillet. Food is browned on one side and then turned and browned on the other side in a small amount of fat.
|Steak||1 inch thick||4 min.|
|Steak||1 and a half-inch thick||6 min.|
|Fish||Small & thin||5 – 8 min.|
|Fish||Thick||12 – 15 min.|
|Chops broiled in paper||–||8 – 10 min.|
|–||3 – 8 min.|
Frying Cooking Time
Frying can sometimes be used to describe sautéing, but usually refers to cooking in deep, hot fat or oil. It certainly isn’t the healthiest means of cooking and the best you can do is to wipe off the grease and limit the use of oil/fat. It is best to keep meats or fish in a warm room for a short time before frying, then wipe them dry. Once the food has finished frying, do not let the food soak in the grease. It should be carefully removed from the fat and drained on brown paper or paper towels.
|For frying||Approximate Time|
|2 – 5 min.|
|Breaded Chops, |
|5 – 8 min.|
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