cooking verbs

The main cooking verbs in English

If you’re here, you probably like to cook, try new recipes, and search for exotic dishes on the internet to surprise your family or friends with.

Or not. Maybe eating is what motivates you and you’d prefer to leave the experts with the onions that make you cry and the risk of burning themselves with oil when frying eggs.

It’s okay, we don’t all have the same talents or interests. 

Anyway, today we want you to learn the main verbs related to cooking in English so that you can have a “taste” of learning English with ABA English.

Are you ready to enjoy a delicious and simple vocabulary recipe full of practical examples? Mmmm, our mouths are already watering!



On TV, chefs cut onions, radishes, and tomatoes with amazing dexterity. Be careful not to injure yourself with the blade of the knife. If you do so, you can use the same verb to describe what you’ve done.


Edna cut the onions into small pieces.

I cut myself with the knife and it hurts a lot.



Have you heard of chef Gordon Ramsay? You’ve probably seen him on the reality show Hell’s Kitchen, scolding the contestants and giving them a hard time.

The fact is that cooking in a restaurant can be quite stressful. At the same time, though, it can be a satisfying job when the guests are pleased.

Cook is used for the action of making food, but it’s also the person who does the cooking. 

Gordon Ramsay is a great cook; he is one of the greatest chefs in the world.

I love cooking but I hate doing the dishes. 



Chop means to cut into small pieces. If you find it in a recipe, this word suggests that you cut things into equal-sized bits, like the vegetables or meat for a goulash.

Chop implies a powerful, quick movement with a large tool. You can also use it to describe cutting a piece of wood with an axe.

Cut is a more general expression. You can use it when you are using scissors or a razor.

Please chop the meat in small portions.

If you’re chopping an onion, make sure to peel it first.



Specialists say that boiled or “steamed” food is much healthier. That’s why it’s often recommended to eat this kind of food when you want to lose weight. 

Use the word steam when you’re talking about cooking something with water vapour.

I have been steaming my vegetables lately. I want to lose some weight.

Steamed food retains its minerals and vitamins.



Pastries are one of the most delicious and tempting creations that human beings have ever invented. Which is your favourite?

Bake means cooking something in the oven.

She baked a wonderful cake for Mike’s birthday.

Baking powder is used to increase the volume.



Hamburgers, steaks, kebabs, sausages, the smell of smoke and live coals… Does that sound familiar? What a treat it is to have a BBQ with your friends! Grilling is one of the best cooking techniques, there’s no doubt about it.

Grill means cooking on a wire grid over a flame. Roast is another term used for cooking using flames, but it’s usually a much slower process.

Nowadays, it has become fashionable to use the expression roast when a person is in the hot seat and everyone makes fun of them, with the victim’s prior permission, of course.

I’d like a grilled burger with fries, please.

Roast chicken is one of my favourite dishes.



If you are not an expert in the kitchen, salads are an excellent option since they’re healthy and easy to prepare. 

To make them, you need to use the verb mix. Remember that the more colours your salad has, the greater variety of nutrients you’ll receive.

You can also use mix when using an electronic device such as a whisk, blender, or mixer.

Mix all the ingredients and then add some olive oil.



Frying is the most common way to prepare food. All you have to do is put some oil in the pan, turn on the stove, and cook whatever you like: some eggs, a piece of meat, or sauté some vegetables.

In everyday language, the expression brain fried is often used when a person is very stressed, overworked, or worried, which keeps them from thinking clearly.

Fried Green Tomatoes is a famous film from the ‘90s.

My mom was frying some eggs with bacon.


Today you’ve learned the vocabulary needed to understand the next recipe you find in English or to share a recipe with an English-speaking friend. 

Enjoy preparing delicious recipes and continue learning more food vocabulary so that you can express yourself like a true international chef. Don’t forget that in the ABA English app, you’ll find more content related to cooking in English. Enjoy!

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