Have you transitioned from the food service industry into the classroom, or did you know you wanted to be a teacher? No matter your circumstances, we are always looking for new ways to teach concepts like cooking methods. Teaching high school students to cook can be a lot of fun, but it can be challenging if you don’t want to cook every day of the school week! Teaching cooking methods is one of those topics that needs to be done and can be fun if you have the right tools.
10 Culinary Arts Cooking Methods Lesson Plan Ideas
These lessons include everything you need. PowerPoint presentations, guided notes, student questions, culinary projects and activities, and other educational resources will keep your students engaged.
Cooking Methods Activities
1- Basic Cooking Methods Lesson Plan– Setting the foundation with this cooking methods lesson plan will help you and your students throughout the semester. Students will understand the foundations of cooking techniques used in the food industry. This lesson starts with the basics and includes a slideshow, guided notes, and student questions. It also includes a cooking methods WebQuest that students can complete independently for review! Taking about 2- 40 minute class periods to complete, it’s a great for middle and high school students.
2- Cooking Methods Interactive Notebook– an interactive way to review essential culinary techniques. Students can complete the cooking method interactive notebook using either the printable or the Google Classroom version. This is a great way to either prepare for an assessment. It is also a great way to review the notes that were taken about cooking methods. Mixing it up by giving students different types of activities can help with different types of learners.They can work independently on an assignment while you circle around the room or get some grading done!
In this activity, students match cooking vocabulary and show their understanding of moist heat, dry heat, and combination. They categorize different types of cooking methods and more.
3- Food Lab Challenges– It would not be a culinary arts class without cooking! A Potato Project is a great way to tie cooking methods with kitchen practice! Give students a potato or 2 and let them decide which cooking method they will use. Watch them cook up something delicious. This culinary arts activity includes a potato information reading, a brainstorming sheet, recipes, and a rubric.
Everything you need for your prostart or family consumer science class. This is an excellent lesson for middle school as it can be a simple way to teach cooking basics. We have students choose mashed potatoes, latkes, cheesy baked potatoes, and more. You can make it even more exciting and set it up as a competition. Invite some taste testers and let them decide on the best potato dish. Competitive events are always my students’ favorite labs of the school year. Check out our blog post about the Gourmet Ramen Recipe Challenge.
4- Incorporate Tasting Sessions- Allow students to taste and evaluate different ingredients before and after cooking. This helps them understand how cooking methods can transform flavors and textures. It allows students to give and receive feedback on their cooking. This constructive criticism helps them learn what worked well and what could improve their preparation. It also allows students to articulate their thoughts and feelings about the food. They learn to use culinary terms to describe flavors, aromas, textures, and presentations.
5- Cooking Terms Posters– Hang cooking methods terms around your classroom and have students use them as a reminder when they are preparing food! This cooking methods PDF is one of our free resources. It will help your room look great, and your students learn. The full version includes a matching activity for students to review cooking vocabulary. As you move through the school year, you can quickly point to the posters as a review for your students as they do cooking labs. (you may need to tape the answers or take down the posters during an assessment!)
Download this free Cooking Terms BINGO to review basic cooking terms and cooking methods!
6- An Eggs Food Lab– eggs are also a great food for teaching about cooking methods. This can be a great place to start and doesn’t require much extra cost. Have students read about ways to cook eggs and assign groups different egg dishes using different cooking methods. You can also have them choose a cooking method of their choice. We have a lesson plan for that in our year-long course bundle, or you can purchase it separately. It also includes recipes and a rubric to help you set up the lab.
7- Recipe Analysis– have students analyze different recipes and highlight the cooking method. Model how to break down recipes into individual steps and discuss the cooking methods involved beforehand. Additionally, encourage students to think critically about why each step is essential. A WebQuest would also be a fun way to try this and have students highlight the cooking method in each recipe you link.
8- Videos and Live Demonstrations– It is tricky to find a good video on YouTube that covers the basic cooking methods. However, this one goes over every way to cook an egg, which may be redundant, but it is a good review of cooking methods for an aspiring young chef! There is also Every Way to Cook a Potato, which would go great with the Potato Project! If you have time to make a WebQuest with questions or an Edpuzzle for these videos do it! Students can move through the questions independently.
Obviously, you could cook and demonstrate yourself, making it more memorable. However, you may not be able to demonstrate every cooking method. It would also make sense to pepper cooking methods demonstrations throughout the school year as you teach specific units. There are so many of them. Just laying the foundation at the beginning of the school year may be all you can do.
Bake to Teach Cooking Methods
9- Baking Lesson- the science of baking is important for students to understand as they learn about the hospitality industry and food production. Baking introduces a different set of techniques and principles compared to other cooking methods like sautéing or grilling. It involves precise measurements, understanding chemical reactions, and mastering the art of doughs and batters. It introduces students to leavening agents like yeast, baking soda, and baking powder. This knowledge is fundamental for creating various textures in baked goods.
A basic lesson for introduction to baking is our lesson on TPT. It includes a slideshow, guided notes, and questions with videos.
10- Growing Bundle– If you would like these activities and over 100 more culinary lesson plans, check out our Mega Growing Bundle of lessons and activities. By growing, it means that every time we create a new lesson plan or resource that is culinary arts-related, we add it to the bundle at no extra cost to you. If your school district does not want to use TPT for purchases and you can convince them to purchase the bundle, we also offer it on our website. I can issue a purchase order to the school as well.
In conclusion, equipping high school students with a comprehensive understanding of cooking methods through culinary arts classes is vital. With the guidance of dedicated CTE educators, these young minds are gaining culinary skills and valuable life skills. These skills will serve them well in the future. By incorporating innovative teaching methods and a new lesson plan tailored to the student’s interests, we are fostering a generation of passionate and skilled chefs.
As we continue to invest in technical education, we empower students to explore their culinary creativity and prepare them for a world of endless culinary possibilities. This education not only shapes their culinary prowess but also instills in them a lifelong appreciation for the art of cooking. Hopefully, these ideas will lower stress levels as the year progresses and give you options so you aren’t taking too much work home. We know how challenging it can be to teach foods and culinary. That is why we devote a lot of time perfecting our lessons to cater to your needs and keep your students engaged so you don’t have to do the extra work and can focus on the cooking and building relationships with your students.