Speak the Food Language: A Guide to Kitchen Vocabulary for English Learners

Elly Kimreviewed byKateryna Protsenko / more about Editorial Process8 min
Created: Mar 20, 2023Last updated: Jan 22, 2024
Kitchen Words

If you still think that English vocabulary for the kitchen is only necessary for culinary professionals, let us prove you wrong! You will be surprised by how many culinary terms and phrases you use in daily conversations (often outside the kitchen). Today’s article provides you with the most exciting words and expressions. So please, make yourself comfortable – the dinner is served.

Basic Vocabulary For Kitchen

Before diving into the thrilling world of English grammar, we need to prepare ourselves for this exciting journey. And the first thing we can do is to find out the main categories of the kitchen equipment names. Therefore, here is the list of general terms to get started with. 

  • Kitchen utensils – tools and implements people use to prepare food. Usually, they come in different shapes and sizes. The best examples of kitchen utensils are knives, forks, whisks, etc. 
  • Kitchen appliances – electrical devices people use for different cooking processes, such as baking, cleaning, etc. This category includes refrigerators, ovens, dishwashers, and more. 
  • Ingredients – raw materials people use to make food. 
  • Recipe – a set of instructions you can use for preparing a dish. Typically, it includes a list of ingredients, measurements, and essential steps. 
  • Cooking methods – different techniques and processes we use to prepare food. 

These are just some common examples of in-the-kitchen vocabulary. Of course, there are many more words than you can think of. And this is what we precisely are planning to discuss next. So, now that you know the basics, we are pleased to say – welcome to our vocabulary and grammar kitchen!

Kitchen Appliance Names in English

Even though our ancestors used to prepare their food on the sole fire, the world has changed. Today, we can’t imagine our lives without useful technologies that significantly simplify our lives and make our cooking more pleasant. Hence, to honor all the inventions of the past and present centuries, we’ve decided to start with a list of the electronic things in a kitchen. 

  • Refrigerator – a kitchen appliance used for storing goods and drinks at low temperatures.
  • Stove – a common kitchen appliance that uses gas or electricity to generate heat for cooking food; typically consists of a cooktop with burners and an oven for baking and roasting.
  • Oven – a gas- or electricity-powered appliance used for cooking food with dry heat.
  • Microwave oven – a kitchen supply we use for heating meals. 
  • Dishwasher – an appliance used for automatically washing dishes. 
  • Blender – a kitchenware for blending, mixing, or puréeing ingredients, primarily used for making smoothies, soups, sauces, etc. 

These are the appliances you can find in almost every kitchen in the world. Of course, we can’t speak for every person, but for us, they are irreplaceable. But, of course, that is not all! There are much more electronic supplies you can use for making your food. Hence, let’s find some more helpful kitchen stuff name examples.


Kitchen Objects in English

Culinary terms might be confusing even for native speakers. But don’t worry – there is no need to be Gordon Ramsay to master English kitchen vocabulary. With the following compilations of cooking terms, you will be almost ready to become a new MasterChef. So, let’s look at what we’ve prepared for you without further ado. 


In general, kitchen utensils include everything you can use for preparing, serving, and eating food. No particular classification can explain what is considered a utensil and what’s not. Therefore, here are the most popular tools that are suitable for this category. 

  • Plate – a flat dish for serving and eating food.
  • Bowl – a deep container for mixing, serving, and eating food. 
  • Fork – a kitchen utensil with tines. 
  • Spoon – a tool with a shallow round end used for eating liquid food, e.g., soups. 
  • Knife – a sharp utensil for cutting products. 
  • Glass – a deep cylindrical container for pouring and drinking liquids. 
  • Mug – a large cup with a handle. 
  • Pot – a deep container with a lid for cooking meals on a stove. 
  • Cutting board – a small surface for cutting and chopping food on it. 
  • Pan – a shallow, flat-bottomed container for frying food on a stove. 

With these kitchen utensils you can cook almost any meal you can imagine. But you can’t make food out of the air, right? So, in addition to the valuable utensils, you also need some tasty ingredients. Let’s talk about them next.

Types of Ingredients

Of course, we will not name every single food item that has ever existed. Instead, we will provide you with the most common categories you can use to cook delicious food. Here are some common types of ingredients in English: 

  • Fruits and vegetables – edible plant-based foods like apples, carrots, lettuce, etc. 
  • Meats and poultry – animal-based foods like pork, chicken, or beef. 
  • Seafood – aquatic-based foods like shrimp, tuna, and salmon. 
  • Grains – edible seeds from cereal crops, like rice or quinoa. 
  • Dairy – milk-based products like cheese, yogurt, or sour cream. 
  • Herbs and spices – flavorful plant-based ingredients used to add taste to the meal, like paprika, garlic, or basil. 
  • Oils and fats – ingredients used for cooking, like butter, olive, and coconut oil. 
  • Sweeteners – ingredients used to make dishes sweet, including sugar, maple syrup, and honey. 

Yum! Now we have enough food and utensils to make something unique. But there is still one problem – we don’t know the differences between various cooking technologies. So let’s solve it together and check out the cooking methods suitable for every kitchen.

Cooking Methods

Even though some ingredients can be totally edible while raw, most cooking materials should be prepared in a specific method. Below is the list of the most common culinary techniques to try out in your kitchen.

  • Boiling – preparing food in a liquid that has reached its boiling point, e.g., boiling eggs. 
  • Simmering – preparing food in a liquid below its boiling point, e.g., simmering soup.
  • Roasting – making a meal using dry heat in the oven, e.g., roasting chicken.
  • Baking – making a meal surrounded by hot air in the oven, e.g., baking a pie. 
  • Frying – cooking food in hot oil, e.g., frying donuts. 
  • Sautéing – cooking food quickly in a hot pan with oil. 
  • Steaming – cooking food by exposing it to steam from boiling water. 

Well done! Now you know enough kitchen vocabulary to master the art of cooking. These simple terms allow you to use most English recipes and make delicious meals. And if you want even more cooking and language-learning experience, don’t forget to check our next topic. 

Best TV Programs to Practice Kitchen English Vocabulary

Culinary programs are one of the most popular kinds of television shows right now. Unfortunately, there are so many of them that it is challenging to choose the best. But don’t worry. We’ve done the hard work for you! And we are excited to share our personal top three kitchen-related TV shows suitable for English learners. 

  • MasterChef. It is one of the most popular cooking shows that feature amateur and professional chefs competing in various culinary challenges. There you’ll hear a lot of cooking terminology and get exposure to a wide variety of ingredients names. There are many adaptations of this program around the globe, but our favorite versions are the American and British ones. 
  • Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. In this show, celebrity chef Jamie Oliver travels around the world promoting healthy eating habits and teaching people how to cook. You’ll learn about healthy cooking and eating habits, as well as find out various cooking terms and techniques.
  • Food Network. It is not a program but a whole channel dedicated to all things food and cooking. You can watch shows like “Chopped,” “Iron Chef America,” and “Good Eats” to learn more culinary vocabulary. 

All these channels and shows are a great way to practice and learn something new for those who want to expand their culinary knowledge and English skills at the same time. And what is your favorite cooking program? Let us know in the comments!

Install the Promova App to Learn Dozens of Kitchen Words

The key to achieving any goal is persistence. The more time you spend practicing, the better the results will be. And it doesn’t matter whether you want to learn a new recipe or language. The point is to find the most suitable option for yourself and keep moving forward. 

If you want to learn new culinary terms in English, we know the best solution! Don’t walk, but run to the App Store or Google Play and install the user-friendly Promova application. After passing a quick test, you will access unique studying materials based on your proficiency level and learning preferences. In addition, you can find dozens of lessons dedicated to kitchen terms, from food to kitchen furniture names. And the best thing is that you can use the application for free. 

And that is not all! On both the official Promova website and application, you can join personal or group lessons with our professional tutors. If you are still hesitating about it, you can access a free trial lesson to get acquainted with the main processes and make the final decision.  For those who aim to practice speaking, we offer a free Conversation Club where you can discuss various topics with people from different countries. To sum up, there are a lot of features to choose from. Go to our website, and pick the perfect one for you!


Honestly, we are starving after writing this article. So to sum it up, kitchen vocabulary can be fascinating if you know how to make studying enjoyable. We hope that you find this topic useful. And we are excited to see your favorite recipes in the comments section! So please don’t be shy and tell us about them using new vocabulary.


Will I mess up my recipe if I don’t understand some kitchen vocabulary in English?

Well, it depends on many factors. If you are familiar with the meal you prepare, you might know which ingredients and cooking techniques to use. But if it is your first time, and you see many unknown terms, there is a high risk of doing something wrong. That is why we recommend learning new words before making your dinner.

What does “the icing on the cake” idiom mean?

This kitchen-related idiom often describes a situation where something good or positive has already occurred. Then another positive thing happens, which makes the situation even better or more enjoyable. It’s like adding a layer of sweet icing to an already delicious cake.

Are there any tips for memorizing difficult kitchen words?

Like with any other complicated terms, some tips can be helpful. For example, you can use vocalization methods – try to say aloud every new word you learn while preparing a meal in your kitchen. It will help you memorize it and also bring an excellent bonus in the form of increasing your cooking skills.

What are some standard cooking terms that can be confusing for non-native English speakers?

Some of the most common and confusing cooking terms include words like simmer, sauté, and braise. The reason is simple – such words are usually borrowed from foreign languages and are primarily used in professional kitchens. So unprepared English learners might be surprised after seeing them in a regular recipe.


PromovaFeb 6th, 2024
Certainly not! While the words provided cover some basic kitchen vocabulary, there are still many more words related to this topic. Kitchen vocabulary is vast and diverse, encompassing a wide range of utensils, appliances, ingredients, cooking methods, and culinary terms. If you're looking to expand your knowledge further, there are plenty more words to explore beyond the basics provided here. Feel free to ask if you'd like to learn about more specific terms or if there's a particular aspect of kitchen vocabulary you're interested in!
Jesse 1978Feb 6th, 2024
Hi, are these all the words I need to know on this topic?
PromovaAug 1st, 2023
Learning kitchen vocabulary is crucial for English learners as it enhances their ability to communicate effectively in various everyday situations. Understanding kitchen terms allows learners to follow recipes, ask for specific ingredients or utensils in stores, and engage in cooking conversations with friends or colleagues. Additionally, it enables them to confidently navigate the kitchen and participate in culinary activities with ease.
Katie G.Aug 1st, 2023
What is the significance of learning kitchen-related vocabulary for English learners?