This section is from the book "The American Woman's Cook Book", by Ruth Berolzheimer. Also available from Amazon: The Domestic Arts Edition of the American Woman's Cook Book.
Boiling is cooking in water at a temperature of 212° Fahrenheit. At this temperature water will bubble vigorously and as these bubbles come to the surface of the water steam is given off. (In mountainous regions, where the boiling-point is affected by atmospheric pressure, allowance must be made for the variation.)
Simmering is cooking in water at a temperature of 180° F. to 210° F., or below the boiling-point of water. Only an occasional bubble is formed and rises slowly to the surface.
Steaming is cooking in the steam generated by boiling water.
Pressure Cooking is cooking in steam at a pressure of 5 to 30 pounds and at temperatures 228° F. to 274° F. The rise in the temperature of the steam is caused by holding it under pressure. A special cooker is necessary for this cooking. From 10 to 15 pounds (240° to 250° F.) is the pressure ordinarily used for household purposes.
Broiling is cooking over or under or in front of a fire of live coals or a gas or electric burner, or other direct heat.
Oven Broiling is cooking in a broiler pan (either with or without a rack) that runs close under the heat in the broiling oven of a gas or electric stove.
Pan Broiling is cooking in a hot griddle or pan greased only enough to prevent food from sticking.
Baking is cooking in the oven. The temperature of baking varies with the food to be prepared. A slow oven should be from 250° F. to 350° F. A moderate oven should be from 350° F. to 400° F. A hot oven should be from 400° F. to 450° F. A very hot oven should be from 450° F. to 550° F.
Roasting as now used means the same as baking. Originally it meant cooking before an open fire and was similar to broiling.
Frying is cooking in hot fat at a temperature of from 3 50° F. to 400° F., depending on the nature of the food to be cooked. The article to be cooked is immersed in the fat.
Sauteing is cooking in a small quantity of fat. The article to be cooked must be shifted from side to side to come in contact with the fat. Sauteing is a cross between pan broiling and frying.
Fricasseeing is a combination of sauteing with stewing or steaming. The food to be fricasseed is first sauted, then stewed or steamed.
Fireless Cooking is cooking by heat that has been retained in a fireless cooker or insulated oven. It is accomplished by surrounding the thoroughly heated food with some insulating material to keep the heat from being lost rapidly.