Storage, Tools And Cooking

Storage, Tools And Cooking

Food Storage

There are many different places and containers you can use to store or preserve food. 

  • Food that can be stored at room temperature can be placed in the despensa pantry, in the armário de cozinha kitchen cabinet, or right on the bancada counter or mesa table. Fruit, in particular, can be put in a fruteira fruit holder, which might be a bowl, basket, or a whole multi-tiered stand.

  • Food that needs to be preserved at lower temperatures could be placed in the frigorífico fridge, others in the congelador freezer. Some people might have a arca frigorífica freezer cabinet, which is a bigger freezer, separate from the fridge.

Cooking Tools and Appliances

To prepare food on the kitchen counter or table, we often use a tábua de cortar cutting board.

When cutting meat or vegetables, you might use a faca de chef chef's knife or a faca para vegetais paring knife. If cutting bread, then a faca serrilhada serrated knife would be more appropriate.

A coador colander is useful when washing vegetables or draining the pasta you just cooked.

Other common utensils are colheres de pau wooden spoons, pinças tongs, and espátulas spatulas.

Here are some other useful vocabulary words for the kitchen:

graterraladorfood processorprocessador de alimentos
blenderliquidificadorainduction cooktopplaca de indução
whiskbatedorrolling pinrolo da massa
nutcrackerquebra-nozespressure cookerpanela de pressão
coffee makercafeteiraweighing scalebalança

When cooking food, you can use a variety of cookware. These include panelas pots, caçarolas casseroles, tachos pans, and frigideiras frying pansAlso, don’t forget to wear luvas (de forno) oven mitts when using the oven.


Tableware includes talheres cutlery, pratos plates, serving dishes and copos glassware.

When it comes to cutlery, the three main eating utensils are colheres spoons, garfos forks and facas knives.

Below you can see a table with the most common utensils at a Portuguese table.

bowltigela, taçacupchávena
cesto de pãobread basketbottlegarrafa
coffee spooncolher de cafénapkinsguardanapo
pitcher, jugjarrosaucerpires

Cooking Techniques

boiledcozido(a), fervido(a)
steamedcozido(a) a vapor

Peixe com batatas cozidas. Fish with boiled potatoes.
Legumes cozidos a vapor. Steamed vegetables.
O pastel de bacalhau é frito. The codfish cake is fried.
Ela gosta de carne assada. She likes roasted meat
Salmão grelhado é saudável. Grilled salmon is healthy.
In Portuguese we do not used “barbecued” to express how something was cooked. We say grelhado (grilled) for when you use a grill, whether it’s a barbecue or a stove, and we say assado when you use an oven. There is one exception though: don’t be surprised when you hear frango assado for barbecued chicken.
When you cook meat and fish, in particular, they can be:

  • Crua Raw – Not a great idea unless you like steak tartar, and definitely avoid it with chicken.
  • Mal passada Rare to medium
  • Ao ponto Medium
  • Bem passada Medium to well-done
  • Queimada Burnt – Not a great idea either.

If we are talking about eggs, they can be:

  • estrelados sunny side up
  • mexidos scrambled
  • escalfados poached
  • omelete omelet
  • Over-easy eggs are not so common that you could order them without having to explain how to cook them.

As for potatoes, they can be:

  • fritas fried
  • cozidas boiled~cooked
  • assadas roasted

Be careful when you ask for batatas fritas, since sometimes you get a side of potato chips and other times, French fries. You can ask them to clarify if the batatas fritas are served às rodelas potato chips or em palitos French fries.

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