ESL Cooking Vocabulary

This page has an ESL cooking vocabulary list and several tasks for you to do to help you remember the cooking words. Being able to cook is a useful skill, and it is also good to be able to talk about food and cooking. The vocabulary on this page will let you explain about cooking and the kitchen.

Use this ESL cooking vocabulary page to learn lost of words about being in the kitchen and making food.

This page is divided into two parts. The first part has the vocabulary list of cooking words as well as definitions for each word and the part of speech. You can use the list to learn the words or as a reference source to come back to when you need to look up the meaning of a word. The vocabulary list has been made into some picture flashcards that you can download and use offline. There is also a recording of the ESL cooking vocabulary being spoken by a native English speaker so you can hear the correct pronunciation.

In the second part of the page, there are three exercises for you to do that will test your understanding of the ESL cooking vocabulary. You should try to learn the vocabulary and then do the exercises to test yourself to see how much you can remember. The exercises are as follows:

  • Identify the best definition that goes with a word.
  • Identify the best word that goes with a definition.
  • Identify the best word that matches a picture.

ESL Cooking Vocabulary List with Definitions

This part of the page starts with an ESL cooking vocabulary list that has a list of words all about cooking and a definition of each one as well as the part of speech. This is followed by a set of ESL cooking vocabulary picture flashcards and then a recording of the ESL cooking vocabulary being spoken by a native English speaker.

Airtight: A container, or place, that is sealed so air cannot get in or out. (adjective)
Allow: To do something, go ahead. (verb)
Appliance: A type of object that serves a purpose and is used in the home. (noun)
Artistic: To be creative or to make something that looks nice. (adjective)
Assemble: To put something together or to collect the pieces of something. (verb)
Availability: To get or to have. (noun)
Bake: To cook something in an oven (similar to roast). (verb)
Boil: To heat to a high temperature (at least 100 degrees Celsius). (verb) To cook something in hot water. (verb)
Booklet: A small leaflet containing information. (noun)
Bowl: A round container with high sides (similar to dish). (noun)
Burn: To cook something so it becomes black and cannot be eaten. (verb)
Burnt: Food that has been cooked too long so it is black. (adjective)
Casserole dish: A large and deep container for cooking food in an oven and also for serving the food. (noun)
Celebrate: To enjoy. (verb)
Charcoal: A type of semi-burnt black wood used for cooking on barbecues. (noun)
Chef: A person who cooks. (noun)
Chinese: From the country of China. (adjective)
Chocolate: A sweet substance made from the cacao bean. (noun)
Chopping board: A solid object on which ingredients are cut so the counter is not damaged. (noun)
Collate: To gather, to collect together. (verb)
Competition: An attempt to gain advantage over others, or a contest when a winner is identified. (noun)
Consume: To eat and drink. (verb)
Convenient: Very easy. (adjective)
Cooker: An appliance that contains an oven and hob. (noun)
Cooking oil: A substance used in cooking to transfer heat to the food so it does not burn. (noun)
Counter: A flat surface that can be used for storage or for preparing ingredients (same as work surface). (noun)
Course: The different parts of a meal. (noun)
Crumble: To fall into small pieces. (verb)
Cup: A small container with a handle for, often, a hot liquid. (noun)
Cupboard: An enclosed space that is used for storage. (noun)
Custom: An activity that has taken place over a long period of time and is always done the same way. (noun)
Cutlery: A collective name for knives, forks and spoons. (noun)
Decorate: To improve, enhance. (verb)
Deep fryer: An appliance that is used to cover food with boiling cooking oil to cook it. (noun)
Delicious: Good, enjoyable. (adjective)
Design: To invent, produce, draw. (verb)
Devoted: To be attached with fondness, affection. (adjective)
Digest: To eat and then process food in the body. (verb)
Dish rack: A holder for dishes after they have been washed (similar to drainer). (noun)
Dish: A round container with high sides (similar to bowl). (noun) A specific food item. (noun)
Dishes: A collective name for plates, bowels, dishes and cutlery. (noun)
Drain: A hole from the bottom of a sink so the water can be released. To remove liquid from ingredients. (noun)
Drainer: A holder for dishes after they have been washed (similar to dish rack). (noun)
Efficient: Smoothly, fast. (adjective)
Electricity: A type of energy that can be used to produce heat and light. (noun)
Excellent: The very best. (adjective)
Exhausting: To be tiring. (adjective)
Exotic: Something that is strange, from a foreign place. (adjective)
Experiment: To find the best thing by testing many options. (verb)
Fear: An emotion when you are nervous or worried. (noun)
Flavour: The taste of something. (noun)
Food processor: A machine to stir ingredients (same as mixer). (noun)
Foreign: Far away, not familiar. (adjective)
Fork: A tool for stabbing food to eat it. (noun)
Freezer: An appliance for keeping food at a temperate below 0 degrees Celsius. (noun)
Fridge: An appliance for keeping food at a cool temperature. (noun)
Fry: To cook food in oil. (verb)
Frying pan: A shallow container for cooking food on a hob or stove by frying it. (noun)
Fund raising: The process of making money for a specific reason. (noun)
Gadget: A small useful object. (noun)
Gas: A type of fuel used for cooking with an open flame. (noun)
Glass: A clear container for a liquid. (noun)
Grow: To be become bigger, or a plant or animal to develop. (verb)
Healthy: To be fit and well. (adjective)
Hob: The top of a cooker for cooking food contained in pans (similar to a stove). (noun)
Indian: From the country of India. (adjective)
Ingredients: The individual items that a mixed together to make something more complex. (noun)
Involved: To be active, to help with something. (verb)
Kettle: An appliance for boiling water. (noun)
Knife: A tool for cutting food. (noun)
Locally: Near to where you live. (adverb)
Measure: To select the correct amount of something. (verb)
Memories: Past experiences that are thought of after they have happened. (noun)
Menu: A list of food items. (noun)
Microwave: An appliance that cooks food quickly. (noun)
Mix: To add two or more ingredients together. (verb)
Mixer: A machine to stir ingredients (same as food processor). (noun)
Moist: To be contain some water, to be not dry. (adjective)
Mug: A large container with a handle for, often, a hot liquid. (noun)
Oats: An edible cereal. (noun)
Oven: The part of a cooker for cooking food by roasting or baking. (noun)
Overwhelming: To be all encompassing, exhausting. (adjective)
Pan: A container for cooking food on a hob or stove. (noun)
Par-boiled: To be half or partially cooked. (adjective)
Pick: To collect items. (verb)
Plate: A round flat container for serving food. (noun)
Plentiful: For there to be lots of something. (adjective)
Plug: A stopper to fill a drain so water cannot go down the drain. (noun)
Poach: To cook something in a liquid just below boiling (similar to simmer). (verb)
Pressure cooker: A type of pan that seals and can cook at very high temperatures. (noun)
Prominent: To be very obvious. (adjective)
Protect: To care for or to look after something. (verb)
Quantity: An amount of something. (noun)
Raise: To get higher. (verb)
Raw: Something that is uncooked. (adjective)
Related: To be connected to something else, to be linked together. (adjective)
Reserved: To be kept aside for a special person. (adjective)
Revival: To bring something back from the past. (noun)
Rice cooker: An appliance for cooking rice. (noun)
Rice: A hard seed, cereal grown in wet ground. (noun)
Roast: To cook something in an oven (similar to bake). (verb)
Sandwich: Two pieces of bread with a filling between them. (noun)
Sauce pan: A deep container for cooking food on a hob or stove. (noun)
Serve: To give someone food, or to give food that can be eaten. (verb)
Sieve: An object with small holes in it for separating objects. (verb)
Simmer: To cook something in a liquid just below boiling (similar to poach). (verb)
Sink: A container for water that has a tap and drain. (verb)
Spicy: To have a hot flavour. (adjective)
Spill: To drop or knock over something. (verb)
Sponge cake: A cooked cake mixture. (noun)
Sponge: A soft object used for cleaning dishes when washing up. (noun)
Spoon: A tool for eating liquids or use in the kitchen. (noun)
Spread: To cover something with a thin layer of something else. (verb)
Starter: The food eaten for the first course of a meal. (noun)
Stir: To move around or to mix something. (verb)
Stove: The top of a cooker for cooking food contained in pans (similar to a hob). (noun)
Substance: A particular type of material. (noun)
Suits: To be pleasing or relevant. (verb)
Tap: A device to delivering water. (noun)
Thai: From the country of Thailand. (adjective)
Toaster: An appliance for heating bread to make toast. (noun)
Trellis: An interwoven pattern. (noun)
Utensils: The objects that are used to assist in an activity, such as cooking or eating. (noun)
Washing-up: To clean the dishes after they have been used. (noun)
Washing up liquid: A type of soap that is used during washing up. (noun)
Watch: To looking while something is being done. (verb)
Well-balanced: To be in equal proportions. (adjective)
Work surface: A flat surface that can be used for storage or for preparing ingredients (same as counter). (noun)

Vocabulary Flashcards for Cooking Words

The following set of ESL cooking vocabulary flashcards are for you to download and use when you are offline. Just click the following picture or link and the picture flashcards will open so you can save them to your own computer.

ESL cooking flashcards

Spoken Cooking Vocabulary

This part of the page has two recordings of the ESL cooking vocabulary being spoken by a native English speaker so you can hear the correct way to pronounce the words. With the first recording you can just listen to it so you can hear what the words sound like. Then the second recording as the flashcards being shown at the same time as the words are spoken. You can listen as often as you need to so that you can learn the correct pronunciation for the ESL cooking vocabulary.





ESL Cooking Vocabulary Exercises

Exercise 1 – Correct Definition

In this ESL cooking vocabulary activity you need to decide which of the definitions (A-D) in each question matches the word given in that question. When you have finished you can use the get score button to see how many you got correct.

ESL Cooking Vocabulary Definitions


Choose the correct definition for the cooking vocabulary in this quiz.

1) What is the definition of Airtight?
        A) A large and deep container for cooking food in an oven and also for serving the food.
        B) A type of semi-burnt black wood used for cooking on barbecues.
        C) A container, or place, that is sealed so air cannot get in or out.
        D) To eat and drink.
2) What is the definition of Cupboard?
        A) The different parts of a meal.
        B) An activity that has taken place over a long period of time and is always done the same way.
        C) A holder for dishes after they have been washed (similar to dish rack).
        D) An enclosed space that is used for storage.
3) What is the definition of Flavour?
        A) A type of energy that can be used to produce heat and light.
        B) The taste of something.
        C) A type of fuel used for cooking with an open flame.
        D) The top of a cooker for cooking food contained in pans (similar to a stove).
4) What is the definition of Mixer?
        A) To select the correct amount of something.
        B) A machine to stir ingredients (same as food processor).
        C) To be half or partially cooked.
        D) A type of pan that seals and can cook at very high temperatures.
5) What is the definition of Sieve?
        A) An object with small holes in it for separating objects.
        B) To be pleasing or relevant.
        C) To have a hot flavour.
        D) Two pieces of bread with a filling between them.

Score =

Correct answers:

Exercise 2 – Correct Meaning

For the next ESL cooking vocabulary exercise you need to look at the definition that is given in each question and then decide which word (A-D) in the questions best matches it. Again when you have finished you can use the get score button to check your answers.

ESL Cooking Vocabulary Identification of Meaning


Choose the word that matches the definition given in each of the five questions in this quiz.

1) What is the meaning of the following definition: A flat surface that can be used for storage or for preparing ingredients (same as counter)?
        A) Sponge cake
        B) Work surface
        C) Spread
        D) Trellis
2) What is the meaning of the following definition: For there to be lots of something?
        A) Plentiful
        B) Raw
        C) Related
        D) Mix
3) What is the meaning of the following definition: A shallow container for cooking food on a hob or stove by frying it?
        A) Experiment
        B) Frying pan
        C) Locally
        D) Grow
4) What is the meaning of the following definition: A collective name for knives, forks and spoons?
        A) Course
        B) Efficient
        C) Delicious
        D) Cutlery
5) What is the meaning of the following definition: A round container with high sides (similar to dish)?
        A) Bowl
        B) Collate
        C) Cooker
        D) Boil

Score =

Correct answers:

Exercise 3 – Identify Picture

In the final ESL cooking vocabulary task you need to look at the following pictures and then decide which option (A-D) in each question has the word that matches the picture. To see how many you got correct you can again use the get score button.

ESL Cooking Vocabulary Picture Descriptions


Identify the best description for each of the images (A-E) given above that correspond to the five questions in this quiz.

1) Which description best describes picture A given above?
        A) Booklet
        B) Consume
        C) Cup
        D) Counter
2) Which description best describes picture B given above?
        A) Design
        B) Drain
        C) Dishes
        D) Deep fryer
3) Which description best describes picture C given above?
        A) Food processor
        B) Exhausting
        C) Indian
        D) Kettle
4) Which description best describes picture D given above?
        A) Flavour
        B) Foreign
        C) Drainer
        D) Gas
5) Which description best describes picture E given above?
        A) Pan
        B) Cooking oil
        C) Oats
        D) Raise

Score =

Correct answers:



› Cooking

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