German Cooking Vocabulary: 175 Words and Phrases

Cooking and baking are a crucial part of any culture, and German-language culture is no exception.

From bratwurst to black forest cherry cake, it offers a variety of sweet, salty and savory foods.

Whether you enjoy cooking or baking, or simply want to feast on the results, it’s essential to know how to talk about food and its preparation.

In this post, you’ll learn 175 German words and phrases related to cooking. Plus, find out where to find authentic German recipes!


Dishes and Utensils 


Here are some terms to help you set the table and serve your German dishes:

der Teller plate
die Schüssel bowl
die Tasse cup
das Weinglas wineglass
der Becher mug
die Teetasse teacup
die Untertasse saucer
die Teekanne teapot
der Löffel spoon
die Gabel fork
das Messer knife
die Serviette napkin
die Tischdecke tablecloth
das Tischset placemat

Kitchen Tools 


Let’s look at the different vocabulary for the essential tools of cooking and baking:

der Spatel spatula
die Kelle ladle
die Zange tongs
die Schaufel scoop
der Schneebesen whisk
die Schere scissors
die Pfanne or die Bratpfanne (frying) pan / skillet
der Schongarer slow cooker / crock-pot
der Topf pot
der Kochtopf saucepan
der Deckel lid
das Sieb strainer
das Schneidebrett cutting board
das Backblech baking sheet
die Backform baking pan/tin
die Reibe grater
die Alufolie tinfoil/aluminum foil
das Backpapier parchment paper
der Zahnstocher toothpick
der Ofen oven
der Grill grill
der Herd stove
die Mikrowelle microwave
die Heißluftfritteuse air fryer
die Küchenmaschine food processor
der Kühlschrank refrigerator
der Tiefkühlschrank freezer
die Geschirrspülmaschine dishwasher

Cooking and Baking Verbs


We’ve got the table set and the stove ready! How do we refer to our actions when cooking and baking? Here’s a list to start you off:

backen to bake
braten to roast
kochen to cook
frittieren to fry
grillen to grill
sautieren or anschwitzen to sauté
köcheln to simmer
kochen to boil
dämpfen to steam
schmoren to stew/to braise
flambieren to flambé
mischen to blend
vermischen to mix
rühren to stir
schaufeln to scoop
schneiden to cut
hacken to chop
abschneiden to slice
vorbereiten to prepare
putzen to clean
vorheizen to preheat
auspressen to squeeze
messen to measure
schmecken to taste
schälen to peel
wieder aufwärmen to reheat
marinieren to marinate
pürieren to puree
auftauen to defrost
zerdrücken to mash
einlegen to pickle
überziehen to glaze
abgießen to drain
kneten to knead
filetieren to fillet
einweichen to soak
bröseln to crumb
ausrollen to roll out
auflösen to dissolve

For more context—including visuals and example situations—you can look up these vocabulary on FluentU. 

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Cooking Measurements


Authentic German recipes call for measurements in metric, rather than U.S. standard. My Best German Recipes offers a great resource for converting from metric to standard. This site also has fluid ounce-milliliter, cups-grams and Celcius-Fahrenheit conversion tools. 

Here are some measuring terms to help you when cooking and baking:

die Tasse cup
der Teelöffel teaspoon
der Esslöffel tablespoon
das Pfund pound
die Unze ounce
das Gramm gram
das Milligramm milligram
das Kilogramm kilogram
der Milliliter millileter
der Liter liter
die Prise pinch (as in a pinch of salt)
das Pint pint
das Quart quart
die Gallone gallon

Baking Ingredients


Here’s a list of your common baking ingredients:

die Butter butter
das Mehl flour
der Zucker sugar
der braune Zucker brown sugar
der Puderzucker confectioner's/powdered sugar
das Ei egg
die Milch milk
die Creme cream
das Backpulver baking powder
das Natron baking soda
die Würze seasoning
das Gewürz spice
der Zimt cinnamon
der Muskat nutmeg
der Ingwer ginger
die Schokoladenstückchen chocolate chips
der Vanilleextrakt or der Vanillearoma vanilla extract
die Schlagsahne or die Sahne whipped/heavy cream
der Teig dough
die Melasse molasses
die Rosinen raisins
der Joghurt yogurt

Cooking Ingredients


Here are some terms for common cooking ingredients. Try these out next time you’re making dinner!

das Fleisch meat
das Rindfleisch beef
der Truthahn turkey
die Wurst sausage
das Hähnchen chicken
der Speck bacon
das Schweinefleisch pork
der Fisch fish
das Steak steak
der Aufschnitt cold cuts
der Knoblauch garlic
die Zwiebel onion
die Tomate tomato
der Mais corn
der Brokkoli broccoli
die Brechbohne green bean
der Sellerie celery
der Kürbis pumpkin / squash
der Tofu tofu
die Nudeln noodles / pasta
die Pasta pasta
der Reis rice
der Käse cheese
die Soße sauce
der Essig vinegar
der Senf mustard
das Öl oil
das Salz salt
der Pfeffer pepper

Adjectives Related to Cooking and Food


There are many descriptive adjectives we can use when cooking, baking and eating. Here are the main ones in German: 

lecker tasty/yummy/delicious
salzig salty
gebrannt burnt
süβ sweet
herb tart
sauer sour
scharf spicy
würzig tangy / aromatic
saftig juicy
frisch fresh
mild mild
knusprig crispy
herzhaft hearty
zart or mürbe tender
aromatisch aromatic
geschmackvoll flavorful
gesund healthy
fettig greasy
kalorienreich high in calories
kalorienarm low-calorie
exotisch exotic
vegetarisch vegetarian
vegan vegan

Miscellaneous Cooking and Baking Terms

In case you haven’t learned enough vocabulary yet, here are a few more terms related to cooking and baking: 

das Rezept recipe
das Teufelsdutzend or dreizehn Stück baker's dozen
die Portion portion
die Zutaten ingredients
die Mahlzeit meal
der Appetit appetite

Where to Find Authentic German Recipes

If you enjoy cooking and are learning German, why not combine the two? Here are a few great resources to start exploring German cooking and learn some names of dishes you’re interested in trying:

  • The Oma Way is a great website for not only great recipes but also a slice of German-American life from an Oma (grandmother) with plenty of cooking experience herself. Enjoy crafts and festivities along with the food.
  • Quick German Recipes is also focused on cooking “the Oma way.” Focused on foods of all types, this website allows you to choose from a variety of recipes and even shop at the same time.
  • GermanFoods.org is another great resource for similar cooking content. Recipes are listed by category and even holiday and region.
  • Allrecipes is a popular recipe site that offers many recipes for German food, including 17 different traditional German cakes!
  • Susi’s Bakery is a website that offers content in both English and German. This is a great way to practice your German reading and pick up some new vocabulary while making some authentic German dishes. 


Remember, the more German words you memorize and the better understanding you have of German culture (which is inseparable from food), the more native you’ll sound—and feel!

Next, you can check out this helpful guide for useful phrases when ordering food in Germany.

And One More Thing...

Want to know the key to learning German effectively?

It's using the right content and tools, like FluentU has to offer! Browse hundreds of videos, take endless quizzes and master the German language faster than you've ever imagine!


Watching a fun video, but having trouble understanding it? FluentU brings native videos within reach with interactive subtitles.


You can tap on any word to look it up instantly. Every definition has examples that have been written to help you understand how the word is used. If you see an interesting word you don't know, you can add it to a vocabulary list.


And FluentU isn't just for watching videos. It's a complete platform for learning. It's designed to effectively teach you all the vocabulary from any video. Swipe left or right to see more examples of the word you're on.


The best part is that FluentU keeps track of the vocabulary that you're learning, and gives you extra practice with difficult words. It'll even remind you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned.

Start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

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