If you cook a meal or a particular type of food, you prepare it for eating and then heat it, for example in an oven or saucepan.
Lucas was in the kitchen, cooking dinner.
We cooked the pie in the oven.
Cook is only used to talk about food, not drinks.
Cook is also a noun.
➜ See cooker - cook
If you make a meal or a drink, you combine foods or drinks together to produce something different. You can make a meal without heating anything.
I made his breakfast.
I 'll make you a coffee.
Prepare is used in two ways. If you prepare food, you clean or cut it so that it is ready to be used.
Prepare the vegetables, cut into small chunks and add to the chicken.
To prepare a meal or drink means the same as to make it (see above). This is a fairly formal use.
Many elderly people are unable to prepare meals on their own.
If you get a meal, you prepare it or cook it. You can also say that someone gets a meal ready. If you get a drink, you either mix drinks together or pour a drink.
I'll get the dinner ready.
I was downstairs getting the drinks.
In American English, if you fix a meal or drink, you make it (see above).
Sarah fixed some food for us.
Manfred fixed himself a drink.
types of cooking
There are many verbs that refer to different ways of cooking things.
When you bake or roast something, you cook it in an oven without liquid. You bake bread and cakes, but you roast meat. When you roast potatoes, you cook them in an oven in some fat. You can also roast a large piece of meat or a bird over a fire.
Dave baked a cake for my birthday.
We roasted a whole chicken.
You use roast, not ‘roasted’, to describe meat and potatoes that have been roasted.
We had a traditional roast beef dinner.
When you grill or toast something, you cook it under or over strong heat. You grill meat and vegetables, but you toast slices of bread.
Speakers of American English usually use broil rather than ‘grill’.
Grill the meat for 20 minutes each side.
Toast the bread lightly on both sides.
I'll broil the lobster.
When you boil something, you cook it in boiling water.
I still need to boil the potatoes.
When you fry something, you cook it in hot fat or oil.
Fry the onions until they are brown.