"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > General Cooking
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 12-31-2019, 06:26 PM   #1
Head Chef
 
skilletlicker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Memphis, TN
Posts: 1,768
Simmer; What Be Thy Name

Many recipes for soups, stews, beans, greens, and nearly anything else that begins or ends in the pot, start with the words "bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer."

But what does simmer mean? I have followed hundreds of google links on this question and found positions ranging from hot (140F) to continuous rolling bubbles (212F).

My interest is mostly in controlling the calories in home-made stock and it began a few years ago when I was improving my kitchen skills and beginning to pay attention to weight and calorie intake. I didn't (still don't) always have good home-made stock on hand. But when I did, my weight always was affected as though somebody snuck some extra calories into it.

I've become convinced that this is due to the emulsion of fat and water caused by the surface disturbance of water caused by bubbles created at the bottom of the pot over the burner. The surface disturbance works over time like whisking oil and water into a mayonnaise.

So I've been making my stock lately with virtually literally no surface disturbance. In other words 180F to 190F. It takes longer to break down the connective tissue into collagen and then gelatin but it produces a clearer stock or broth that, when cooled in the refrigerator, has less fat surface than expected and at refrigerator temperatures has the consistency of soft rubber.

__________________

__________________
"'Eat food, not too much, mostly plants." - Michael Pollan

Old bachelor cook
skilletlicker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2019, 06:37 PM   #2
Chef Extraordinaire
 
GotGarlic's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southeastern Virginia
Posts: 23,583
Quote:
Originally Posted by skilletlicker View Post
Many recipes for soups, stews, beans, greens, and nearly anything else that begins or ends in the pot, start with the words "bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer."

But what does simmer mean? I have followed hundreds of google links on this question and found positions ranging from hot (140F) to continuous rolling bubbles (212F).
...
I've become convinced that this is due to the emulsion of fat and water caused by the surface disturbance of water caused by bubbles created at the bottom of the pot over the burner. The surface disturbance works over time like whisking oil and water into a mayonnaise.

So I've been making my stock lately with virtually literally no surface disturbance. In other words 180F to 190F. It takes longer to break down the connective tissue into collagen and then gelatin but it produces a clearer stock or broth that, when cooled in the refrigerator, has less fat surface than expected and at refrigerator temperatures has the consistency of soft rubber.
That's exactly what simmer means, and you're right that the fat and broth emulsify and create a cloudy stock when it's boiling, which happens at 212F and creates the bubbles. That's what I was taught in culinary school and it's why restaurants simmer beef stock for a full day.
__________________

__________________
Anyplace where people argue about food is a good place.
~ Anthony Bourdain, Parts Unknown, 2018
GotGarlic is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2020, 11:17 AM   #3
Master Chef
 
Chief Longwind Of The North's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: USA,Michigan
Posts: 9,871
Broths can be simmered at a light boil for a few hours, then straied, and clarifed with an egg raft. Refridherate tje clarifed broth and chill compeyey. The fat will seperate and float to the top, where it will harden into a solid disc. This is easily removed, leaving you with gelled stock. Hope that helps.

Seeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
Chief Longwind Of The North is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2020, 03:48 PM   #4
Master Chef
 
Sir_Loin_of_Beef's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Sandy Eggo
Posts: 8,654
Simmer is like pornography; You'll know it when you see it.
__________________
I Luv Sandy Eggo!
Sir_Loin_of_Beef is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2020, 04:00 PM   #5
Head Chef
 
skilletlicker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Memphis, TN
Posts: 1,768
Happy New Year everybody. Chief, an egg white might suck the fat out of mayonnaise, but I got my doubts about it.
__________________
"'Eat food, not too much, mostly plants." - Michael Pollan

Old bachelor cook
skilletlicker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2020, 08:46 PM   #6
Master Chef
 
Chief Longwind Of The North's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: USA,Michigan
Posts: 9,871
Quote:
Originally Posted by skilletlicker View Post
Happy New Year everybody. Chief, an egg white might suck the fat out of mayonnaise, but I got my doubts about it.
You are using the egg white raft to clarify the broth, not remove the fat. Chilling the broth is what allows you to remove the fat.

Seeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
__________________
No amount of success outside the home can compensate for failure within the home"

Check out my blog for the friendliest cooking instruction on the net. Go ahead. You know you want to.- https://gwnorthsfamilycookin.wordpress.com/
Chief Longwind Of The North is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2020, 08:55 PM   #7
Head Chef
 
skilletlicker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Memphis, TN
Posts: 1,768
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief Longwind Of The North View Post
You are using the egg white raft to clarify the broth, not remove the fat. Chilling the broth is what allows you to remove the fat.

Seeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
Remove some of it anyway. I did it thataway for years. Kept getting fatter and fatter.
__________________
"'Eat food, not too much, mostly plants." - Michael Pollan

Old bachelor cook
skilletlicker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2020, 07:14 PM   #8
Head Chef
 
skilletlicker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Memphis, TN
Posts: 1,768
More often than not I make stock from animal parts that have a lot of fat.

Tonight I'm making one from roasted turkey breast bones and a few aromatics. There are virtually no fats but some connective tissue attaching the muscles to breast bones and ribs. In this case, I'll cook it for couple-three hours at a slow boil, which most people would probably call a slow simmer.

From my point of view, it is all about controlling the fat in the stock.
__________________

__________________
"'Eat food, not too much, mostly plants." - Michael Pollan

Old bachelor cook
skilletlicker is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:03 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
×