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Old 05-12-2011, 09:02 AM   #21
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Another part of the problem might be the pan you are using. I know that a great many people like to use a heavy cast iron pan, or dutch oven. The problem with cast iron, or thin aluminum pans is that they get hot spots were the flame, or heating elements actually touch the pan bottom. Cooking in an oven helps solve this problem because the whole pan is heated, rather than heat traveling by conduction through the pan. Remember, cast iron, and all forms of steel are relatively poor heat conductors, and so don't heat evenly. The sauce will burn at the hot spots (part of the reason that stirring helps prevent burning). A heat diffusing disk spreads the heat out evenly across the bottom of the pan to eliminate the hot spots, thus insuring that the sauce is heated evenly all across the pan bottom.

Also, watch how much sugar is added to the sauce, as the more sugar, the greater the chance of scorching the sauce. Sugar burns at a relatively low temperature.

I've never heard of anyone doing this, but I guarantee that if you bring a small amount of water to a boil in a very large pot, and place your sauce into a smaller pot, and immerse it in the water, making a double boiler, you will not burn your sauce, and should be able to simmer it as long as you wish. Of course you will need to make sure not to boil all of the water away in the larger pot.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 05-13-2011, 12:54 AM   #22
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I'm surprised GW didn't mention it, since he talked about it all the time when we were kids, but another way to prevent scorching is to cook your sauce for less time. The longer I stand there stirring, the more likely I am to wander off, get distracted, and scorch whatever I'm cooking. Spices and flavors need time to blend for your sauce to taste its best, and this happens fastest on the stove, but if you simmer it for, say, 15 minutes, put a lid on it, stick it in the fridge overnight, and rewarm it the next night, it will taste like you stood at the stove stirring for hours. 24 hours in the fridge is much safer for me than an hour on the stove!
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Old 05-14-2011, 11:10 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sprout View Post
I'm surprised GW didn't mention it, since he talked about it all the time when we were kids, but another way to prevent scorching is to cook your sauce for less time. The longer I stand there stirring, the more likely I am to wander off, get distracted, and scorch whatever I'm cooking. Spices and flavors need time to blend for your sauce to taste its best, and this happens fastest on the stove, but if you simmer it for, say, 15 minutes, put a lid on it, stick it in the fridge overnight, and rewarm it the next night, it will taste like you stood at the stove stirring for hours. 24 hours in the fridge is much safer for me than an hour on the stove!
Proof positive that your children are listening. So be careful what you say. But yes, Sprout is correct.

There is a pizza place around these parts that makes their own sauce. They simply pout a packet of the pre-mixed herbs and spices into a measured amount of tomato sauce, stir it to distribute all ingredients evenly, and put it in the walk-in cooler for the next day's pizza. No cooking is involved until the sauce is cooked onto pizza. It's one of the favorite pizza places in the area.

Have you ever heard that tomato based pasta sauces are better the next day; usually said thusly; "Spaghetti is always better the next day."

T heir's that fridge thing again. The flavors from herbs and spices usually come in the form of oils that are released into the tomato sauce. The reason slow cooking works is that the sauce is moving, distributing the oils evenly.

Now, think of a bottle of perfume. When you open it, the aroma of the product immediate starts to spread into the room. It is a fundamental law of nature that all things seek equallity. In the case of the perfume, it is concentrated in the bottle. When no longer contained, it will distribute itself from the most concentrated spot to the least concentrated spot in the room until it has filled the entire room equally. And that same principle applies to your pasta sauce. So you really don't need to boil it for hours. That just speeds up the process. Make your sauce, and let it sit overnight. It will be spectacular the next day.

Thanks, Sprout.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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