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Old 04-27-2011, 06:26 PM   #1
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Somethin's burnin...

I guess I do not know how to simmer...every time I make spaghetti sauce I usually burn some on the very bottom of the pan, which gives the whole sauce a slight burned taste. What am I doing wrong? Sometimes I use a standard pan on an electric plate, sometimes I use a wok on a gas stove.

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Old 04-27-2011, 06:30 PM   #2
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Simmer is low and slow, just slightly with bubbles of a boil. It could be the electric plate and the temp is a little higher than a normal stove top. I am not sure which you are using now.
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Old 04-27-2011, 06:37 PM   #3
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Use a heavier pan.. and lowest heat setting on your stove top.......
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Old 04-27-2011, 07:12 PM   #4
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Sometimes with thin metal pans, foods will burn to the bottom.

Try to find a Flame tamer. It goes on the burner under the pan and works great to prevent this burning.
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Old 04-27-2011, 07:18 PM   #5
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"Sometimes I use a standard pan on an electric plate, sometimes I use a wok on a gas stove."

Maybe try the standard pan on the gas stove, at a very low setting. And stir more often. You just can't let it sit and simmer without stirring.
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Old 04-27-2011, 07:33 PM   #6
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I have the same problem! I do more things in the oven than I do on the stovetop.
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Old 04-27-2011, 07:49 PM   #7
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Simmering, as LindaLou wrote, is just barely bubbling. It can be hard to set to the right temp, because it will simmer/boil harder after a few minutes with the lid on.

Andy's device can be very helpful, as is occasional stirring, as Pacanis wrote.
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Old 04-27-2011, 08:15 PM   #8
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I always use a heat diffuser. I had the one that Andy showed, but I didn't like the handle. I've had this one for more years than I can remember, and I always use it with anything I'll be simmering for a long time.

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Old 04-27-2011, 08:27 PM   #9
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I always use a heat diffuser. I had the one that Andy showed, but I didn't like the handle. I've had this one for more years than I can remember, and I always use it with anything I'll be simmering for a long time.


I had one like this but found that the top was slightly domed and the pans were not stable on it.
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Old 04-27-2011, 08:39 PM   #10
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I had one like this but found that the top was slightly domed and the pans were not stable on it.
I don't remember having that problem, but it could be from having so many really heavy pots on it over the years, it got flat. The one with the handle limited the size of pot you could use.
I've also seen a disk of cast iron, that would work well I think.
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Old 04-27-2011, 09:21 PM   #11
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Thanks! I have been meaning to buy a nice cast iron frying pan...that should be heavy enough! I remember when i was in chemistry class, we used a machine that was a bit like a blender..but also had heating capability as well. I often thought that that machine would be ideal for cooking. Temp went up past boiling and the mixing process as slow as a few rpms per minute. Wish I knew the name of it!
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Old 04-28-2011, 03:02 AM   #12
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Sometimes with thin metal pans, foods will burn to the bottom.

Try to find a Flame tamer. It goes on the burner under the pan and works great to prevent this burning.
M,I have the exact same one
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Old 04-28-2011, 04:34 AM   #13
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I guess I do not know how to simmer...every time I make spaghetti sauce I usually burn some on the very bottom of the pan, which gives the whole sauce a slight burned taste. What am I doing wrong? Sometimes I use a standard pan on an electric plate, sometimes I use a wok on a gas stove.
I hear the Chinese invented spaghetti but the concept of cooking a tomato based spaghetti sauce (gravy in NY) is 'novel' to me.
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Old 04-28-2011, 07:19 AM   #14
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I guess I do not know how to simmer...every time I make spaghetti sauce I usually burn some on the very bottom of the pan, which gives the whole sauce a slight burned taste. What am I doing wrong? Sometimes I use a standard pan on an electric plate, sometimes I use a wok on a gas stove.
Use a heavy pan and lower the heat as much as possible. You only need the sauce to be bubbling. Another thing, don't leave the pan on the stove and go away for a couple of minutes and then return back. You need to always watch the pan.
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Old 04-28-2011, 08:29 AM   #15
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Does anyone know what "simmer" translates into in terms of degrees? 150 degrees F?
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Old 04-28-2011, 08:43 AM   #16
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This old Italian guy I knew told me he sets a pie tin in the pot to keep his meatballs from burning. I guess the extra layer buffers the heat some. I don't know how that would work for just sauce.
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Old 04-28-2011, 08:50 AM   #17
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does anyone know what "simmer" translates into in terms of degrees? 150 degrees f?
180* ~ 200* f.
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Old 04-30-2011, 02:43 AM   #18
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If I were you I'd shorten the cooking time and stirrrrrrr like hell. May not be the proper solution though... just saying what I'd do. =p

I'm no expert but maybe more oil/water perhaps?
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Old 04-30-2011, 12:30 PM   #19
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P.S. It may not be your fault at all Pengyou. I once had a stove that the lowest setting was too hot for a true simmer, and that's when I started using the heat diffuser. Worked like a charm.
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Old 05-12-2011, 05:48 AM   #20
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Truka heat diffusers are flat and efficient, so very good on gas hobs as well and they come in two sizes. If you have a flat top hob like ceramic or solid top range cooker you can cheat by placing 3 or 4 coins of the same thickness on the top and placing your pan on those to diffuse the heat. Just dont burn yourself when you come to take the coins off!
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