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Old 07-13-2006, 10:22 PM   #11
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The recommendation was to use high heat to get the ingredients up to simmer temp quickly then turn the heat down to a simmer. No one was suggesting the pot be boiled on high heat for an extended period.
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Old 07-13-2006, 11:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M.
The recommendation was to use high heat to get the ingredients up to simmer temp quickly then turn the heat down to a simmer. No one was suggesting the pot be boiled on high heat for an extended period.
The question was "Why do you have to turn it down to a simmer?" I was just offering another reason for doing so. Something like spaghetti sauce isn't going to be damaged by the boiling action, but I guarantee that it will be damaged by the excessive heat on the bottom of the pan. In fact, I'd be inclined to take it up to a simmer gradually and never risk the scorching at all.
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Old 07-13-2006, 11:47 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M.
You bring it to a boil so it gets up to temp quickly. Then you reduce it to a simmer. The temperature of a simmer is less than boiling. This allows you to cook the ingredients and extract flavors, etc. Boiling will actually toughen proteins and cause the liquids to absorb excess amounts of fats.
Quote:
Originally Posted by advoca
So, if you bring the water to a boil (this gets it to approximately 100 degrees C or 212 degrees F). If you then turn it to a simmer the temperature stays the same but the movement of the water is minimised and the food cooks at the boiling temperature without unwanted movement.
When I make stock I want to "simmer" at about 185F In fact I use my probe thermometer set at 185F to make sure the temp doesn't get too high.

I stress I'm no expert but maybe we need some clarification of terms by someone who is. In the mean time here's a link to an epicurious.com definition of simmer.
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Old 07-14-2006, 08:05 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RPCookin
The question was "Why do you have to turn it down to a simmer?" I was just offering another reason for doing so. Something like spaghetti sauce isn't going to be damaged by the boiling action, but I guarantee that it will be damaged by the excessive heat on the bottom of the pan. In fact, I'd be inclined to take it up to a simmer gradually and never risk the scorching at all.
I have never seen a spaghetti sauce recipe that called for it to be brought to a boil and then down to a simmer. I have not seen every sauce recipe there is though
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Old 07-14-2006, 04:36 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skilletlicker
When I make stock I want to "simmer" at about 185F In fact I use my probe thermometer set at 185F to make sure the temp doesn't get too high.

I stress I'm no expert but maybe we need some clarification of terms by someone who is. In the mean time here's a link to an epicurious.com definition of simmer.
That sounds like the temperature we were told in cooking school too. When we made chicken stock we simmered it and that was about the temp we were told to hold the pot at.

Living just outside of Denver, my pot boils at just 206° F., so a simmer is a few degrees lower too, in theory. But in practice, that doesn't really change.
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Old 07-18-2006, 07:22 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by auntdot
Basically the posters have nailed it.

To me, I bring it up to a boil first because the dials on my stove do not have an indicator that says simmer.

If I turn it on at a relatively low temp I have no idea if that will be a simmer.

If it is not, then after twenty minutes or so, have to adjust the temperature a bit more, and then wait.

And maybe repeat the process.

But if I bring the pot up to a boil, and then back off a bit, I can reach a simmer fairly quickly.

Am a lazy cook and that is why I do it that way.
That's exactly how I have to do it. I have a house with an electric stove.
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