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Old 04-19-2012, 04:50 PM   #1
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ISO "heat settings" clarification

If a recipe doesn't give u a heat setting to put the stove on what is the best place to start? I have a recipe for boiled peanuts and it says put seasonings etc. in pot and bring ingr. to a low boil. Low boil could be achieved at low,medium or high? I am thinking medium would be ok....but unclear on how u would decide? Is there a cooking rule or something u should follow?

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Old 04-19-2012, 05:13 PM   #2
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Personaly, I like to put it on hot and when it starts boling then I turn the fire down.
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Old 04-19-2012, 05:22 PM   #3
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so is it based on how fast u want it to be....to get to the low boil?
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Old 04-19-2012, 05:52 PM   #4
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When you start a pot of liquid that you want to boil, start it at the highest setting so it will get to a boil as quickly as possible. Then adjust the burner to maintain the low boil or simmer or whatever you need.

There is no point in heating up to a boil at any speed other than the fastest possible. It's just a waste of time. That's why so many recipes will say, "Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer."
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Old 04-19-2012, 05:55 PM   #5
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Mumu, even if your stove had settings on the dial they can't be relied on. Like Charlie said, turn it up as high as it will go to see what a fast boil looks like, and turn it down from there. You want to see bubbles, but fewer than a "fast boil".

We had a similar thread recently that went on and on......the truth is, it's not rocket science. Good luck with your peanuts, I'm sure they will be fine.
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Old 04-19-2012, 06:21 PM   #6
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A low boil is 212F. The same temp as a high boil. The only difference is the amount of bubbles you see and the size of the bubbles. What numbers you may have on your knobs really doesn't matter. Just common sense does.
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Old 04-20-2012, 03:57 PM   #7
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my confusion is when they said low boil...well,let me explain i just finished cooking something that said over medium heat bring to a low boil,and with that fresh in mind i could not understand the boiled peanuts recipe. Yes i agree to look at the food and not at the dials, my confusion is why couldnt the peanut recipe be over medium heat to get to a low boil. How do u tell when to use one way or the other? Hope that made sense. Am i right in thinking u can bring it to a low boil on medium or even low heat just take longer here on low.
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Old 04-20-2012, 04:24 PM   #8
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Well, I think they only specify the setting when there's some concern about burning something on the bottom as it's coming to a boil. I wouldn't think it would matter with peanuts. It would matter a great deal with milk. Or maybe when there was just something barely covered with water that would be in contact with the bottom of the pan. So the instructions are to use "medium" to bring it to a boil. And you adjust from there to keep it boiling, if that's the plan. "Medium" is hard enough to define. No one can say which setting on every range would hold it to a low boil. As you see in the other thread about a weak range burner, some have trouble holding a boil at all. On my gas range, I need a heat defuser to hold even the "simmer" burner down to a simmer.

I would not, however, assume that just because a recipe didn't say to use medium to bring a pan of milk to a boil I could blast away on high heat. It may not occur to the author that someone might not realize they would be scorching the milk on high before it all boiled.
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Old 04-20-2012, 05:06 PM   #9
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Why would you want to waste your heat source by starting out on a lower heat? These are peanuts. Boiled peanuts. Start on high, then adjust to a lower temp for a slower boil. The recipe author is at fault. It is up to you to use common sense and figure it out.
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Old 04-20-2012, 07:42 PM   #10
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could some one tell me after they look at this( you tube clip) why this lady turned the sloppy joe up to high to reach a medium boil,had already been on medium heat so wouldnt just increasing medium heat to say medium high been ok too, to reach medium boil. thanks for any advice.
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