"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > Cooking Resources > Terms & Techniques
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 08-07-2014, 04:48 PM   #1
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Dallas
Posts: 3
"Longer it sits the better it gets"

My question is referring to simmering and slow cooking. Is the old term "the longer it sits the better it gets" true? I grew up hearing it so I always cooking chilis and tomato sauces over hours assuming that all the flavors are morphing into something wonderful. Granted I never try otherwise, but I wanted to know can you over simmer something? For example curry, or a sauce with meat in it (cooked meat)? I look forward to hearing others opinions on this.

__________________

TexChef is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2014, 05:47 PM   #2
Head Chef
 
Josie1945's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Sunny Central Florida
Posts: 2,290
Hi TexChef,
Welcome to DC


Josie
__________________

__________________
Practice Random Acts of Kindness ( RAK ) Makes you feel great too
Josie1945 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2014, 05:56 PM   #3
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 45,971
Long slow cooking does a couple of things. Certainly it extracts all the flavors from the ingredients, enriches them and they blend for great flavor.

In addition, extended cooking physically breaks down the ingredients. If you cook a stew or chili etc. too long, the meat and veggies will turn to mush. Not a texture one expects with stews and chilis.

When I make chili, I use chuck I cut into half inch pieces. When it has cooked long enough that the pieces are tender, the chili is done.
__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2014, 06:01 PM   #4
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Park Drive Bar/Grill Los Angeles
Posts: 13,094
My food always tastes better the next day....:))
roadfix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2014, 06:15 PM   #5
Chef Extraordinaire
 
GotGarlic's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southeastern Virginia
Posts: 23,573
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
Long slow cooking does a couple of things. Certainly it extracts all the flavors from the ingredients, enriches them and they blend for great flavor.

In addition, extended cooking physically breaks down the ingredients. If you cook a stew or chili etc. too long, the meat and veggies will turn to mush. Not a texture one expects with stews and chilis.

When I make chili, I use chuck I cut into half inch pieces. When it has cooked long enough that the pieces are tender, the chili is done.
Yes, and even after cooling and refrigerating long-cooked foods, chemical reactions continue to create new flavor compounds, making the food tastier. Overcooking even fatty cuts can dry out the meat, though. It squeezes the moisture out of the meat fibers.
__________________
Anyplace where people argue about food is a good place.
~ Anthony Bourdain, Parts Unknown, 2018
GotGarlic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2014, 06:15 PM   #6
Head Chef
 
creative's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: UK
Posts: 1,521
I wonder what your thoughts are on something I made a note of re. bolognese sauce from Adelle Davis.

Apparently "nothing is accomplished by very long simmering except evaporation (less liquid could be added in the first place) and extraction of aromatic oils from the seasonings. Also, nutritive value is lost.

Instead of cooking it for 3 hours, let it stand (in reduced liquid) in fridge for same length of time. Standing vastly improves the flavour."

I have yet to try this...perhaps I am a bit dubious of it.

I have added a conflicting piece of info - gleaned elsewhere - that says the long cooking is to soften the mince (since it comes from a tough part of the animal).

I guess, if lean steak mince was used it would overcome that need.




__________________
"All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt" (Charles M. Shulz)
creative is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2014, 06:39 PM   #7
Head Chef
 
Zagut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Friendship,MD.
Posts: 1,298
Longer is not always better.

Meats are done when tender. Temp is your friend here. Keep going and they tend to dry out.

Some veggies turn too mush when cooked too long. A lot depends on how you like them.

But there is something to be said for letting it sit for the flavors to blend. IMHO that is better accomplished in the fridge. The next day is different then excessive time on the stove.
Zagut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2014, 06:56 PM   #8
Sous Chef
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: California's Big Valley
Posts: 843
I agree with Zagut. Longer is not always better. And also agree with roadfix, somethings taste better the next day. Tasting better the next day does not mean it cooked 24 hours, it just means it's mellowed during it's rest period.
Oldvine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2014, 06:59 PM   #9
Master Chef
 
Cheryl J's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: California
Posts: 9,993
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zagut View Post
Longer is not always better.

Meats are done when tender. Temp is your friend here. Keep going and they tend to dry out.

Some veggies turn too mush when cooked too long. A lot depends on how you like them.

But there is something to be said for letting it sit for the flavors to blend. IMHO that is better accomplished in the fridge. The next day is different then excessive time on the stove.
Agreed.
__________________
Grandchildren fill the space in your heart you never knew was empty.
Cheryl J is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2014, 07:29 PM   #10
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Kayelle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: south central coast/California
Posts: 13,990
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zagut View Post
Longer is not always better.

Meats are done when tender. Temp is your friend here. Keep going and they tend to dry out.

Some veggies turn too mush when cooked too long. A lot depends on how you like them.

But there is something to be said for letting it sit for the flavors to blend. IMHO that is better accomplished in the fridge. The next day is different then excessive time on the stove.
I'd agree with that too. I'd also add that meatless dishes like a Mariana sauce can cook too long also.

"The longer it sits the better it gets?" Not really, or we'd never pitch out leftovers.
__________________
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but rather by the moments that take our breath away.

Kayelle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2014, 07:42 PM   #11
Head Chef
 
creative's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: UK
Posts: 1,521
Smile

The longer it sits, the better it gets....kind of reminds me of a joke...

A woman proudly boasts to her guests "I've been cooking for 20 years"

A guest dryly replies"....well, it should be done by now!"
__________________
"All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt" (Charles M. Shulz)
creative is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2014, 11:14 PM   #12
Head Chef
 
skilletlicker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Memphis, TN
Posts: 1,763
I must be the only one who hasn't heard "the longer it sits..."

I have heard, and my experience confirms, that most stews and chillis and braises improve after a night in the fridge. Longer cooking times aren't necessarily better. It depends what you're doing. You can put big hunks of onion, celery and carrot at the beginning of stock making and cook for several hours and they will have improved the stock but you'll want to throw the solid remains away when you're done. If you want those same veggies to be part of soup, stew or whatever then add them in the last 20, 30, 40 minutes. The meat attached to chicken bones that have been simmering for three or for hours is flavorless mush but it has contributed to the brothiness of the stock. Chicken bones will improve the stock for several hours of simmering. Pork bones for 24 hours or more. Beef bones for a couple days but if you want to use the meat you have to remove it from the bone when the meat is done then put the bones back into the stock.

You seem to be particularly interested in tomato sauces and I'm no expert at those but I do know from experience that beef neck bones, cooked for a couple days, make a terrific stock which you can cool in the fridge overnight, remove the fat, and then add tomatoes to make a heck of a pasta sauce. You sure wouldn't want to cook the maters as long as the bones though.

I probably should have just said that longer ain't necessarily better.
__________________
"'Eat food, not too much, mostly plants." - Michael Pollan

Old bachelor cook
skilletlicker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2014, 12:02 AM   #13
Executive Chef
 
salt and pepper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Montana
Posts: 2,606
No!
Stew's & chili are great to serve at once.... but they do develop flavor the next day, as do pasta w/ seafood. Many other dish's too. The key, is to eat them the next day! Don't let fresh food sit too long, never!
salt and pepper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2014, 12:17 AM   #14
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Dallas
Posts: 3
This has been so interesting reading the responses given. I made a chicken curry tonight and the chicken cook great tonight on a low simmer for three hours. I am just trying to figure out my thresholds on timing. I agree on the overnight fridge time especially with chili. Thank you all for the quick replies!

Sent from my Nexus 5 using Discuss Cooking mobile app
TexChef is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2014, 01:06 AM   #15
Head Chef
 
skilletlicker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Memphis, TN
Posts: 1,763
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexChef View Post
... I made a chicken curry tonight and the chicken cook great tonight on a low simmer for three hours...
If you're going to cook chicken that long it helps if it's dark meat and you keep the temp way down so there is only an occasional bubble. Probably about 180F (like you said, a low simmer) Still I'd be tempted to remove the meat after 30 min. Return the bones to the pot if you want to get every last bit out of them, and put the meat back at the very end just to reheat. Three hours is a mighty long time for chicken meat.
__________________
"'Eat food, not too much, mostly plants." - Michael Pollan

Old bachelor cook
skilletlicker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2014, 10:13 AM   #16
Executive Chef
 
bakechef's Avatar
Site Moderator
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 4,127
Sauces like spaghetti sauce and chili definitely benefit from long slow cooking.

I almost never cook and eat a chili or spaghetti sauce (homemade) the same day, I usually cook it the evening before and let it sit in the fridge overnight.
__________________
I'm Bloggin'

http://bakingbetter.com
bakechef is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2014, 10:23 AM   #17
Chef Extraordinaire
 
GotGarlic's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southeastern Virginia
Posts: 23,573
Quote:
Originally Posted by bakechef View Post
Sauces like spaghetti sauce and chili definitely benefit from long slow cooking.

I almost never cook and eat a chili or spaghetti sauce (homemade) the same day, I usually cook it the evening before and let it sit in the fridge overnight.
Same with lasagna
__________________
Anyplace where people argue about food is a good place.
~ Anthony Bourdain, Parts Unknown, 2018
GotGarlic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2014, 11:19 AM   #18
Chef Extraordinaire
 
jennyema's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Boston and Cape Cod
Posts: 10,059
Longer is not always better. True, but for some things longer is better.

"Instead of cooking it for 3 hours, let it stand (in reduced liquid) in fridge for same length of time."

That would be really bad advice for many things like a stew or pork butt or ropa vieja.
__________________
Less is not more. More is more and more is fabulous.
jennyema is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2014, 11:46 AM   #19
Head Chef
 
skilletlicker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Memphis, TN
Posts: 1,763
Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyema View Post
Longer is not always better. True, but for some things longer is better.

"Instead of cooking it for 3 hours, let it stand (in reduced liquid) in fridge for same length of time."

That would be really bad advice for many things like a stew or pork butt or ropa vieja.
Yeah, collagen doesn't break down in the ice box.
__________________
"'Eat food, not too much, mostly plants." - Michael Pollan

Old bachelor cook
skilletlicker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2014, 03:14 PM   #20
Head Chef
 
creative's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: UK
Posts: 1,521
Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyema View Post
Longer is not always better. True, but for some things longer is better.

"Instead of cooking it for 3 hours, let it stand (in reduced liquid) in fridge for same length of time."

That would be really bad advice for many things like a stew or pork butt or ropa vieja.
? Huh? It wasn't meant to apply to anything other than what Adelle Davis was referring to, i.e. bolognese sauce.
(As mentioned in my post #6, page 1)
__________________

__________________
"All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt" (Charles M. Shulz)
creative 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 08:31 AM.


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