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Old 03-03-2012, 09:33 AM   #41
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simmer

on the sauce made with wine ...couldnt the medium heat be the same here too...medium heat get to a simmer?
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Old 03-03-2012, 10:11 AM   #42
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When a recipe includes that type of instruction, it's not a command, it's a helpful hint.

You know what a simmer is, how you get there is not important.
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Old 03-03-2012, 12:51 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by mumu View Post
Bring to a gentle simmer over medium-high heat, then cook and stir gently until the liquid thickens slightly, about 3-5 minutes.
It says to bring to a gentle simmer and then cook and stir gently. Child has no way of knowing what stove you're using. You're supposed to use your personal judgement to decide for yourself what heat you need to continue cooking and stirring gently for 3-5 minutes.

On my stove in 3-5 minutes at medium-high heat that liquid would be boiling over the top of the pan.

You will not succeed at cooking until/unless you develop an ability to exercise your own judgement. Up until now you've just been complaining about how recipes are worded. If you want to succeed at cooking you are going to have to move beyond that.
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Old 03-03-2012, 04:31 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by Gourmet Greg View Post
You will not succeed at cooking until/unless you develop an ability to exercise your own judgement. Up until now you've just been complaining about how recipes are worded. If you want to succeed at cooking you are going to have to move beyond that.
I'm glad I finished reading this thread so I didn't repeat verbatim what you just posted, but this is exactly what I was going to post.
To me, recipes are training wheels and the longer your cook the less you follow them and the more you use them as a guideline. OP is getting hung up on the details of the recipe and missing the forest for the trees. The sauce recipe OP posted needs the wine to be reduced, so a true simmer or a light boil is going to make minimal difference so long as the sauce ends up at the right consistency.

The bottom line is this: A boil is a boil, a simmer is a simmer, and that's that. The condition of the liquid in the cooking vessel is your sole indicator of whether it's at a simmer or a boil. The heat setting is 100% variable between stoves since stove X can produce 500 BTU at the medium setting while stove Y can produce 1000 BTU at the medium setting. Since stoves vary, the setting on each stove is different to get the same effect in the pan. Pay attention to the food, not the heat setting.
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Old 03-06-2012, 05:25 PM   #45
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simmer define

thanks for all the advice. Yes i know u are suppose look at whats in the pan to see how the ingr. are cooking,instead of the dials. But i would like to say i have seen and been told by so many that when it came to a simmer you go to the lowest setting and that is at low or lowest flame. Even recipes with video seen bring to a boil over high heat and then say simmer and go to low and simmer there and that was with chili,also video on chili made at medium heat and put on one of those simmer burners to cont.the rest of cooking. So still kinda confused when u should look to see what the pot is doing and yet told to do the above. As a newbie this is all confusing. really can the chili thing be finished cooking on the simmer burner on the stove. I know u all said look to see what the pan is doing ,and its poor rec. directions....but really how can there be all the above ?
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Old 03-06-2012, 06:16 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by mumu View Post
thanks for all the advice. Yes i know u are suppose look at whats in the pan to see how the ingr. are cooking,instead of the dials. But i would like to say i have seen and been told by so many that when it came to a simmer you go to the lowest setting and that is at low or lowest flame. Even recipes with video seen bring to a boil over high heat and then say simmer and go to low and simmer there and that was with chili,also video on chili made at medium heat and put on one of those simmer burners to cont.the rest of cooking. So still kinda confused when u should look to see what the pot is doing and yet told to do the above. As a newbie this is all confusing. really can the chili thing be finished cooking on the simmer burner on the stove. I know u all said look to see what the pan is doing ,and its poor rec. directions....but really how can there be all the above ?
It can be all of the above as you say, depending on the person who is giving the directions and what simmer is on their stove. BUT you do not have to worry about the directions anymore, when you see the word simmer, you can bypass all the medium/ high/ low settings.. you will now know from this thread what simmer means, and what is expected of you.
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Old 03-06-2012, 06:31 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by mumu View Post
thanks for all the advice. Yes i know u are suppose look at whats in the pan to see how the ingr. are cooking,instead of the dials. But i would like to say i have seen and been told by so many that when it came to a simmer you go to the lowest setting and that is at low or lowest flame. Even recipes with video seen bring to a boil over high heat and then say simmer and go to low and simmer there and that was with chili,also video on chili made at medium heat and put on one of those simmer burners to cont.the rest of cooking. So still kinda confused when u should look to see what the pot is doing and yet told to do the above. As a newbie this is all confusing. really can the chili thing be finished cooking on the simmer burner on the stove. I know u all said look to see what the pan is doing ,and its poor rec. directions....but really how can there be all the above ?
You cannot expect to be taught everything about cooking from one recipe, from a few recipes, or from some discussions on Internet forums.

Get some books on cooking that have introductory chapters on concepts, terms, and techniques. Try reading the opening chapters of the long time classic Joy of Cooking by Rombauer and Becker. You can find it at your public library under 641.5973 R762.
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Old 03-06-2012, 07:10 PM   #48
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I understand that you are conflicted by the seeming differences between what we have said and what you have heard/read elsewhere.

You have to decide how you are going to handle it.
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Old 03-06-2012, 07:56 PM   #49
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Unless you have exactly the same stove that is used in the recipe and exactly the same gas pressure. If it is gas, you cannot completely go by the recipe, you have to try and find out what settings you will have to have on your stove for simmering in your case. If I turn my stove to the lowest setting not only it is not going to simmer (even on the bigest burner) it will not even stay hot. Maybe warm at best. Alton Brown in one of his videos specificaly shows what boiling, simmering etc. really is. I don't know where to find it, but if you dig, maybe it will be helpfull for you to learn.
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Old 03-06-2012, 08:20 PM   #50
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P.S. Cooking, using a recipe it is like driving, using GPS directions. Takes getting used to it.
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