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Old 03-02-2012, 01:29 PM   #1
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Simmer, define in a recipe.

most of the time the receipe says bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer ....but, what if the receipe says bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium and simmer. Does the above beginning statement(bring to to a boil then reduce heat to simmer)mean to drop to a low or medium simmer? How is one to determine what to drop to. You can have a low simmer and a medium simmer,am I correct in this? THX

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Old 03-02-2012, 01:32 PM   #2
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A simmer is a simmer. It means to heat food just below the boiling point, so it is just gently bubbling.
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Old 03-02-2012, 01:46 PM   #3
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simmer

so, there isn't different types of simmer? There is a site called cookthiswaynotthatway,that seems to say there are all kinds of simmer. That is why I ask if recipes says bringing a boil then reduce to simmer could lead you to think it could be low,or medium simmer.
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Old 03-02-2012, 01:49 PM   #4
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You BTB because it's the fastest way to get to the end point, which is to get the pot simmering. Then you RTS. The setting on your stove for simmering a certain size pot will probably be different from other stoves. So, if the instruction is to simmer the pot, the burner setting is determined by what's happening in the pot, not where on the dial you've set the burner.

A simmering pot should be producing a small amount of bubbles appearing around the center of the pot (assuming it's a big pot). They shoud be gently rising bubbles, not a furious boil. When you set a pot to simmer, you have to check it a couple of times to get it right. Then, every time you make that dish in that pot and that quantity, the setting will be the same on that burner. Put in in the recipe.
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Old 03-02-2012, 02:46 PM   #5
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Simmer means to heat food at the point where there is just some small disturbance or movement at the surface caused by the slightest amount of bubbling.

Beyond that it's left to the cook's judgement. There is no one simmer that fits all.
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Old 03-02-2012, 02:56 PM   #6
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simmer

you can simmer on medium heat as well as low heat ...right? All I am asking is if a recipe says bring to a boil and reduce to medium to simmer is this right or would low be the right way? On medium heat would have to watch so it dosnt get to a slow boil. Also seen receipe that said if you started the simmer at a higher temp,you would of cut down your reducing time.
So is there different simmers based on these statements? IF so then......bring to boil reduce to simmer,is simmer on low or medium? Like a crockpot you have a low simmer and high simmer..(get it to the simmering stage the fastest). So two types of simmering. So back to the question ...bring to a boil then reduce to simmer,is this low or what ?
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Old 03-02-2012, 03:10 PM   #7
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I would argue that, in most cases, if your burner is on medium, it's more than a simmer. You're probably looking more at medium low to low - possibly lower.

I really believe you are worried more about the mechanics of the stove than what's happening in the pot. All stoves are different. Instead of thinking too hard about where to set the knob, you should be more concerned with what the food is doing. As stated above, a simmer is a simmer. If it's more than gently bubbling, then it's a boil.
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Old 03-02-2012, 03:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mumu View Post
you can simmer on medium heat as well as low heat ...right? All I am asking is if a recipe says bring to a boil and reduce to medium to simmer is this right or would low be the right way? On medium heat would have to watch so it dosnt get to a slow boil. Also seen receipe that said if you started the simmer at a higher temp,you would of cut down your reducing time.
So is there different simmers based on these statements? IF so then......bring to boil reduce to simmer,is simmer on low or medium?
The answer is..."it depends".

The actual amount of fuel expended (adjusting the heat settings) depends on relative viscosity (fluidity) and amount (mass) of food heated to a certain temperature for a period of time.

1 gal of water | energy required to boil = number of kJ (kilojoules)

.40
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Old 03-02-2012, 03:22 PM   #9
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Hee, I wish someone would teach the concept of "simmering" to my loathesome, glass-topped Whirlpool range. It's either tepid or a runaway reactor core.
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Old 03-02-2012, 04:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mumu View Post
you can simmer on medium heat as well as low heat ...right? All I am asking is if a recipe says bring to a boil and reduce to medium to simmer is this right or would low be the right way? On medium heat would have to watch so it dosnt get to a slow boil. Also seen receipe that said if you started the simmer at a higher temp,you would of cut down your reducing time.
So is there different simmers based on these statements? IF so then......bring to boil reduce to simmer,is simmer on low or medium? Like a crockpot you have a low simmer and high simmer..(get it to the simmering stage the fastest). So two types of simmering. So back to the question ...bring to a boil then reduce to simmer,is this low or what ?
It depends.

If you are making a small sauce pan of something then I would say a low setting (or flame) for simmering.

If you are making a large pot of something (like a large pot of stock) then you may need a medium setting or flame to keep it at a simmer.

You need to look at it in the context of the recipe and what you are cooking / how large the quantity is.
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