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Old 06-12-2020, 01:07 PM   #1
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Question about Simmering

In general, I've had a hard time determining when I'm truly simmering something. I know it's a gentle boil, where you'll see small bubbles at the surface.

For example, when I was making stew, I saw a couple of small bubbles at the surface. Does that mean it was simmering? Do the bubbles have to be throughout the pot or could it just be 1 or 2 bubbles?

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Old 06-12-2020, 01:23 PM   #2
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With quality cookware that is designed to heat evenly, you'll actually see a little more activity around the perimeter then in the middle. This is a good thing as it indicates that the whole pan is warm as opposed to just the bottom, which can cause food at the bottom to overcook if not stirred more frequently.
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Old 06-12-2020, 01:32 PM   #3
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Simmering is actually below a boil. Boiling happens at 212F and simmering is cooking at between 190-205F. There might be some small bubbles but not much.
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Old 06-12-2020, 07:22 PM   #4
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Are you cooking on electric or gas burners ? The reason I ask is that at home I have an electric range. At other places I cook there is gas.

When at home, if I set a saute pan or sauce pan on "simmer" and I don't stay close to stir it occasionally it will bring the contents to a boil. With the large commercial six burner gas ranges I cook on, the flames can be adjusted
low enough (I've learned to adjust the flame by sight) to keep the simmering below where it would boil.

My electric range has settings on the knobs where the knobs of the gas are adjustable.

This is probably why so many cooks favor gas ranges.
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Old 06-12-2020, 07:42 PM   #5
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I guess it depends on the tool rather than the fuel. My electric ceramic cooktop is continuously variable from off to high. I find I can set it to a lower continuous temperature then I can my gas cooktop.
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Old 06-13-2020, 02:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RCJoe View Post
Are you cooking on electric or gas burners ? The reason I ask is that at home I have an electric range. At other places I cook there is gas.

When at home, if I set a saute pan or sauce pan on "simmer" and I don't stay close to stir it occasionally it will bring the contents to a boil. With the large commercial six burner gas ranges I cook on, the flames can be adjusted
low enough (I've learned to adjust the flame by sight) to keep the simmering below where it would boil.

My electric range has settings on the knobs where the knobs of the gas are adjustable.

This is probably why so many cooks favor gas ranges.
Not sure who you're asking, but I have a gas stove with a special simmer burner. The lowest setting is called Melt, so I can maintain pretty consistent temperatures with it.
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Old 06-15-2020, 02:20 PM   #7
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I usually saute on medium heat you should be able to hear the sizzle and watch the bubbles form. with an electric stove you don't always get even heat around your pan. sometimes as the coils age they don't put out heat evenly. there are many other factors involved as well such as having an over sized pan as i do cause you like cooking a greater quantities. also the newer pans just don't heat as evenly as older pans such as cast iron which is the best pan to use for sauteing it distributes the heat more evenly and more efficiently but gotta be careful cause it also gets hotter so need to adjust your temperature setting to compensate for that.
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