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Old 11-04-2006, 02:37 PM   #1
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Question Do any of you own a double boiler?

Don't see or hear much about this cooking vessel, but I DO have one. It was very popular in the '50s, '60s, '70s and the '80s. Pyrex used to make one that had glass handles.

It used to come included in cookware sets or as an option to the sets. It's still a very handy and indispensable item in the kitchen for making delicate sauces and custards for cakes, pies and ice cream. It helps keep the mixture from burning, curdling or cooking too fast.

It consists of two small pots - one slightly smaller one fitting inside the other. Food in the upper pot is gently cooked by the heat and steam that comes from the boiling water in the lower pot.

Mine came with my Visions cookware that I bought in the mid '80s. It's now more or less a bowl with side handles that fits snuggly into the top of the largest sauce pot.

I STILL use it now and then for delicate sauces, puddings, custards for ice cream, etc.. What do you use yours for if you have one?

Of coarse, you can improvise by using a SS mixing bowl over a pot of boiling water to achieve similar results.

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Old 11-04-2006, 02:42 PM   #2
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I have an ancient enamel one and I love it. I use it for custards and melting chocolate mainly, and love it both because its deliciously retro and because I remember being knee high to a grasshopper and my mother using it. I occasionally speed up soften butter in it on an icy day.
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Old 11-04-2006, 02:57 PM   #3
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Yes, it can also be used to melt chocolate so that it won't burn.

I think my mom once had that set as well! I remember her using it to make the custard for banana pudding. Incidentally, I made pastry cream in mine for banana pudding last spring!! Pastry cream seems to hold up much better than ordinary custard, I think, because of the technique that's used to make it.

Mirro once made double boilers with metal handles. But i guess they aren't as popular as theyh one were years ago. Probably because now people use a bowl over a pot of boiling water.
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Old 11-04-2006, 03:00 PM   #4
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I always use a saucier and a stainless steel bowl.
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Old 11-04-2006, 03:02 PM   #5
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I also own a saucier, but I never tried any of the SS bowls to see which one would fit on it.
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Old 11-04-2006, 03:23 PM   #6
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I think double-boilers are pretty much still a norm - especially with bakers. I think they're not mentioned because they're not considered unusual. I think they don't come with cooking sets anymore because there are cheaper, alternative ways to improvise.
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Old 11-04-2006, 03:46 PM   #7
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I have a double boiler too...stainless steel....but I don't use it too often....I also use a saucier and a ss.bowl.
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Old 11-04-2006, 03:48 PM   #8
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I have one, but rarely use it, except for making whiskey sauce for bread pudding.

Does that mean I have more gadgets than brains?
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Old 11-04-2006, 04:02 PM   #9
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When I attended cooking school, the chefs there used a SS bowl over a pot of boiling water for making Chocolate Ganache and other delicate frostings.
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Old 11-04-2006, 04:04 PM   #10
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Corey, that's what I did before I bought my DB (also from BB&B).
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Old 11-04-2006, 04:06 PM   #11
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What brand is yours and what type of material is it made from?
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Old 11-04-2006, 04:10 PM   #12
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Corey, I just checked and can't find a name on mine. It's got a bottom pan with a heavier (core?) bottom than the top pan, which is made to fit on top of the bottom pan, and has a glass lid with a little "blowhole" in it.

forgot to add - both pieces are SS
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Old 11-04-2006, 04:35 PM   #13
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Smile

My double boiler was my grandmother's. It was made by Mirro and is made out of aluminum. I mostly use it for melting chocolate when making Christmas candy.
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Old 11-04-2006, 05:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
I always use a saucier and a stainless steel bowl.
Yup, exactly what I use.
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Old 11-04-2006, 08:19 PM   #15
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I never saw a need to buy a specific double boiler pot. It's just too easy to do the SS bowl over a pan of boiling water. It has the added benefit of your being able to vary the capacity to fit your needs.
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Old 11-04-2006, 08:35 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corey123
Don't see or hear much about this cooking vessel, but I DO have one. It was very popular in the '50s, '60s, '70s and the '80s. Pyrex used to make one that had glass handles.
I have an enamel over steel one that dates, at least, from the '30s. It was my grandmother's, I use it rarely, and should put it in the attic. The stainless or pyrex bowl over a boiling saucier is just as efficient, and can go in the dishwasher.
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Old 11-05-2006, 09:22 AM   #17
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When I was first starting out cooking (at home), I didn't own a double-boiler and whined everytime I made a white sauce about not having one. I finally got one for Christmas one year...but, I had made white sauce in a regular pot for so long, I couldn't adjust to the d.b.!!! Stopped whining and never did use that thing.

SST bowl over a saucier pan is the way for me when I do need the d.b. thing.
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Old 11-05-2006, 10:24 AM   #18
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I don't use mine for white sauce (bechimel) simply because it calls for you to make a roux of butter and flour first.

That has to cook a bit before you add the hot milk, and then you must let the sauce come up to the boil somewhat and then turn in down to simmer. But while adding and stirring in the milk, you must take the pan off heat.

This method is necessary so that the flour in the sauce cooks properly, or you will have a pasty-tasting sauce. The flour MUST cook.

The same method applies to gravies as well.
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Old 11-05-2006, 02:40 PM   #19
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I still have my double boiler, I bought it in the late 50s. The name on the bottom is " Duncan Hines " stainless steel cookware. (3 ply). Made by Regal Ware. I use to melt chocolate in it before I got my microwave oven. I am sure I did other things with it too, but I can't remember now.
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Old 11-05-2006, 05:16 PM   #20
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I have two of them and I use them for melting chocolate and making custards, mostly for ice cream. One was my mom's and its the largest, aluminum, made by Wearever. The "set" also has a wire basket for deep frying. Mom used it a few times to make donuts. It's at least as old as I am...

the other is smaller, made of enamel on carbon steel, by Chantal. I got two of them from Chantal back in the mid 80's when I was doing recipe development and promos for them. I gave the white one to my niece Tiffany, and kept the red one when the project was over. I love it, use it ALL the time, and it still looks like new. I sometimes use the bottom pot with the tempered glass lid as a small casserole for dressing.
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