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Aug 27, 2013 08:34 PM

not bringing to boil

if it isn't over heat and the recipe says "bring to a simmer" and you dont bring to a boil over high heat and reduce to simmer,how would you bring to a simmer? Would it be safe to say any heat setting can use to get it to a simmer like low ,med. high and once there reduce to maintain a simmer? Of course at low longer get to simmer ,med.little faster and high faster. I really would like some advice on this.

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  1. Depends on your stove. If you have electric coil burners, use high heat, and lower the setting once the liquid simmers, there will still be extra heat long enough that the liquid will continue to get hotter, possibly boiling. You can control that to an extent by moving the pot partway off the coil. If you have a glass-top electric, the heat may reduce faster, or not, depending on the model of the stove. With a gas stove, the heat responds quickly. With an induction burner, the heat responds instantly. In general, avoid high heat settings when you need the liquid's temp to get lower quickly.

    1. why is it rec. have bring to a simmer over low heat, medium heat and some say even over high heat is it just how fast they want you to get to a simmer?

      1 Reply
      1. re: walnut

        I think a lot of your confusion comes from semantics. You can get from point A to point B in a recipe via a variety of instructions, all basically saying the same thing, but in a different way.
        I hope that makes sense.
        What's important is that you know WHY something should be simmering and not boiling, or WHY something should be boiling for a while.
        And, know your cooking apparatus to know what works for your specific equipment to effect the result you're looking for.

      2. Bringing to a simmer over a low heat prevents agitation which can cloud a sauce or consomme when profuse boiling ensues.

        1 Reply
        1. re: hankstramm

          Also, when making stocks and broths, bringing the water to a simmer from cold very slowly helps draw the juices out of the meat, making a nice stock.

        2. Usually when a recipe says to bring to a simmer, I use a higher level of heat and just keep my eye on it to bring the heat down, once I see the liquid has reached a level of simmer. Of course, that depends somewhat on what I'm cooking--the ingredients and the level of liquid. If making a custard-type sauce, or hollandaise (really anything with eggs), for example, the heat is always kept low. But if I'm cooking a soup or stew or vegetables that need to simmer, using a high heat at the outset to quickly raise the temperature of the liquid is a time saver, and energy saver, and does no harm to food.

          1. jannie cooks would i be right to think as simmer like i do a boil as far as the heat is concern .. Sometimes i do over low or medium instead of high for boil depends on food and liquid in pot

            1 Reply
            1. re: walnut

              Sorry, walnut, your question isn't clear to me. Here are some articles that might explain things for you:


              Hopefully you will read them all; should clarify things for you.