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What's your latest food quest?


walnut Sep 6, 2013 01:26 PM

With being very new in cooking. A question came to me and I hope I say it right,if you put a pan on the stove and you are going to warm it up ,you don't simmer it or boil it or fry it ... Is there a name for this beside warming? Is there anything before simmering? Thkx

  1. Jacquilynne Sep 6, 2013 01:38 PM

    If you're just warming the pan, without anything in it, you're pre-heating it. If you're warming whatever is in the pan but not bringing it to a simmer or a boil, warming is the right word for that.

    1. JungMann Sep 6, 2013 01:53 PM

      For something to simmer and eventually boil, it has to be a liquid. If your stove can reach a temperature around 3000°C, your stainless steel pan would eventually melt, and as that liquified steel heats, it would eventually simmer and boil as well.

      But so long as your pan remains a solid metal, you are simply heating it up.

      1. paulj Sep 6, 2013 02:00 PM

        The pan isn't food, so all you do is warm it, heat it, warp it, and toss it. Simmering, boiling, frying are terms that imply a cooking medium (water or fat), and food.

        'boil' is defined independently of cooking. It has to do with the conversion of a liquid to vapor when heated. You can look that up in a dictionary.

        1. Midlife Sep 6, 2013 02:41 PM

          WOW! A couple of pretty literal takes on your question. Looking forward to more replies, but I'll assume Jacquilynne is giving you the answer you were looking for.

          Posting here can be a real adventure. ;o] I notice you don't post often. If I'm right about your question, please don't be put off by this.

          1. w
            walnut Sep 6, 2013 05:49 PM

            I am talking not of the pan but of the food in it. Basically in a recipe if not boiling ,frying, simmering etc.... Is there any thing before simmering that could be used. I guess warming is right than. What if a rec. just says cook and nothing else......would this be a poor written rec.

            2 Replies
            1. re: walnut
              Hobbert Sep 6, 2013 05:54 PM

              Simmering, boiling, and frying aren't necessarily indicators of heat level- they're ways to cook food. What does the recipe say? If it just says "cook in a pan", then yeah, it's probably a questionable recipe. Most say how to cook something- fry, boil, sauté, steam, poach, etc. It would be odd if it just says to "cook".

              1. re: walnut
                Midlife Sep 6, 2013 06:15 PM

                Yes. I'd say a recipe was poorly written if you couldn't tell how to proceed with "cooking", but sometimes the thing you're cooking can really only be handled one way within the recipe's context. In some cases a bit if experience may be required to be sure exactly what to do.

              2. w
                walnut Sep 6, 2013 06:21 PM

                ok i should say any other terms to cook food ..... that might be before simmering? I know boil, fry, poach ,steam,saute etc...Basically all rec. will say simmer boil, fry, poach, steam saute etc....,,You just dont put food or liquid in pan and turn on heat w/out some kind of direction on what to do right?

                1 Reply
                1. re: walnut
                  Hobbert Sep 7, 2013 03:31 AM

                  What does the recipe you're using say? It's unlikely it tells you to put something in water and not simmer or boil it...

                2. b
                  BangorDin Sep 7, 2013 07:46 AM

                  In common expressions, before something simmers, you "bring" it to a simmer. Before something boils, you are "bringing it to a boil." Actually, this is more a language question than a cooking question.

                  1. Karl S Sep 7, 2013 09:28 AM

                    Just don't do it for long with a non-stick pan. Nicht gut.

                    1. w
                      walnut Sep 7, 2013 08:00 PM


                      Very helpful on what you said here......Simmering, boiling, frying are terms that imply a cooking medium (water or fat), and food..Any other you could share for other terms. Thanks

                      1. greygarious Sep 7, 2013 09:08 PM

                        Another term: Sweat. It refers to cooking a vegetable (most often onion) in a small amount of fat over low heat, just until beads of moisture accumulate on the surface of the softening food.

                        Walnut, is English a second language for you, or are you perhaps an engineer? You seem to need very specific definitions and explanations. Here is a website that might help you: http://www.cookingforengineers.com/

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: greygarious
                          walnut Sep 7, 2013 09:25 PM

                          I know most of the terms. It's just when it was said that liquid or fat and food for simmering ,boiling and frying thought that was different .

                          1. re: walnut
                            greygarious Sep 7, 2013 10:46 PM

                            Sorry, your last sentence makes no sense.

                        2. w
                          walnut Sep 8, 2013 12:10 AM

                          It's what I asked Pauli.

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