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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

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  1. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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

              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

                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.