cook books

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by bingo, Aug 28, 2013.

  1. bingo

    bingo Banned

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    Can't boil water
    why is it in many cook books you see where they tell you the tech. use but  never the heat setting to use. Dont get wrong some do but many dont ,why is that. EXAMPLE.....bring to boil or gradually bring up to simmer or simmer or bring sauce to a simmer  and nothing about heat settings. Boil could be done on high or even medium so how is a new cook suppose to know?
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2013
  2. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    I Just Like Food
    Many cookbooks are about pretty pictures and sales rather than helping the user actually make a good meal. 

    This is why you should look at a cookbook carefully before you buy it, read reviews and determine if it's really right for you. 
     
  3. siduri

    siduri

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    At home cook
    I never had a stove with heat settings except on the oven.  I just have a dial that turns the gas up or down.  And my smallest gas ring will barely hold a small mocca italian two cup coffee pot and my biggest is as wide as a medium frying pan, so how would you determine the heat setting,
     
  4. brianshaw

    brianshaw

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    Former Chef
    All that is really important is that you aren't boiling when you should be simmering, and you aren't simmering when you should be boiling.  I think the way one gets to a simmer and boil is considered so intuitive as to not need explanation.

    I once saw a cookbook that did explain such "intuitive" techniques.  It was in the "... for Idiots" series.  While I hate that title, the books are focused on the very basic that  cookbooks (and many how-to books of other genre) simply don't teach.

    Cookbooks are written at various levels of detail and for different audiences.  Few seem to be written for those who can't boil water.  :)
     
  5. siduri

    siduri

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    True Brian, but more than that, every stove is different and the heating elements are faster or slower.  If you need to simmer something, and you put it on low on my smallest burner, you'll wait a good hour for it to even GET to the simmer.  So i put it on high on a larger burner, then transfer to the small one to keep it at a simmer.  But while ovens have thermostats, that determine the actual temperature inside them, you can't have a stovetop that gives you the actual temperature inside the pot.  The thermostat could only be underneath, if there were one, which i never heard of anyway. 

    Most cookbooks i've read, however, indicate "over a high flame" or "now lower the heat to medium" or "warm slowly over a low flame" 

    I'm not sure what sort of stove YOU have, Bingo, but i guarantee you that not all stoves have the same numbers or lines or indications, and so it would be pointless for any cookbook to indicate them. 
     
  6. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Induction hobs can give you fairly close temps for the pan. They have the temp sensor under  the glass. But with induction, only the pan gets hot, not the induction elements. So the sensor detects the what heat the pan radiates back to the glass, giving you a reasonable approximation of the temp of the pot or pan. Great for deep frying, simmering and I like it for roux too. I also like it for stock, set the pot to 180 F and walk away for hours. No fiddling with the heat at all.  Rendering fat from pork or chicken skin/parts is also great with a temp control, I like 250 for that. You don't have to pay any attention at all except to turn the fatty chunks now and then.