Unlike boiling, where food is cooked in rapidly moving liquid, simmering is a cooking process where food is cooked in liquid that is just below boiling point, never less than 82 °C. Simmering is characterized by gently rising bubbles that barely break the surface.

When boiling or simmering food, it is important to establish if the food should be placed into cold or hot liquid.

Many food dishes specially rice, soup and stews are first brought to a boil and then simmered for the remainder of the heating time.

Simmering is the stage just before boiling. It is soft, relaxed and small. Simmering is preferred over boiling in many cases because it its more gentle and will usually not physically damage the food. Also, foods will not overcook as quickly as they do when boiled.

Careful simmering is required when making a consommé and for the despumation of sauces.

When simmering food, it is usual to bring the contents of the saucepan to the boil and immediately lower the heat to a suitable setting.

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