What is simmering?
Simmering is a gentler cooking technique than boiling. In simmering, the food along with the liquid (stock/broth, wine or water) is heated to a temperature just below its boiling point and slowly cooked over a longer period.
Simmering is done in two ways depending on the ingredients used:
a) The liquid is brought to a boil followed by lowering the heat to a minimum; reducing the temperature (85-95 ºC) and the frequency of bubbling. Fish is poached in its cooking liquid by simmering as it prevents overcooking of the fish.
b) The liquid at the room temperature is gradually heated to a temperature below the boiling point on a low heat. Meat added to an already boiling liquid toughens the proteins whereas gradual simmering by braising results in moist, tender meat.
Fibrous root vegetables, potatoes, turnips, beetroot and pasta respond well to simmering. Broth or a stock solution is prepared by simmering that allows the fats from the meat or bones to come to the surface; skim it for a clear broth.