Cooking - Simmering vs Boiling

Fresh Pasta and Ravioli TutorialWe have all heard or read the terms in recipes about simmering versus boiling a mixture or water. This often occurs when making custard recipes or melting chocolate to prepare the water for use in a double boiler.

But, the terms can be confusing. What exactly is meant by them? Here is a list and description of the most commonly used terms in recipes:

Bare simmer: when a couple of small bubbles break through the surface every 2 to 3 seconds in different spots. 

Simmer: when pockets of fine but constant bubbles appear on the surface break, and give off occasional wisps of steam. 

Vigorous simmer/gentle boil: when more constant small bubbles break on the surface, with frequent wisps of steam, coupled with larger bubbles beginning to rise. 

Boil: when large bubbles come from the bottom of the pot and quickly rise to the surface and burst, releasing constant steam.
SARAH SAYS: At sea level, the boiling point is 212 degrees F (100 degrees C); at high altitudes, liquid boils at lower temperatures.

Rolling boil: when large bubbles audibly erupt continuously on the surface of the liquid releasing clouds of steam. The process is not disrupted by stirring or adding ingredients.

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