There was a time when cooking meant boiling. And I mean boiling. That was the style in my mother’s kitchen and every other kitchen of my childhood.
My grandmother boiled food furiously although my mother at least turned the stove knob down a little. That’s what those knobs are for – to turn down the heat.
It’s a wonder anyone of my generation could bear to eat all that boiled food, the meat and vegetables (don’t remind me of boiled spinach) and yes, the puddings too, all boiled to within an inch of their lives. Or plain boiled to death.
But there’s a lot more to boiling than putting food in water and violently heating it. Boiling is a pretty violent action overall, an explosive transition between a liquid state and a gaseous state. Anything delicate, for example food, that gets in the way of this transitory process can end up badly damaged.
Let’s look at four ways to boil food or cooking food with moist heat.
Moist Heat Cooking
There are four ways of cooking food in water
Poach : Simmer : Slow Boil : Fast Boil
The difference between poaching and simmering, and simmering and full boil are only a matter of a few degrees but those few degrees make a big difference. Read your recipe carefully.
Here’s an example of moist heat cooking – How to Poach an Egg