Waiting for water to boil is boring. Let us entertain you with a poem! That's right — today's kitchen education is coming to you in the form of poetry. You'll never look at a pot of water quite the same again.
Never again will you wonder what separates a simmer from a boil! Or why a recipe might demand you "rapidly simmer" that sauce you just made! Nevermore will a pot of water befuddle your senses as it moves from a mere bubble to a full-on boil! Poetry is power, my friends.
Simmering and Boiling Cheat Sheet
- Slow Simmer: Low heat, very little activity in the pot. You'll see wisps of steam and a stray bubble or two, but that's it. Most often used for stocks and braises.
- Simmer: Medium-low heat, gentle bubbling in the pot. Most often used for soups, sauces, and braises.
- Rapid Simmer: Medium- to medium-high heat, more aggressive bubbling in the pot, but the bubbles should still be fairly small. Most often used for reducing sauces.
- Rolling Boil: High heat, lots of big bubbles over the whole surface of the liquid, roiling activity in the pot. Most often used for boiling pasta and blanching vegetables.
→ Read More! The Kitchn's Cooking School: Boil and Simmer
→ Video by Rebecca Blumhagen for The Kitchn