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Boiling: The Basics of Heat Cooking
Written by Donias
Different Cooking Types and Boiling
For ages, people have explored various cooking methods to discover a wide array of flavors and tastes in food.
These various cooking methods can be largely divided into two categories: One that uses heat, and one that does not use heat. Within the cooking method that uses heat, the cooking method that uses water to heat can be seen as the basics of heat cooking.
The History of Boiling and Its Significance
Boiling is when you add water to a pot along with the food ingredients and heat the water.
Although Boiling is one of the most original methods of cooking using fire, its history is actually shorter than that of Baking or Steaming. Since Boiling uses water as its basic element, its development was largely correlated to the enhancement of bowls and dishes.
It is significant to note that foods that are cooked using the Boiling method absorb very quickly. Though fast absorption is typical of all cooking methods that use heat, Boiling not only expands small ingredients by using water, but it also softens the texture of hard and rough ingredients. Boiled foods also allow for smooth and easy digestion.
Benefits of Boiling
Now, let's explore the benefits of Boiling. Compared to other cooking methods, Boiling has the following benefits.
- It allows for the food to cook evenly.
- Since Boiling uses the element of water, it completely covers the food item to heat it. Therefore, unlike Baking, it cooks the food evenly without any other particular handling necessary.
- It blends various ingredients into one.
- It is a very effective way to effortlessly blend various ingredients into one just by adding the right amount of ingredients and water. The ingredients are soaked into the water, which allows all the flavors to spread all throughout.
- It is easy to manage the temperature.
- Since it uses the element of water to cook, it is fairly easy to check and control the temperature in which the food is being cooked compared to other methods. Therefore it is easy to learn this cooking method.
- You can cook in bulk.
- As long as you have a pot that's big enough to contain the water and ingredients, it is much more simpler to cook in large quantities compared to other methods. This is one of the biggest benefits of Boiling.
- You can disinfect any remaining bacteria left on the ingredients
- Even in the cleanest environment, there is always bacteria lurking around that can cause illness. By Boiling, it gets rid of any bacteria that might've been added while handling the food.
Besides these benefits, by adding spices into the water, Boiling also allows for flavors to easily soak into ingredients to enhance its flavor.
Downside of Boiling
However, the cooking method of Boiling has its downsides as well.
- The problem of cooking temperature limit and time.
- Since Simmering uses water as the primary conductor of heat, cooking time can take longer than other methods since the capacity of the cooking temperature is limited by the temperature of the water.
- Loss of nutrition
- If food items are cooked in water for a long period of time, some of the nutrition in the ingredients are dissolved in water and some are destroyed by the long duration of applied heat which allows for the food to lose significant nutritious value.
The Right way to utilize the Simmering method
Therefore, there are two things that you should be aware of when cooking using the Simmering method.
- This pertains to how you will maintain and control the temperature while Simmering. As you know, you can't raise the temperature beyond the maximum limit, but you must determine whether you should put the ingredients in when you first begin heating the water or when the water is already boiling, and factor in the temperature of the water at the time to your total cooking time.
- This implies to how long you will cook. If you cook the food too long, you will lose nutrition as well as taste, and the food itself will lose texture and color as well. However, if you cook it too short, the food might not cook all the way due to the temperature limit of water.
Therefore, learning how to control these two elements, temperature and time, and adjusting it depending on the food item and the dish you want to make is the first step in learning how to effectively use the Simmering method.