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How To Cook: Chapter 1 - Terminology

Updated on November 20, 2011

Ok guys, I know this may sound stupid, but have you ever met someone who didn't know how to boil water? I have. With that in mind, I am going to start with two commonly seen terms, and simple instructions on how to accomplish these terms. Let's get cooking:

Boil - To boil something is to heat it to the point that large bubbles are popping quite frequently on the top. In order to acheive this, simply put liquid in a pan, put pan on heat, and heat until the liquid is boiling. There is a picture of this to the right.

Simmering water, on the other hand, is a slightly gentler version of boiling. The process and the idea are the same. A simmer is generally asked for after the liquid has already been boiled, in which case you simply turn the heat down until it is bubbling gently. See? Easy.

Ok, our first lesson was easy, right? I could have illustrated other terms, like emulsion, but that's getting a little ahead of ourselves, I think. For the beginning cook, it can be enought to know the difference between a boil and a simmer.

More instruction to follow. Tomorrow's lesson: How to properly measure liquids, and how to make great mashed potatoes. (With as little measuring as possible, since most people don't cook with measuring cups and other such implemets littering the kitchen.)


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    • Gales Girl profile image

      Gales Girl 6 years ago from Southern Indiana

      I learned by watching my parents, and then I taught myself whatever I needed to know in order to complete a specific recipe. I thought it might be nice to have a 'complete', reader-driven series of articles to help anyone who needs it. Glad you like it.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 6 years ago from America

      My husband says I couldn't boil water when we got married and he taught me all I know.....ha ha.

      Good hub.