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Meatball Soup simmering on a stove.

Simmering is a food preparation technique in which foods are cooked in hot liquids kept just below the boiling point of water[1] (which is 100 °C or 212 °F at average sea level air pressure), but higher than poaching temperature (higher than 71–82 °C or 160-180°F). To keep a pot simmering, one brings it to a boil and then reduces the heat to maintain the temperature.

In food preparation[edit]

Simmering ensures gentler treatment than boiling to prevent food from toughening and/or breaking up. Simmering is usually a rapid and efficient method of cooking. Food that has simmered in milk or cream instead of water is sometimes referred to as creamed; the appropriate simmering temperature is a topic of debate among chefs, with some contending that a simmer is as low as 82 °C (180 °F).[2]

Japanese cuisine[edit]

In Japanese cuisine, simmering is considered one of the four essential cooking techniques.[citation needed]

American cuisine[edit]

Food prepared in a crockpot is simmered. Examples include stews, chili, soups, etc.

Bulgarian cuisine[edit]

Bulgarian traditional food, especially tender meat dishes are often simmered for extended periods of time. Examples include stews, soups, Vanyas, etc.

Dutch and Flemish cuisine[edit]

Typical Dutch burner for simmering meat

In traditional Dutch and Flemish cuisine, less tender cuts of beef are simmered for several hours to obtain Carbonade flamande. Traditionally a small flame is used, fed by burning oil. On modern stoves, the source of heat is put very low, or a simmering plate is used to diminish the heat. Usually a cast iron pan is used with a thick bottom; the meat is ready if it can be easily torn apart into threads. [3]

Persian Cuisine[edit]

Simmering is one of the most popular style of cooking in Iran. In traditional Iranian cuisine, almost all types of Persian Khoresh are simmered for several hours; that is also the case with some other Iranian dishes like Abgoosht, Bozbash, etc..

Modern stoves[edit]

Some modern gas ranges are equipped with a simmering burner, with such burners usually located at the rear of the range. Many electric ranges have a simmer setting.

Slow cookers[edit]

Slow cookers are countertop electrical appliances used to simmer foods for hours at a time.[4]


  1. ^ Simmer definition from - Culinary arts. Retrieved May 2009.
  2. ^ The Professional Chef (9th edition). John Wiley & Sons Inc. 2011. pp. 263 et seq. ISBN 978-0-470-42135-2.
  3. ^ "Simmering meat". Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  4. ^ Gisslen, Wayne (2011). Professional cooking, 7th ed., John Wiley & Sons, Inc. p. 71

External links[edit]