Cooking Techniques

Boil

Julia Child, in her book From Julia Child's Kitchen, defines seven stages of heating water. Other authors have given other definitions but most are similar to these.

1. Tepid: 85 to 105 degrees.

2. Warm: 115 to 120 degrees.

3. Hot: 130 to 135 degrees.

4. Poach: 180 to 190 degrees. This is the point at which the water starts to move. Julia Child calls this stage a "shiver" James Beard referred to it as "feeble ebullition." This is the stage to blanch at.

5. Simmer: 190 to 200 degrees. Bubbles start to show in the water. This is the point at which most stews are cooked and at which braising is done.

6. Slow boil: 205 degrees. There are slow rising bubbles forming.

7. The real boil, full boil or rolling boil: To heat a liquid to its boiling point (in the case of water this is 212° F) until bubbles break the surface. "Boil" also means to cook food in a boiling liquid.