What do you mean by “Double Boiling”?
Double boiling is an age old cooking technique widely used in the east and west. In the west, it has been widely used to melt cheese, chocolate as well as preparing many heat sensitive cuisines and sauces. In the east, the Chinese usually use it to cook exclusive food delicacies such as bird’s nest, abalone, dietary supplements, herbal remedies and other cuisines which require long hours of simmering. The Cantonese, in particular, like to double boil their beloved Cantonese Soups as they believe that it will allow the ingredients to slowly release their nutrients into the soup. They also believe that double boiling can preserve the flavour and nutrients of the ingredients with minimal loss or damages.
What is a Double Boiler then?
It is a double-pot cooking device which comprises of a smaller inner pot placed inside a bigger outer boiling pot. They are both covered with a lid and they are usually made of ceramic or metal. Food and ingredients are placed in the inner pot while the outer is partially filled with water. When water in the outer pot is heated up by an external source and boils, it then heats up the inner pot and its content, keeping the temperature at 100°C through out the entire cooking process. This indirect heating method ensures that the content in the inner pot is not overcooked or scorched to retain its original taste and nutrients.
What is the difference between a Double Boiler and a Steamer?
Many may confuse a double boiler for a steamer as both are indirect heating utensils but they are essentially different. Unlike a steamer, the inner pot of a double boiler is covered with a lid and its content does not come into direct contact with any external matter, not even the steam. Hence, the original nutrients and flavour of the ingredients are safely ‘locked’ inside the inner pot and do not run the risk of being carried away by the hot water vapour.
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