cc owners--can you simmer?

ShareherFebruary 18, 2012

I'm debating ranges to put in our remodeled kitchen. I was sold on a CC 36 inch range, but I've been reading more and more posts about people having trouble getting heat low enough. It would drive me crazy to not be able to cook a pot of rice without it boiling over. It's hard to tell from the postings whether these are isolated problems related to poor calibration or whether this is a consistent issue facing most owners. Can those of you who own a CC let me know if you are able to perform everyday low heat cooking like rice or whether the burners are too hot?

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I don't have a problem simmering, but that's me. Don't take this the wrong way, but I have to ask you a question because I'd rather see you end up with a range that's right for you and you love than something you'll regret. It comes down to this, how do you use your range? Do prefer all burners the same or would you rather have different burners to do different jobs?

On their own, the CC burners will go down to a "simmer" just fine. I put simmer in quotes because a simmer means there has to be some activity in the pot where the temperature of the contents is just below a boil. If you're looking for a warming or poaching level, aka "low simmer," then you might have trouble achieving that if you have a small pot directly over the burner with the lid on. But you can achieve this with any combination of cracking the lid open or offsetting the pan slightly. You can also get to this with a simmer plate. This all assumes the range has been calibrated correctly.

Now if the thought of not keeping pot a directly over a burner or even having to consider a simmer plate really bothers you, then a CC is not right for you. But if you're more of a go with the flow kind of cook where the range is just another tool at your disposal, then you'll love the CC.

I love the CC, because what I do on one burner is repeatable on all burners. And I can take it from a "low simmer" right to the top on every burner. I don't use a simmer plate. I have a 48" CC with a grill and I view it as a 48" wide by 28" deep cooking surface (from the back vent right to the front edge of the plate rail). Within that, each burner is an 11" x 11" zone. Heck, I've even use the oven vent in the back as a warming surface.

Hopefully this has been helpful in helping you decide if the CC is right for you.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2012 at 9:52AM
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Jscout--thanks for your response. Ideally, I really like the idea of being able to use each burner for any purpose. I'm trying to get a feel, though, if i will need to use work-arounds for every day cooking purposes. I don't mind offsetting a pan, but it sounded like some owners were having trouble with pots boiling over at the lowest settings. Maybe just not calibrated?

    Bookmark   February 18, 2012 at 12:26PM
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I think anyone who has a boil over issues has a calibration problem. I have yet to my knowledge know of anyone who has not corrected the problem after a service call for Calibration.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2012 at 12:47PM
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The simmer is a hotter simmer than on many other burners, but the the many advantages far outweigh this. If there is any way you can get access to one to try (such as at Trevor's store) I highly recommend doing so.

It is important to have the simmer adjusted when the stove is installed.

You likely will need to use simmer plates with some recipes, which is not a big deal. I don't have difficulty with little pots on the simmer. Sometimes I have difficulty with big pots -- the heat travels up no matter what type of simmer plate you use, and this heat can be diverted around little pots but the big pots will catch it because they are wider than the simmer plates. The good news is most things you cook in big pots can handle it.

We are very happy and wouldn't change our decision.


    Bookmark   February 18, 2012 at 1:01PM
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I have had no problems simmering on my CC. If someone experiences a boil over then they are way out of calibration. I cook rice all the time (including sushi, white and brown) with out once having the slightest issue. I have yet to pull out my rice cooker since it is so easy to do on the stove. The best part is that the actual flame from simmering is spread across a large area vs a tiny flame in the center like many dedicated simmer burners. You can simmer on a 12" pan and not have to constantly move the liquid around to keep the center heat dispersed.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2012 at 11:14AM
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Emilner--Thanks so much for your response. I looked at CC, BS, and Wolf today and need to order in the next week or so. I'm glad to hear that the simmer works for you.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2012 at 2:27PM
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I've had my 30in propane CC for about 4 months now. I think jscout has it right. For everyday cooking the simmer burner will work great, I get no boil over and make rice easy as can be. The "low simmer" is a bit harder in my opinion, but it is really for the special tasks that jscout mentions (warming/poaching in small pan)
As Trevor says, you may need a bit of calibration, but that is an extremely simple process. I was initially a bit disappointed with the simmer, but I think it was really from too high expectations. I tested how low I could get 2 cups of water on the simmer in a small pot and it was about 170. I initially thought that was too high, but have not yet had an occasion where it wasn't low enough yet.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2012 at 3:09PM
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Hello Shareher

I have had some issues with simmer but never a boil over. I find the simmer to hot for keeping a tomato based pasta sauce to below bubbling. I have also had trouble with breakfast on a two burner cast iron griddle. On the advice of this forum I have requested a technician to come in and investigate. Good luck with your decision. Lots of very knowledgeable people on this forum to help guide your choice.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2012 at 6:06PM
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Thanks for the input. What kind of trouble on a griddle? We will probably get a 6 burner.

the advice has been great. The dealer at the store was clueless--told me that bluestar didn't have a simmer burner.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2012 at 10:20PM
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I found the cast iron griddle became very hot (smoking hot) even with both burners on simmer. I am hoping that with service this will no longer be an issue.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2012 at 11:05PM
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I just wanted to follow-up with a description of how I used the simmer on Sunday. In the morning, I made steel cut oats for breakfast and then I made some chicken stock shortly afterwards. Both on the same front burner. Unfortunately, I didn't take pictures because I wasn't thinking of it at the time.

First the oatmeal. I was making half a cup of dry oats for my daughter and me. First I put 2.5 cups of water in a small pot and turned the flame to a little above medium, just enough so the flames don't go up the sides. Then I went to measure the ingredients, half cup oats, some brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and a pinch of salt. The water started boiling before I even finished measuring the last ingredient. I quickly dumped everything into the pot, let it come back, gave it a stir, turned it to simmer and covered it. I checked back 10 minutes later and noticed that the simmer was a little higher and needed. I lifted it off the heat and stirred it a little to see if I had any scorching. Fortunately not, so I put it back directly over the burner and put the lid back on but cracked it open a little. Checked on it again in 10 minutes and this time there was barely any activity so I left it as is with the lid cracked. Gave it another 15 minutes, finished/thinned it out with some milk off the burner and served it. There was no scorching. Nice creamy oatmeal with a bit of texture. My daughter loved it.

After breakfast I made some chicken stock. I put about 4-5 quarts of water in an 8 quart stock pot and turned the burner on high. Then from the fridge I took out a small chicken and some necks I had save up, some carrots, celery and an onion. By the time I was done prepping, the water was already boiling. So in went everything. Waited for it to come back to a boil then turned it to medium and let stay in a boil for 5-10 minutes while I skimmed off the foam. Then I dropped it to a simmer put the lid back on and left it. I checked on it an hour later and it was still just a light simmer. So I left it alone for another 2-3 hours until it was done.

I don't normally make plain rice on the burner. I have a rice cooker for that. I may try it just to try it some time. But tonight I plan on making Jambalaya, involving the chicken stock I made above. I have no doubt that the simmer will not be an issue.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 10:54AM
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