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Bone Broth simmer temperatures, or Asian Vs French Broth?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 05, 2012 at 6:52 PM

I make broth in a crock pot, typically on the "low" setting for 24ish hours. Sometimes this setting is at a rapid boil, sometimes it is at a simmer.

Have there been any studies about the temperature of the broth simmer and mineral/gelatin extraction?

For example, http://www.seriouseats.com/2012/02/how-to-make-tonkotsu-ramen-broth-at-home-recipe.html shows a broth at a rolling boil for 12 hours, and it has the effect of emulsifying the fat into the broth for an extra rich experience. This broth also used pork feet and chicken backs as its main protein and bone components. (BTW this was Amazing, and is slowly becoming my broth of choice.)

Then, you have the WAPF endorsed method of a slow simmer, and suggests that boiling will break down the collagen and gelatin. http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/video-the-perfect-simmer-on-your-stock/ This method is also endorsed by most French trained chefs, that insist on having a completely clear broth.

Do you monitor the temperature of your broth, and/or do you care about how clear or cloudy it becomes?

A905679417ee71c3f9e2d88964b3b1f0

(368)

on April 07, 2012
at 02:23 AM

nah I want to keep all the stuff I can. I guess I would skim from time to time if globs of stuff would accumulate.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on April 06, 2012
at 12:48 AM

You never skim? Man, the kitchen I used to work it would act like you killed a kitten if you didn't skim. Simmered for 10 hrs, skimming every 20-30 mn.

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5 Answers

1
A905679417ee71c3f9e2d88964b3b1f0

(368)

on April 05, 2012
at 11:35 PM

As a former chef I can tell you this. You want Stock not broth. They both start essentially the same but broth is meat which is why in french technique the strain it very often. Stock is bones. If you want a nice deep flavor roast your bones first. I never skim. A really good stock can simmer/boil for a good 12 hours, keep adding water if you have to. You want to get every bit of flavor out of those bones as you can. I don't buy in to the whole clear vs cloudy thing. when its all done I do strain it just to get the chunks out. If you are worried about any of the fat that didn't manage to suspend itself in the stock simply freeze it. The fat will float to the top and you can cut the fat disk off. This is awesome because now you also have a bunch of usable fat for later cooking; and a relatively clear yet very rich in flavor stock.

A905679417ee71c3f9e2d88964b3b1f0

(368)

on April 07, 2012
at 02:23 AM

nah I want to keep all the stuff I can. I guess I would skim from time to time if globs of stuff would accumulate.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on April 06, 2012
at 12:48 AM

You never skim? Man, the kitchen I used to work it would act like you killed a kitten if you didn't skim. Simmered for 10 hrs, skimming every 20-30 mn.

1
Bfa1c9eacfc94a1b62f3a39b574480c6

(3700)

on April 05, 2012
at 07:23 PM

From my culinary experience, I feel the clear French-style broth (constantly skimming, or the use of egg whites to clear the stock, as well as straining) is solely for the purpose of a clear, beautiful, flavorful liquid. I feel this is for presentation purposes, as serving a clear soup is visually appealing to the eye.

Korean-style broths, for example, which may use different types of bones such as marrow bones or knuckle-bones from cattle, gives rise to a very white broth, which is far from clear.

Call it nitpicky or laziness, but I feel there's a time and place for every kind of broth. If you find that using pork feet and chicken backs gives you that amazing flavor, I'd say go for it. Whether you like presenting your food in a certain way will guide you to whether you would like to clear the stock or not.

Using a crockpot can generate variable results (but you can leave it and go do whatever); a clear broth ultimately requires careful attention, and a bit of technique (you probably can't use a crockpot for such applications.)

As for rolling boils or slow simmering, I'm not too sure if there's a difference in mineral extraction (I feel some may be extracted before others, but eventually...all would be extracted, as water can only hold so much heat (specific heat)). I feel the difference arises from how fast the water reaches its maximum heat capacity. Furthermore, I'm not too sure about the emulsification of fat and water using a rolling-boil...(how does that work?...there's no emulsifier.) Perhaps the increased flavor is due to greater water evaporation in the rolling-boil broth, thereby concentrating the broth.

As for the home cook, I prefer simmering, as rolling-boils for long hours tend to dry out the broth more quickly, which, if you're one to let a broth just sit around, could lead to complete drying out and burning, not to mention the dangers of a huge pot full of very active, boiling water.

But experiment. It's part of kitchen fun.

0
7e1433afbb06c318c4d90860d493c49d

(5959)

on April 06, 2012
at 01:03 AM

I used to take the time to get my stock pot dialed in right around 205 degrees. Now, I just make stock in the pressure cooker.

0
535fafe8afe6923870905c707c4f4454

on April 06, 2012
at 12:21 AM

From my chemistry perspective the difference between high and low, if it is boiling, should only be the rate of evaporation of the water. If you have a lid on, most of this extra evaporation will condense on the lid and return to your stock which means you aren't losing much liquid (ie not more concentrated/flavorful).

I can't see the temperature being different through the pot, because once water is at boiling temperature, any additional heat just causes more water molecules make the transition to a gas state and not raise the temperature.

The only effect a hotter setting I see having is whatever you have in contact with the pot wall (sediments and fats) may get cooked hotter cause they are in direct contact (water isnt the heating medium for them).

0
518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on April 05, 2012
at 09:16 PM

Personally, I love a French style beef stock or whole chicken (ie whole carcass) stock, and an Asian style chicken bits/pork stock. Pretty much just split it down the middle like that. Boiling beef bones for so long creates a really gritty texture no matter what I seem to do so I prefer the slow simmer, whereas pork/chicken (usually chicken feet and necks for me) just "melt" without the real grit. They both are delicious, both make me smile, and both have different purposes.

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