A double boiler is a useful tool on the kitchen. It is used to indirectly cook delicate foods like chocolate, custards, or sauces with eggs in them. One of our favorite uses for it is pasteurization of milk. This post shows you not only how to use a double boiler but how to make one from common kitchen items.
A double boiler has three parts to it: the pan on the bottom, the insert which rests partially inside the pan and the lid.
To use the double boiler, half fill the pan with water being sure that it is not deep enough to touch the bottom of the insert. Place your food to be cooked in the insert and stack them back together.
Keep the water at a simmer. A full boil will be too much and scorch or curdle your food. If the temperature seems too warm you can take it off the heat and it will continue to warm the food with it’s residual heat. (This is how I like to do it with melting chocolate because it only needs a little heat.)
If you do not have a specific double boiler you can easily make one. You begin with a pan half filled with water. Place a metal bowl or pan on the pan above the water. It needs to have a nice seal around the edges so it traps the steam. If you want to use a lid to help trap some of the heat while cooking you can always use a flat cookie pan over the top of the bowl. Then you cook in it the same as a normal double boiler.
Using a double boiler is a nice way to do chocolate-dipped items. In our tutorial, we show how to dip Oreos. It is super easy. Just melt a package of chocolate chips until they are mostly heated and then take the whole double boiler off the heat. The warm water below will keep it from solidifying for quite some time. If you leave it on your chocolate may scorch. I like to only dip the Oreos to the halfway point so I have a chocolate-free area to pick it up by. Place it on parchment paper and place them in the freezer for 15 minutes. Our kids couldn’t wait for us to get done with the demonstration. We hope you enjoyed this.
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