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Home Cooking

Burner dial settings in recipes

aventinus | May 23, 201003:45 PM     9

I'm trying to learn to cook. In cookbooks, I often encounter dial settings such as "medium low," "medium," and "medium high." My stove dials go from 1 (low) to 8 (high). Intuitively, "medium" would be around 4.5, medium high around 6, and medium low around 2.5.

Frustratingly, I often encounter recipes where this can't be right. For example, an Indian cookbook says to cook finely chopped garlic on "medium high" until it turns brown, about 30 seconds. From experience, I was sure that cooking finely chopped garlic on 6 would burn it to a crisp in a blink of an eye -- even 4 quickly burns the garlic -- but I gave it a shot nonetheless. Sure enough, the garlic was instantly burnt. I had to re-chop all the garlic and put the dial around 3 to make it work.

So what do dial settings in cookbooks mean to you more experienced cooks?

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