Boiling water has been the ultimate symbol of hearth & home for over 15,000 years. Researchers trace the roots of cooking back to Ancient China & prehistoric Spain, where our ancestors tossed scraps of meat, bones & vegetables into vats of water heated by fire-warmed stones.
Today boiling water is a whole lot easier. Nonetheless, may you find equal awe in the magic that happens when boiling water & food meet. So without further ado - and without boiling the ocean 😉- let’s get started!
🧂Ingredients & Equipment:
Fire (or electric heat-source) & water
Fill a stockpot with cold water about three-quarters full
Turn heat to high
Place lid on the pot to keep heat from escaping
Check every so often until bubbles are large, continuous & bursting at surface
Upon boiling, remove the lid to keep water from boiling over
📝Notes, Tips, Tricks:
Timing: Track the time it takes for your favorite pot to reach a boil -- it will make future meal prep planning easier.
Efficiency: Electric kettles make boiling water faster & simpler. You can also use one simultaneously alongside or prior to stove boiling to speed things up. Conversely, to buy yourself extra time, heat water on a lower temperature.
Hot debate: While hot tap water boils faster & is tempting to use, most cooks advocate for starting with cold. Hot water can pull minerals/heavy metals from pipes, as well as pick up flavors from the water heater. (Learn more here)
Elevation: At sea level, water boils at 100° C (212° F). For every 500-foot (150 m) increase in altitude, water's boiling point is lowered by approximately 0.5° C.
Microwave: You can safely boil water in a microwave-safe dish (e.g., glass, ceramic). Do not cover, and be careful of “superheating” (where the water can suddenly & explosively bubble over upon being touched post-heating). To avoid this, stir the water every 1-2 minutes until the water is visibly boiling inside the microwave.
Safety: Handle pot carefully & with mittens or burn-proof gloves. Boiling water can create 3rd-degree burns.
A watched pot will boil. 🙃