How to Boil Water, A Tone Poem in Video

published Aug 25, 2015
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(Image credit: Rebecca Blumhagen)

Waiting for water to boil is boring. Let us entertain you with a poem! That’s right — today’s kitchen education is coming to you in the form of poetry. You’ll never look at a pot of water quite the same again.

Never again will you wonder what separates a simmer from a boil! Or why a recipe might demand you “rapidly simmer” that sauce you just made! Nevermore will a pot of water befuddle your senses as it moves from a mere bubble to a full-on boil! Poetry is power, my friends.

Simmering and Boiling Cheat Sheet

  • Slow Simmer: Low heat, very little activity in the pot. You’ll see wisps of steam and a stray bubble or two, but that’s it. Most often used for stocks and braises.
  • Simmer: Medium-low heat, gentle bubbling in the pot. Most often used for soups, sauces, and braises.
  • Rapid Simmer: Medium- to medium-high heat, more aggressive bubbling in the pot, but the bubbles should still be fairly small. Most often used for reducing sauces.
  • Rolling Boil: High heat, lots of big bubbles over the whole surface of the liquid, roiling activity in the pot. Most often used for boiling pasta and blanching vegetables.

Video Credits

→ Video by Rebecca Blumhagen for The Kitchn