Total Time
Prep 2 mins
Cook 5 mins

I got a kick out of this and thought you might too. Boiling water is essential to many recipes. If you have never cooked before, don't worry. It is not as difficult as it may appear. This recipe will guide you through the process, even if you have never set foot in a kitchen. Adapted from Serious Eats. Submitted by Adam Kuban. Thanks Adam!


  1. Open your cupboard or wherever it is you store your cookware.
  2. Locate a 12-quart stockpot. If you do not have a 12-quart stockpot, you may use whatever size pot you have; in that event, keep in mind that serving size here is 1 cup and there are 4 cups in a quart. Do the math.
  3. Place your pot in the sink under the tap. If you have never used a sink before, it is the large depression in your counter top. (If you live with someone else, they may have filled it with dirty dishes; in this case, wash them or simply remove them from the sink and place them in the oven — someone else will eventually discover them there and wash them.).
  4. Turn the cold-water knob to the "on" position. Some people (like my dad) prefer to let the water run a little bit. This is optional but encouraged — if it's a hot day or someone has previously used the "hot" water knob, the warmer water will eventually be replaced by truly cold water.
  5. Fill stockpot to within a couple inches of the rim.
  6. Lift stockpot from sink and transfer to stove. (Although appearances may vary, the stove is the thing with 4 or more circular metal bands on top of it; alternately, it may be a completely flat black glass surface. If you are unsure, ask your family, roommate, or neighbor for guidance.).
  7. Find knob on stove that corresponds to the "burner" you have placed your pot on. In addition to words like "Right Front" or "Left Rear," there are usually little pictures near the knobs to indicate position.
  8. Turn knob to "High" and wait until water boils. Depending on strength of your stove and amount of water, the boiling time may vary. Note: DO NOT WATCH THE POT; it will never boil in the event that you do.
  9. Boiled water may be used for any number of applications. Serve hot but do not drink.
  10. Alternate methods:.
  11. Depending on water application, you may want to salt the water. Do this after the water has come to a boil.
  12. Placing a lid on the pot will help it boil faster, with the additional benefit of blocking water from your line of sight, which, as stated above, inhibits the boiling process.


Most Helpful

Just like my poor departed mother used to make. We had lost the family recipe (rumor was it was tattoo'ed on Mom's butt). Thank you!

Chef Ornidorf July 03, 2013

I always had trouble with watching it as well. The instant I'd go away after watching it would come to a roaring boil. LOL.

UmmBinat February 14, 2011

I love this! This one is NOT part of my Veg'n Swap review this month, but I just had to stop by and say wonderful. I live with a kitchen designed by someone who apparently never cooked in a kitchen a day in his life (vintage late 60's), no space, no outlets to speak of, three doors that bang into each other... So your recipe is NEEDED!

Diann is Cooking January 15, 2011

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