It is time to learn to cook and the first thing you are going to do is learn to boil water. Yeah, I can hear you now. Anyone can boil water! What’s to learn? Put it in a pan on the stove. But I want to give you a few tips.
First you need to choose a pot that is large enough. It has to hold the water needed but it also has to be large enough to add food to the water. Without enough room, the rice or pasta, for example, will boil over.
Measure the cold water into the pot. If you don’t need to measure, just run the water from the tap into the pot. Use cold water. Don’t use water that’s already warm or hot from the tap. This water has been sitting in your pipes for some time. This means it has been getting “old”.
Place the pot on a stove burner, then turn the heat onto high. Cover the pot with a lid that fits. A lid keeps the heat in and helps the water to boil quicker. The hotter you make the heat source, the quicker the water will boil.
Check for steam escaping from under the lid. When you lift the lid be very careful. Steam can cause severe burns. Actually, the steam is hotter than the water.
Look at the water. It is not considered boiling until large bubbles are rising from the bottom of the pot to the surface. The small bubbles that stay at the bottom or sides of the pot do not mean that the water is about to boil. They are air bubbles. To be considered boiling, the bubbles will be large, rise to the surface and then break quickly as the bubbles churn the water.
The boiling water will remain at the same temperature for the entire time it is boiling. The temperature of boiling water is 212º F. at sea level. At higher altitudes it boils at a lower temperature. Be sure to keep an eye on the water. Do not let the pot or tea kettle boil dry as this can permanently ruin your pan or kettle or even the burner.
I am recommending 3 saucepans with lids – 1 qt., 2 qt., and 3 qt. The 1 qt. size will hold a small can of vegetables or soup when you are fixing for one. The 2 qt. size will be needed if you are combining ingredients and having to stir. You may think that the 3 qt. size is larger than you will need. It is very important when boiling things (i.e. pasta) that you have enough water in the pot – and then you need room for it to boil.