Cooking either in boiling water, or by heating the food until boiling

learn more… | top users | synonyms

93
votes
9answers
40k views

Why add salt to the water when cooking pasta?

What is the effect of adding salt to the water when cooking pasta?
32
votes
7answers
12k views

Why wait for water to boil?

I've always heard that you should wait for water to boil before adding pasta/perogies/vegetables/etc. What is the reason for this? Is it because it reaches boiling point faster? If so, why?
29
votes
7answers
20k views

When you cook spaghetti, do you add olive oil to the boiling water?

Many people (at least in Germany) think that Italians add olive oil to the boiling water for spaghetti. However, Italians tend to tell the opposite (from my experience). So, can you please state ...
28
votes
5answers
6k views

Pasta: Simmering Water or Rolling Boil?

I recently got into a surprisingly heated argument with a friend about what level of boil you should cook your pasta at. He (an engineer) argued that the heat transfer would remain the same regardless ...
27
votes
5answers
30k views

When boiling water, why start from cold?

A question about probably the most mundane subject in cooking: boiling water. For cooking techniques where you drop ingredients in simmering or boiling water - such as for vegetables, pasta, many ...
24
votes
7answers
14k views

Can I boil pasta in a pasta sauce?

Is it ok to boil pasta in pan with a pasta sauce? Is there any reason to boil pasta separately (and then add the sauce)?
21
votes
10answers
11k views

Can I boil eggs in the same pot I'm boiling something else?

I know cooking the eggs kills the salmonella and that the risk is small even for raw eggs. However, I stopped boiling the eggs in the same pot I'm boiling something else, like potatoes, when I learnt ...
21
votes
3answers
1k views

Does water that's been left to sit and then reboiled taste different from fresh water boiled once?

This may sound like a silly question, but I've always wondered: If I boil some water and use some of it and leave the remainder in the kettle, and then a few days later boil that same water again, ...
20
votes
7answers
13k views

Does adding salt help water boil faster?

I've always heard adding salt to water makes it boil faster. Is this true? If so, why? If not, why do people do it?
20
votes
2answers
5k views

What causes water to boil over?

What are the mechanics of water boiling over? How can you stop it from happening? Is it more likely to happen with certain ingredients? Which? How does the amount of water effect the likelihood of ...
19
votes
6answers
39k views

How do I prevent an egg cracking while hard boiling it?

Sometimes when I cook hard boiled eggs they will crack in the saucepan, and some of the egg will seep out into the water. Am I boiling the water too vigorously, or can I add something to the water to ...
17
votes
6answers
3k views

Can food be boiled “extra fast/hard” in water?

Once water is boiling you can either leave the heat on quite high, or turn it down a bit so that it just keeps boiling. Apart from extra water vaporating, does this have any effect on the taste of ...
17
votes
5answers
16k views

When boiling potatoes, should I put them in with the cold water or in to the hot?

I've heard both. What's the correct way to boil a potato? Why?
15
votes
3answers
6k views

At what point is water considered “at a boil?”

Lots of recipes call for waiting for the water to come "to a boil." However I have never been sure when that is. From my viewpoint it could be at three different points: First start to see small air ...
15
votes
6answers
6k views

(How) can I prevent pasta water from boiling over with the lid closed?

I always cook pasta with the lid of the pot open, because otherwise foam starts to build up and eventually boils over, maikng a huge mess. I would prefer to keep the lid on for energy saving purposes. ...
14
votes
13answers
22k views

Stopping water from bubbling over when cooking rice

Every time I cook brown rice (in a traditional pot, or in my new rice cooker), large bubbles form and spill over the sides. How can I prevent this? I found this question, but wasn't able to draw ...
13
votes
10answers
53k views

How To Tell When Corn is Done With Boiling

When boiling corn, how can I tell when it's done? I usually remove the husk and silk. Would there be any advantage to leaving them on when boiling?
12
votes
9answers
31k views

What's the best way to tell that pasta is done (when boiling)?

I've tried a number of different ways to tell when spaghetti, capellini and other pasta types are done, but I'm curious if there are more specific rules of thumb. With regular spaghetti, I've tried ...
12
votes
6answers
12k views

Pouring cold water on pasta after cooking it

Some of my friends pour cold water on pasta after boiling it other don't. What do the professionals do? If they pour cold water on the pasta after the boil, what do they want to accomplish with doing ...
12
votes
6answers
945 views

How to soft boil an egg

Is there a fool proof way to make sure the white of the egg is set but either all or some of the yolk remains runny?
12
votes
2answers
19k views

Does water boil faster with the lid on?

When bringing water to a boil from cold water, what effect does a lid have on the time to boil? Does it increase or decrease the time? How much? Why?
12
votes
4answers
13k views

Why add salt to the water when cooking rice?

Given the great answer to the question on adding salt to water when cooking pasta, I am curious whether the same explanation holds for rice as it does for pasta (flavor and starch gelation)? Is there ...
11
votes
3answers
8k views

Is it safe to reheat old water in an electric kettle?

I usually throw away the remaining water in the electric kettle before refilling it if the water is more than about a day old. In theory wouldn't boiling kill any impurities the old water might have? ...
11
votes
4answers
6k views

When cooking pasta in salted water how much of the salt is absorbed?

Most chefs recommend that you should add quite a bit of salt to boiling water which you cook pasta in (sometimes 1 teaspoon). For those watching their sodium intake, how much of this salt will ...
10
votes
4answers
4k views

Why would you Parboil Some Vegetables Before Stir-Frying them?

An example would be green beans - some recipes call for parboiling green beans before stir-frying while others do not? Is there a reason behind this?
10
votes
4answers
19k views

How does boiling remove vitamin C from food?

It's generally known that boiling vegetables removes a large fraction of vitamin C, but in what way? Does the high temperature destroy it? Is it merely absorbed by the boiling water?
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Boiling things using salt

Since recently i have to cook for myself and a lot of products mention i should boil some water with salt and when it boils add the product. Why on earth do you have to add salt to the water?
10
votes
8answers
17k views

How is boiled rice different from steamed?

I recently got into a friendly argument with a coworker about how rice should be prepared. I insisted that the goal was to steam the rice- too much water and it would boil into a soupy pudding. She ...
10
votes
5answers
5k views

Can I boil milk unattended (and still keep the pan clean)?

Many recipes call for first bringing milk up to boil. I normally boil 1 quart (1 litre) of milk in a 3-quart stainless steel heavy bottomed pan: use low heat keep scraping the bottom of the pan ...
10
votes
1answer
579 views

Is steam lost in boiling negligible?

If I bring 20 ounces of water (2.5 cups) to boil in a kettle, and promptly remove it from the heat, is the amount of water lost (by volume/mass) a negligible quantity? To be more precise about my ...
9
votes
4answers
21k views

Is it safe to use plastic wrap in boiling water?

While I've come across one or two recipes that call for using plastic wrap in pots of boiling water (for example, to cook eggs), I've always been a bit wary of putting the wrap in boiling water. Can ...
9
votes
3answers
17k views

Difference between boiling and steaming vegetables?

I have eaten both boiled vegetables and steamed vegetables (e.g. broccoli, carrot, zucchini etc.), and I cannot tell the vegetables are cooked in one way or the other, whether by texture or by taste ...
8
votes
6answers
220 views

Peeling tomatoes

I have a recipe that calls for peeling tomatoes. I've found elsewhere that this is often done by boiling them and letting the skin lift away during that process. Is there anything else that can make ...
8
votes
4answers
933 views

Cooking polenta: is stirring for 30 minutes really necessary?

In every polenta recipe I have ever seen, the authors insist that the polenta has to be stirred over low heat for half an hour or so before it is thoroughly cooked. When I worked in an Italian ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

How can I rescue a soft boiled egg that is too soft?

I love a boiled egg, but it has to be soft. On occasion I get it just too soft, so some of the white is still 'snotty'. Oviously I only discover this once I have opened the egg, when it is too late ...
7
votes
5answers
6k views

Cooking dried corn

I'm trying to cook some dried corn that normally is meant for popcorn. I've soaked it 36 hours using bottled water and then rinsed it multiple times with tap water. After that I cooked it for about ...
7
votes
1answer
8k views

Why are my canning lids popped out?

My wife has been trying to can some foods using the canning techniques that she's familiar with from Romania, but with the American-style canning jars and lids that we get here. This involves packing ...
7
votes
3answers
509 views

How to measure egg boiling time?

Which factors influence the moment of soft-into-hard egg during the boiling? size of the egg putting egg to cold/hot water colour of the egg atmospheric pressure (water boiling temperature) How to ...
7
votes
2answers
9k views

Will meat cook inside of a rice cooker?

I would like to use my rice cooker to cook one of those pre-packaged jambalaya mixes, and I've had good success with using prepackaged rice packets in my rice cooker. Sometimes there is a bit of ...
7
votes
2answers
350 views

Soft Boiled Egg Science

I've heard that the white part of an egg cooks (solidifies) at about 63°C (145°F). I've heard that the yolk cooks at about 68°C (154°F). Is this true? Also what chemicals do the white and yolk ...
7
votes
2answers
229 views

Smell Something Burning. Course of action?

What do I do when I smell something burning in my pot of mutton in gravy? Stirring is the best way to prevent this but what if some charring has already taken place? Wouldn't it be better not to stir ...
6
votes
6answers
627 views

My water is boiling too fast

Every time I try to boil a pot of water to make spaghetti, I leave the kitchen to go do something else (I am very busy lol). Sometimes I come back to find the pot boiling over and a mess on my stove! ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Quickest, and safest way, to bring milk to boil

So I made homemade cottage cheese yesterday that had me cook the milk until it was just about to boil. I had it on the stove for at least half an hour because I didn't want it to start boiling the one ...
6
votes
1answer
304 views

Is there something special about bubbly water?

Based on this answer: Why add salt to potato water? I always thought that water boiling was about getting the water to a specific temperature. You can't really get the water to a temperature past ...
5
votes
2answers
5k views

Heated up oil for frying, stirred it, tiny bubbles appeared and rose slowly but with very loud popping sound - why?

Last night I tried deep frying stuff for the first time. As the oil heated in the pot, I thought it would be a good idea to stir the oil (I was really scared of it catching on fire). It was probably ...
5
votes
4answers
45k views

How should I boil green beans to keep them crisp?

I just pulled fresh Blue Lake Bush green beans from my garden, snapped the ends and wanted to boil them, while keeping then crisp. How should I boil them so they are cooked through, but not limp?
5
votes
4answers
3k views

Keep fettuccine from sticking/clumping while cooking?

This question addresses how to keep pasta from sticking after it has been cooked. This question is what I want, but was wrongly closed. All the answers from the first address the sticking ...
5
votes
6answers
13k views

Does it make sense to parboil spare ribs before you roast or grill them?

I was thinking about doing it as a time saving device - any recommendations?
5
votes
4answers
5k views

How do I stop porridge sticking to the pan?

I love porridge but I always seem to end with some stuck on the bottom of the saucepan. I use a non-stick saucepan, keep on a low heat, and stir regularly. I tend to use porridge oats and enough water ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

Why microwaves do not kill harmful bacteria as well as boiling?

Medical Biochemistry point of view My biochemistry teacher said today that the problem with micros is that they do not kill all harmful bacteria. He proposed boiling food instead. I think there are ...