Hot answers tagged

42

There is one very different issue to be kept in mind - water in a microwave can overheat and "explode" once it is disturbed. Another poster had exactly this problem a short while ago: Water exploded in Microwave So follow the usual precautions, e.g. putting a wooden toothpick or a small, very clean stone (chemists have them in their labs) in your vessel. ...


38

There's a whole, whole lot than can go into it, but a great starting place is a ratio of 17.21:1 water to coffee. That is, if you have 500 g of water, you should use 29 g of ground coffee. What the ratio really does is specify how concentrated the coffee should be. Once you've set your ratio, there are many other variables to play with to make the coffee ...


28

There have been plumbing systems in which the hot water was likely to have dissolved more [toxic|unsightly|unpleasant-tasting] material from the pipe walls or joints than the cold. In particular any system that uses lead-based solder, can leach minute{*}, but detectable amounts of lead into the drinking water, and the hot water is more efficient at this. In ...


28

Water is a great solvent for polar molecules. Sugar, table salt, and other small polar molecules are water soluble. When you put them into water, you get a sugar resp. salt solution. Other molecules are not soluble in water. Most organic molecules with a carbohydrate tail are insoluble (unless they have a strongly polar active group, like the shorter ...


26

Some people say cold water boils faster than hot water, this is false, found here and here. One reason might be (from the first link): "Some water heaters may introduce additional sediment into the water, giving you another reason to consider starting with cold—at least, if time is not of the essence."


26

Eggs are already 3/4 water anyway! By mixing in a small quantity of extra water before you cook the eggs, you are slowing down the cooking process by making more water available that has be evaporated. This keeps the cooking temperature to less than 100°C (212°F) for longer, therefore increasing the the time for the egg proteins to foam and expand before ...


24

I don't know if there's an ideal ratio since this is really about how strong you want the coffee to be. It depends on the strength of the roast you're using, the grind, and how strong you like the coffee. I generally use 2 tbs / 6 oz, but vary it to taste.


23

By definition, 1 is a simmer (once the bubbles form a steady stream), 2 is a boil, and 3 is a "roiling boil."


21

You are doing precisely the opposite of 'normal' procedure, which is to put the lid on the pan until the water starts boiling, then remove the lid (either partially or completely) to prevent boiling over. A reduction in the hob temperature will also probably be necessary, and is in any case desirable - mercilessly boiling any vegetable is rarely a good thing....


20

Yes, water does boiler measurably faster with the lid on. The reason is simple: in order to boil, water must be heated to the boiling point (okay, that was obvious). However, while heat is being introduced at the bottom of the pot, heat is also being lost at the top of the pot, through three means: evaporative cooling, and air convection of heat away ...


19

Make bread with it (let it cool enough that you don't kill the yeast, first.) Make soup with it.


18

Actually adding salt to water makes it boil slower; it increases the boiling point so it takes a little longer to get there. It actually doesn't matter what you dissolve in water (or anything else). Adding a dissolved substance elevates the boiling point and lowers the freezing point.


18

I've read that if you can't or don't use it for your own consumption, that houseplants really love it (after it's cooled, of course).


16

Adding a starchy substance such as rice or noodles to boiling water increases the surface tension of the water. When it's just plain water boiling the surface tension of the water can't hold back the force of the steam rising and the bubbles burst. Starches increase this surface tension making the bubbles more elastic/pliable (essentially creating a foam), ...


15

Water treatment often uses chlorine or chloramine to kill germs or algae. If you are smelling it it's more likely to be Chloramine than Chlorine. Chlorine will dissipate from water over time naturally, but boiling for 20 minute will drive it out. Chloramine will also dissipate naturally, but in a much longer time frame, and would take over a day to boil out. ...


14

Yes, it is different. Two things happen: the dissolved oxygen boils out, and whatever mineral solids are in there become concentrated as steam evaporates.


14

Hotter water leads to more caffeine release and a more bitter flavor as it cooks the leaves. If you're serious about the taste of tea, set up four cups and pour water into them: The first boiling, the next after 30 seconds, and on down. Use a cracker between each sip; the later teas should taste slightly lighter and sweeter, and the middle two especially ...


14

Maybe I'm wrong, but there is no safety risk at all when boiling old water. There is however something like taste. The reason the old water is discarded is because, after boiling, it lacks oxygen and will taste stale. This is also the reason why coffee is made with 95ºC hot water, or why Moroccan tea is poured from above (to oxygenate)... So, as long as you ...


14

The most obvious thing is nothing to do with heat/temperature. The rapid boil agitates the food a lot, to the point that if the food is soft, it can pretty much tear it apart. You probably don't really want disintegrated food, but smaller pieces do cook faster, so I suppose you can look at this as a rapid boil cooking faster from a certain perspective. It ...


13

One important note is that while bringing water to a boil, there is first a point where a bunch of little bubbles form on the bottom of the pot. These initial bubbles are dissolved air coming out of solution as the water heats. This is not the same as a simmer, The apparent difference between a simmer and air coming out of solution is that in a simmer, the ...


13

To get fluffier eggs. When the water is heated to 100 degrees C, the water will begin to evaporate. This will in turn make lots of small holes in the egg giving fluffy eggs. Recommended amount of liquid (water or milk): 1 tbsp pr egg.


12

When you boil water in a cup in a microwave, it will often boil without forming bubbles, because unlike a kettle with a rough heating element or inner surface, a clean ceramic cup has few nucleation points. Nucleation points allow pockets of gas to form, which become bubbles as the water boils. When you add the teabag to the hot water, you are essentially ...


12

Seconds, not minutes. Just the act of pouring the water will cool it slightly. At sea-level pure water will be 100C at a full boil, the temperature will drop immediately when it's no longer being heated. This is unscientific at best, but just for giggles I put an accurate digital thermometer into a room temperature mug, and brought a couple of cups of cups ...


12

Joe is essentially right. Bubbles form in a liquid at what are called nucleation sites - small irregularies in the container or in the liquid itself. If you look at the bottom of some beer glasses, there are little nodules (often in the shape of the brewer's logo) that nucleate bubbles of the CO2 that's dissolved in the beer. Much the same occurs with ...


11

You really need to filter it first. If you wouldn't drink it, don't cook with it (also good advice re: wine). There seem to be sources on the internet regarding how to make rainwater drinkable, so I would start there. (example: http://www.rain-barrel.net/drinking-rainwater.html) If you're already drinking your rainwater, and haven't died yet, it's probably ...


11

This is generally to season the thing being boiled whilst it is cooking. The salt will infiltrate the innards of the thing being cooked infusing it with some seasoning. Try with something basic like pasta or rice to see the difference between cooking in plain water and cooking in salted water. This quesion and this one might also provide some insight.


11

There are also several reasons beyond seasoning that apply when boiling vegetables: Salted water will cause vegetables to become tender faster than plain water because it speeds the breakdown of vegetables' cell walls. Salted water will preserve the natural flavor of vegetables. Using plain water actually draws the natural salt out of the vegetables, into ...


11

As a rule of thumb- you can comfortably hold your finger in warm water. 100°F (38°C). Yeast wake up well at this temperature. http://www.exploratorium.edu/cooking/bread/yeast_temp.html This time of year my house is 80°F (27°C). but I heat my water a little past that (~120°F or 50°C) to compensate for cooler ingredients- you really want the dough to be ...


11

Either buy a cheap electric kettle, or if you are really fussed about not re-boiling water then shell out a bit more for one of the single cup hot water dispensers like the Tefal Quick Cup or the Breville Hot Cup. We have both a cheap kettle and a Breville Hot Cup in our office. The kettle is good for making cups for multiple people at the same time, the ...



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