Questions tagged [water]

Water strictly refers to the liquid state of that substance; it can be used for washing, soaking, boiling, steaming, simmering, diluting, etc. Ask questions about using water in a recipe.

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57 votes
15 answers
486k views

What's the ideal coffee to water ratio for a French press?

What's the ideal amount of coffee to use per cup of water in a French press? I've looked at various online resources, which all gave me a different amount. Some call for 2 tablespoons per 6 oz of ...
50 votes
7 answers
84k views

When boiling water without any other ingredients in it, 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 ...
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41 votes
4 answers
45k views

Tea water: heat to 80 °C or boil to 100 °C and let it cool down to 80 °C?

Boiling water is too hot for some teas. Today I heard that it's better to boil water to 100 °C and let it cool down to 80 °C rather than heat water to 80 °C. Is this true? Does it really affect ...
38 votes
7 answers
9k views

Does water "go bad" in this sense?

I have an electric water boiler in the kitchen. I put fresh tap water into it, boil it up, and use it for my coffee. Then, an hour later, I go back and press the button again and have it re-boil the ...
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33 votes
5 answers
51k views

Is it safe to boil water in a microwave?

Our electric kettle broke. So this morning I used the microwave to boil water for the first cup of coffee. Only thing is - the water in south Africa is not really the best of quality when you get it ...
  • 1,163
29 votes
13 answers
36k views

Why use a kettle to heat water?

Whenever I need to heat up water for a French press or hot chocolate, I do it in the microwave. Is there a good reason to use a kettle instead of the microwave to heat water?
  • 393
25 votes
2 answers
21k views

Does Boiling Water, Instead of Warm Water, Hurt the Flavor of Tea/Hot Chocolate

I have a counter-top water kettle that I frequently use to boil water for tea, hot chocolate, and powdered drinks (e.g. chai). I don't think anything of it when the water starts boiling and keeps on ...
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25 votes
3 answers
24k 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 ...
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24 votes
11 answers
25k 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?
23 votes
2 answers
13k views

Why do some powders clump in hot water?

Why do some powders like flour or matcha green tea causes lumps in hot water while other powders like sugar or cocoa or wheat grass (triticum aestivum) readily dissolve? Wheat grass powder is green ...
  • 1,090
23 votes
8 answers
78k views

Is it safe to not wash mushrooms?

Most chefs stress the fact that white button mushrooms, and others, should not be washed to be cleaned. They say to either lightly brush them or just pat them with a cloth or paper towel to get the "...
  • 1,182
22 votes
3 answers
96k 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 ...
22 votes
3 answers
6k 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, ...
21 votes
7 answers
7k views

Can I dissolve mint in water and drink it?

I like mint and sometimes put some in a cup of water. My question is can I grind the mint into a fine powder and dissolve it? Maybe if the water is warm? Usually mint like in this pic just settles on ...
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21 votes
9 answers
13k 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 ...
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19 votes
5 answers
9k views

Can I thaw salmon directly in water?

Some online advice says to put salmon in a bag before thawing it in cold water. My question is: Is it safe to omit the bagging, and instead thaw salmon directly in water, with no bag? If not, why?
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19 votes
5 answers
59k views

What is the white foam that builds up when I make tea?

I microwave water in order to make tea. After it is microwaved and I drop the tea bag(green tea) into the water, thick white foam builds up on the top. What is it and should I worry about drinking it?...
  • 291
18 votes
10 answers
6k views

Is it safe to cook with rainwater?

Is it safe to use rainwater as an ingredient versus tap water - or even cooking things in it like pasta? Would there be any differences in measurements or cooking times - the thought being that there ...
  • 7,466
17 votes
3 answers
37k views

Why is water often added to the eggs when making omelettes?

Why is water often added to the eggs when making an omelette? Also, is there a recommended amount of water?
  • 4,046
17 votes
2 answers
117k 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?
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17 votes
4 answers
38k views

Is hot tap water safe for cooking?

I'll typically bring hot water from the tap to the boil instead of waiting longer for cold water. This hot water comes from water heater with a large storage tank. Is this considered safe? For ...
  • 4,046
16 votes
3 answers
35k views

Does chlorine evaporate from water when cooking?

Most municipal water supplies in the U.S. include noticeable levels of chlorine or chloramine added to kill microbes, and often adds an objectionable chemical smell. Does chlorine evaporate when ...
  • 4,940
16 votes
6 answers
45k views

Does keeping a fridge/freezer full significantly help energy efficiency?

This is one of those statements I frequently encounter, but I've never really seen evidence to support it. The advice often goes even further to say that if your fridge/freezer is relatively empty, ...
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15 votes
7 answers
9k views

What can I do with vegetable water?

I just steamed some vegetables and the water below is greenish-yellow vegetable sweat basically. I don't want to waste any thing unless I have to for a valid reason. Any suggestions?
15 votes
9 answers
30k views

How can I maximize the caffeine content of my coffee?

Like many people, I rely on coffee in the morning to really get me going for the day. I always use more than the directions require to get more caffeine for that extra morning jolt. How much ground ...
  • 1,021
15 votes
3 answers
9k views

Does liquid temperature matter when making bread in a bread maker?

Let me start by saying this is my first attempt at using a bread maker. I just wanted to know if the temperature of the liquid used in the bread recipe matters? Cold vs room temp or warm?
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13 votes
7 answers
13k views

Why does oil transfer heat to food more gradually than water?

While working on the homework for week 2 of Harvardx's Edx course, SPU27x Science & Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Science, I came across this question: The difference in the ...
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13 votes
3 answers
43k 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? ...
  • 232
12 votes
8 answers
72k views

How do I stop my pans from boiling over?

Yesterday the wife and I decided to boil some potatoes in a normal non-stick pan. We added salt, potatoes and boiling water. We put this on an electric hob, with no lid at maximum heat (marked at ...
12 votes
5 answers
102k views

What is water temperature after electric kettle switches off?

My tea preparation prescriptions says to prepare it using water heated to 96 Celsius degrees. When water heated in standard, typical electric kettle reaches this temperature? Is it (always?) ...
  • 719
12 votes
6 answers
38k views

How can I easily get water to a desired temperature?

I have a number of teas, some of which require a lower temperature for steeping than others (for instance, I have a particular Green Tea which asks for steeping at 70°C, 158°F). I was wondering how ...
  • 242
12 votes
4 answers
53k views

How warm is "warm water?"

I'm following a recipe for making dough for a challah bread, and the recipe calls for warm water. How warm should the water be (in degrees)? Do I need to heat it, or is room-temperature good enough? ...
  • 307
12 votes
1 answer
42k views

Can I fix a box cake recipe where I added oil instead of water?

I screwed up and put 1 1/4 cup veg oil instead of water in my box cake recipe. Is there any way to fix this? Can I add flour or something? Or is it doomed for the trash can?
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11 votes
8 answers
147k views

Is there a difference between tepid water and lukewarm water?

Is there a difference between tepid water and lukewarm water? Are the terms interchangeable?
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11 votes
7 answers
16k views

Is it necessary to rinse Chinese or other tea before first brew / steep / infusion?

I've been told that I should be rinsing Chinese tea with the boiled water before the first full infusion intended for drinking. I make the occasional very-expensive tea from Taiwan and I feel it is a ...
11 votes
4 answers
3k 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?
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11 votes
1 answer
10k views

Water Exploded in Microwave

I heated water in the microwave and it exploded inside. Water was pouring out even though the door was shut. I now know that I'm not supposed to heat water in the microwave. But I did and now after ...
11 votes
1 answer
10k views

Why do fry cooks use water to cook burgers?

I'm sitting at a diner and I'm curious if there is a reason as to why the fry cook cooked my burger the way he did. The process is different from the one I'd use at home. The cook put the burger on ...
  • 1,067
9 votes
4 answers
2k views

What would result from not adding fat to pastry dough?

I'm preparing some form of pastry. The usual ingredients: flour, water, and shortening. What would happen if I don't add shortening?
9 votes
3 answers
6k views

Scaling up water for cooking soup

I'm cooking soup as a starter for Christmas dinner. I've made this soup before and I used 1.5 litres of water for 4 servings. I'm making 12 servings for Christmas day so that should be 4.5 litres of ...
  • 91
9 votes
5 answers
681 views

Making apfelschorle

Apfelschorle is a German (or Austrian?) drink which is made with approximately a 1:1 ratio of apple juice and sparkling (carbonated) mineral water. My technique is simply to pour the appropriate ...
  • 1,937
9 votes
6 answers
68k views

Could rice or pasta be cooked without hot water?

I moved in a brand new house. I have no stove, microwaves or hot water for a week or two. I'm vegetarian and I've already prepared fresh veggies wrap, salad, hummus, sandwichs, .. but I'm wondering ...
  • 679
9 votes
4 answers
135k views

Lots of water coming out of chicken breasts when cooking in pan. Why?

When I cook chicken breasts in a pan, a lot of water comes out of them. I've seen this answer: My chicken breasts release a lot of fluid when cooked. How do I prevent this? where some people suggest ...
9 votes
1 answer
14k views

How do you smoke water?

Roux mention in this answer smoking water. How do you do this? What does it taste like? How do you use it? Sounds fascinating!
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8 votes
8 answers
31k views

Steel Cut Oats: cooking in milk vs. water

Most of the recipes I've seen (including Good Eats) recommend simmering the oats in 4 cups of liquid for 1 cup of oats. Alton Brown recommends 3 cups of water for ~25 mins and then (1/2 cup of milk + ...
  • 227
8 votes
3 answers
18k views

Why does sauce go watery after freezing?

If I freeze a sauce, particularly something with mince in it, when defrosted it produces excess water. The sauce before frozen is nicely thickened. I think it might be because the proteins in the ...
  • 183
8 votes
1 answer
864 views

Why does tea with hard water (lime) taste different?

It seems that tea with lime water (hard water) tastes different. Different enough that tea manufacturers have a different product to cope with the difference in taste. My question is: Why does tea ...
  • 1,429
7 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why are my Rucola and Lettuce washed in ice-water?

I bought rucola and lettuce at the grocery store today and on the packaging is said in Dutch Drie keer gewassen in ijswater which translates to washed three times in ice-water. Is there a reason why ...
  • 171
7 votes
3 answers
2k views

Rice finger rule for figuring water quantity

I've seen some videos where people recommend the "finger rule" (as opposed to measuring) when figuring out how much water to put in a pot to boil rice. However, the explanations are pretty ...
7 votes
2 answers
11k views

Water vs olive oil when sautéing

I was recently watching a friend sauté vegetables (specifically artichokes and broccoli) and instead of using olive oil, she used water. What's the difference between using oil as compared to using ...