Hot answers tagged

55

It's actually the opposite, you shouldn't boil water for tea unless you want it boiling. Water has dissolved oxygen in it, the more you have the nicer your tea will taste. This has been covered in this question. The hotter your water gets, the faster it loses dissolved oxygen, so you'll get better tea (for most people's palates) if you raise your water to ...


46

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. ...


33

I think the primary considerations are convenience (how much effort is it to set up and use the system?) and time spent (how long does the system take to heat the water?). A standard electric stove can have 2500W elements, and most of this energy will go into a kettle sitting on the element and thus heat the water. Even a big built-in microwave won't be ...


33

Bear in mind that I'm using an electric kettle, rather than a stove-top one. First, the advantage of a kettle is that it is quite efficient, and turns itself off once the water is boiling. This as opposed to the microwave, which only stops after a set time, rather than relying on the condition of the water. Second, a microwave can cause water to superheat,...


29

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 ...


29

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 ...


29

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....


24

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 ...


21

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


20

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).


19

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. ...


16

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 ...


15

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 ...


15

SUMMARY: Unless I'm missing something here or you're doing very odd things with your refrigerator, you'd at most save a couple dollars per year by keeping your fridge/freezer full. Moreover, stocking up on water (or other things) to fill up fridge/freezer space won't save you much at all unless you're keeping it stored there for a VERY long time, since it ...


14

Wetted starch is not the same thing as cooked starch. If you want to see the difference in a simple experiment, make two starch slurries, boil one into a pudding, and leave the other one cold. Starch only gelates at high temperatures (I think it starts around 70°C, but needs even more to complete the process). When you have a grain of rice, you have the ...


14

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 ...


14

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 ...


13

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 ...


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.


13

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

If purity is top priority I can only recommend an 18 Mega Ohm laboratory purifier, complete with biofilters and UV. I assure you, you've never tasted anything like it. In fact you can't taste anything at all, it's quite a bizarre experience to drink. If they are so awkward as to not let you install one in the office then you might have to bring the water ...


11

Besides temperature adjustments or stirring, in the case of boiling starches in water (pasta, potatoes, etc.), you can add a little bit of oil to mess with the formation of the bubbles. This won't help if you've got a rolling boil, but will give you a better safety margin when you're closer to a simmer. Place any wooden-handled utensil into or across the ...


11

In terms of sautéing, the simple answer is that using oil is going to let you develop fond, i.e. the tasty brown stuff, on your veggies whereas cooking only with water will essentially boil/steam your vegetables — and perhaps give them a little char, as well. In cooking, both oil and water are basically just things you use to transfer heat to food. They are ...


11

I have read a couple of experiments (in Dutch so I will not link them here) where people cooked the same dish from the same shrooms, with one batch brushed and the other washed. The washed batch did need higher temparature to actually fry, instead of just boiling in their own moisture and the texture in the finished dish remained different. There does seem ...


11

I often use this technique at home to cook proteins. It shortens cooking time by using steam as a heat transfer medium to cook the top of the item at the same time as the bottom. You can also use this method on frittatas, dumplings, etc. You can also use flavored liquids to impart flavor as well. I particularly like hard cider with chicken and pork.


11

1.5 litres for 4 servings is 375ml per serving (plus some volume from the veg which I'll ignore) assuming no water boils off. That's a sensible portion. I reckon my soup bowls hold just a little less than that, but you'll leave some in the pan when serving . So I doubt you lose a lot of water when you normally cook it. That said, I'd err on the side of ...


10

My hot water tap is supplied by a combi boiler which heats the water on-demand, supplied by the same cold water source as my cold water tap. As a result, I'm confident that the water is reasonably fresh and clean. I don't use it for brewing tea or coffee, but I'm happy to boil vegetables and rice in it. It saves a couple of minutes bringing the water to the ...


10

The proteins in a fresh egg are too viscous, even when thoroughly beaten, to wash a baked good. The water thins the proteins so you get a nice glaze instead of a layer of scrambled egg. Older eggs have sometimes degraded enough that they don't need the water but it is easier to always add water than to make a subjective judgement on the state of your egg ...


10

In my experience, the most likely impact of a gentle boil vs. a furious rolling boil is going to be on texture of starchy foods, such as potatoes or other root vegetables, rather than flavor. I've found that a gentle simmer of potatoes will result in a mostly intact shape and consistent texture, whereas an aggressive boil without perfect timing can result ...


10

If you have a clean glass pitcher, the length of time we're talking is months, as mentioned by Tom's answer. I think you have a few questions that I can clear up: The bubbles that form over time are dissolved gases. From the faucet (or pitcher), the act of pouring will force some air into the water. Over time, it will warm up and you'll see bubbles form ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible