The Chef Next Door
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Can't Boil Water
If you have ever described yourself as the one who can’t boil water, this section is for you. Here are some easy tips and recipes on how to prepare a great breakfast, lunch, dinner – you name it.

Firstly, you do have to know how to boil water, and I don’t mean putting a cup in the microwave and setting the timer to 5 minutes.

Why would anyone need to boil water? To cook pasta, to make a cup of coffee, to start a pot of chicken soup… there are many reasons that learning to boil water is essential. You also need to understand that the water will hold the flavor of the item you will be cooking.

  • Tip number one: Make sure that the water you use is as free of any taste as possible. What I mean by that is that the water should be free of any chlorine taste, or the taste of any chemical additives. I have a water purifier, and that seems to work just fine. You can also buy bottled water, but that is a topic for the section: Help Me Save Money.
  • Tip number two: Keep your pot covered until the water comes to a rapid boil! Trying to boil water without the lid on the pot, will not only consume a lot of energy, but will seem to take forever.
  • Tip number three: Note that there are several different types of boil. To simmer, the water will have a slight hissing sound, with small bubbles all around. To bring something to a rapid boil, the water will sound like it is angry, with a loud bubbling sound. The water will be moving rapidly (as the name “rapid boil” suggests). 
  • Tip number four: Never walk away from a pot of boiling water. Why? If the water evaporates completely, your pot may burn and you may have a fire. Enough said.

To cook pasta, be sure to bring the water up to a rapid boil, add the pasta, and then adjust the temperature once the pasta and water have returned to a boil. Do not cook the pasta with the lid on. The pasta will come to a boil rapidly, and will overflow if the steam has no way to release its pressure. Follow the instructions on how long to boil the pasta, tasting it once the minimum cooking time has elapsed.

To make a cup of coffee, buy a coffee maker. I have a stove-top espresso maker, a regular coffee maker, and a cherished Turkish coffee pot that I use on special occasions. I never use instant coffee. The aroma that surrounds the room is worth the wait. You can also find more information in Help Me Save Money.

To make a pot of soup, always start with clean, cold water. If you are making chicken soup, place the chicken in the pot first, making sure that there is enough room to almost cover the chicken entirely with water. If the legs stick out, that’s fine. Then cover the pot, and turn the temperature on the highest setting, until the water starts to boil. Immediately reduce the temperature to half, making sure that the water continues to boil. If it stops boiling, simply turn the temperature up a few notches.

No one will again say that you can’t boil water. See how easy that was?

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