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How to Boil Water

There are simple tasks and then there are incredibly simple tasks. Boiling water is even simpler than that. But hey, nobody's calling you a moron—there's a first time for everything.


  • Step 1: Choose pot Choose a pot with a greater volume than the amount of water you plan to boil. Do so in private, so nobody's there to say, "Uh, duh."
  • Step 2: Pour water Pour fresh, cold tap water into the pot. Make sure there's at least 3 inches of space between the rim of the pot and the surface of the water.
  • TIP: If you're boiling water to cook with (and not just for fun) you'll be adding something to it, so be sure to leave enough room for whatever you're cooking, too.
  • Step 3: Place pot on burner Turn the burner to high, place the pot on the burner, and cover the pot with a lid that fits snugly. This keeps in the heat and helps the water boil faster.
  • Step 4: Watch the pot They say a watched pot never boils, but that's not literally true. First, steam will form between the water and the lid; next, small bubbles will appear around the bottom and edges of the pot; finally, the bubbles will become large enough to break the surface of the water.
  • Step 5: Boil water Once large bubbles are flowing in steady streams from the bottom to the top of the pot, the water is boiling. That's it! You've done it! Cue the trumpets and congratulate yourself—you're at least as smart as a not-so-smart monkey.
  • FACT: Boiling water is very hot.

You Will Need

  • Water
  • A pot with a lid
  • A stove top

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