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Cooking 101 - How to Boil Water

Just this year, a group of American exchange students in Florence, Italy started a fire by attempting to make pasta and didn’t realize they needed to boil water first. Instead of having a delicious pasta meal, the pot burst into flames and caused a fire in their kitchen. It seems absurd that people would be so disconnected from the food preparation process, but in this era of over-processed, easy access food, many don’t even realize how to boil water.


Technically, boiling water means heating it to 212 degrees Fahrenheit, but you don’t need a thermometer or even an exact temperature to begin boiling.

 1. Put water into a pot or pan. Be sure not to fill it all the way to the top or the water may splash over once it boils.

 2. Place the pot on top of your stove and turn the burner to the highest setting (High or Max).

 3. Allow the water to come to a full boil. You can add a bit of salt and cover the lid to accelerate this process. A full boil is when there are visible bubbles at the top of the water.

 4. Voila! You have boiling water. Now you can add your pasta, rice or other items to begin the cooking process.


Now that you have mastered boiling water you can attempt to cook rice, pasta, potatoes, corn on the cob or even seafood. You can learn more about boiling here.


Cook Pasta

To begin, boil a pot of water. There doesn’t need to be a large or exact amount of water in your pot for pasta to cook properly. If you didn’t add salt to your water before, now is a good time to add a little bit as it will enhance the flavor of the pasta. Before you add in the pasta it is recommended that you break it in half. Not only will it cook quicker, but will make it easier to eat and “grabs” more of your spaghetti sauce.


Look on the package for the cooking time, but in reality most people just use that as a guide and test it throughout the cooking process. The pasta should easily fold and you should be able to easily bite through it. The thinner the pasta type the quicker it will cook. Thick macaroni such as ziti, rotini or farfalle, take longer to cook than thin angel hair pasta. Don’t forget to add the sauce too. If you’re overwhelmed, you can just heat up a can of spaghetti sauce until you’ve mastered everything.


Cooking is fun and a wonderful way to spend time with friends and family. You will feel a sense of pride knowing that you prepared a delicious meal for everyone to enjoy. Start small and expand your cooking knowledge and experience. After you learn how to boil water, maybe try making eggs next time. There are plenty of great resources to learn more about cooking, including YouTube videos, cooking shows and beginner cook books. After you have mastered basic cooking techniques you can begin cooking more complex recipes.

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