Food 102: How To Boil Water
Let’s talk water. Water is the greatest sustainable resource on planet Earth. It’s everywhere. I’m water, you’re water, everything is water. 98% of our planet is made of water, and every single tree, animal, mushroom, and rock need it to sustain life. Studies show that drinking a cup of water per day can reduce your risk of sexually transmitted diseases by as high as 85%! So yes, water is, as they say, “bitchin”. But there’s only so much we can do with plain old, standing water. Did you know that you can turn water into a gas as well? It’s true. This process of water being converted from liquid to gas is a simple term known as “magic”. It may seem intimidating at first, but you can practice this mysterious water magic at home using common kitchen supplies and sheer willpower. Shall we begin?
For the sake of brevity, let’s refer to this super mystery water magic by the layman’s term “boiling”. This name comes from the fact that when turning water into a gas, it becomes very hot. So hot in fact that if I tossed it onto your skin, it would seriously mess your skin up. After several days of agony your skin would begin developing boils, hence why some refer to this magical process as “boiling”.
HOW TO “BOIL” WATER
- 1 medium size pot
- 2 cups of ice cubes
- 8 grains of salt
- Begin by preheating your pot on a medium flame. You want to ensure it is evenly heated before you add your waters, so leave it on the open flame for approximately 2-3 minutes, or until you start to see smoke pouring out of it.
- Measure out two cups of ice cubes. You can easily obtain these in large 5-pound bags from your local drink distributor. Five pounds may seem like a lot, but if you’re like me you’re going to want to have many of the boiled waters for future consumption, so five pounds of ice will come in handy. Besides, you can use ice for other things too such as keeping other drinks cold or even creating makeshift snow during the hot Summer months.
- Add your ice cubes to the preheated saucepot. Allow the ice cubes to temper, stirring them in the pot, while they slowly melt. After about half of the ice cubes have melted, turn the heat to low and let them continue melting for another 5-10 minutes.
- When your frozen water has completely melted, measure out your salt. Ensure you have exactly eight grains of table salt, no more, no less. Too little salt will render your boiled water bland and tasteless. But over eight grains of salt may result in your water becoming potentially hazardous and toxic. This window is small, but trust me, it’s worth it for a robust, flavorful boil-water.
- Add your salt to the hot water, stir it to mix, and let the water simmer on low flame for 25 minutes. This may seem like a long time, but heating it on a low, low flame will give the water and the salt more than ample time to get to know each other. You could simmer it for as little as 15 minutes, but absolutely do not heat it for anything lower than that or your boiled water will come flat in the end.
- After simmering for close to a half hour, your water will have small bubbles forming in the bottom and finally be ready for boiling. Turn the heat to a high flame, and begin stirring your water nonstop.
- Stir the water continuously for about five minutes, or until you start to see lots of little bubbles rising to the surface. When this happens, end your stirring, and at this point your water is about to become boiled water. However! Boiled water is very, very photosensitive at this point in the process. To prevent it from overdeveloping, immediately turn your lights off and let the water begin boiling in darkness.
- After 5 more minutes, your water will now likely become boiled water. Give it one final stir, and it is now safe to turn your lights back on.
- However, to ensure your water is properly boiled, insert your hand into the water and inspect it, to ensure it is properly boiled water now. If it is, you will feel an agonizing burning sensation, and your skin will begin blistering. If this happens, your boiled water is now complete, and you can then turn off the heat. Congratulations, your water boiling is now complete!
You know the phrase “A watched pot never boils.”? Of course you do, everyone knows that phrase. And also, that phrase is horse shit. The original expression goes “A watched pot will obviously always boil no matter what.” This real and more accurate version of the phrase dates back to the early 1300s when water boiling became a popular meal for peasant workers whom could not afford grains. It served as a reminder to workers that no matter what, they could always count on delicious, bona-fide boiled water for a nutritious meal at the end of the day, no matter how closely they were watched toiling in the fields. It is an important phrase to remember, however. Due to the delicate nature of boiled water, you should make sure to watch your pot of water the entire time. Do not take your eyes off of it for longer than 10 seconds at a time, as the results could be catastrophic. But it is worth it, trust me.
Now that your boiled water is finally complete, I recommend drinking it fresh since it will go bad rather quickly, after you remove it from the flame. It is not the easiest task in the world, but at the end of it all you have a nice, tall glass of boiled water to enjoy. Bon appetite!
Ah! Fresh and tasty! Just like mom used to make!