Bring A Saucepan Of Water To A Boil Faster By Microwaving Half Of It

Bring a Pot of Water to a Boil Faster by Microwaving Half of It

Boiling water doesn't exactly take hours to achieve, but sometimes you're in a rush. This microwave trick can almost cut the time it takes to bring water to a boil in half.

Photo by Scott Akerman.

Even if you're a professional chef, the microwave can be useful for a lot of things. It's a great tool, especially when you want to get your pasta meal going a little quicker. If you're in a bit of a rush, J. Kenji Lopez-Alt at Serious Eats suggests you can speed up the boiling process with your microwave:

...if you want a pot of water to come to a boil faster, fill it half way with water and set it on the stovetop. Microwave the other half for a couple minutes then add them together. It will come to a boil in about half the time as pure stovetop cooking.

The water in the saucepan will be starting to simmer by the time you add in the microwaved water making sure the whole saucepan reaches boiling temperature super fast. Simple, yet effective. You're not adding or changing anything in your recipe and you still get to prepare whatever you're boiling in a traditional way sans any nuking.

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    According to Stanford Alumni, you're better off using a kettle than a microwave,

    "If electricity is your only choice, an electric kettle is more efficient than the stove, because the heating element is in direct contact with the water. And microwaves are the least efficient method of all."

    This is focussing on time, cost and cleanliness of fuel source.

    If I need to heat water quickly, I use the kettle.

    I use the kettle

      I use the kettle too, its less chance of either burning yourself because the vessel you microwaved the water in is too hot/not ideal for pouring hot water or if you microwave it for too long and super heat it and have to explode like a volcano (i know its easy enough to avoid that but still)

      A kettle should be designed to boil water as quickly and efficiently as possible as it is its only purpose, i wouldn't be surprised if its also the most efficient device in most kitchens for doing so (more so than a gas stove as well), not to mention you know its ready rather than guessing the times like you would with a microwave. If the water isn't boiling when you pour it in to the pot you just reduce the temperature of the water in the pot and have to wait for it to boil again.

    I seriously hope this isn't suggesting to put metallic objects in a microwave...

    Last edited 28/09/15 10:59 am

    Personally, like everyone else here I use the kettle because that's what it's designed to do.
    But I would have to argue that a microwave would probably be quicker than most kettles to heat the same amount of water (of course depending on the power of each device).

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