the clueless 
cook's handbook:

how do you 
boil water?

how to boil water Yeah, some of you are laughing as you read this, thinking, "Okay, even Iím not clueless enough to ask that dumb a question." Well goody for you Ė itís an essential kitchen skill. But bear with me, because Iím starting from the basics, the very, very basics, and it doesnít get much more basic than boiling water.

At any rate, begin with cold water from the tap. Thatís right, cold water, not hot, even though that would heat up faster. The reason is this: when hot tap water sits around in your pipes, the higher temps allow the gunk that's collected in the pipes to dissolve more readily in your water. And you donít want to be ingesting that, right? Donít fill the pot all the way up Ė keep in mind that anything you add to the boiling water will increase the volume, and plus, youíll need to allow room for those bubbles to do their thing. Place the pot on the stove and turn the heat to high. If you want to speed up the process, put a cover on it; I often leave it uncovered because it gives me more time to wash, peel, dice and otherwise fuss around with any other preparations that need to be made for the meal. You may see little bubbles forming at the edges of the pot; these are just air bubbles from the water, and donít mean the waterís already reached a boil. When steady streams of big bubbles are sent up from the bottom of the pot, your waterís good to go.

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