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boil cooking definition | how to boil

Boil Cooking Definition

Foods suitable for boiling include vegetables, starchy foods such as rice, noodles and potatoes, eggs, meats, sauces, stocks, and soups.
As a cooking method, it is simple and suitable for large-scale cookery.
Tough meats or poultry can be given a long, slow cooking and a nutritious stock is produced. See how to boil below.

When liquids boil, bubbles break through and pop on the surface while the whole batch of liquid churns vigorously.
Bubbles are caused by water vapour, a gas, rushing to the surface.

What boiling does. In the case of pasta, churning, boiling water keeps the food in motion, prevents sticking, and cooks quickly so the pasta doesn’t get soggy.

Green vegetables are tossed into boiling water to cook as quickly as possible so they retain their flavour and bright colour in a process called blanching / Blanch.
If they were to simmer gently in a covered pot, their colour would dull, and they would lose much of their texture.

Boiling causes speedy evaporation, a useful effect for reducing sauces, where the volume of the liquid decreases and flavours are concentrated.

How To Boil

When ingredients are boiled, they are done so in water, sometimes containing salt and oil or butter for flavour and texture.
The food is usually added to the liquid once it reaches a boil.

This intense cooking method is well suited for pasta, some grains, and green vegetables. Boiling is also useful for reducing sauces.

Rolling Boil

A rolling boil is when a liquid is boiled rapidly with lots of bubbling.
This requires much more energy than simmering, and is often discouraged because it can break up or alter the shape of ingredients, whereas simmering will keep the ingredients whole.

Some recipes require a rolling boil for the entire cooking period.
Typically, however, recipes will specify that the liquid is brought to a rolling boil, then reduced to a simmer for the remainder of the cooking period.

Par Boil

To boil a food, usually a vegetable, until it is partially cooked.

How to Boil Eggs

Eggs should actually only be boiled for a very short period of time and then simmered until the white and yolk are cooked just how you like them.

I find that the best way to “boil” an egg is to gently place eggs into a rapidly boiling pan of water and immediately lower the temperature of the water to a simmer so that only the occasional bubble is rising from the bottom of the pan.

Starting the eggs in boiling water makes the shells easier to seperate from the eggs when you are peeling them but the temperature must be reduced to ensure you don’t end up with rubbery over cooked eggs which start to smell faintly rotten.

If you wan’t to cook the perfect “boiled” egg I would recommend getting yourself a reliable kitchen timer so you can ensure your eggs are cooked for the required duration.

Boiled Eggs Time Chart

Time (minutes)
Soft boiled egg.
For soft boiled eggs with cooked whites and runny yolks remove them from the simmering water after around 4 – 6 minutes.
Medium boiled egg.
For medium eggs with a partially cooked yolks the eggs should be left to Simmer for around 6 – 8 minutes.
Hard boiled egg.
Hard “boiled” eggs they should be left to simmer for 11 – 13 minutes.

Perfect hard boiled eggs

Recipes involving a boiling method

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