Does Cold Water Boil Faster Than Hot Water?


Does cold water boil faster than hot water? This question, which seems simple, continues to spark a lot of debate. Maybe you’ve heard of it, but you’re uncertain about its veracity because it defies common sense. The truth will be revealed in this article. There are also a few easy tips to help speed the process if you detest waiting for the water to boil while you’re cooking.

Which Boils Faster? Cold Water Or Hot Water?

It is a myth that cold water boils faster than warmer water, according to the University of Illinois Department of Physics. You may be curious about the origins of this myth because it makes more sense logically that heated water would boil more quickly.

Takamasa Takahashi, a physicist at St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wis., claims a definitive answer: “Cold water does not boil faster than hot water. The rate of heating of a liquid depends on the magnitude of the temperature difference between the liquid and its surroundings (the flame on the stove, for instance). As a result, when water is cold, it will absorb heat more quickly than when it is hot. However, once water is hot, the pace of heating slows down, and it takes the same amount of time to bring it to a boil as hot water did before it was cold. It is obvious that cold water takes longer to boil than hot water since it takes some time for it to warm up to the temperature of hot water. Because of the previously noted higher heat absorption rate when water is colder, cold water starts boiling faster than one might anticipate; this suggests that there may be some psychological influence at work.

You might therefore convince yourself that this hypothesis is true. Considering that hot water vaporizes in cold air, may the opposite be true in some way as well? No, it isn’t. Regardless of the beginning temperature, the water must be heated to 212 degrees F. If it starts lower, it won’t heat up more quickly.

Which Freezes Faster? Cold Water Or Hot Water?

After Erasto Mpemba, the idea that hot water freezes faster than cold water was coined. When he was a young student in Tanzania in 1963, he observed that his homemade batches of ice cream froze more quickly than those of his classmates if the milk was not cooled before being put in the freezer. In actuality, at the time, many ice-cream vendors in the area did not cool their milk before freezing. The pace at which a body cools is proportionate to the differential in temperature between that body and its environment, according to Newton’s law of cooling, which Mpemba had been taught did not match up with his observation.

Does hot water freeze faster than cold water? The answer is ”Not usually, but possibly under certain conditions.’’While it takes 100 calories to heat one gram of liquid water from 0 degrees Celsius to 100 degrees Celsius, it takes 540 calories to turn one gram of water into vapor. The rate of cooling via rapid vaporization is quite high when water is hotter than 80 degrees C because each evaporating gram consumes at least 540 calories of the water left behind. Comparing this amount of heat to the one calorie per degree Celsius that is extracted from each gram of water that cools normally through thermal conduction, we can see how much more heat is there.

water boiling

The Science behind This Fact — Mpemba Effect

According to the University of Illinois Department of Physics, hot water can freeze faster than cold water in some circumstances, which may be the origin of the urban legend that cold water boils faster than warm water. The Mpemba effect, as it’s known, can occur when hot water freezes faster than cold water. This can happen due to increased evaporation in hot water, a difference in the dissolved gasses in hot water compared to cold water, and potential convection currents that form in warmer water during the cooling process. But hot water doesn’t always freeze more quickly than cold.

Oren Raz, a scientist from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, developed the theory with Zhiyue Lu from the University of Chicago in the US (PNAS 114 5083). “There should be different systems with essentially the same effect.”

Inverse Mpemba effect: Under specific circumstances, a colder system may heat up faster than a warm one, according to Raz and Lu’s idea. If accurate, it would be good news for individuals who hold the misconception that cold water boils faster than warm or hot water. This misconception has generally been disproved as science fiction up until this point. Their research has also prompted scientists in Spain to develop a theoretical framework that demonstrates the Mpemba effect’s potential occurrence in a granular fluid made up of spheres suspended in a liquid.

Five Tips To Make Cold Water Boil Faster

Here, we’ll break down the best ways to boil cold water faster, and we’ll explain a few common ideas that sound helpful but actually aren’t.

Truth: Make The Cold Water As Shallow as Possible.

Cold water will boil faster if the water is thinner. This is because a larger surface area exposes more water to the pan’s bottom, which is the area that is heated up the fastest. Asparagus, carrots, eggs, and chicken breasts might all be boiled using this method. Of course, you can’t boil a lot of food in a large, shallow pool of water, so utilize it when you can.

Truth: Hot Water Boils Faster.

However, if it begins higher, it can heat up more quickly. Turn the tap all the way up if you need to fill your pot quickly with hot water from the tap. In comparison to cold or lukewarm water, it will boil a little bit faster.

Using your electric kettle will help the water get even hotter. Bring water to a boiling point that is much closer than what your tap water would likely reach to jumpstart the process. Pour the water into a pot once it begins to roll, then heat it until it boils. Your total time will decrease as a result by several minutes.

Truth: Use Less Cold Water In The Pan.

You might be used to turning on the faucet and allowing the cold water to slowly fill the pot. You can speed up the boiling process by being more specific about how much water you actually need. Use a lot smaller saucepan if you’re boiling a few eggs, cooking pasta for one or two people, or blanching carrot coins. Use the large stockpot only for large quantities of potatoes or shrimp boils.

Truth: Keep The Pot Covered.

It is impossible for a pot to boil while being watched. Or, it will, but you’ll feel as though time is moving more slowly. Therefore, cover the pan. As the water warms, the air in the pan also gets hotter and circulates back into the water as it gets hotter. The water can reach 212 degrees Fahrenheit more quickly thanks to this. That unattended kettle will soon begin to boil, so hurry. Look for a universal lid if your pot or pan doesn’t have one. These lids have a tight fit and are made to keep the hot air inside.

Truth: Be Thankful If You’re At A Higher Elevation.

For those of us living at sea level, you’ll have to suffer knowing that our friends living in parts of Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, and other states with tall mountain ranges can boil water faster by virtue of where they live. In the higher elevations, the lower air pressure helps cold water reach boiling in less time.


Does Water Boil Faster If It’s Salted?

Despite the prevalent misconception that seasoning lowers the boiling temperature, salt actually has a greater boiling point than regular tap water. But your sprinkle of Kosher salt won’t make the water salty enough to significantly alter the water’s boiling point in any direction. Even if you only intend to use the water to boil pasta, thicken your pasta sauces, or season a soup base, you should still season the water. Just don’t expect it to suddenly speed up the formation of bubbles. Additionally, you might want to wait until the water has boiled before adding the salt because doing so could harm your pan.

Does Water Boil Faster When Adding Baking Soda?

It can make cakes and cookies attractively rise. It can also make your kitchen spotless. But contrary to a commonly believed belief, adding baking soda to water will not cause it to boil more quickly.

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