It really doesn't matter if you watch the pot ... but turn away if it makes you feel better.
- Boiling water remains at the same temperature for the entire time it's boiling.
- Small bubbles that stay at the bottom or sides of the pot are air bubbles present in the water; they don't necessarily indicate that boiling is imminent. Wait for bubbles that rise to the top of the pot.
- You might be tempted to use water that's already warm or hot from the tap, but this water has been sitting in your pipes for some time, getting stale. Use cold water if you're going to drink it or cook with it.
- Choose a pot that's large enough to hold the amount of water you want to boil, and has a lid that fits.
- Remember that the pot might have to be bigger than you'd think if you're going to add food to the water. Without enough room in the pot, for example, rice or pasta will boil over.
- Place the pot on a stove burner and pour cold water from a measuring cup into the pot. Or, if you're doing something such as cooking pasta and don't need to measure, just run cold water from the tap into the pot, then place the pot on the burner.
- Turn the burner to high. Cover the pot.
- Check for steam escaping from under the lid, then lift the lid carefully to see how the water is doing.
- Look at the water. If large bubbles are rising from the bottom of the pot to the surface, the water is boiling.
Don't let your pot or kettle boil dry, or you risk ruining the pot.