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You are watching: Does water boil faster with a lid on

Posted June 21, 2012 through Presh Talwalkar. Read around me, or email me.

I cook soup day-to-day so I perform my same share of cook water. I constantly cover up the pot when I heat the water to make points go quicker.

I mean, it simply makes sense: the cover traps the warmth that would otherwise escape so the should warm the water faster. Plus, the an extremely existence of press cookers would suggest that trapping heat makes because that an efficient food preparation method.

But a few years ago one of mine friends wondered about this logic. The is a smart guy from an Ivy organization college, so ns didn’t just brush his opinion aside.

He agreed through me that spanning a pot have to trap in heat. However on the other hand, that reminded me of a bit of chemistry. Once you sheathe the pot, friend are developing pressure within the pot i m sorry will rise the boiling point of water (known together Gay-Lussac’s law).

So he wondered, might covering the pot actually take longer as result of the raised boiling allude of water?

The prize is no, it’s still better to cover. Yet let’s confirm this and understand the factor why.

. ."All will certainly be fine if you usage your mental for her decisions, and also mind just your decisions." since 2007, ns have dedicated my life to sharing the happiness of game theory and also mathematics. ubraintv-jp.com now has actually over 1,000 free articles through no ads many thanks to neighborhood support! aid out and also get early accessibility to short articles with a pledge top top Patreon.

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My little experiment of boiling water

I thought it would be fun to actually boil part water in pots and see how much of a difference covering makes.

I provided the following experimental design:

–I weighed out 16.00 oz of filtered room temperature water –I supplied a 4 cup stainless steel pot (the pot can make a large difference) –I collection my gas variety to a high flame –I offered a stopwatch come record once boiling occurred –Every minute i measured the temperature with an IR thermometer gun because that the center of the water –I did not stir the water

I repetitive the process using both a covered pot and an uncovered pot. Because that the spanned pot, ns would an extremely briefly open the lid to acquire the temperature reading every minute. I knew it to be boiling through the sound, and likewise I had actually a unstable idea of once it would boil since the temperature that the water increased almost linearly.

So below are the results.

The covered pot boiled much faster at 4 minutes and also 15 seconds. The uncovered pot took an extra 30 seconds to boil at 4 minutes and 45 seconds.

I stopped the experiment at 212 F once the water to be boiling. Here’s a graph i made of my temperature readings:

(Note: the covered pot additionally boiled about 212 F, so over there wasn’t much raised pressure come raise the boiling point.)

So there you have actually it: one confirmation the it’s much faster to cook water in a covered pot.

Important caveat: You have to be vigilant when boiling with a spanned lid for this reason the water does not boil over. Thus I always cook soup uncovered after I acquire the water come a boil.

The reason why water boils much faster in a spanned pot

It is true that spanning a pot will boost the pressure and raise water’s boiling point. In countless pressure cookers, water will certainly boil at 120 C (248 F) i beg your pardon is rather a bit higher than the normal boiling suggest (100 C / 212 F).

But this result is minimal compared to one more effect. When you sheathe a pot, you space trapping the warm inside which is energy that can be provided to heat and boil the water faster.

In the uncovered pot, together the water heats up and gains energy (temperature), some of that energy is used to adjust the phase of the water from liquid to gas. The power this phase change requires is called the latent warmth of evaporation. Together the water heats up, few of it changes to water vapor, using up few of the energy that the water would should boil.

The water in the covered pot will also lose energy as part molecules readjust phase (liquid to gas). However, because there is a lid, the gas water can not escape. It will condense ~ above the lid, i m sorry releases energy (the latent heat of condensation, which is the exact same amount together the latent warmth of evaporation) earlier to the liquid water. In this system, very small (if any, depending just how tight the lid is) energy is lost, and also the water will certainly have an ext energy and boil faster.

In conclusion: the is absolutely a bit much faster to boil water in a extended pot. True, it’s on the stimulate of seconds and also minutes, however in ours busy resides every 2nd can count.

So following time you must boil water on the stove, save yourself part time and cover up.


I run the ubraintv-jp.com channel ~ above YouTube, which has over 1 million subscribers and also 200 million views. Ns am also the author of The joy of video game Theory: An arrival to strategy Thinking, and also several other books which are easily accessible on Amazon.

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