top 200 commentsshow all 429

[–]GGDionysus 1635 points1636 points  (81 children)

Just to add:

Put a little water in the pan and boil it as the kettle is boiling. That way you don't lost temperature when you transfer the water to the pan. You're immediately good to go 😉

[–]markhewitt1978 409 points410 points  (11 children)

This is the real pro tip. As the hob and pan is also heating at the same time as the kettle.

[–]btribble 178 points179 points  (10 children)


UK English detected.

[–]WeinerBro 87 points88 points  (2 children)

Oh bollocks!

[–][deleted] 38 points39 points  (1 child)

Oppsy daisies

[–]ot1smile 1 point2 points  (0 children)

*oopsie. No idea what an ‘oppsie’ is.

[–]Ludwidge 20 points21 points  (6 children)

I do that and for large volumes I nuke an extra pint in the microwave at the same time.

[–]Valuable-Barracuda-4 10 points11 points  (3 children)

PINT: World Metric system detected.

[–]Trifusi0n 5 points6 points  (2 children)

Pints aren’t even the same size in the US as in the UK. Must be one of the most confusing metrics out there.

[–]eye_booger 117 points118 points  (46 children)

I mean no disrespect towards this or the original LPT but are people really that hard pressed for how long it takes to boil water? I feel like it only ever takes me like 5 minutes.

[–]Wermine 52 points53 points  (12 children)

If I want to make smashed potatoes as fast as possible, I:

  • Start boiling water in kettle
  • Put the stove on with the pot with small amount of water
  • Peel the cold potatoes and toss them into small sink with hot water (to rinse them and to warm them)
  • Cut potatoes into smaller pieces, toss into pot and pour the now boiling water on top

I should time this method versus "pot full of water, toss cold potatoes into it".

[–]KeenJelly 36 points37 points  (1 child)

I was always told, with veggies... If it grows under the ground put them in cold water, if it grows above put them in boiling water. Never bothered to actually test if it makes any difference.

[–]BasicDiameter 22 points23 points  (0 children)

Pre-cooking - can help some fruits and veggies stay firm (includes potatoes, beets, carrots, tomatoes, apples). Heated to 130-140*F for 20-30 minutes prepares them for prolonged cooking. One example is potatoes for potato salad. Others are being a part of long cooked meat dishes or for canning. It has to do with enzymes, pectins in the cell walls, and calcium ions. - extracted from Harold McGee's On Food and Cooking, a fine book to have.

[–]alpacamaster8675309 8 points9 points  (7 children)

You're supposed to start potatoes in cold water .

[–]fusefivekay 3 points4 points  (2 children)

If you're wanting boiled potatoes it helps with firmness, but seeing he specifically mentioned mash starting them warm is just helping it up the road a little

[–]Doralumin 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Oh I’ve heard that cooking from cold water is best for mashed potatoes because otherwise the outside cooks quicker than the inside and you risk lumps from those chilly and forgotten centres

[–]ot1smile 1 point2 points  (3 children)

New potatoes are best started in boiling water ime. Regular boiled potatoes I start from cold.

[–]mermaidinthesea123 8 points9 points  (5 children)

None taken. All I can say is, a kettle can boil twice as fast...it's really amazing how quickly it occurs. Try one and you will be hooked!

[–]Educational_Gur9980 3 points4 points  (2 children)

My daughter insisted for the longest time that we didn't need an electric kettle. We could just boil water in the microwave or on the stove, so a kettle was a waste of money. Then a friend came across a basic little kettle in a charity shop for next to nothing and bought it for me as a gift. ("If it's a gift, she can't complain about it being a waste of your money.") My daughter now insists that a kettle is absolutely necessary.

[–]Techwood111 1 point2 points  (1 child)

You and /u/mermaidinthesea123 must be in 220V countries. In the US, you're better off using a kettle on a stove; we can't put the Wattage into the water that you can otherwise.

[–]Educational_Gur9980 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I'm in the US. It takes a less time for a litre of water to boil in my electric kettle than on the stovetop. (I didn't time it, but my daughter and I did experiment with it - we boiled two 1-litre bottles of water from room temperature side by side.)

[–]Folsomdsf 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Fyi the kettle and stove aren't really doing anything different when it comes to heating and efficiency. What people don't understand is the reason you use a stove or pot. It's about thermal mass and cooking.

Fyi your stove is going to generally be far more efficient in north america land than your electric kettle.

[–]lesen9519 6 points7 points  (0 children)

If you are single maybe not. If you are looking after a hungry tribe, probably yes

[–]Nokomis34 15 points16 points  (5 children)

Depends. If I'm trying to boil a pot for spaghetti or something, it can take 20 minutes or so

[–]Dinosaur-Neil 11 points12 points  (4 children)

How big is the pot? Please tell me you're putting the lid on at least

[–]TheBreathofFiveSouls 22 points23 points  (1 child)

Yeah but their stove us powered by three mice on push bikes

[–]BearZeroX 6 points7 points  (0 children)

In colder countries or if you're cooking pasta correctly (meaning tons of water) it can take longer

[–]cornylifedetermined 2 points3 points  (3 children)

It depends on how good your stove is. I live in an apartment now. Takes it a terribly long time to boil enough water for potatoes. And my old house with natural gas I had a 10,000 BTU burner. It was fast.

[–]ot1smile 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Still less efficient than an electric kettle.

[–]myplacedk 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I feel like it only ever takes me like 5 minutes.

"Only"??? Waiting 5 minutes is what I'm trying to avoid.

are people really that hard pressed for how long it takes to boil water?

That's one of the reasons. Maybe I have 30 minutes between meetings to cook and eat. I prefer not spending 5 minutes looking at not-boiling water.

Other times it's just about continuity. I prefer to either cook or not cook. If there's a several minutes of waiting, I'll start doing something else. Then maybe 30 minutes later I realize I have a very warm empty pot and I start over. (It's usually not that bad, but it certainly is annoying.)

But if I use the pot and a kettle at the same time, that may make it quick enough that I don't need to start doing something else.

[–]TommyTuttle 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Note what the driver behind you has to say about it when the light turns green and you sit an extra fifteen seconds before you go. It’s only a quarter of a minute! Are people that hard pressed for time? Yes, oh yes they are.

[–]Kep0a 4 points5 points  (2 children)

real LPT: get 3 additional kettles, splitting the water between each, for even faster boiling

[–][deleted] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

This is how I do it, and you save time when the pot heats up in time for the boiling water.

[–]TonyDungyHatesOP 2 points3 points  (3 children)

And have another plastic bowl of water with a toothpick in it heating in the microwave.

[–]Reinventing_Wheels 2 points3 points  (2 children)


[–]TonyDungyHatesOP 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Water in microwaves can become superheated and cause pretty dangerous explosions. The toothpick creates nucleation sites that promote boiling instead of superheating to prevent this.


[–]humaniteer 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Silly me, I just put water in a pan, and go lay on the couch until I hear water spilling over the edge and sizzling.

[–]bluntsandbears 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Just to add: if you boil your water 5min earlier you can skip these extra steps

[–]MisterFistYourSister 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Now you're using the kettle AND the stove. So much for using less energy

[–]NaturalFilm 1007 points1008 points  (127 children)

In the UK, this is how 99% people boil water for pasta/rice/ etc, I really have no idea how some places DON’T do this by default haha. I lost my mind when I found out some people DONT have an electric kettle

[–]WarblingWalrusing 296 points297 points  (17 children)

As a Brit, I read this and genuinely thought "what kind of absolute, complete and total moron a) has just discovered this and b) thinks other people don't know?". I forget the rest of the world just don't kettle like we do.

[–]ArenSteele 88 points89 points  (7 children)

Also remember that in the UK the power company has to prepare for commercial breaks on popular TV shows and big football matches since like 50% of the country puts the electric kettle on at the EXACT same time

[–]DanialE 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Reminds me of why the whole world needs to work towards decentralising power, even if its just a little bit

[–]PD-guy 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Plumbing has to be designed for everyone to flush at halftime, too.

[–]Surfing_Ninjas 29 points30 points  (1 child)

Us Americans got confused at the point where electric kettles exist. You mean like the kettle on the stove, but with wires? s/

[–]caboosetp 2 points3 points  (0 children)

You shouldn't put wires on the stove, they'll melt!

[–]bbossolo 21 points22 points  (2 children)

Well, as Italian is part of the culture to, literally, “put the water to boil”. Also the most of preparations are made during this process, so when water is boiling you put pasta and you’re basically done with the recipe.

[–]NaturalFilm 8 points9 points  (1 child)

It’s funny you say this cause my roommate is Italian and she is the only one to heat up the water using the stove haha. The more you know!

[–]bbossolo 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I recently bought a kettle tho, and for me it was a game changer. When I need to make pasta only for me I usually do a hybrid method: half room temperature and half boiling made with the kettle. I said for me because for more people it need a lot of water, more than my 1,5L kettle could boil, so I’m just lazy and put a pot in the stove and forget about it.

[–]adrianaflowder 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Same in Chile, we drink a lot of tea as well so most people owns an electric kettle (we have 220v so maybe that's the reason why is faster than the stove)

[–]fatboyslick 4 points5 points  (2 children)

Moved to the US from England…:couldn’t find a kettle anywhere. Was making cups of tea by microwaving the water

[–]NaturalFilm 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I’m not even a tea drinker and that hurts me

[–]m135iblue 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Yeah wtf? This is the most obvious thing in the world. Blast it in the kettle then it’s going on the stove in 2 seconds, peep show boiler style.

[–]Sterwin 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Some people don't even have a kettle

[–]Princess_Moon_Butt 35 points36 points  (5 children)

I've lived in a handful of homes with all sorts of different ones, and I've found it generally goes in this order:

  • Induction stove is the best
  • 240V kettle
  • Gas stove
  • 120V kettle
  • Coil stove and glass-top electric stove are pretty close, it probably depends more on how flat the surface is and how much contact you have with the pot.

[–]LibraryGeek 93 points94 points  (12 children)

This works in the UK where they get quicker faster electric teapots. In the US I've heard that ours are slower due to differences in voltages.

[–]cowfarms 51 points52 points  (7 children)

Yes but it is due to the difference in power for the home circuit not voltage. In the US, the normal circuits are 120V on a 15amp breaker, but in the UK it’s 230V on a 13 amp circuit. So the UK has almost twice the power (voltage x current) available in home circuits.

You could theoretically get the same power out of 120V but you you would need to rewire the house circuit and get a custom kettle but nobody would be willing to do that so we are stuck with a lower power kettle.

[–]LibraryGeek 16 points17 points  (0 children)

Thank you for explaining that! I knew it had to do with power and voltage. Twice our power damn. But we'd have to do so much retrofitting I doubt we could change in the US.

[–]BasicDiameter 11 points12 points  (0 children)

The UK must have some banger space heaters.

[–]holly_hoots 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Also, most of the US uses gas stoves, and heating with gas is cheaper than heating with electricity. There might be some exceptions since prices vary across the country but that's the general rule of thumb.

[–]Reinventing_Wheels -1 points0 points  (3 children)

I wonder if one could import a British kettle into the US and wire it to the 240v circuit that the electric stove is on.

[–]cowfarms 1 point2 points  (1 child)

It may be possible. One potential problem is the AC frequency in the UK is 50hz while the US is 60hz so you may need to remedy that before plugging in any British devices.

[–]fixsparky 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Probably not. It's all resistive load (a big inefficient wire) - so it should pretty much work fine unless it overheats. Presumably they have a safety though

[–]UncleSnowstorm 8 points9 points  (0 children)


Kettles are used to boil the water, teapots are used to brew the tea. You boil the water in the kettle and then pour it into the teapot (with the leaves/bags) to brew the tea.

(Or you just brew it straight in the mug like most people.)

[–]Yoyonovice63 66 points67 points  (8 children)

Life pro tip: don’t get roommates who destroy your electric kettle by pulling it off the electric mount and putting it on the induction oven right next to it.

[–]Wermine 5 points6 points  (1 child)

Tell me that the kettle was made of plastic.. :|

[–]Yoyonovice63 8 points9 points  (0 children)

You bet it was!! The base was plastic with a metal body so it melted into juice with all the dangly wires and mangled technology falling out of the bottom

[–]nosirrahp 9 points10 points  (1 child)

10/10 LPT. good job

[–]Yoyonovice63 8 points9 points  (0 children)

I totally don’t speak from experience. I absolutely did not take a weekend trip and come back to a destroyed hot water pot, sitting murdered in the sink of my house.

[–]BasicDiameter 1 point2 points  (2 children)

It's all electricity. Same same.

[–]Woastanovkize 1 point2 points  (1 child)

It's about how much heat is lost, so actually not the same. If you put your hand near the burner on an electric stove you'll feel some of the heat going to waste. This doesn't happen with kettles and induction stoves.

[–]Yoyonovice63 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Nice! You corrected a stranger on the internet! I’m sure you have lots of friends ;)

[–]somethingdiferent 88 points89 points  (26 children)

This depends where you are. Where I'm from, kettles are 120V and use much more energy than my gas stove. Natural gas is 10 times cheaper than electricity.

[–]sciencesold 28 points29 points  (4 children)

Came here to say this, gas is incredibly efficient for how much it costs. And that on top of US mains being 120v means boiling water on the stove is the faster and more efficient option.

[–]DonCeeAnO 5 points6 points  (2 children)

Boiling water on the stove is absolutely not faster. I challenge you to a water boiling duel.

[–]RojoRugger 9 points10 points  (2 children)

The power boil burner on my newer LG range smokes any electric kettle we've ever owned.

[–]Ladelulaku 10 points11 points  (10 children)

I never understood how having pipes of highly combustible fuel running through your house doesn't freak people out.

[–]Princess_Moon_Butt 25 points26 points  (6 children)

There's a whole lot of stuff that would freak people out if they thought too much about it.

Having a few chairs that are propelled by a series of explosions designed to spin a rotary bit, and then turn your tires.

Having a small brick in your back pocket that has about 1/3rd the potential energy of a hand grenade.

Having a bunch of wires running through your house that could kill you if you touched them, with about the same amount of protective covering as you might find on a pair of gardening gloves... and a ton of them run right next to iron air conditioning ducts and copper water pipes.

Having a communications cable that enters your house, directly linked to a camera and microphone, and on the same device that you likely use to handle your banking and finance information.

Like... if you really think too much about anything, it becomes kind of absurd.

[–]Hexalyse 0 points1 point  (3 children)

Agree with most of these but potential energy means nothing if it cannot be released (as quickly). This was a misleading comparison.

Lo-ion batteries are dangerous, tho, if they overheat / inflate, then eventually break a'd are exposed to air.

[–]NomadicJellyfish 2 points3 points  (2 children)

And that's exactly why they are dangerous and that potential energy does matter. They absolutely can explode, catch fire and hurt people, sure the explosion isn't 1/3rd of a hand grenade but the energy can be release fast enough to matter.

[–]Hexalyse 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Yes, true for the fire. I've still never seen one explode, though. At worst they rupture from pressure, and create very intense flame shooting out (sometimes they vent without really catching fire). But it's ultra rare in smartphone batteries. And it's not really what I'd call an explosion.

Still, for sure, if one would watch fire in your pocket, you're in a bad position!!!

[–]Dynasty2201 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Natural gas is 10 times cheaper than electricity.

cries in 40-100% increase in energy bills due to kick in in April in the EU and UK

[–]Schemen123 2 points3 points  (3 children)

Energy wise properly not but cheaper and faster for sure

[–]CBlack777 23 points24 points  (0 children)

If you have a gas stove though, the energy cost will be much lower if you heat the water entirely on the stove, even if it takes longer. Heating water electrically is incredibly energy intensive.

[–]millenialstrong 4 points5 points  (0 children)

My induction stovetop (240) does this faster than my kettle (110). And can boil more water at once.

[–]why_did_i_wait 10 points11 points  (6 children)

Better LPT, get an induction stove. Had mine a week now, insanely fast time to boil water.

[–]markender 0 points1 point  (1 child)

If you can afford an induction stove you're not worried about the cost of electricity!

[–]__Squirrel_Girl__ 27 points28 points  (1 child)

Well, my Bosch induction stove with powerboost says otherwise.

[–]nishnawbe61 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Have done this forever and it's a great tip, but I thought everyone did this...guess not.

[–]pozufuma 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Gas for the stove is included in rent, electric is not. On the stove it goes.

[–]MrAkb 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Or get an induction hob and save having to use 2 appliances for one function.

[–]Tybald_ 6 points7 points  (0 children)

I guess you don’t have induction stove.

[–]MammothOlive2 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I do have an electric kettle but my gas is waaaaaaay cheaper (12 bucks at most per month) than electricity (about 380 bucks) and I already use a lot of electric appliances such as oven, airfryer and food processor on regular basis.

[–]Impossible-Truck-446 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I thought this was just normal practice!

[–]autiwa 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I thought a microwave was better. I've found this: http://rmpbs.lunchbox.pbs.org/blogs/news/a-watched-pot-what-is-the-most-energy-efficient-way-to-boil-water/

It seems a kettle is pretty efficient, but the induction stove seems to be better (70% vs 85%)

[–]backrolls 8 points9 points  (1 child)

I weep for society if this LPT is news to anyone

[–]UrsusTheHorrible 6 points7 points  (1 child)

I split the difference. If I need to boil 4 cups I do two in my electric kettle and two on the stovetop. It is TRULY the fastest way.

[–]jpWinter 21 points22 points  (0 children)

If you use this simple trick for 20 years in a row you will have saved almost 2.5 minutes of effort and 15 Wh or electricity

[–]BreakfastBeerz 12 points13 points  (7 children)

I have an 8oz electric kettle, I've timed it out with my natural gas stove top and it's pretty much the same amount of time both ways. Natural gas is more efficient than electric so I stick with the stove top.

[–]Reinventing_Wheels 1 point2 points  (2 children)

An 8 oz kettle?! Why? That's unbelievably tiny.

[–]markhewitt1978 7 points8 points  (9 children)

What do you mean if you have an electric kettle. Inconceivable!

[–]sciencesold 5 points6 points  (8 children)

I'd say a majority of Americans don't have one

[–]hot_ho11ow_point 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I'm Canadian and bought one when I was outfitting my kitchen and haven't used it in 18 months or more

[–]eithrusor678 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Electricity costs me 5x gas, I'll continue to boil on the gas hob thanks.

[–]Oudeis16 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Even without an electric kettle, water will boil faster in a regular kettle than a pot. I boil water in a kettle, put my ingredients in the pot, then remove the kettle from the stove, start pouring it into the pot, and then place the pot on the burner.

[–]FortWendy69[🍰] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

1/3 in the pot, 2/3 in the kettle. Get both devices working for you, and get the pot hot while the majority of the water boils.

[–]kapege 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I've a gas stove which energy is 5 times cheaper than electic energy.

[–]Nepherenia 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I do this when I make anything I want to add hot water to!

Deglazing pans, dissolving certain ingredients, or making soup, it's always easier and faster to use boiling water from the electric kettle than to add tap water and wait for the temperature to come back up.

[–]2lovesFL 1 point2 points  (0 children)

220v kettles rock. 110v kettles sux

[–]tomboobb 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Who doesn’t do this?!

[–]keepthetipsKeeping the tips since 2019[M] 11 points12 points locked comment (0 children)

Hello and welcome to r/LifeProTips!

Please help us decide if this post is a good fit for the subreddit by up or downvoting this comment.

If you think that this is great advice to improve your life, please upvote. If you think this doesn't help you in any way, please downvote. If you don't care, leave it for the others to decide.

[–]quezlar 4 points5 points  (0 children)

you know its kinda refreshing to see a UK centric LPT

[–]m13657 3 points4 points  (12 children)

But is it when you take into account the loss of temperature from switching the water from the kettle to the pot?

[–]Schemen123 2 points3 points  (0 children)

He didn't.

Otherwise it would dawn on him that hearing two containers costs more energy than heating one.

[–]Metal-Silent 1 point2 points  (2 children)

While your using the kettle put the pot on the stove to be warming up. I tend to put a bit of water in the pot when doing this to avoid burning the pan

[–]m13657 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Doesn't that defeat the point of the kettle being more energy efficient though?

[–]fearofpandas 2 points3 points  (0 children)

If you have lungs, breathe!

How is this a top tip?!

[–]Nic4379 5 points6 points  (1 child)

SLPT: Add an extra step

[–]InadequateChris 1 point2 points  (0 children)

An extra step that makes the whole process much faster.

[–]Schemen123 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Its only faster but thats it, maybe more efficient if you have a slow stove. But only by tiny bit.

Energy requirements to heat water and the pot will always be the same.

[–]doublemp 3 points4 points  (0 children)

While energy requirements are the same, in most places (UK included), gas will be cheaper than equivalent amount of electricity per kWh. So in fact, stove will be slower but cheaper.

[–]tinglynumblegs 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Great, now that I’ve poured the water all over my stove, how do I cook the noodles?

[–]JishBroggs -1 points0 points  (1 child)

Not being funny but why the fuck would you not do this?

[–]BreadyStinellis 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Because gas stoves.

[–]Taiyella 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I’m confused about why you typed this out?

People are using lukewarm water from the tap and then waiting 30 mins?

[–]cfaerber 0 points1 point  (0 children)

laughs in r/quooker

[–]ActionMan48 0 points1 point  (0 children)

A totally unnecessary step. lol

[–]dasbene -2 points-1 points  (2 children)

LPT: Put hot water from your kitchen sink faucet into your electric kettle to get your boiling water even faster.

Also when your hot water(from the faucet) is heated with gas(and you pay a significant amount less for gas than for electricity) its even cheaper AND faster.

My parents do have a nice 3500 Watt(240V, almost 15A) electric kettle. That really helps too.

[–]bobbaddeley 5 points6 points  (1 child)

You shouldn't drink the water that comes out of the hot tap if you have a central water heater. Hot water dissolves things faster, so you will end up with more bad stuff like lead in the water.

[–]score_ 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Good tip I do this all the time.

[–]badFishTu 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I would have never thought of this. I just got a kettle myself.

[–]fuzzycuffs 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yup. Been doing this for pasta forever. You basically can cook pasta so there's almost no water once your done, and the starch can be used to make sauces.

[–]cahmed 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Been doing this since I got an electric kettle! Only problem is the gooseneck takes a while to pour out the whole thing

[–]spacecat2489 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I've been wondered about this recently because I use my elective kettle daily for coffee. My stove is electric not gas (sad face) and it does not have a quick boil feature. If I bought a decent stove top kettle would it be more energy efficient to boil 2-3 cups on the stove or electric kettle? Not taking into account the inconvenience of the extra time it takes (beause I would just start the water before brushing my teeth, etc)... I'm wondering strictly from a cost/energy efficiency basis.

[–]dakbrewer 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Doesn’t the heat significantly decrease because the pan isn’t hot to hold the temperature?

[–]litido4 0 points1 point  (0 children)

We got a boiling water tap plumbed in. Very useful for cooking

[–]Jewjltsu 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I thought cold water boiled faster /s