Which boils faster—hot or cold water?

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If you have a cooking question, our expert, Marge Perry, can answer it. Marge teaches home cooks in her classes at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. She is an award-winning food writer, longtime contributor for Cooking Light and a number of other leading food magazines, author of the blog A Sweet and Savory Life, columnist for Newsday, and has contributed to over 20 cookbooks.

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Despite a long-standing myth to the contrary, cold water does not boil faster than hot. But hot water may carry more impurities—perhaps the myth arose out of a desire to encourage people to cook with cold water.

Or, perhaps from this odd but true fact (touted by Aristotle): hot water can freeze faster than cold. While I am not a physicist, the over-simplification goes something like this: hot water evaporates faster than cold, and as it loses mass, there is less that has to be frozen.

 

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