Boiling water on a gas stove may seem like an insignificant task. As easy as filling a pot with water and throwing it on the stove.

The truth is actually something else. The process requires a tad more than just water and a pot to get started.

In this beginner-oriented guide, we take you through the step-by-step process of boiling water on your gas stove.

If you wish to fully understand this dynamic stage of liquid cooking, how it works and when best to use it, thumb through.

boiling water on a gas stove

How to boil water on a gas stove

Boiling water on a gas stove comes across as being an incredibly simple task. But again, when it comes to cooking, nothing’s too basic. 

As easy as it looks, there are certain hidden complexities behind tossing a pot full of water on top of a burner.

Here’s however the simplest version of how to boil water on a gas stove.


  • Water
  • A pot + a lid
  • Gas stove

1. Start by pouring fresh cold tap water into the pot. 

Make sure to leave at least 3 inches of space between the surface of the water and the rim of the pot. This prevents the water from splashing as it boils(boiling is a vigorous process). It also ensures that there is enough room for whatever you’ll be cooking (if you’re boiling water to cook).

2. On your gas stove, select the high-output burner.

Place the pot on the burner then turn the knob to high/max. Remember to cover your pot with a lid. Covering helps to retain the heat inside, speeding up the process in return.

3. The next most important step is to watch the pot. This will help you to learn the stages of a boil. 

Typically, before the water hits a full rolling boil(212 degrees F) it goes through several stages:

140-170 degrees F–this is a few moments into the boil. You’re likely to notice the formation of tiny bubbles along the bottom and the edges of the pan. This is normally referred to as the Quiver phase. The tiny bubble makes the water to Quiver by causing its top surface to vibrate. It’s ideal for gentle poaching.

170-195 degrees F–the tiny bubble at the bottom and sides of the pot begins to rise to the surface. The water however remains relatively still. This is called sub-simmer or low simmer phase. It’s  Ideal for making stock and general slow cooking.

195-212 degrees F–here, you’ll see the bubble regularly breaking the surface from all the points. This is a full simmer.

212 degrees F–at this stage, your water is at a full rolling boil. At sea level, water boils at 212 degrees F (100 degrees celsius).congrats! You just boiled water!

How to boil water faster on a gas stove

We are in a busy world and it’s just natural for us to want things to work faster. Just like boiling water on a gas stove.

There are several ways to speed up the boiling time of water. But more often, you’ll hear claims that cold water boils faster than hot water. Others believe that adding salt to your water will make it boil faster. Those are just but mere myths.

To actually boil the water faster;

Cover your pot: whether covered or not, your water will still boil eventually. But, adding a lid will cut off a few minutes off your time.

Use hot water: you can use hot tap water or use your electric pot to boil water before transferring it into your pot. This will provide you with an almost instant boil.

Less is fast: instead of boiling a pot full of water, why not boil just the precise amount of water that you need? It’s faster this way.

Use a wide-spread pot: large surface area exposes the water to the hottest part of the pot– the bottom. This helps the water to boil fast.

If you live in an elevated area, that’s an added advantage. The lower air pressure in higher elevation helps the water to boil faster.

Should you boil water with a lid on?

Yes. If you want to speed up the boiling process, a lid is a good choice. It will trap the heat in, resulting in faster boiling. But if your end game goes beyond just boiling water, consider having a second look at the instructions on your recipe.

Is boiling water faster on a gas, electric or induction stove?

For any type of gas to win this tight competition, it will depends on several variables:

  • The burner output–some burners are more powerful than others
  • The state of water–hot water will boil faster than cold water
  • Your elevation–water boils faster at higher altitudes
  • The type of pan/pot used.

When we juxtapose gas and electric stoves, the gas stove will boil small amounts of water faster than the electric stove. This is because unlike electric stoves, gas stoves have no warm up times. They heat up instantly. 

However, if you are looking to boil a big pot of water, an electric stove you to-go-to. It has a nice big burner that covers the large area of the bottom of the pan. And as aforementioned, the wide surface speeds up boiling.

When we bring in the induction stove, the gas and electric stoves stand no chance.The induction stove is known to transcend anything else. The stove offers an all-round heat, heating just the right spots.

Bottom line: induction heats water faster than gas and electric stoves.


  • To boil water on a gas stove, simply fill a pot with cold, tap water, place it on a burner and turn the knob to high/max.  Remember to leave at least 3” space between the surface of the water and the rim of the pot. 
  • To boil water faster, use less water, the only amount required. You can add a lid to speed up the process. A lid traps the heat inside. Additionally, you can choose a wide surface bottomed pot. This exposes more of the water to the hottest part, speeding up the boiling process.
  •  An induction stove boils water faster compared to a gas and electric stoves. This is because they heat all round and put the heat directly into the pot.

Happy boiling!