A collection of misconceptions: adding salt makes water boil faster


Amateur chefs assure, what if you add a pinch of salt to a pot of water, then the water will boil much faster. Unfortunately, this is not true.

Salt enhances the flavor of the food, but it will not help the pot to boil faster.

Adding a pinch of salt to a pot of water will not produce noticeable results. For water to boil, its vapor pressure must be slightly above atmospheric pressure. This is why the water at the summit of Mount Everest boils at lower temperatures, as the atmospheric pressure at higher altitudes is much lower.

When salt is added to water, it becomes more difficult for water molecules to go into a gaseous state (which happens when it boils). This raises the boiling point of the salt water.

However, to raise the boiling point by 2 ° C, you need to add 230 grams of table salt per liter of water. This is much more salt than can be added to food. Sea water contains an average of 35 grams of salt per liter.

Although adding salt to water raises its boiling point, in some cases, salt water boils faster. Specific heat – the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of a substance by 1 ° C – is lower in salt water than in fresh water. However, the result will be noticeable to the naked eye only if you try to boil a “solution” with a salt content of more than 20%.

Therefore, if you want to add flavor to the water in the pan, which will then be absorbed by the food, then add salt to it. Salt enhances the ability of tongue chemoreceptors to detect molecules that are perceived through the sense of taste. There is no other compelling reason for this.

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