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Boiling is the rapid vaporization of a liquid, which occurs when a liquid is heated to its boiling point, the temperature at which the vapor pressure of the liquid is equal to the pressure exerted on the liquid by the surrounding environmental pressure.
Nucleate boiling 
Nucleate boiling is characterized by the growth of bubbles or pops on a heated surface, which rise from discrete points on a surface, whose temperature is only slightly above the liquid’s. In general, the number of nucleation sites are increased by an increasing surface temperature.
An irregular surface of the boiling vessel (i.e. increased surface roughness) can create additional nucleation sites, while an exceptionally smooth surface, such as plastic, lends itself to superheating. Under these conditions, a heated liquid may show boiling delay and the temperature may go somewhat above the boiling point without boiling.
Transition boiling 
Transition boiling may be defined as the unstable boiling, which occurs at surface temperatures between the maximum attainable in nucleate and the minimum attainable in film boiling.
The formation of bubbles in a heated liquid is a complex physical process which often involves cavitation and acoustic effects, such as the broad-spectrum hiss one hears in a kettle not yet heated to the point where bubbles boil to the surface.
Film boiling 
If a surface heating the liquid is significantly hotter than the liquid then film boiling will occur, where a thin layer of vapor, which has low thermal conductivity, insulates the surface. This condition of a vapor film insulating the surface from the liquid characterizes film boiling.
In distillation, boiling is used in separating mixtures. This is possible because the vapor rising from a boiling fluid generally has a ratio of components different from that in the liquid.
Boiling for water sterilization 
Boiling can be used as a method of water disinfection but is only advocated as an emergency water treatment method, or as a method of portable water purification in rural or wilderness settings without access to a potable water infrastructure. Bringing water to the boil is effective in killing or inactivating most bacteria, viruses and pathogens. According to the Wilderness Medical Society, water temperatures above 160°F (70°C) kill all pathogens within 30 minutes and above 185°F (85°C) within a few minutes. So in the time it takes for the water to reach the boiling point (212°F or 100°C) from 160°F (70°C), all pathogens will be killed, even at high altitude. To be extra safe, let the water boil rapidly for one minute, especially at higher altitudes since water boils at a lower temperature.
Boiling in cooking 
In cooking, boiling is the method of cooking food in boiling water, or other water-based liquid such as stock or milk. Simmering is gentle boiling, while in poaching the cooking liquid moves but scarcely bubbles.
Boiling is a very harsh technique of cooking. Delicate foods such as fish cannot be cooked in this fashion because the bubbles can damage the food. Foods such as red meat, chicken, and root vegetables can be cooked with this technique because of their tough texture.
The boiling point of water is typically considered to be 100 °C or 212 °F. Pressure and a change in composition of the liquid may alter the boiling point of the liquid. For this reason, high elevation cooking generally takes longer since boiling point is a function of atmospheric pressure. In Denver, Colorado, USA, which is at an elevation of about one mile, water boils at approximately 95 °C or 203 °F. Depending on the type of food and the elevation, the boiling water may not be hot enough to cook the food properly. Similarly, increasing the pressure as in a pressure cooker raises the temperature of the contents above the open air boiling point.
Adding a water soluble substance, such as salt or sugar also increases the boiling point. This is called boiling-point elevation. At palatable concentrations of salt, the effect is very small, and the boiling point elevation is difficult to notice. However, while making thick sugar syrup, such as for Gulab Jamun, one will notice boiling point elevation. Due to variations in composition and pressure, the boiling point of water is almost never exactly 100 °C, but rather close enough for cooking.
Bringing water to a boil is generally done by applying maximal heat, then shutting off when the water has come to a boil, which is known as bang–bang control. Keeping water at or below a boil requires more careful control of temperature, particularly by using feedback.
In places where the available water supply is contaminated with disease-causing bacteria, boiling water and allowing it to cool before drinking it is practiced as a valuable health measure. Boiling is the most certain way of killing all microorganisms in emergency situations.
Boiling has several advantages. It is safe and simple, and it is appropriate for large-scale cookery. Older, tougher, cheaper cuts of meat and poultry can be made digestible. Nutritious, well flavoured stock is produced. Also, maximum color and nutritive value is retained when cooking green vegetables, provided boiling time is kept to the minimum.
On the other hand, there are several disadvantages. There is a loss of soluble vitamins from foods to the water (if the water is discarded), and some boiled foods can look unattractive. Boiling can also be a slow method of cooking food.
Boiling can be done in several ways: The food can be placed into already rapidly boiling water and left to cook, the heat can be turned down and the food can be simmered; or the food can also be placed into the pot, and cold water may be added to the pot. This may then be boiled until the food is satisfactory.
Water on the outside of a pot, i.e. a wet pot, increases the time it takes the pot of water to boil. The pot will heat at a normal rate once all excess water on the outside of the pot evaporates.
Boiling is also often used to remove salt from certain foodstuffs, such as bacon, if a less saline product is required.
Levels of boiling 
In Chinese cuisine, particularly tea brewing, one distinguishes five stages of boiling: "shrimp eyes, the first tiny bubbles that start to appear on the surface of the kettle water, crab eyes, the secondary, larger bubbles, then fish eyes, followed by rope of pearls, and finally raging torrent [rolling boil]".
- shrimp eyes
- about 70-80 °C (155–175 °F) – separate bubbles, rising to top
- crab eyes
- about 80 °C (175 °F) – streams of bubbles
- fish eyes
- about 80-90 °C (175–195 °F) – larger bubbles
- rope of pearls
- about 90-95 °C (195–205 °F) – steady streams of large bubbles
- raging torrent
- rolling boil, swirling and roiling
Effect of altitude 
See also 
|Look up boiling in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
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- OA Guide to Water Purification, The Backpacker's Field Manual, by Rick Curtis, first edition published by Random House March, 1998
- IAPWS. "What is the effect of pressure on the boiling of water? Why does water boil at a lower temperature at high altitudes?". FAQs About Water and Steam. Retrieved 2009-12-05.
- James Norwood Pratt, The New Tea Lover's Treasury
- Boiling Water for Tea: Bubbles and Steam, by Bliss Dake, October 13th, 2009, Mighty Leaf Tea blog
- "Is it true that you can't make a decent cup of tea up a mountain?". physics.org. Retrieved 2 November 2012.