Temperature at which a liquid is converted to vapour when heated. At the boiling point, addition of heat results in the transformation of the liquid into its vapour without an increase in temperature. A liquid's boiling point varies according to the liquid's characteristics and the applied pressure. Water at standard atmospheric pressure, or sea level, boils at 212 °F (100 °C), while ethanol boils at about 172 °F (78 °C). At higher altitudes, boiling points are lower and foods can take longer to cook; pressure cookers can be used to increase the pressure so that the boiling point is raised.
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Cooking of food by immersion in water, stock, or other liquid heated to its boiling point. Boiling is used to cook meats, vegetables, and some grain foods (pasta, for example). Scalding, accomplished by heating to about 185 °F (85 °C), is commonly used to prepare milk to be used as an ingredient in various dishes. At just above the scalding temperature, fish and eggs may be poached. At the simmering point, just below that of boiling, soups, stews, and pot roasts may be prepared. Many foods, especially vegetables, are steamed in a rack placed above boiling water.
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