Stove with metal pot.JPG

This article is about low-cost options of boiling water. Although the heating of water itself is straightforward, the options of doing this at a low cost are often not. The heating of water to an aduquate temperature to kill of all bacteria (100°C) for 5 minutes (7 minutes when at a high altitude)[1] requires a waterproof container that can also endure the high temperature.

Equipment[edit | edit source]

Equipment can vary:

  • Metal pots are the most common (and durable!), but also the most expensive. For people in very remote locations in the developing world, such containers may be unavailable or unaffordable.
  • Suitable stones: stones that have a hollow shap can be used as is and placed on a open fire; water is poured into the cavity and thus heated.
  • wooden containers: these can vary greatly in design and durability. Wooden containers may be suitable for heating water in certain contexts the developing world, since they can be attained at no cost at all. Sometimes they are imbedded into the local traditional culture, and most or some people still possess the skill of making containers themselves. Wooden containers include:
    • Birch bark cooking pots (made by native Americans)[2][3]
    • Gourds
    • Bamboo cooking pots

Cooking method[edit | edit source]

File:Water heating bamboo container.jpg
Heating water on an open fire

The way on how water is heated inside a wooden container can be either immediatelly untop of a open fire, or by heating stones until they are hot, and then putting them into the container. The latter method is used with bark containers, since the bark cannot tolerate the immediate heat of a open fire.

Alternatives[edit | edit source]

  • SODIS; another method that heats plastic containers using the sun. Does not kill all bacteria however.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Boiling water
  2. Ray Mears' Northern Wilderness documentaries
  3. A birch bark container
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Authors KVDP
License CC-BY-SA-3.0
Language English (en)
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Created February 15, 2011 by KVDP
Modified August 16, 2023 by Irene Delgado
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