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For a discussion of the phenomenon of boiling in physics, see Boiling point.

In cookery, boiling is cooking food in boiling water, or other water-based liquid such as milk. Gentle boiling is sometimes called poaching.

Under special conditions, a liquid heated may show boiling delay when heated over its boiling point, by starting to boil suddenly and violently.

In places where the available water supply is contaminated with disease-causing bacteria, boiling water (and allowing it to cool) before drinking it is a valuable health measure. Boiling water for a few minutes kills most bacteria, amoebas, and other microbial pathogens. It thus can help prevent cholera, dysentery, and other diseases caused by these organisms.