Today I wanted to share how to make a natural, homemade Simmer Pot. Something my daughter and I have been making together for years. The aroma is fantastic, and it's a nice alternative to lighting candles.
Besides talking about how to make a simmer pot, the question might be why should you make a simmer pot??
For me, I find a purpose for certain refrigerated and/or counter fruits vs throwing them away. Same goes for old spices.
As a bonus, when a simmer pot is on the stove it adds moisture to your home which I love especially during winter and of course, they smell delicious! You get a nice scent, without some of the harmful chemicals many candles put into the air as they burn.
Making a Christmas Simmer Pot is with kids is a great idea! It teaches planning, organization, follow-through and it's a mini science experiment.
Samantha and I first started making Christmas simmer pots when she was really young, about the same time as she took over making stock whenever we had a chicken or turkey. Ever since she takes the lead and makes them in the fall and winter (same goes with the stock, lol).
This is a GREAT idea for involving kids of any age in the kitchen! What kid, even a 3 year old wouldn't love adding things to the pot and then seeing the result of their effort or should I say smell the result.
What is a stove top simmer pot?
A stove-top simmer pot is a pot filled with water, fruits, spices and or herbs that gently simmers creating a wonderful smell. Typically a pot can simmer for a few hours. It's a nice alternative to lighting a scented candle.
- Start by filling a pot ¾ of the way with water. I typically use a 3.5 or a 4-quart pot.
- Add in your aromatics, bring the pot to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Allow it to simmer for 2-3 hours, adding additional water if necessary.
- Set your oven timer or Alexa timer for 60 minutes. That way you can never forget you have something on the stove.
- After the timer goes off, check your pot and add additional water if necessary.
- Play around with what you add to the pot until you find a favorite scent.
What can I add to a Simmer Pot?
My favorite combination is the photos you see in this post. Fresh cranberries (which I always seem to have on-hand in the fall & winter), cinnamon sticks, rosemary OR often we clip pieces of our Christmas tree or outdoor pine trees and wither a cut apple or orange.
However, you can come up with your favorite combination.
Ideas include: Apples, cinnamon, and nutmeg (if you don't have cinnamon sticks, you can sprinkle in some cinnamon), you can save peels from apples, pears or clementine's or cut them up as they start to get old and use those in the pot along with things like cloves, star anise or cardamom pods.
I love adding Rosemary when I have leftovers to pots, sometimes sage too. Otherwise, I may have thrown them out.
I have used lavender by itself in a pot from a large lavender bush we have out back and it smelled nice. You can add quarters or slices of lemons, pieces of pine trees, apple cores, bay leaves...whatever scent combos you want to try out.
I also make a lot of Apple Pie Moonshine (so good and easy to make, get the recipe here) in the Fall & Winter. I save those cinnamon sticks after the jars are finished and pop them in a baggie in the freezer until my next pot. They smell delicious!
Can I use a crock pot?
Yes, you can do the same thing you would on your stove in your crock-pot!
I hope you have fun trying out various flavor combinations! Let me know what you come up with! Samantha and I would love to try something new!
Love the 3.5-quart pot in the photos as much as I do?? Here's the link to check it out. I actually seriously love the whole line of these Anolon Pans. They are the Anolon Nouvelle Hard Copper Bottom Anodized Nonstick Pots and Pans. I use them every day! I really like how heavy the bottom is and how well they cook.
Dishwasher safe (although I wash them by hand) and oven safe to 500 degrees. I saw they are on sale at the moment via Amazon or check them and other pieces of that line out on Anolon (not sponsored...Just love their stuff!)
DIY recipes to try
- Sriracha Salt - Amazing on so many things. Very easy and affordable to make and it is a fantastic holiday, host or hostess food gift!
- Vanilla Syrup - Another easy and delicious food gift idea. Perfect to flavor coffee, tea and much more.
- 40 ideas for homemade food gifts - Lots of good things here!
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!!
Originally published in 2019, updates in 2022 with additional text.
How To Make A Simmer Pot
- ¾ cup fresh cranberries
- ½ an orange or clementine cut into quarters
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2-3 sprigs Rosemary or snipped pine tree pieces
- Fill a 4-quart pot with water.
- Add in your aromatics as suggested above or try various add-ins like, bay leaves, lemon, nutmeg, cardamom, lavender, apples, star anise, cloves or whatever combination you dream up!
- Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low and allow it to simmer for 2-3 hours.
- Set a time to check on it every 30-60 minutes, adding water if necessary.