Easy Simmer Pot Recipe on the Stovetop: A great way to make a home smell fabulous, in a more natural way, especially during the colder time of year.
What is a simmer pot?
A simmer pot is a small sauce pan or large pot that is filled with water, fruits, herbs and fragrances such as extracts or even essential oils, that is heated on “low” on the stovetop, and creates a homemade potpourri in your home.
Making one of these can help make your house a cozy home.
Why make a simmer pot?
Making a simmering pot of fragrant items is one of our favorite things to do during the winter months and the holiday season to fill up even an entire house with seasonal scents and for an easy DIY Christmas idea.
If you’re looking to add different scent combos to your own home, without using a scented candle, air fresheners or something using artificial scents, a stovetop potpourri may be the answer.
Ingredients you’ll need
- anise extract: I prefer using star anise for a simmer pot but I have a really hard time finding it where I live, so I usually opt for the extract and it works wonderfully.
- oranges/lemon/apple: You can use any type of these fruits, such as different types of apples, oranges, etc. This is also a great way to use up fruit that may be getting too ripe or leftover peels such as orange peels if you used the pulp for something else.
- cloves: The whole cloves help give this pot of spices a beautiful look, next to all of the bright colors.
If you’re short-handed or if you can only find certain, similar items, you can try:
- Fruit: pears, fresh cranberries, lemon peel, and pomegranates are great alternatives or additions to this simmer pot recipe.
- Extract: extracts can be a great option for simmer pots if you don’t have fresh ingredients on hand. Additional extracts you may want to try are vanilla extract, peppermint extract, etc. Just remember that a few drops can go a long way.
- Herbs: I used fresh rosemary for this scented water recipe but you could also use items such as mint, lavendar, bay leaves, rose petals, etc.
Step by Step Photos
Although you can make this in any order you want to, I usually start with filling the pot with water first, then add the fruits and finally add extract and spices.
- Fill your pot with fresh water, making sure the water level will be shallow enough that when adding the other items to the pot, it won’t overflo but deep enough to cover the items you plan to use. So you can actually add a little water and always add more, or even wait to add the water until the end. (The amount can vary but with this small saucepan, I used 4 cups of water.)
- Next, start slicing the fruit you plan to use. Slicing it a certain way is up to you, as this won’t make a difference with the aroma of course but it can look so pretty (which, I think is the best part) when it’s cut like it is shown in the photos below.
- Add the orange slices, and other fresh fruits and then add the rosemary sprigs.
- Next, add the cloves and cinnamon sticks, just pouring/placing them where you think they’d look great.
- This next step is where star anise would look beautiful added to this simmering pot recipe too but as I mentioned before, it can be hard to find so I used anise extract instead.
I absolutely love what adding anise extract does to the water, and how it sizzles in the pot of water.
- When you have everything in the sauce pan, it’s time to place the pot on the stovetop burner and turn the burner on low, to allow it to simmer. I usually leave it uncovered but if you have a lid that has a vent, you may choose to put the lid on for more gentle scent.
This can simmer for a couple of hours or as long as you want to, and as long as it keeps putting out a scent.
You can use a small sauce pan or a large pot, or whatever you love using on the stovetop. I love using this clear glass pot so we see the beautiful colors as well.
What to do with a simmer pot when it’s done
If only using the simmering pot for a short amount of time, drain the water, allow it to cool, and then store contents in the refrigerator, and then reheat it with fresh water again, when you’re ready to add more scents to your home.
Simmer pot FAQ’s
This depends on what you put in it and how much of certain ingredients you put in it. For instance this simmer pot recipe may not be too tasty but if you use apple juice, or apple cider instead of water, it may be more delicious. (However I’d reduce the extract as it may overpower for the taste.)
Typically, heating a simmer pot for a couple of hours is a good amount of time for filling the house with the scent.
You can but it can be a little hard to lower the heat enough for a simmer. You also want to cautious that if you turn the gas low enough, that the flame may go out and that can be dangerous.
You can! If there’s a warm setting, this should heat the different ingredients well too!
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Did you make this? I’d be so grateful if you left a “star” rating below to let me know what you thought! Then, the next time you need a quick and easy recipe, come back to Fantabulosity to browse all of my easy recipes!
Easy Simmer Pot Recipe (Simmering Potpourri)
- 4 cups water
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1 apple
- 1 orange
- 1 lemon
- 1 Tablespoon whole cloves
- 1 teaspoon anise extract
- Add 4 cups of water to a sauce pan or stock pot.
- Slice fruit in to thin slices and place in water, along with rosemary sprigs, cloves, cinnamon sticks and anise extract.
- Place on burner and simmer on "low" for at least 30 minutes or as long as you desire the scent to fill your home, or until the scents start to fade.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.