What is a Simmer Pot? Quick Guide and Recipe!

You know those mornings when you can just feel, feel, the cold down to your bones and you glance outside and a layer of thick, hard frost covers everything? That feeling when you wake up and you just need and crave warmth, joy and cosy comfort?

Well I had one of those mornings today and I swear the furnace was very reluctant to kick in. So, I thought to myself, while I waited for said, slow and angry furnace, why not add some warmth and heat to the home myself? So you know what I did, I made a wonderful, delightful and oh so simple simmer pot.

Simmer pots remind me of slower times, it was something my great grandmother would have done in the cold, dark mornings of winter as she readied the woodstove of the aga oven. Simmer pots were intentional ways to add a sense of warmth, scent and joy to a gloomy fall or winter’s day. Think of a simmer pot like the oil or wax bar diffuser of the olden says of woodstoves and pot pourri. Essentially it is a simmering collection of spice, herbs and fruit huddled together in a saucepan for x amount of time. By slowly simmering these items together, yes you will eventually cook it down to a mush, but you also release the scents of these items into your home over the course of the day. In fact I can brew up a simmer pot in the morning, turn it off around lunch and in the evening the house will still hold onto the smells of the pot.

If you are interested in giving a simmer pot a try, it is really simple. The wonderful part is, if I find I am missing an ingredient I can simply substitute for whatever is in my pantry or garden. So let’s begin with gathering ingredients first.

You will need:

Some form of citrus (I usually toss in a mandarin orange but a larger naval or blood orange will do)

An apple (although other fruits can be used)

Cinnamon sticks x 2

A good tablespoon of cloves

A couple sprigs of greenery (think rosemary, bay leaves or use pine)

Five cups of water

Large enough saucepan


  1. Simply gather and slice up your fruit
  2. Add five cups of water to saucepan
  3. Add all ingredients to saucepan
  4. Turn onto a medium low heat and allow to simmer for several hours
  5. Compost your scraps once done!

There you have it, you can really alternate or switch the ingredients as you wish depending on availability and/or needs. I tend to lean towards the “warmer” spices as I never simmer pot in the summer, it is really to warm to have the stove on for this amount of time. However, the beauty of the simmer pot is that you can customize it to your intentions. I hope you enjoy trying a simmer pot or two this holiday season and find gratitude in the scents and joy this brings!

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