How To Make A Holiday Simmer Pot

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Making a holiday simmer pot is a quick, fun way to fill your home with all the scents of Christmas! Enjoy this easy Christmas simmer pot recipe all winter long, and check out these fall simmer pot recipes for more ideas!

holiday simmer pot with fresh fruit, pine, herbs, and spices

During the holiday season, I love to fill my house with the cozy, pleasant aroma of winter the inexpensive way. Holiday simmer pots are an excellent alternative to candles and will make your whole house smell incredible!

If you’re trying to think of some simple and affordable gift ideas for your loved ones, I highly recommend making mini Christmas simmer pots in mason jars. Mason jar simmer pots make great gifts, and you can make a ton of them without spending a fortune.

I recommend waiting until the day you’re gifting them to add the fresh ingredients in order to avoid mold accumulation. These easy dehydrated oranges are a great option as well!

What Is A Simmer Pot?

A simmer pot, sometimes known as stovetop potpourri, is a form of aromatherapy consisting of fresh fruits, herbs, and spices that are simmered in water. If you’ve never made a simmer pot before, this easy DIY Christmas potpourri is the perfect recipe for beginners!

What You Need To Make A Holiday Simmer Pot

ingredienrs for my christmas simmer pot recipe

Recipe Modifications And Substitutions

  • Grapefruit: You can also use orange slices, lemons, or any kind of citrus fruit. You could also use orange peels if you want to take more of a zero-waste approach.
  • Bosc pear: Any kind of pear, or even apples, will do!
  • Fresh cranberries: You can also use pomegranate or omit these entirely, as they’re mostly just for aesthetic purposes and don’t contribute much to the overall aroma.
  • Cloves, cinnamon, ginger: Feel free to experiment with other spices like nutmeg, allspice, star anise, etc.
  • Sage, mint, rosemary: These are all aromatic herbs that smell like winter to me, but you can substitute them with any herbs that you prefer.
  • Pine needles: You can usually get free clippings from any Christmas tree lot, but if this isn’t an option for you, you can use spruce essential oil instead.

Other Ingredients To Consider

You can tweak this Christmas simmer pot recipe however you want! Try experimenting with other ingredients such as:

  • Peppermint essential oil
  • Vanilla extract
  • Black peppercorns
  • Bay leaves
  • Thyme
  • Pasley
  • Plums
  • Vanilla bean

How To Make A Holiday Simmer Pot

Step 1: Slice your grapefruit, pears, and ginger and place them at the bottom of a large pot along with fresh cranberries. Top with rosemary sprigs, sage, mint, pine needles, cinnamon sticks, and cloves.

christmas simmer pot ingredients in pot

Step 2: Add water and place on the stove over high heat until the water comes to a boil. Reduce to a gentle simmer and leave uncovered for 1-2 hours.

holiday simmer pot coming to a boil

Step 3: You can allow your simmer pot to sit for as long as you want, but check back periodically to add more water, stirring if needed.

holiday simmer pot on stove

Recipe FAQs

What is the point of a holiday simmer pot?

A simmer pot is an affordable, natural way to fill your home with the aromas of the holiday season. All you need to do is fill a large pot with fresh fruits, herbs, and spices and simmer them over the stovetop. The aromatic steam the simmer pot gives off is not only a great way to fill your home with festive scents, but it also acts as a humidifier and can help to open up your airways.

What can I simmer for Christmas smell?

To make your home smell like Christmas you can simmer oranges, grapefruit, lemons, apples, pears, cranberries, pine needles, cinnamon sticks, ginger, mint, rosemary, cloves, sage, cardamom, and star anise.

What do I do with my simmer pot when it’s done?

When you’re done with your simmer pot, you can strain your ingredients and store them in an airtight container to be reused for 2-3 days, or you can compost them. You can also set aside the water and use it as a relaxing foot bath!

Do you put a lid on a simmer pot?

When making a simmer pot, you can place a lid over the pot to quickly bring the water to a boil, at which point you’ll need to remove the lid and reduce the heat until the water reaches a gentle simmer.

Can you use a crock pot for a simmer pot?

You can absolutely use a crock pot or slow cooker for a simmer pot. All you need to do is place the lid on the crock pot and turn the heat on to high until there is steam emanating from under the lid. At that point, remove the lid and set the crock pot on low heat.

Pro Tips

  • While cranberries add a festive pop of color, they don’t contribute much as far as aromas go, so don’t worry if you can’t find any.
  • The more water you add, the longer your simmer pot will produce aromas.
  • You can typically use the same simmer pot for 2-3 days. Just strain the ingredients and place them in an airtight container in the fridge until their next use. You can also reuse the water as this will retain the aromas of the ingredients and is less wasteful.

Recipe

How To Make A Holiday Simmer Pot

My favorite natural way to get the whole house smelling like Christmas!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Course other
Cuisine American

Ingredients
  

  • 1 grapefruit
  • 1 bosc pear
  • 1 ginger root
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 sprigs sage
  • 2 sprigs mint
  • 6 pine needle sprigs
  • 1 tbsp cloves
  • 2 small cinnamon sticks

Instructions
 

  • Slice your grapefruit, pears, and ginger and place them at the bottom of a large pot along with fresh cranberries. Top with rosemary sprigs, sage, mint, pine needles, cinnamon sticks, and cloves.
  • Add water and place on the stove over high heat until the water comes to a boil. Reduce to a gentle simmer and leave uncovered for 1-2 hours.
  • You can allow your simmer pot to sit for as long as you want, but check back periodically to add more water, stirring if needed.

Notes

  • While cranberries add a festive pop of color, they don’t contribute much as far as aromas go, so don’t worry if you can’t find any.
  • The more water you add, the longer your simmer pot will produce aromas.
  • You can typically use the same simmer pot for 2-3 days. Just strain the ingredients and place them in an airtight container in the fridge until their next use. You can also reuse the water as this will retain the aromas of the ingredients and is less wasteful.
Keyword christmas simmer pot, christmas simmer pot recipes, holiday simmer pot
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