7 Simmer Pot Recipes to Make Your Home Smell Like Fall

The season of scented candles has begun! While Pumpkin Spice Latte and Vanilla Bean Frosting might sound scrumptious and inviting, the truth is that many scented candles are made of petroleum-based paraffin with dubious artificial scents. A better and safer alternative is to do what your grandmother did: simmer a pot of spices on your stove!

Ingredients like cinnamon sticks, apple peels, orange rinds, cloves, apple juice, vanilla, anise, and nutmeg will soon make your home smell like you’ve been baking all day.

How to Create a Simmer Pot:

Fill a small saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add the ingredients from your favorite recipe, continue to boil for a few minutes, then turn the heat down to simmer. Add water as needed, usually every 30 minutes or so.

You can also use a Crock-Pot or other slow cooker to create a simmer pot: Fill the pot most of the way with water, add your ingredients, put on the lid, then turn the slow cooker to high. When there’s steam rolling off the lid, take the lid off and set the slow cooker to a low or simmer setting. Add water as needed to keep it at least halfway full.

Be prepared: Get into the habit of saving (rather than composting) your orange peels, lemon and lime peels, and apple and pear skins skins.

Simmer pots are more of an art than a science. These recipes below can be remixed to your taste or your pantry. It’s ok to leave ingredients out, go heavy-handed with the scents you like, or substitute things in the recipe for other flavors you like better (or to suit what you have on hand).

Cinnamon Apple Simmer Pot

  • cinnamon sticks
  • apple peels
  • orange rinds
  • whole cloves

Lemon & Orange Simmer Pot

  • peel from 1 lemon (or lemon slices)
  • peel from 1 orange (or orange slices)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 Tablespoons whole cloves

Creamsicle Simmer Pot

  • a few drops vanilla extract
  • orange peels or orange slices

Lavender Simmer Pot

  • 1 cup dried lavender (or lavender essential oil)
  • 1 tsp anise
  • 1 Tablespoon nutmeg
  • 1 Tablespoon whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Bay Leaf Simmer Pot

  • 5 bay leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon whole cloves
  • 2 sticks cinnamon

Colorful Cranberry Simmer Pot

  • orange slices
  • lemon slices
  • cinnamon sticks
  • a dash of nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • a handful of cranberries

Pumpkin Spice Simmer Pot

  • 4 Tablespoons apple cider
  • a generous sprinkle of pumpkin spice seasoning
  • cinnamon sticks
  • ground nutmeg
  • a drop of vanilla extract
  • whole cloves

Do you have a favorite simmer pot recipe? Tell us below!

Re-edited from a post published 10.18.2011—TW

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