Lemons, rosemary in a glass pot with water and a wood spoon with lavender buds

5 Simple Summer Simmer Pot Recipes

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White electric kitchen stove with glass pot on it white European farmhouse style kitchen

Summer is the perfect time to refresh your home with refreshing, natural fragrances. Simmer pots, which use water and a blend of fresh herbs, fruits, and spices, offer an easy way to infuse your living space with delightful scents. They are chemical-free with natural ingredients and environmentally friendly, providing a safer alternative to synthetic air fresheners or room sprays. Plus, they make thoughtful gifts for occasions like bridal showers, birthdays, and housewarmings. 

What are Simmer Pots?

Simmer pots, also known as stovetop potpourri, have a rich history rooted in the traditions of various cultures that sought a natural way to enhance their living environments with pleasant aromas. Dating back to ancient times, people would simmer fragrant herbs, spices, and fresh fruits in a large pot to purify the air and create a welcoming atmosphere. This method, cherished for its simplicity and effectiveness, has endured through the centuries.

Unlike synthetic, artificial scents, simmer pots offer a natural and chemical-free alternative to make your home smell fresh and inviting. While they are often associated with the cozy, warm scents of winter months and holiday season, simmer pots can be enjoyed any time of year. By selecting seasonal ingredients, such as citrus and fresh herbs for summer or apple slices and cinnamon for autumn, you can tailor the fragrances to suit any time of the year, ensuring your home remains a sanctuary of delightful aromas.

Glad spot on white electric stove

Summer Simmer Pot Recipes

With the abundance of fresh fruits and herbs during the warm Summer months, some of the best simmer pot recipes are created during this time! These are my favorite Summer Simmer Pot Recipes that I use in my own home and they’re such a great way to incorporate some of your favorite seasonal scents into your home. I like to think of them as nature’s homemade air freshener! Here are five simple summer simmer pot recipes to try, each with a free gift tag printable for your convenience.

1. Lemon, Rosemary and Lavender Simmer Pot

Lemon, rosemary and lavender bud in a glass pot with water

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium lemons, sliced
  • 2 tablespoon of dried lavender
  • 2 -3 sprigs of fresh rosemary

Instructions:

  1. Fill a small pot with water.
  2. Add the lemon slices, rosemary, and lavender.
  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low simmer.
  4. Let it simmer for several hours, adding more water as needed.

Benefits:

  • Lemon is known for its fresh, clean scent and natural disinfectant properties.
  • Rosemary can improve concentration and memory.
  • Lavender promotes relaxation and reduces stress.

2. Lemon, Eucalyptus and Rose Simmer Pot

lemons, eucalyptus and roses in simmer pot

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium lemons, sliced
  • A handful of eucalyptus leaves or 1 sprig of fresh eucalyptus
  • Petals from one rose or 5-10 drops of rose essential oils

Instructions:

  1. Fill a pot with water.
  2. Add the lemon slices, eucalyptus leaves, and rose petals.
  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer.
  4. Let it simmer, adding water as needed.

Benefits:

  • Eucalyptus is excellent for clearing the airways and easing respiratory issues.
  • Roses have a calming and uplifting aroma.
  • The combination of these ingredients creates a refreshing and invigorating scent.

3. Lemon, Cucumber and Mint Simmer Pot

lemon, cucumber and mint in a glass pot of water

Ingredients:

  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • A handful of fresh mint leaves

Instructions:

  1. Fill a pot with water.
  2. Add the lemon slices, cucumber slices, and mint leaves.
  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer.
  4. Let it simmer for hours, adding more water as necessary.

Benefits:

  • Cucumber provides a cool, refreshing scent perfect for summer.
  • Mint helps in invigorating the senses and improving focus.
  • This combination is particularly refreshing and can help cool down your home.

4. Orange, Rosemary and Vanilla Simmer Pot

orange and rosemary in a glass pot of water

Ingredients:

  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. Fill a pot with water.
  2. Add the orange slices, rosemary, and vanilla extract.
  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer.
  4. Let it simmer, adding water as needed.

Benefits:

  • Orange and notes of citrus have a bright, uplifting scent that can boost your mood.
  • Vanilla provides a warm, comforting aroma.
  • Rosemary sprigs enhance focus and mental clarity.

5. Lime, Mint and Vanilla Simmer Pot

lime and mint in a glass pot of water with a hand holding a wooden teaspoon of vanilla

Ingredients:

  • 1 lime, sliced
  • A handful of fresh mint leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. Fill a pot with water.
  2. Add the lime slices, mint leaves, and vanilla extract.
  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer.
  4. Let it simmer, adding water as necessary.

Benefits:

  • Lime offers a zesty, invigorating scent.
  • Vanilla adds warmth and sweetness.
  • Mint enhances the freshness of the scent and can improve mental clarity.

Tips for Using Simmer Pots

  1. Monitor Water Levels: Always keep an eye on the water level in your simmer pot. Add fresh water as needed to prevent burning the ingredients.
  2. Experiment with Ingredients: Feel free to experiment with different combinations of fruits, herbs, and whole spices to create your unique scents.
  3. Use Fresh or Dried Ingredients: Both fresh and dried ingredients work well in simmer pots. Fresh ingredients might offer a stronger scent.
  4. Simmer Safely: Always use simmer pots under supervision and on a low heat setting to avoid the risk of fire.

Common Questions About Simmer Pots

How long can I use a simmer pot? 

You can use a simmer pot for several hours at a time. Just remember to add water as it evaporates. You can reuse the same ingredients for up to a few days, but the scent may diminish over time.

Are simmer pots safe? 

Yes, simmer pots are generally safe as long as you monitor them and keep them on low heat. Never leave a simmer pot unattended.

Can I use a simmer pot with essential oils? 

Yes, you can add a few drops of essential oils to your simmer pot to enhance the scent. Be cautious with the amount, as essential oils are potent.

Do simmer pots really eliminate odors? 

Simmer pots can help mask and reduce odors in your home, but they may not completely eliminate strong or persistent smells.

How long can I use my simmer pot ingredients? 

You can use simmer pot ingredients for several hours at a time on a low heat setting, adding water as it evaporates to keep the pot from drying out. Typically, you can reuse the same ingredients for up to two or three days, but the scent will gradually weaken. To prolong the fragrance, you can add fresh ingredients or a few drops of essential oils each time you simmer. Remember to store the pot in the refrigerator between uses to maintain freshness. Ingredients can also be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Can you use a slow cooker for a simmer pot? 

Yes, you can absolutely use a slow cooker for a simmer pot. Using a slow cooker is a convenient and safe way to enjoy the benefits of a simmer pot without needing to constantly monitor the stove. Simply add your ingredients and water to the slow cooker, set it to a low heat, and let it work its magic. This method allows the fragrance to diffuse steadily throughout your home for hours, making it an excellent option for busy days or when entertaining guests. Just remember to check the water level occasionally and refill as needed to prevent the ingredients from burning.

Does a simmer pot waste food?

Using a simmer pot doesn’t necessarily waste food, especially if you use ingredients that might otherwise be discarded. Overripe fruits, citrus peels, and wilting herbs that are no longer ideal for cooking or other food scraps like fruit peels can be repurposed to create delightful aromas in your home. Additionally, small amounts of fresh ingredients used in a simmer pot can provide hours of fragrance, making efficient use of minimal resources. By choosing to use leftovers or less-than-perfect produce, you can enjoy the benefits of a simmer pot while minimizing food waste and making the most of your food.

Simmer Pots as Gifts

Simmer pots make wonderful gifts for various occasions.  They are relatively inexpensive, thoughtful, personalized, and easy to assemble. The ingredients can be packaged in clear bags of mason jars for use in the recipients own dutch oven, small saucepan. A small glass pot like the one shown here can be included in the gift and presentation for an extra special touch as a complete simmer pot kit. Here are some ideas for gifting simmer pots:

Glass pot with lemons and rosemary in it sitting on a counter top
  • Bridal Showers: Offer a calming blend like the Lemon, Rosemary, and Lavender Simmer Pot.
  • Hostess Gifts: Present the refreshing Lemon, Cucumber, and Mint Simmer Pot.
  • Birthdays: Delight someone with the cheerful Orange, Rosemary, and Vanilla Simmer Pot.
  • Housewarming: Welcome new homeowners with the invigorating Lime, Mint, and Vanilla Simmer Pot.
  • Mother’s Day: Show appreciation with the elegant Lemon, Eucalyptus, and Rose Simmer Pot.

To make your gift even more special, download and print the free gift tags included with each recipe. Attach the tag to a jar containing the dry ingredients, a small gift bag with fresh components or even inside of a beautiful glass pot shown in this post. This thoughtful touch will surely be appreciated by your loved ones and is the perfect finishing touch to elevate your gift!

INFORMATION ABOUT PRINTABLES: All printables are password protected as a special thank you to subscribers. If you’d like to subscribe to receive the password, you can click here. Once you subscribe, you will receive an email with the password. I also include the password in each of my newsletters in case you lose it. After you enter the password, you can download the file and print on your computer. Let me know if you have any trouble.

glass pot with lid off showing lemons, rosemary inside and a bow and gift tag on the lid

Simmer pots are a fantastic way to enjoy natural, non-chemical scents in your home. They are simple to make, customizable, and offer numerous benefits, from stress relief to improved focus. Whether you’re looking to freshen up your living space or create a unique gift, these easy summer simmer pot recipes are perfect for the season. Enjoy the refreshing aromas and the joy of giving with these delightful simmer pots! Happy Simmering!

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lemon, rosemary and lavender simmer pot

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