Simmer Pot for Cleansing

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Set up a simmer pot for cleansing your home while you slow cook a fragrant roast or seafood dinner. Based on the same Williams Sonoma simmer pot recipe they use in-store to make the space smell inviting.

A simmer pot filled with lemons and rosemary is on the stovetop.

As the author of 4 family cookbooks and a full-time food blogger, you can imagine my kitchen has seen a lot of fragrant dishes over the last 15 years.

But at the end of the day, I want to relax and not "be at work" just like anyone else. The last thing I want is to be smelling whatever it was I cooked all day while I'm sitting in the living room, or worse, as I'm crawling into bed.

This fresh simmer pot recipe has been my secret trick for cleansing my home of all the lingering kitchen smells that build up over the course of my work day.

Why This is the Best Recipe

While simmer pots are a popular thing to use during the holiday season to make your home feel extra special and inviting to your company, I think this is the best simmer pot recipe because:

  1. Fresh and Clean: The fresh rosemary and lemons are appropriate for any time of year. Your house won't smell like Christmas, it will just smell nice and fresh and clean.
  2. Complementary to Most Recipes: It doesn't matter what you were cooking, the lemons and rosemary won't conflict with the aroma from your dutch oven or Crock pot.
  3. Easy to Set Up: In less than five minutes, you can have a simmer pot working way on your stovetop, it could not be any easier.
  4. Budget-Friendly: If you grow fresh herbs on your patio like I do, this become even more affordable and a very natural way to keep your home smelling nice.


The ingredients for the simmer pot are on the counter.

All you need for this easy simmer pot is:

  • Fresh Rosemary: It has to be fresh herbs. You won't get the same effect from dried herbs. You could swap in fresh thyme for the rosemary if you have it.
  • Fresh Lemons: I like to slice them pretty thinly, but not too thinly.
  • Vanilla: I just use the bulk vanilla from Costco, no need to use the extra-expensive fancy brands here.
  • Whole Black Peppercorns: I always have a pouch of these in my pantry for filling my peppermill. If you're not spoiling yourself to whole peppercorns, I really suggest you try it, they make everything taste better.

How to Set Up a Simmer Pot

Fill a saucepan with water and place it on your stovetop over low heat.

Add the rosemary, sliced lemons, vanilla, and peppercorns.

That is literally it. Now let it simmer up to 6 hours BUT just make sure that the water never gets lower than half way down the pan.

You don't want to your ingredients to burn on the bottom.

The simmer pot on the stove has lemon slices and fresh rosemary.

When to Use a Simmer Pot

I first started using this simmer pot when I had my Mississippi pot roast cooking away in the Crock Pot.

I generally prefer my Instant Pot over a slowcooker because I don't enjoy smelling that food as it cooks allll dayyyy longgg.

But the pot roast just works so much better in the slowcooker so I set up the simmer pot to keep the house smelling nice. It worked amazingly!!

So now I use it whenever I've got a large roast like my New Orleans roast beef or these amazing pork carnitas cooking away all day.

I know some people shy away from cooking fresh fish in their kitchen for worry that the house will smell fishy for days after.

Use this simmer pot if you make my macadamia halibut or this healthy oven baked salmon, the fish is so good for you and the simmer pot will keep your home fresh and clean.

📖 Recipe

A simmer pot filled with lemons and rosemary is on the stovetop.

Simmer Pot for Cleansing

5 from 1 vote
This fragrant simmer pot recipe is perfect for cleansing the air in your home while you slowcook a large roast or other strong-scented dish. Based on the amazing Williams Sonoma recipe they use in store to make the space smell incredible.
TOTAL TIME 1 minute
PREP TIME 1 minute
YIELD 1 simmer pot


  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 - 2 lemons sliced
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns


  • Place a large saucepan filled with water over a burner set to low heat.
  • Add all the ingredients to the water. Let everything simmer for up to 6 hours. You'll need to add more water as the liquid evaporates, never let the pan get less than half-full.

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The photo collage shows the simmer pot on top next to a photo of the ingredients.

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