Christmas Simmer Pot – Easy DIY Recipe

Scent your home using natural ingredients with this comforting Christmas Simmer Pot recipe. Create a deliciously warm and cozy atmosphere for the holiday season.

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An overhead image of a Christmas simmer pot on a stove.

The Christmas holidays are our favorite time of year!  This recipe is a fun and easy Christmas DIY project. Check out our Fall Simmer Pot recipe, too!

Why You Will Love This Recipe

  • If you prefer natural and chemical-free alternatives to commercial air fresheners and scented candles, simmer pots offer an excellent option.
  • If you are sensitive to artificial fragrances, this easy DIY Christmas simmer pot provides a natural alternative, allowing you to enjoy festive scents without synthetic chemicals.
  • The gentle bubbling and the wafting aroma from the stove top can make your space feel more inviting and comfortable.
Overhead image of a Christmas simmer pot.

Christmas Simmer Pot Ingredients

Find the complete ingredient list, with measurements, in the recipe card below.

  • Oranges – Different varieties of oranges have distinct aromas. Try aromatic varieties like Valencia or blood oranges for a more fragrant experience.
  • Cranberries – Frozen or fresh cranberries both work.
  • Cinnamon Sticks – Ground cinnamon is great too.
  • Ginger – Ground ginger or fresh.
Ingredients on a counter.

Equipment

  • Cutting Board and Sharp Knife – For slicing the fruit and chopping the ginger.
  • Saucepan – We recommend using a large saucepan. The more water it holds, the longer you can simmer your pot.
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Instructions for this recipe

Scroll to the recipe card at the bottom for the FULL recipe details.

Step 1

First, slice the oranges thinly, leaving the orange peels on.

Step 2

Then, if you are using fresh ginger, peel it, chop it into chunks, and use both the ginger peels and the chunks in the homemade Christmas potpourri.

Step 3

Next, add all of the ingredients to the large saucepan. As mentioned above, we like to use a huge pot. Cover the ingredients with water and set the pot on the stovetop.

No need for a lid! You want the aroma to fill the air.

Overhead picture of a Christmas simmer pot.

Step 4

Finally, bring the pot to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, allowing the ingredients to work their magic and scent your home naturally.

As it bubbles away, the water will dissipate, so keep your eyes on it and add more water as needed.

A Christmas simmer pot bubbling on the stove.

Step 5

Based on my observations, the pot will give off a beautiful aroma for approximately 2-3 hours.

To discard, turn the heat off and allow the simmer pot to cool completely. Strain the water, and toss the remaining solids in the compost or trash.

Expert tip! To choose the oranges with the most fragrance, gently squeeze the orange and sniff the skin. A ripe orange should have a sweet, citrusy fragrance. If it has a strong, pleasant aroma, it’s likely to release a good scent when simmered.

A Christmas simmer pot bubbling on the stove.

Substitutions

  • Substitute any kind of fruit you like! This Christmas stovetop potpourri uses orange slices, but citrus fruits like lemons, limes, or grapefruit are always popular, and apples are lovely.
  • Use a variety of ground spices, whole spices, and herbs, including star anise, fresh rosemary sprigs, nutmeg, bay leaves, whole allspice berries, mint, lavender, cardamom pods, and whole cloves.

Recipe Variations

  • Incorporate a bit of fresh pine from the yard or even your fresh Christmas tree to make your whole house smell like Santa’s workshop.
  • Add some sweetness with vanilla extract. Have fun experimenting with other extracts like peppermint or maple.

Serving Suggestions

This simmer pot is a fun way to set the scene for a holiday party. Use Christmas simmer pots during holiday gatherings and parties to infuse your home with a seasonal aroma. Start simmering the pot before guests arrive to greet them with a warm and inviting fragrance as soon as they enter your home.

Serve this Caprese Christmas tree salad to set the festive theme. It looks beautiful and tastes even better.

Pour a warm cup of chai coffee or apple core tea to accompany the cozy vibe.

FAQS

How can I make my house smell like Christmas naturally?

We’ve got you! This homemade Christmas potpourri is a safe and non-toxic way to add fragrance to your home.

What is a simmer pot?

It is a natural way to make your home smell amazing by simmering simple ingredients on a stove in a large saucepan over low heat.

How long does a simmer pot take to start smelling?

You will notice the warm, comforting aroma of Christmas in less than 30 minutes.

How long can you leave a simmer pot on?

Leave the simmer pot bubbling all day if you want! Just keep an eye on it, adding more water as it evaporates so it doesn’t burn.

Ingredients on a counter.

More Holiday Season Recipes

A cranberry pecan cheese ball on a serving board with crackers.

Cranberry Pecan Cheese Ball

Golden milk latte in a mug.

Golden Milk Latte Recipe

Natural Honey Lemon Cold Remedy

**This recipe was originally posted on December 23, 2013, updated on June 15, 2019, and updated again on December 17, 2023.**

If you’ve tried this Christmas simmer pot potpourri, please rate the recipe and let us know how it turned out by leaving a comment below. We’re always interested in feedback!

Be sure to follow us on social media! We love pinning to Pinterest, sharing on Facebook, and posting pics on Instagram. See you there. 🙂

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Overhead image of a Christmas simmer pot.

Christmas Simmer Pot – Easy DIY Recipe

Sharon Rhodes
Scent your home using natural ingredients with this comforting Christmas Simmer Pot recipe. Create a deliciously warm and cozy atmosphere for the holiday season.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Simmer 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Cuisine American
Servings 1
Calories 54 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

  • Slice the oranges into rounds, leaving the peels on.
  • Peel the ginger and chop it into chunks.
  • Add all ingredients to a large pot and cover with water.
  • Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to a low simmer.
  • Let the simmer pot bubble away on the stovetop. Keep an eye on the water levels, as it will start to evaporate, and add more if needed.
  • To discard, turn the heat off and allow the simmer pot to cool completely. Strain the water, and toss the remaining solids in the compost or trash.

Video

Notes

  • How long can you leave a simmer pot on? Leave the simmer pot bubbling all day if you want! Just keep adding more water as it evaporates so it doesn’t burn. 
  • How long does a simmer pot take to start smelling? You will notice the warm, comforting aroma of Christmas in less than 30 minutes.
  • Use a variety of spices and herbs including star anise, rosemary sprigs, nutmeg, bay leaves, allspice berries, mint, lavender, and whole cloves. You can even use a bit of fresh pine from your yard or Christmas tree if you want to be extra.
  • Substitute any kind of fruit you like! This Christmas stovetop potpourri uses orange slices but citrus fruits, such as lemons, are always popular and apples are lovely also.   
  • Add some sweetness with vanilla extract. Have fun with other extracts like peppermint or maple.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 54kcalCarbohydrates: 14gSodium: 1mgPotassium: 158mgFiber: 5gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 175IUVitamin C: 38.2mgCalcium: 70mgIron: 0.5mg
Keyword Christmas Simmer Pot
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4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This smelled heavenly! I liked using natural ingredients instead of perfumes. You can really notice the difference in the fragrance. I used ground spices and it worked perfectly. Thanks!

  2. 5 stars
    My parents had power initially but then lost it – in total they spent over 72 hours with no power!!! Thankfully it came back on this afternoon! 🙂

    Anywho, great idea! My mom used to do this all the time when I was growing up – so I did it this week.

    PS: From our little family to your home – Merry Christmas!

    1. Thanks so much,Karen. You are a sweet person 🙂 I can’t believe how lucky we were to lose power for only a little bit of time. I’m glad your parents will be warm for Christmas! best wishes! Besos!

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