How did I not know this before! One of my biggest bugbears a dirty hob. I’m not the tidiest cook, I admit it. Probably because I am generally trying to do things too quickly or often doing other things at the same time, like serving the kids their dinner, so rather than clear up as I go, which of course I would love to do, I often have to just blitz it and deal with the aftermath later. Which is why I very frequently have a hob that needs a good scrub after I’ve finished cooking. The odd splash here and there I can deal with but things boiling over are the bane of my life. The main culprits are starchy pasta water, milk and worse of all lentils. For the sake of a few seconds of taking your eye off the ball suddenly you have 20 minutes of extra cleaning eating into your precious downtime. But this trick is a life saver. I can’t remember where I read it but I wish someone had told me it before, which is why being the kind hearted person I am, I am imparting my newly found wisdom to you!
So here is it. To prevent a pot boiling over place wooden spoon across the pan. That’s it!
And how does it work? Yes I am such a science geek I looked it up. Well apparently a dry wooden spoon destabilizes the bubbles when they touch the surface causing the boiling water to retreat back. But it also works in another way. Bubbles and foam created from boiling water are filled with steam. If the bubble touches something with a temperature below 100°C the steam will condense and form liquid again which breaks the surface of the bubble. So trust me this works. Just a couple of things to be aware of though. The spoon may warp, so don’t use one you love too much. And eventually the spoon will heat up enough that it will stop condensing the steam, so you do have to keep a general eye on it. And finally, don’t use a metal one or it will get really really hot!!