How do you keep a pot from boiling over?

United States
December 3, 2007 3:34pm CST
Last night, I was making macaroni and for awhile all was going well. Then the pot started boiling over, so I took the lid off. And, yet, the pot still boiled over onto the stove eye. I had to end up taking the pot off the stove. It was a real mess. I like to use a pot lid, while cooking to keep the cats out of my food, but inevitably the food boils over. How do you keep your pots from boiling over while you're cooking? Are there ways to cook food on the stove, while using a lid, without the water boiling over? Would appreciate suggestions.
3 people like this
11 responses
• United States
3 Dec 07
Your heat is too high. In my experence, if the heat is up too high the pot will almost always boil over, especially if it is pasta like macaroni. Try turning your heat down to medium at the most and letting it simmer rather then boil untill the noodles are cooked. If it starts boiling over, remove the pot from the heat first thing, this can help and sometimes prevent boil over.
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Dec 07
Thats a really good tip. Definitely, I think the heat was too high. I use a glass lid, so I can see when things are about to boil and yet still most times I miss it and it still boils over.
2 Mar 10
hi
@makingpots (11928)
• United States
4 Dec 07
I would cook at lower temperatures since keeping the lid on is necessary for you. I almost never use lids when I cook, but I understand your cat problem. When a pot is boiling over, putting a melt spoon in it will calm it down right away. I have read before that it has something to do with the disposition of the heat going into the metal. I don't understand it fully but it alway works for me.
1 person likes this
@marinarovi (1318)
• Argentina
4 Dec 07
WEll, I put the lid slightly lopsided (am I clear? my english is failing me now, grrr), like covering only half of the pot. This way, if the fire's not too high, you shouldn't have any problems. anyway, if you see it goes up and up, you have to take the lid out and put the fire to minimum... it'll go down in a second and it won't boil over. do your cats really get so close to boiling water? Mine wouldn't, even if her life depended on it, hahaha. =)
@makingpots (11928)
• United States
4 Dec 07
Yes, putting the lid ajar is a good idea too.
• Argentina
4 Dec 07
Ajar! That was the word! although I only used it for doors before, but that's it, thank you so much!! Ajar! LOL!
@villageanne (8579)
• United States
5 Dec 07
Your heat is too high but another way is to put a teaspoon of olive oil or butter in the pot. It will help keep it from boiling over.
• Singapore
4 Dec 07
Just make the fire smaller... then look the pot lidless or leave an opening...
@lightningMD (5937)
• United States
4 Dec 07
I never boil pasta with a lid on it. It seems to make my pasta sticky when I do. I bring the water to a boil covered add my pasta,bring the water back to a boil. I stir often to keep the pasta from sticking an clumping. If the water begins to boil to hard I reduce the heat until I have a nice gentle boil. i cook my pasta about 2 minutes less then the package directions since it keeps cooking after it is removed from the heat. I drain and toss with olive oil or a sauce.
• India
4 Dec 07
I think you has too much heat on.. But yumm macaroni.. I'm hungry now. :))
@lilybug (21184)
• United States
4 Dec 07
A little pat of butter or margarine in a pan of boiling water will keep it from boiling over. I do this with my pasta and potatoes. I can keep the water boiling on high and it does not even think about boiling over. It is a wonderful trick. You do not even need to use very much butter or margarine.
• United States
4 Dec 07
If you reduce the heat you will also wind up with mushy pasta any way you look at it. Turning down the heat means your noodles will be in the water longer and it will break down more than if it's cooked quickly. To keep the pot from boiling over, use a large enough pot to accommodate your pasta. You should have at least two inches of water covering your pasta. Add a little salt to the water, maybe a tablespoon for a pound of pasta. If it's still foaming up on you and it looks like it's going to boil over, add a few tablespoons of oil to the water (use canola oil or something cheap...don't waste your olive oil on this since the flavor of it will never reach your pasta) and that will help cut the starch. Oh, and it also helps to not use the cheapest pasta on the market. You'll pay more for better pasta but it will cook properly at a high temperature and won't give off that starchy, messy foam. It'll taste much better, too.
@Darkwing (21591)
4 Dec 07
In my experience, it takes a little while for the heat to cool in a plate, so, I tilt the lid, so that on one side, there is a little gap. Then, when the water looks not to be boiling so hard, I replace the lid, with the heat at a minimum. Try it... it works! Brightest Blessings. x
@Sillychick (3283)
• United States
3 Dec 07
As the first responder said, turn the heat down. Other than that, you could try putting the lids on crooked, or open the vents if they have them. I sometimes put the spoon I use to stir in the pan, then put the lid on so some heat can escape. Just make sure to use something that won't melt or get too hot. I have wooden spoons, which work well.