How to Prevent a Pot from Boiling Over

How-to Article

How to Prevent a Pot from Boiling Over

Primary Media

Recipe Wellness Badges



    There’s nothing worse than when you’re cooking a delicious dinner and your pot boils over creating a mess in your kitchen. However, a few simple tricks and methods can stop overflows and reduce kitchen messes.

    As liquids boil, the heat forces air out of the liquid as bubbles. Dairy and starchy foods like pasta can make the bubbles resist popping, causing them to stack up and spill over.

    For more tips on kitchen solutions, check out the digital edition of Hy-Vee Seasons

    Recipe Tags


    1. Wooden Spoon Method

      Place a wooden spoon across the top of the pot. Wood is more heat-resistant than metal, so it stays cooler to burst hot bubbles that reach it.

    2. Oil

      Add a dash of butter or oil to water with starchy foods such as potatoes or pasta. The oil remains at the top and breaks the surface tension, helping pop bubbles.

    3. Use a Wider Pot

      A wide pot allows bubbles to spread out and pop without spilling. This is especially helpful for milk, which contains a protein, casein, that stabilizes bubbles.

    4. Lower the Heat

      Once the liquid comes to a boil, reduce the stove temperature. Less heat means a slower, rolling boil with fewer bubbles, making the pot less likely to boil over.