Stove Top Trick

I have seen this pin FOREVER on Pinterest and have always wondered if it really worked.  I love tips that help cut down on work, clean-up and effort in the kitchen.

For example, years ago I saw a tip where a gal separated her silverware when she loaded the dishwasher.  She put all of her spoons in one section, all of her forks in another section, etc.  Then when the dishwasher was ready to be emptied, she would just grab a whole section of spoons and put them away super quick.  Brilliant, right?

So I was very excited to try this out since it seems like I can NEVER boil something without it boiling over!    And then I have this watery mess to clean up all over the top of my stove.  It sure would cut down on some clean-up work, if I could master boiling without the mess.

Enter this trick to put a wood spoon on the top of your pot which is supposed to stop your water from boiling over.

So did it work?

Unfortunately it did not.  I even tried it twice.  Once with chicken and once with some pasta.


Both times.

So although I would love to report that this worked fabulously,  unfortunately This Pin Flopped!

But don’t worry, it wasn’t a wasted night.  When I cleaned this dinner up, I put all of my silverware in separate sections in the dishwasher!


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  1. My trick is that when I put my items in the pot after I bring to a boil (noodles, potatoes, etc.) I simply turn the stove down a bit. It continues to boil and cook in the same amount of time without the spillage and works every time unless there is milk in the mixture (the packaged pasta boxes).

    • Hi Robin, I think I may have to try turning the heat down a little as you suggested. That will be worth not having to clean my stove! Thanks for the heads up! Deb – The Oldest Sister

      • Hello
        well i have never tried the spoon thing but years ago i bought a round metal disc and it has grooves and you put it in the bottom of the pot before you start cooking and it works. i guess the air must circulate at the bottom or something.
        as for the dish washer thing with the spoons, well i dont do that but my husband has and the spoons stick together and dont get clean. i tried putting them with the handle down but then they dont get clean either. musht be a cheap dishwasher. LOL

  2. Hello, I also doubted this ‘trick’ but it absolutely works – provided- you don’t put the water to the top. The wood absorbs the extra heat.

    • Hi Suzanne! Well we’ve had mixed reviews on this. Some people agree that it doesn’t work and others swear by it! I promise that I didn’t fill my pot too full. Pinky swear! But I am going to try it again. Thanks for sharing! Deb – The Oldest Sister

  3. I too have tried the Wooden Spoon trick and it worked amazingly for me with Pasta. Is your wooden spoon treated wood? It won’t work if it has a coating on it.

    • Hi Jess! No it’s not treated. It’s bamboo. And I didn’t fill my pot too full. Pinky swear! Will be trying this again though. Thanks for stopping by! Deb – The Oldest Sister

  4. I just use a very tall pot (deep soup pot or even one for crab legs) because it needs room to boil.

  5. I love this tip. It has worked for me with many different pots.

  6. Hi – I regularly get sucked into this website, but have never posted before. For this I had to though. I am a sucker for gadgets – and most of them are space sucks that don’t work… BUT, I found one that completely solves the boil over problem, which is good because, believe me, I forget and let stuff boil over all the time. :) It is the
    Kuhn Rikon Spill Stopper – comes in diff sizes but I just got a pretty big one and it works on small pots too. Hope it helps. Here’s one place:

    • Hi Kathy!! You are my newest favorite person!! I LOVED your comment. I just checked out the Spill Stopper and it’s brilliant. Definitely going to get one! Promise me to come back again okay? You are an Awesome Possum! Thanks! Deb – The Oldest Sister

  7. So weird! It works for me. But I can’t tell you why it did for me and not for you. It does make the spoon really hot though..

    • Hi Michelle! Well the vote is that it works for most people but I have had people also report that it didn’t work for them. My wood spoon is bamboo so I’m wondering if that had anything to do with it? Thanks so much for stopping by! Deb – The Oldest Sister

  8. I too tried the wooden spoon trick multiple times and failed miserably! I used to separate the utensils by section in the dishwasher until my mom started yelling at me– apparently the spoons tend to “nest” into each other when done like this. I still think it’s a good idea, but I always have my mom’s voice in the back of my head telling me not to!

    • Oh! I am so glad to hear that I’m not the only one that this didn’t work for! And hmmm….never thought about the spoons nestling. Do you put them spoon up or down? I put the spoon part up so that the food and water slides down and doesn’t stay on the eating part. Isn’t that funny how we get into a habit of doing things! Thanks so much for stopping by. Sure enjoyed your comment! Deb – The Oldest Sister

  9. Had to share this. When you put the pot of water on the stove, as it starts to heat, take a pat pf butter on a fork and run it around an inch or so above the water level. I swear that when it starts to boil the water, or whatever’s in that pot, it will not go above that greased line! I put the line pretty high for pasta to give it lots of room to swell, or if the dish calls for olive oil you can run a ring around using a basting bursh or dip a paper towel in the oil and use that.

  10. evitafjord says:

    One of my dishwasher manuals said not to put like silverware items together and I can’t get past it. I’m super picky about them NOT being together and will angle them all kinds of ways to stop it from happening. I put mine in eating part up too. Even so I will sometimes find spoons and especially butter knives (mine are very flat) nested together. I’m not the only one who loads the dishwasher though 😉

    I clicked through to this link based on the picture – hoping it was a super easy way to clean the glass top stove after the pasta boils over. I’ll have to find a good cleaning method and then try the wooden spoon trick :-)

    • Hi Evita! Now you’ve got me on a mission to find a glass stove cleaning method! So glad you stopped by! Deb – The Oldest Sister

  11. My cousin just told me about your website today – love it, since I’m pinning things all the time. I thought I’d share with you what I use to stop my pots from boiling over. I bought a gadget from pampered chef that looks like the top of a tin can (couldn’t find the picture on their website, so they may not carry it anymore). I put it in the water after it boils when I put my pasta in the water and it NEVER boils over. In fact at one point, my mother-in-law thought it was the top of a tin can and put it in the recycle bin and I didn’t find out until after the recycle bin got picked up so I used the top of the tomato paste can until I could buy another one. The only reason I don’t like using the top of the tomato paste can on a regular basis is because of the sharp edges.

    • Hi Sue! I LOVE Pampered Chef and have a ton of their stuff but have never seen this. However, I do have a dear friend who is a PC consultant so guess who is getting an email from me today? Thanks so much for the heads up! Deb – The Oldest Sister

      • evitafjord says:

        Maybe it was a fluke, but I just got new pans that seem to fix it. They are tapered in at the top and when I made noodles the other day, the bubbles got close to the top but then it just made a mountain in the middle and never went over. Further testing is needed, but it was pretty cool and fun to watch.

  12. I learned a great trick from my mom and doubted her and tried it myself and it worked…before you boil your water put a little ring of butter around the top of the pot and the water never boils over it. I am not sure why it works but it does. You might want to give it a try.

    • Paula, great minds think alike! I just heard about that and tried it with making some fudge on Christmas and it worked wonderfully!! Next I need to try it with boiling pasta and chicken. That’s when I have the most trouble! Thanks for sharing! Deb – The Oldest Sister

  13. The wooden spoon trick works for me only if I put the wooden spoon in the water, not across the top of the pot.

    • hmmm…boiling some chicken later today and will try that. I did try the butter that another reader suggested and it worked pretty well! Deb – The Oldest Sister

  14. Hi Debbie!
    I posted a suggestion on Oct 27 about butter around the top of the pot, then saw Sue’s from Dec 12 about the can lid thing.

    When I madke my vegatarian veggie soup, I don’t put any meat or even butter or oil in my soup – just veggies and spices and water – so no butter to ring around the top. And then, too, I always try to just make a good size pot, but as I keep adding all the goodies it gets deeper and deeper. I was worrying about it boiling over because it was so full, remembered Sue’s hint, and grabbed the lid from WalMart’s green beans, the one that was a pull top with a ring, slid it down and centered, it as well as possible and let it boil!

    I was skeptical, prepared to bail some out if need be, but even tho the condensation sputtered around the lid – it was REALLY full – it did not boil over! And with the ring on the lid you don’t have to handle the sharp edges.

    About the silverware in the dishwasher, I scatter the spoons around but separate the others–at least most of it’s pre-sorted!

    ps before my soup nite, I was thinking about getting a lid from my friend whose can opener takes the whole top off with no sharp edges. Oh, yeah, while my soup was happily boiling on my electric stovetop I moved the pot off the center a little to the left and it acted like it might be going to boil over, so watch out for that.

    • Wow! I was so interested to hear about that! I have since tried the butter and it worked beautifully and I’ve always wanted one of those fancy can openers! hmmm….my anniversary is coming up! Deb – The Oldest Sister

  15. Haha, I’m loving reading through all of your Pinterest flops! I swear some people just pin “tips” to Pinterest to make a fool of everyone that pins it. Although…I have tried this one and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. I have never come to a conclusion as to what makes the difference.

  16. I’ve seen the wooden spoon tip posted numerous time on Pinterest and wondered if it worked. My tip is to put a tablespoon of butter into the water before it boils then turn the heat down just a smidge after it boils. Thanks for sharing your experience with it 😉

    • I think the butter works much better than the wooden spoon. I’m sticking with you! Deb – The Oldest Sister

  17. any agency that provides products for the visually impaired (every area has a center) can provide you with a disk about the size of a soup can top. Throw this into the water and it will NEVER boil over.

    • Barbara, what a great tip! I am definitely going to look for that. I had cleaning all that boiled over mess! Deb – The Oldest Sister

  18. There’s a lot of posts here and not enough time to browse all, so I’m just going to put this out there….
    If what you’re cooking won’t be messed up by the addition of a little oil, pour a couple of tsp into the water. This will keep it from boiling over. I use oil every time I cook rice, beans, pasta or anything else that it won’t hurt and I never have boil overs. Don’t believe it? wait ’til your rice comes to a boil and looks like it’s going over, drizzle a little oil in and watch the bubbles disappear.

  19. Hi Debbie, I found that lying the spoon on top un effective however just placing it in the pan works wonders, since I have never had a pan boil over, unless i forgot the spoon or left the lid on. :)

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