Philly asked in Food & DrinkCooking & Recipes Β· 10 years ago

why does putting a spoon over a pot prevent it from boiling over?

People are currently arguing as to why putting a wooden spoon over a pot prevents it from boiling over, so I'd love to hear if anyone knows the answer?

13 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Best answer

    Using a wooden spoon or metal does one thing, it prevents the heat build up on the center of the pot and the bottom of the pot by absorbing some of the heat, thus prevents from boiling over. The pot will boil over if the water is almost at brim of the pot. If it isn't turning the heat to a lower temp but keep on stirring to prevent that heat build up.

    Source(s): From my Chemistry class
  • 6 years ago

    it has nothing to do with temperature, spoons don't absorb that much most cases when they say a spoon over boiling water they are referring to spaghetti that bubbles up and over the pot, if you use a wooden spoon it will pop most of the bubbles in time for you to return and turn the heat down...the reason for wood is you would have to use an oven mit to remove a metal spoon

  • ?
    Lv 4
    3 years ago


    Source(s): Expert Advice on Woodworking
  • 3 years ago

    Prevent Boil Over

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  • 6 years ago

    To cymry3jones,I beg to differ,a wooden spoon does work.I use it all the time,and I do not turn the heat down if I am boiling something.I also do not understand exactly how it works,but it does.Place the wooden spoon across the pot while boiling and it will not boil over.

  • 6 years ago

    A wooden spoon placed over the top DOES keep it from boiling over. I've done it for years.

  • 10 years ago

    I know about using the metal spoon, but if the wooden spoon also works, then the reason for the practice is not related to heat, as wood does not conduct heat well. It must be that when a liquid like milk or sauce is boiling, a skin forms on the surface, This traps the steam & expands, kind of like a balloon or a large bubble, that becomes so big as to boil over. The spoon sort of stops this bubble from being made, as the skin forms around the spoon, & the bubble becomes more like a ring than a balloon the spoon sort of breaks it.

  • because a wooden spoon's tempature is less than 100 degrees C

  • 4 years ago

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  • 3 years ago

    I have no idea, but it does. Have the wooden spoon my Granne used and it has never failed...pasta does NOT boil over when that sturdy wooden spoon is placed over the top of the pot.If I forget to use the spoon, then I end up cleaning water from the stove top after the pasta is cooked.. OK, so its one of the Mysteries of Life. Go figure.

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