A pot of hot water can go from bubbling to boiling in a matter of seconds. Fortunately, there's a quick tip that'll prevent your pot of water from boiling over and creating a big, steamy mess — and you already have all the tools you need sitting in your kitchen drawer.
Calm boiling water by laying a wooden spoon across the top of the pot. (Make sure the spoon is long enough!) If your wooden spoon has sentimental value to you, we advise using a utensil you wouldn't mind warping. A metal utensil will work just as well, but you'll need to remove it with an oven mitt to avoid burning yourself. (Either way, your utensil of choice will puncture the bubble wall, causing it to collapse into a steamy liquid.) Think this sounds like a bunch of hooey? Check out the video below to see this hack in action.
While this trick comes in handy, it isn't foolproof. (You can't leave the water boiling forever.) At some point, your wooden spoon is bound to get hot, and your water will continue to rise. If this happens, you can try blowing on the surface of the pot to reduce the foamy volcano that's about to erupt. You could also use a nonstick cooking spray to keep the bubbles at bay. Just spray the inside of the pot above the water to stop the water from climbing over the edge.
Tip: If you're making pasta, do not add oil to the water. This will prevent your sauce from sticking to your noodles.