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Oct 12, 2012 10:39 AM

Cooking Things that Foam Up (and over!): What To Do Besides Standing there Blowing?

Hi Chowhounders,
Sometimes I will cook things that "foam" up when boiled (milk, steel cut oatmeal) and if I'm right next to the stove, I blow on the top of the pot and the foam subsides no problem. However, it seems inevitable that I'll step away from the stove to get something from the fridge and BOOM the foam goes up and over and squelches my gas stovetop and makes a mess (especially with the oatmeal!).

Any suggestions for how to get the foam to stay down without me having to stand there blowing on it?

(I realize I could use a really big pot to keep all foam inside, but I live in a small space and don't even have many big pots - but I will resort to this if it's the only way. I just thought there might be some trick or tip that I don't know!)

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  1. Assuming the contents are not right to the brim of your pot, try putting a wooden spoon in it. But you still have to pay some attention and not leave it too long.

    1. Remove the lid completely, or partially. If you're right there, just move the pot off the burner. Foam subsides instantly. Lower the heat, return to burner. In the future, use a lower heat setting.
      For the pasta-foaming problem,

        1. re: ElsieB

          Twenty eight bucks for that? They've got to be kidding! You can do the same thing with a salad plate or a soup plate. I wonder how many they sell?

          1. Assuming the pot has a handle, lift it off the heat, or, as ricepad suggests, turn down the heat. Some things stop foaming after a few trips to the brim, so sometimes just lifting the pot two or three times puts an end to the problem. Depends on what you're cooking.