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

t
theamusedbouche Oct 12, 2012 10:39 AM

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!)

  1. mamachef Oct 13, 2012 03:06 AM

    Boiling pasta always seems to result like this. A dear ex-neighbor advised me to lay a wooden spoon over the pot when the water begins to come to a boil and turn the heat down slightly. I have no idea why it works, but it does. The foam comes right to the spoon, but it doesn't boil over.

    1. Caroline1 Oct 13, 2012 02:30 AM

      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.

      1. r
        ricepad Oct 12, 2012 04:33 PM

        Turn the heat down.

        1. ElsieB Oct 12, 2012 01:26 PM

          http://www.amazon.com/KochBlume-Spill...

          this item might do the trick!

          1 Reply
          1. re: ElsieB
            Caroline1 Oct 13, 2012 02:36 AM

            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?

          2. greygarious Oct 12, 2012 11:34 AM

            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, chowhound.chow.com/topics/583856

            1. g
              gourmanda Oct 12, 2012 10:46 AM

              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.

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