Does a Wooden Spoon Keep a Pot From Boiling Over?

By John Cruz

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Does a wooden spoon keep a pot from boiling over?

That’s a question that sparks the fact or myth discussion and one that we can answer.

We’ve tried and tested this little trick, and the results were as expected.

Some of you might have had different results and thoughts, but this post will go over some of the things that happen and why it happens.

But first, let’s answer the question that most of you came looking for an answer to.


Does a Wooden Spoon Keep a Pot From Boiling Over?

Yes, a wooden spoon helps keep a pot from boiling over.

Not to say that it is a solution to all of life’s problems, but it does help.

As a father of four, I need to make meals that can feed an army.

This involves full pans in the oven, lots of milk buying, and huge pots of boiling water.

Pots of boiling water are very common in our household, and you can bet that a wooden spoon is standing by to assist.

Placing the wooden spoon across the top of a boiling pot will almost immediately stop it from boiling over.

How Does the Boiling Water Wooden Spoon Trick Work?

I’m not a scientist, so I didn’t go into my boiling water lab to figure this out.

Thanks to our friends over at, we can see why a wooden spoon stops a pot from boiling over.

The first thing that works and makes sense is that the wooden spoon is a lot cooler than the crazy temperature from the boiling water.

That will cool the heat, which will then stop the water from boiling over.

The second thing we know is that the wood from what the spoon is made out of actually soaks in the heat, causing the bubbles to stop.

Lastly, the folks at have given us a whole lesson on bubbles.

According to them, “When something hydrophobic (i.e., unable to absorb water) punctures the surface of a bubble, it subsides.”

Now, those are the reasons why a wooden spoon helps keep a pot from boiling over.

How to Do it

Remember that this is a simple trick requiring no special tools.

All you need is a pot with boiling awesomeness and a wooden spoon that can stretch the length of the pot.

While boiling water, and you see the water starting to boil over, take the wooden spoon and place it across the top of the pot, resting it on the rim.

Ensure you don’t have your fingers over the boiling water, and don’t touch the pot in case you don’t know it’s quite hot.

The water should immediately calm down, and the boiling should simmer as well.

When it Won’t Work

Some claim that putting a wooden spoon over boiling water won’t work.

I’ve had this happen before, and that’s because it won’t always work.

This trick works best with pasta for some reason, but it will still work with everything else that requires boiling.

Another reason it won’t work is that there comes a point when the spoon becomes hot and won’t be able to absorb any more heat.

Consider changing the spoon or removing it completely for safety purposes.

Final Verdict: The Wooden Spoon Trick Works

I’ve done this many times, and I continue to do this when our pots do decide to boil over.

This thing absolutely works if done properly, so give it a try and prevent your pots from boiling over.

If you are still confused about anything, feel free to leave your questions in the comments section below.

If you’ve ever tried this trick before, please do share your thoughts as well, as we want to get the most proof we can.

Don’t forget to wash your dishes, and please do share the wealth.

About John

Dad, trying golfer, and one heck of an improviser. When he's not trying to find his golf swing or at the mall with his kids, you can find him trying to MacGyver something in the house.

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