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"Overboiling while cooking is a problem everyone has"


Fat Guy
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In doing some research about my new Kuhn Rikon watermelon knife I came across a YouTube video promoting Kuhn Rikon's "Spill STOP," a device that prevents the apparently pervasive problem of overboiling. Allegedly this device "will change the way cooks boil."

Is overboiling a big problem for you all?

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I have cleaned up my fair share of spill-overs while boiling pasta. I think that gadget in the photo might be a worthwhile investment for me, as I tend to get distracted and forget to take the lid off the pot when it gets back to the full roll.

By the way, Steve, I saw that watermelon knife featured on TV the other day. Have you tried it yet, and does it really make cutting melons and cabbage as easy as cutting butter?

Theresa

"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

- Abraham Lincoln

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It is still in its packaging. You can be sure that when watermelon season rolls around I will report in full.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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A big problem? No. Does it happen occasionally? Sure, but this still looks to me like a solution in search of a problem.

Ditto. Of course, it happens. But when it does, I just TURN THE BURNER DOWN. This little gadget is $30!!! I like going through kitchenware stores and pointing out the things that non-cooks would buy for cooks. We've all gotten them as gifts over the years - single purpose gadgets, special cutters that don't work any better than a knife. I have a dozen or so round wooden spoons that I find mostly useless - all were gifts. The Spill Stop seems to be exactly that kind of thing.

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So instead of cleaning up my stove when I occasionally overboil, I have to clean the spill stopper every single time I boil something? It doesn't seem like I would could out ahead with that trade. The exception would be when making beer, as wort has a tremendous proclivity for overboiling. Of course, none of their spill stoppers are close to large enough for just about any home brewers brew pot. In fact, it looks like their largest version is only good for a pot 9 inches in diameter or less, which isn't large enough for the stockpot I normally cook pasta in.

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I remember little glass things that you put in the pot, but I think they rattled as the pan came to a boil, alerting you to the possibility of boiling over. That would not work for me, since I would be out of the kitchen and out of earshot. I find a timer hung around my neck works best--it at least reminds me that things are going on that might need my attention.

sparrowgrass
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I remember little glass things that you put in the pot, but I think they rattled as the pan came to a boil, alerting you to the possibility of boiling over. That would not work for me, since I would be out of the kitchen and out of earshot. I find a timer hung around my neck works best--it at least reminds me that things are going on that might need my attention.

You put marbles in the bottom of a double boiler and when the water level drops too low, the marbles rattle. Add more water.

I've got the Boiling minder that I got simply for it's curiosity value. I think I used it once and it did work.

It doesn't touch anything in the pot, it blows air on the top surface, so foam is pushed away from the size, preventing "superheating" and boilover.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Maybe for pasta (others can comment on whether it affects the pasta negatively), but what about for the only thing that has boiled over on me in the past few years: oatmeal?

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Boiling over has to do with the viscocity, texture, surface tension of the liquid and possibly many other factors. I am not sure if there is one solution that will stop all boil over situations.

Perhap one sure way to stop boiling overs is to make sure the food never boils.

If you put your food in a pot, and the pot in another pot with boiling water, the food will reach very close to 100 degrees F, but never boils.

dcarch

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I found this explanation and the gadget I have is mentioned.

What Is a Boil Over Preventer?

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I found this explanation and the gadget I have is mentioned.

What Is a Boil Over Preventer?

I believe that article is fundamentally wrong about the phenomenon of boiling.

In the conditions that general kitchen boiling and boiling over take place, it has nothing to do with the concept of “Superheating”.

Boiling and boiling over in normal cooking is nothing more than the boiling point of the liquid mixture has been reached and vaporization occurs to dissipate heat energy based on the latent heat property of the liquid mixture. The temperature of the boiling liquid mixture is always constant, not higher and not lower. Superheating never occurs.

dcarch

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Maybe this thing doesn't need to be cleaned. You can be certain that any pathogens are going to die.

Exactly. I guess all the people handwringing over having to clean this don't use a dishwasher. I have to clean the pot after pasta anyway, can't have the salt and starch residue getting into whatever I'm going to use it for next.

Cleaning the stovetop is no fun. It is a bit overpriced though. I'm sure we'll see knockoffs for $5 sooner or later.

Edited by GlowingGhoul (log)
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Looks like overkill. I have two little gadgets (one would have sufficed, but I can't resist), one a thick Pyrex disk, the other a metal disk, both about three inches diameter. You just toss one or the other in the pot of water. It rattles around to tell you the water is boiling and keeps the pot from boiling over while you cook the pasta.

I believe I bought both in Italy, the Pyrex one definitely. They work. Someone once explained the science to me, but I am incapable of summarizing it. Something about the dispersion of the bubbles.

Maureen B. Fant
www.maureenbfant.com

www.elifanttours.com

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