The Easy Oil Hack That Prevents Pasta Water From Boiling Over

Picture this: You place a pot of water on the stove while you head to the counter to cut up some vegetables for a side salad. Soon enough, you find yourself lost in thought while slicing up the veggies and totally forget about the water that's now boiling on high heat. Suddenly, the water boils over and begins to burn on the stove top. This is a scene we all have experienced more times than we can count. 

Chicago Tribune explains that pasta water often boils over due to the starch from the flour in noodles. The combination of flour, heat, and water allows the starch to thicken and rise to the surface. The air is unable to release at the top of the pot, and increases in volume, which eventually results in the pasta water boiling over. Don't worry though, we have the magic solution — cooking oil. This easy oil hack will prevent your pasta water from boiling over and making a mess on your stove.

Use some cooking oil on the rim of the pot

According to a viral TikTok video with over 1.4 million views, using cooking oil around the edge of a pot successfully stops it from boiling over. Instead of just using oil on the rim of your pot, you can also add a few tablespoons of oil to the water. If there is one thing that we know for sure, it's that water and oil don't mix, per The Takeout

The surface tension of oil is lower than water and will rise to the top, preventing the pasta water from foaming and boiling over. Without getting too deep into the science of it all; oil molecules are hydrophobic, so they're repelled by water molecules. Somewhat Simple explains that there are also other ways to prevent pasta water from boiling over, including placing a wooden spoon or a silicon spill stopper on top of the boiling pot. So many pastabilities, and we are going to try all of them. Bon Appétit!