As we’ve all heard… a watched pot never boils. However, anyone who cooks regularly has at one time or another had to scramble to get their unwatched pot off the stove top because it has decided to erupt like a volcano. One minute you are watching the spot, stirring even, and you turn your back just for one minute (maybe even 30 seconds). Perhaps you’ve put a lid on the pot, so you might get the early warning signal – that crazy pot lid rattling sound signalling impending disaster. If you’re not so lucky, it’s the sudden horrific splashing, hissing sound that alerts you to your upcoming cooking catastrophe.
Well, maybe it’s not that drastic, but it does make a heck of a mess and usually throws your cooking schedule off-track.
What is one to do, in order to avoid this dire pot dilemma?
The answer is … a “Pot Watcher“.
Just to clarify, this does not involve roping in an unsuspecting family member or stray neighborhood kid to do your bidding. It is a simple device, shaped in the form of a disc, made of pottery or glass. You place it in the bottom of the pot while cooking things in liquid (like pasta or potatoes). As long as the disc is on the bottom of the pot, you will hear it rattling while the liquid is boiling. That’s the signal that it’s working, and keeping the pot from boiling over. In fact, I not only use mine while cooking, but I toss it in the pot as soon as I put the water on to boil. That way I can leave the room to do other things and not be required to stand guard over my pot waiting for it to boil. Once I hear the disc start rattling, I know it’s time to go add my noodles (or whatever I was was waiting to put in boiling liquid) into the pot.
Oh, just don’t forget to fish it out of the strainer before serving your food. It really provides no flavour advantage to your meal, and someone might chip a tooth!
Just like the Brown Sugar Disc I featured on a recent Friday’s Favourites, this nifty little item can be found in kitchen stores (or online). They should only cost a few dollars, which is very affordable for the peace of mind it brings in never having to worry about a pot boil-over disaster again. Of course, you have to remember to use it. It won’t work if you leave it sitting in the back of your kitchen drawer (really).
I think this is a must-have in every kitchen (except perhaps those people who use their stove to store spare shoes or clothes – yes, they exist). If you don’t already have one, you should add a “Pot Watcher” to your shopping list – maybe even pick up a few as gifts and help others in the quest to divert kitchen disasters.
So, do you have a “pot watcher” in your kitchen? If not, are you thinking about picking one up now?