How To Efficiently Position Your Pot Lid To Avoid Tomato Sauce Splattering

pot with lid ajar
pot with lid ajar - JRP Studio/Shutterstock

For most, cooking tomato sauce is a chaotic experience. With the frequent outbursts, sudden eruptions, and dramatic explosions that leave a mess on your stovetop, you won't escape stain-free. But, what if we told you that it doesn't have to be that way? A simple adjustment of your pot lid can make all the difference.

With your tomato sauce in the pot and your pot on the stovetop, place your lid so that it partially covers the pot. That's it. Just find the right ratio for the lid to balance on top of the pot without falling off. You can alternatively place a wooden spoon in the pot to act as a wedge between it and the lid. After all, the aim is to cover the pot while leaving a bit of open space.

You may be wondering why you can't just close the lid fully and 100% prevent any chance of a mess happening. It's because that would counter the entire process of simmering the sauce. What you're aiming for is a reduction of the sauce, and closing the lid entirely only forces condensation that sees water dripping back into the sauce. But, with the pot partially closed, the steam can still escape while you're effectively shielded from any splattering droplets.

Read more: 26 Types Of Pasta Sauce Explained

Cease Splattering Sauce Completely With These Solutions

stirring tomato sauce wooden spoon
stirring tomato sauce wooden spoon - Phill Thornton/Getty Images

You may want to get your hands on a splatter shield if it's not yet a part of your kitchen utensil arsenal. It's made precisely to block liquids and oils from splashing all over, so it's the ideal gadget for capturing your tomato or even pizza sauce. The good thing is that you won't have to worry about balancing the splatter shield on the pot as you would with a lid — it's perforated to allow steam to escape while keeping the pot liquid contained.

Turning the heat down is another effective and straightforward solution that often gets overlooked. It's a win-win because it significantly reduces the violent simmering to a gentle bubbling while still getting the job done. Plus, gentle cooking can lead to richer, more intense tomato sauce flavors, and it's one of the simplest ways to bring out the flavor in jarred tomato sauce.

If you don't have the time to carry out a slow cook, you can always resort to stirring the sauce constantly. Gentle stirring disrupts the bubbles forming and keeps the liquid fairly steady. Otherwise, you can use a deeper pot with walls high enough to catch the splattering sauce. The last thing you need after a heartfelt escapade cooking delicious tomato sauce is a splatter-scrubbing session that ruins the mood.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.