Yesterday the wife and I decided to boil some potatoes in a normal non-stick pan.
We added salt, potatoes and boiling water. We put this on an electric hob, with no lid at maximum heat (marked at 6, which is ~10 times hotter than our 5 setting. From experience, the remaining settings decrease operating temperature linearly). When come to the boil we cover with a lid.
Almost immediately they boil over, spilling water across the hob. We remove the pan from heat, remove the lid, put the pan back on heat, turn down to setting 3, and wait. Once at the lower temperature, we replace lid. The pan boils over.
I know the basic mechanism behind boiling over. Some agent increases the surface tension of the bubbles, causing many bubbles to form and then boil over. I am guessing that it is the starch. I don't know what factor the lid plays, as occasionally the pan boils over without the lid on.
Is there anything I can do? Are the pans not clean enough? Not enough/too much salt? Wrong type of salt?
So what can I do to prevent boiling over?