There are a number of items sold that are supposed to prevent boilovers in pots. They can be made of glass or metal or some other material. This one is some sort of soft stone or ceramic material.
The package calls it a boil alert (“Freddy the Lobster”), which suggests only that its job is to signal to you when a pot is boiling. We tried placing it in a pot of plain water and boiling it, but as you can see from the video, there was little sound that would have alerted us to that fact. Perhaps in a thinner, stainless steel pot or a glass pot, the lobster stone would have rattled around in the boiling water as a signal.
However, the packaging for this product also says “Just place Freddy in your pot to stop it from boiling over.” That seems pretty clear, so we tried it with a pot of milk. While it appeared that at first the boiling milk was pretty stable, within a couple of minutes of reaching that point, the milk did indeed boil over, although perhaps not as extremely as it would have without the device.
It’s possible that another version of this device would work better, especially if it were larger. For a possible example, see http://www.jbkpottery.com/products.php?sub=pmi&pt=kc
It appears that one way such devices might work is to limit the number of bubbles that reach the surface. At $3.50 from a restaurant supply house, it was not worth trying something else. The only alert here is one that kept us from buying another one.
By the way, some videos show the use of a wooden spoon on the top of an uncovered pot as preventing boil-overs. Try that before you invest in this.
Our Rating: As it stands, this version of a boil alert not worth bothering with. It neither made an alert sound in plain water nor prevented milk from boiling over.
Design: It’s possible that a larger, different shape might work better. This design is cute, but perhaps it’s too small and unevenly shaped.
Originality: There are many similar devices on the market, all claiming the same thing.
Practicality: Since it doesn’t seem to do what it claims to do, this version of the pot minder is not practical except as a conversation piece.