Some people are able to fill a cup from the following kind of saucepan without any mess, but how? I want to pour liquid out with no mess, but the pan doesn’t have a beak. how to pour from this

  • 5
    Am I the only one who came here with the 'topological' definition of 'no opening', looking for a fully enclosed pan, and then was like 'look! The top is an opening!'...
    – Cinderhaze
    Nov 22, 2020 at 20:02
  • From high up, over a sink
    – Valorum
    Nov 22, 2020 at 22:44
  • Related: lifehacks.stackexchange.com/q/252/6973
    – Chenmunka
    Dec 2, 2020 at 16:06

6 Answers 6


Use a guide bar for pouring.

I learned how to do this kind of thing in a lab using a glass rod and a cylindrical container. A similar technique can be used for your household situation.

vintage drawing

Find a spoon or some round handle utensel that can span the diameter of the sauce pan. Gently, tip the sauce pan using the handle of the spoon where it touches the pan edge. The liquid will tend to cling to the contact point.

Here's a small version of what you'll be doing:

Guide bar for pouring a liquid

Put your container under this 'spout' and you shouldn't lose more than a couple of drops.

Practice makes perfect.

You'll get the best result if the rod is held nearly vertical as you tip the sauce pan while maintaining contact between the rod and the edge of the sauce pan. Some would use the back of a narrow spoon to get the same result. A chopstick would be another possibility.

Good luck.

  • 3
    Tip: try this with cold water first. Don't do this with boiling liquid until you practice a few times! Dec 1, 2020 at 13:28

That's what ladles are for. Simply scoop the liquid into the cup with a ladle or big spoon.

Once you have transferred most of the liquid from the pot to the cup, pouring the rest will be much easier.

  • If you don't have a ladle, a cup works pretty well...
    – Caius Jard
    Dec 27, 2020 at 20:30

My hack is to pour in two steps

  • First into a pan that can pour, and is large enough not to spill

  • Second into the target container

enter image description here

With the pan sizes I have available, this might need to be done twice.


Place a lid on the pan. Place it slightly askew, so there's a small opening on one side. Use potholders or oven mitts to hold down the lid while you pour out the liquid.

The lid reduces the amount of liquid that pours out, making it easier to aim.


Use a funnel, that's what it's intended for.

  • Use of a funnel would not prevent the coander effect, which is what the question is trying to mitigate.
    – Chenmunka
    Dec 2, 2020 at 11:51
  • @Chenmunka Do you mean the Coanda Effect? Where is that mentioned in the question - and why would a funnel cause it?
    – Lefty
    Dec 2, 2020 at 12:51
  • Yes, a typo. A funnel wouldn't help it, but I believe it wouldn't necessarily catch all the streams of liquid.
    – Chenmunka
    Dec 2, 2020 at 16:06
  • 1
    @Chenmunka I'm still struggling to understand why you think the Coanda effect is even involved here. The OP is pouring from a wide vessel into a smaller one. They need a funnel that is wider than the Input vessel, tapering to narrower than the output vessel. There are no complicating factors.as far as I can see...?
    – Lefty
    Dec 2, 2020 at 18:14

While the pan is very full, if you tip it only slightly, you'll find that the liquid pours over the rim of the pan and then instead of pouring away from the pan it will run down the side of the pan until it reaches the point where the side meets he bottom, whereupon it will run off the pan in a single stream. Positioning your cup at the bottom of this stream will mean you can pour down the side of the pan and into the cup

I use this effect (Coanda effect) to empty a full pan to a point where the pan can be more quickly tipped up to a steeper angle that will ensure that the liquid in the pan ejects from it rather than tending to stream down the pan side - in essence when making, for example, 4 cups of cocoa the first one or two cups will be filled by pouring down the side of the pan and the remaining two filled by pouring normally as one would expect

With practise you'll get to know when you're approaching the point where the liquid will break away from running down the side of the pan and become a poured free falling stream so you can switch tactic (normally by bringing the rim of the cup into contact with the side of the pan and tipping the pan up quickly into a pouring position)

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