Cooking is part art and part science and one of my favorite things to do for people. I love being able to provide a meal or snacks to a group of my friends and over the years, I’ve picked up quite a few little tricks in the kitchen.
Over the weekend, a true hero among us, aka u/ThatSpyGuy, asked:
“What commonly repeated cooking tip is just completely wrong?”
Check out some of the best replies.
1. Oil to water
“Adding oil to your pasta water to prevent it from clumping. Oil floats in water. Just stir it.” —u/dancingbanana123
2. Rinsing chicken
“Rinsing off raw chicken. I know you don’t want to get salmonella, but rinsing off chicken just spreads it. Cooking it solves the problem automatically.” —u/CreepyAssociation173
3. Washing cast iron
“Myth: Never use soap on cast iron. Reality: You absolutely can use soap and scrub a well seasoned cast iron. Just don’t soak it.” —u/AbbreviationsMuch511
4. Be careful!
“‘Add seasoning to taste’ is a great tip to someone who’s already a competent and experienced cook (i.e. a person who doesn’t need that tip to begin with). It is a TERRIBLE tip for an inexperienced and/or infrequent cook. Give a suggested amount of seasoning in your recipe or description.” —u/Clapperoth
5. Doesn’t matter
“That you should use aluminum foil — shiny side in. Reynold’s says the shiny side is a result of the manufacturing process and not intended to speed up cooking. The impact of having the shiny side in is so minimal and negligible you will not notice a difference.” —u/Anon-fickleflake
6. High heat
“Myth: high heat is like fast-forward for cooking. It’s NOT!” —u/EatLard
7. Not true
8. They keep cooking
“That for cookies you should ‘bake until golden brown.’ The cookie sheet will stay hot after it leaves the oven and keep baking the cookies for a minute or so. If you want soft cookies, it’s better to take them out when only the edges look golden brown and let them keep cooking outside of the oven.” —u/Celestaria
9. Onion and garlic
Starting to saute onion and garlic at the same time. Onion takes a lot longer to cook and adding the garlic too early can burn it which can ruin the entire flavour of the dish. So many recipes tell you to do this and I just don’t get it! hbwd
“That you’re supposed to fluff your rice with a fork just before it’s done cooking. This is unnecessary and also kinda dumb because then you’re moving around uncooked parts with cooked parts, resulting in unevenly cooked rice.” —u/ThrowRARAw
11. Lower smoke point
“Using extra virgin olive oil to cook. EVOO has a lower smoke point than regular olive oil, so regular olive oil is better for cooking.” —u/ramblingamblinamblin
One clove of garlic
Measure every little thing. People who follow this don’t use the most important ingredient, which is love. — grindingkarma
14. Baking with butter
When making pie crust, rubbing the butter into the flour or using a fork/knife/pasty blender to achieve “pea-sized” crumbles.
Pretty much every recipe will describe it this way, but the expanding water from the butter drives that beautiful flakiness. Use a cheese grater with moderately large holes. Use very cold butter, and handle the butter lightly so that it doesn’t melt into your hands. Grate it and toss it into the flour about 1/3 of the butter at a time, tossing it to coat it with flour. Then make your dough. It will be light and flaky and heading in the direction of puff pastry.
Seriously, I use the same dough recipe I always used and the results are just staggeringly better because of this technique.
15. Scrambled eggs
“Putting milk/cream in scrambled eggs. Completely unnecessary if cooked with proper technique.” —u/jbm_the_dream
“That undercooked poultry is safe to eat. No, it isn’t — just like game meat or any meat.” —u/applesandoranges990
17. Listen up, America
Don’t measure flour(or other compressible powders) in volume! Use weight, a cup of sifted flour can be half of a cup of compressed flour.
18. Lies. All lies.
carmelize onions – 5 minutes. wtf… I see this everywhere. it’s takes 20 – 45 minutes to do that
I have spent years, years I tell you trying to perfect home-made pizza. Most recipes I’ve seen so far say “bake at 350 degrees F” which is utter nonsense. Pizza ovens bake the pizza at around 800 to 900 F. So I finally found out I could get a decent result at home by putting the oven on the highest temp – 500F, and put the pizza on the oven’s lowest rack (my broiler is located in the bottom.) Then when the bottom crust is done I put the pizza in the broiler rack below and cook it about 3 mins to get the top done.
That pork chops have to be cooked to shoe leather.