In the previous episode of our cooking tips, we had lazy cooking cheats. There, we showed different cooking hacks to improve your cooking if you’re in a rush or maybe inexperienced.
In today’s episode, we’ll have yet another batch of cooking tips, but the twist is that people will hate you if you follow these tips. Why? Because they are found to be inaccurate, incorrect, or will make your cooking worse! So better have your pen and paper ready to take note of them!
More Info: Reddit
#1 There Is Only One Way To Cook
The idea that there’s a correct way to cook. Like, there are wrong ways to cook, but if you like putting apples on pizza or whatever, you aren’t enjoying food wrong.
#2 Every Grandma Is A Great Cook
Image source: pmags3000, spader
All Grandma’s are good cooks. Mine sucked so bad she couldn’t cook noodles. My great grandma, however… hot damn.
My maternal grandmother was a terrible cook, of the “boil everything until it chews itself” school.
My Grandma was a terrible chain smoker, and was very lax about tipping her ash. Some of my earliest memories are of sitting on the countertop, watching my grandma stirring the bolognese sauce, the end of her fag getting longer and longer until the ash dropped in the pan.
Bolognese & ash sauce was actually the nicest thing she made. She was a dreadful cook.
#3 The Only Seasoning That Belongs On A Steak Is Salt And Pepper
Image source: Diligent_Jury_9956, Carol VanHook
Salt and pepper should only be put on steak. Get you some good salt free Cajun, great steak seasoning (or let’s be real, Montreal steak), onion garlic, let that rest for 30 minutes, sear it, let it rest. How my grandma does it and ooh is it homely.
Sugar and cornbread. They can go together, but I do recommend honey over sugar. In the batter or not. Maple syrup too!
Also that some foods have to be eaten how it is eaten where it’s from. I am all for respecting culture, but if I wanna eat sushi with a fork a my house then let me be. Just sometimes its easier to eat something with a fork than chopsticks or my hands ?♂️
#4 No Need To Wash Your Mushrooms
Image source: curryp4n, Charlotta Wasteson
Not washing mushrooms because “it absorbs” the water.
I’ve never heard this one but it’s funny. Mushrooms are 80-90% water already – and they are covered with dirt.
Leave the dirt on the bok choi for extra flavor /s
This is how ridiculous I think they’re being, and it’s a die on this hill common thing as well. Baffling.
That’s silly logic. You are 65% water, so is your skin which will deteriorate in water after left too long.
#5 Dry Pasta Is Inferior To Fresh Pasta
Image source: CR7_Bale_Lovechild, Guy Renard
That dry pasta is somehow inferior to fresh pasta. They both have a time and a place.
A friend of mine would balk at the idea of making her own mayonnaise or other quick to make dressings and instead buy bottled ones, saying it would take so much time, but she then spends hours making homemade pasta or wontons, which are not comparatively better than any decent quality ones you can buy in the store.
#6 “Uncured” Meat Products
Image source: speakajackn, Sara
“Uncured” meat products. It’s still using a form of nitrites to convert to nitrates to create a longer life span of the food. If it was uncured it would turn grey, not bright ass red.
Yup, “nitrate free” cured meats usually contain large amounts of “celery salt” which is just a source of nitrates. If you buy “nitrate free” bacon I can almost guarantee celery salt is on the ingredient list.
#7 If You’re Cooking, It Has To Be Authenic
Image source: SternLecture, USAG- Humphreys
Authenticity. We are creative resourceful humans we borrow ideas techniques and ingredients from everyone and everywhere. It’s beautiful and delicious fusion cuisine is not mutated bastardization. Acting like there is one recipe and one proper way of doing something is just snobbery and pride. “This dish is authentic” Oh yeah to who to what region to what time period? To what house or what kitchen? Your grandma’s? your state region province town culture or country?
I am not claiming there isn’t creativity or a first edition recipe as originally created. But recipes like art do not occur out some virgin birth in a isolated glass dome.
People look at food like currency and see it as either real or a phoney counterfeit. Either it’s the fifteenth century version written by the originator or it’s worthless. Penalty for counterfeiting isn’t jail it’s being told you are an insult to ancestors or worse a colonizer of culture and identity.
People who use authenticity like a weapon view cooking a plate of food like dog breeding repetitively inbreeding the same thing over and over again losing the original intention behind a new breed until it’s so pointless and sickly is basically useless unless for show. It stagnates it dies.
#8 “Alcohol In Food All ‘Cooks Off’ Or Evaporates”
Image source: woodgie2, Anders Sandberg
That alcohol in food all ‘cooks off’ or evaporates. It doesn’t. Please bear this in mind when cooking for addicts in recovery or people with other dietary or religious restrictions.
Source (among others): USDA Table of Nutrient Rentention Factors, Release 6, page 12
Doesn’t this paper only show alcohol retention when stirred into a liquid volume, though? I imagine a deglaze allows for much faster evaporation.
Yes, a deglaze is different.
Adam Ragusea did a video on this at some point. Essentially unless you’re cooking something for a really long time, you won’t “cook off” the alcohol, and even then a percentage of it will remain. For most people this doesn’t matter, but if you have addiction issues or potentially adverse reactions to it, it’s important to remember that it won’t boil off in a couple minutes.
#9 Potatoes Are A Magical “Fix Oversalted Dishes” Solution, And Other Myths
Image source: feliciates, fox-and-fern
Number 1: that one where people say adding a raw potato to an over-salted dish will fix it by “drawing the salt out”. Potatoes may absorb some minuscule amount of the salted water but they aren’t some kind of magic salt-absorbing sponges.
Number 2: searing meat “seals in the juices” – nope, it gives it a tasty crust, that’s all
And Number 3 would be that old chestnut that you can keep guacamole from turning brown by adding the pit to the dish. No, just no
#10 “This Is A 5-Minute Meal”
Image source: Ray_Kramer, HS You
Most internet recipes severely underrate how long things take, i.e. water boils in 5 minutes, a pan full of sauce reduces by half in 10 minutes, chicken browns on one side in 2 or 3 minutes…. LIES! Everything takes at least twice as long usually. Rachel Ray and her “30 Minute Meals” is probably the worst offender. Decent enough recipes, but the timing is straight up fiction.
#11 “Margarine Is A Substitute For Butter”
Image source: 12dogs4me, Andrew Filer
[It’s a myth that] margarine is a substitute for butter.
Well it is… It’s not a very good one, but it is also a fat.
A lot of transfat.
Yeah, it totally is.
Sure it might not be as good, but name one lower-calorie version of an ingredient that is.
Miracle whip is a substitute for mayo.
Turkey bacon is a substitute for pork bacon.
Skim milk is a substitute for 2%, which is a substitute for whole, which is a substitute for cream.
It’s not as good because it has half the fat. Fat adds flavor but also has the unfortunate side effect of making your pants smaller.
#12 “If You Cut The Root Off Of An Onion, You Won’t Cry”
Image source: Durragon, Leonardo Shinagawa
“If you cut the root off of an onion, you wont cry”
Been cooking professionally for over ten years, this is a lie! But every single friend or family member comes up to me and says “Ohh did you know…?”
Like dude, I’ve had to caramelize a 50lb bag of onions. If there was a way to stop the acids forming gasses from the split onion cells, I would’ve researched the hell out of it and found the answer by now.
Sharp blade makes the best solution, though I have seen people soak a sliced onion in ice water. Something about the water pulling the amino acids out but then you have slippery onions and a wet mess after its all said and done.
#13 Browning Meat Doesn’t Matter
Image source: chzburgers4life, Joy
Browning meat doesn’t matter (for a stew etc.). It f*****g does. Anyone who says otherwise is a w!@#e for the media.
#14 Always Assume What Food Tastes Like
Image source: randompersonfifteen, Sue Thompson
A hard lesson that myself and others have faced: taste as you go. Taste constantly. Never assume you know what the food tastes like. Taste!
#15 Put Oil In Pasta Water To Stop The Pasta From Sticking
Image source: pdxpmk, Melissa Wiese
Putting oil in pasta water.
I thought this helped it not have starchy bubbles.
I doesn’t even mix unless you put an agent that helps, like in a vinaigrette when you add mustard so it gets bubbly and well mixed.
I put a few drops of oil in my water, because it breaks the surface tension and keeps the pot from bubbling over. Two drops of oil in all that water won’t stop the sauce from sticking. It just sits on top and drains off with the water.
#16 Cold Water Reaches The Boiling Point Faster
Image source: Much-data-wow, Scott Akerman
That cold water boils faster.
Um no it doesn’t.
Put a lid on it to make your cold water boil faster.
#17 Onion Caramelization Can Be Done In Ten Minutes
Image source: javaavril, ccbarr
Recipes that claim onions caramelize in ten minutes.
I think this might also be a function of people not understanding the difference between browning onions and caramelizing them.
Or sweating them, which is what it probably should be called most of the time a short time is listed.
I once saw “caramelize your onions, about 5-8 minutes” and my reaction was “I’ve seen PE classes that are sweatier than those onions are going to be in 5 minutes, let alone anything approaching caramelization”.
#18 “Only Cook With Wine You’d Drink”
Image source: getjustin, Tony Asleson
“Only cook with wine you’d drink”
No. It should be “don’t use cooking wine“
A cheap bottle of wine is all you need to cook. It don’t need to be a nice bottle for drinking.
#19 Adding Salt To Water Makes It Boil Faster
Image source: riverrocks452, Didriks
Salting pasta water helps it cook faster. Yes, salt your pasta water- but not because it will boil or cook faster. Just because it tastes good.
“Chemicals” are bad. Everything is chemicals. That “no nitrate” bacon was marinated in concentrated celery juice, which is rich in….nitrates. No MSG, but aren’t mushrooms and miso delicious? No added sugar…just a lot of boiled down grape juice. I’m not saying that adding stuff willynilly is necessarily healthful, but let’s be honest about the chemical content of “no X” vs conventional foods.
[Writer’s Note: technically, it does help the water come to a boil faster, but it is an insignificant change given how humans calculate time.]
#20 “Add Garlic First To A Recipe”
Image source: burpeedevil, Mike Mozart
Add garlic first to a recipe.
I made so much of my early cooking life so much more difficult by thinking that garlic always had to go in at the start. Most of the time I was fighting for my life trying to keep garlic from burning.