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What Are Some Cooking Myths that Don’t Help?

What Are Some Cooking Myths that Don’t Help?

It’s true to say that we all have some cooking techniques or use some cooking method that we thought helped with the flavor and aids our culinary skills. Well there are plenty of cooking myths out there that just need to be blown apart. This answer found in Quora helps to blow away some of those things we believe that simply, aren’t true. What are the cooking myths that are not real?

Here’s whatJonas M Luster, an experienced chef, has to say about it –

” Some of the more common ones:

You can not “sear meat to seal in juices”

This is a TV-chef myth. It comes up all the time on the telly, which doesn’t make it any more true. In fact, the act of searing the outside of meat actually makes it more porous and therefore more likely to give off juices under pressure. This pressure does not have to be manual, the mere exposure to heat forces the muscle (almost all traditional cuts are muscles) to contract and therefore expel juices from the item.

You can’t stop those juices, but you can work with it. Searing at great heat and then finishing your meat at lower heat, letting it rest for a while after cooking and before serving, preserves the second-largest amount (top for that is still Sous Vide cooking) of juices.

    You don’t have to keep whipping cream or it “falls apart”

    I am guilty of that myth myself. Always the strict and fun-removed cooking instructor I want my students to sweat some. But the truth is, when whipping egg whites or cream, stopping in the middle and picking it back up a few seconds later (when that arm gets too heavy) doesn’t make your whip fall apart. If anything, it helps by allowing the structure to set and firm up a little. Just don’t remove your whisk, leave it inside your liquid at all times, and restart at medium speed, not at full bore.

    Speaking about myths, you don’t need a special whisk for stuff. The whole idea of whisking is integration of air into a liquid – get the one with the most spokes, cheap or expensive, and if you still find yourself having issues use two whisks at once, you’ll see the insane difference.

      “Crowding Pasta” is OK in 99% of all cases

      My mother believed this one to be true, too. Plus those idiot TV cheflebrities with vaguely Italian names who think that a grandfather from Rome and a vacation in the 80s makes them “Italian” keep perpetuating it. Unless, and that’s really the only time, you make your own, 100% semolina (it’s not a good mix to begin with), pasta and do not rest/dry it, you don’t need to fill a huge pot with lots of water for some product. As long as all of the pasta is covered, crowding is never an issue. Add enough salt to make it, as my Italian chef always said, “taste like theAdria“, NO oil (never, ever), and bring to a light, not rolling, boil. And, voila, perfect pasta every time.

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        Bonus: No, it’s perfectly OK to buy your pasta

        A foodie myth. Apparently, I am told, only home made pasta is worth it. Well, that’s a myth. Good bought pasta contains exactly the same stuff you’d put into it. Unless it’s ravioli (in which case you have to make it yourself to get stuff inside), buying pasta is completely acceptable and done anywhere and everywhere. Yes, that includes Michelin-starred places.

        Clarification:Barilla and other durum-extruded pastas are different from home made pasta in contents and taste. They’re not worse or better, but different. When I refer to store bought pasta it’s the stuff you buy at a pasta shop, not a supermarket.

          Salt and Yeast – not as incompatible as you think

          Cooking school myth. “Don’t put salt on the yeast, you’ll kill it”. Active dry yeast, double-rise yeast, all those kinds, don’t get too bothered by salt. If you are using bakers-loaf yeast (the alive kind in a block), salt can act as a desiccant and implode your yeasties, but if you bloom or add into dough just the packet yeast everyone else uses don’t worry about salt touching it.

            Pasta does not (should not) be rinsed

            THAT one is one persistent myth. Many people I know seem to like to cook their pasta, then shock it. And that, firstly, doesn’t stop the cooking process as quickly as one would assume, and – secondly – washes off all that nice starch covering the outside of the pasta. This, in turn, leads to thinner sauces, lack of sauce-pasta adherence, and to a drying of your pasta. Cook until 80% doneal dente,then just remove and let stand and finish cooking while you set up the sauce.

              Adding salt doesn’t make your water boil faster

              Adding salt actuallyraisesthe boiling point of water. The amount of salt we add to cooking water, however, is way too low to make a discernible difference to the things cooked in it. Salt seasons food, it acts hygroscopic in some cases, and in the case of pasta it actually counteracts some of the starch cohesion while cooking.

                Santoku knives aren’t worth it

                Get a chef’s knife. Buying Santoku doesn’t make you more sophisticated or for better cuts. French knifes (the slightly curved blade kind, known as “Chef’s Knife”) work like saws – one slices them across the surface and the blade’s miniature ‘teeth’ cut through the product. Santokus work like axes – by pushing apart the cut. For this to work, Santoku have to be insanely sharp, thin, and be made of extremely good steel. Such technology does not come at a $200 price.

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                Stick with a chef’s knife, it’s better.

                  Lard is healthier than you think

                  Lard has less saturated fat, more unsaturated fat, and less cholesterol than an equal amount of butter by weight. It also contains no trans-fats while Margarine and Shortenings do. The “Lard is bad for you” myth was started by the hydrogenated vegetable oil producers who wanted to push butter and lard off the shelves to make room for their chemical crapola.

                    One does not “caramelize” onions

                    Onions brown, they do not caramelize. For caramelization to occur, sugar has to be present in mono- or disaccharide form. In onions, the amino acids are deprotonated and react with the sugar’s carbonyl group. Why is that important? Well, it’s bad form not to call a spade a spade (onions arebrowned, notcaramelized) and it’s important to cooks since, alas, temperature requirements are different.

                      It doesn’t matter how often you flip meat

                      The “flip once” team and the “flip often” team are both right and wrong at the same time. It does not matter, for even cooking, how often meat is flipped. Most of the internal cooking process works through liquid redistribution as the muscle contracts and expands accordingly.

                      McGee seems to favor “flip often”. He told me three years ago that he was on the fence, leaning towards no difference between the two. Since this seems to have changed (though I still find no difference in my own work), flip often if you wish, either way it won’t harm the meat :)

                        The “heat” is not in the seeds

                        Capsaicin (8-methyl-N-vanillyl-6-nonenamide) can be found anywhere in fruits that hold it (yes, chili peppers are fruits), but the highest concentration is actually in the placental layer of the fruit, the white flesh. Seeds have very little of it, actually, the heat comes from capsaicin that adheres to the outside of the seeds when the white flesh is cut.

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                          Baking Soda does nothing for your fridge

                          Baking soda does not absorb bad smells. It’s an Arm & Hammer myth and scientifically false. How would baking soda DO that, anyways?

                            One does not “cook out all the nutrients” when cooking veggies

                            – Bonus: raw vegetables are not better (a major myth, lie, and source of massive income for some charlatans selling ‘raw food’ diet books)

                            Most vitamins are unaffected by heat. Many of the minerals and vitamins in food are, actually, much more completely absorbed in the stomach when cooked beforehand. To re-iterate: raw foods are not, at all, healthier.

                              MSG is NOT bad for 99.9% of all Americans

                              The “Chinese disease” is a myth. A very small number of humans have an intolerance to glutamates (much less than, say, to salts or sugars) and will feel adverse effects. MSG itself, however, is not harmful in the least to most anyone. To “poison” someone with MSG the amount would have to be so humongous, the food would taste like crap and be 90% MSG.

                                Gluten is NOT bad for 99.5% of all Americans

                                In 2005 a few niche providers of gluten free food saw an “in” and started maligning this age-old, completely harmless, substance. Today you can buy “gluten free” dog food, which is as much an abomination as the diet quacks and health food snake-oil vendors who claim that a gluten free diet has any positive effect on people. People with coeliac disease, however, must observe a gluten free diet.

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                                  Alcohol doesn’t “burn off”

                                  Your grandmother’s Rum Cake or that red wine in the sauce won’t get you sloshed, but there’s nothing you can do to food with alcohol in it, short of rendering it inedible, that will remove all the alcohol. Cook without it if anyone in your family has an intolerance.

                                  It violates everything basic chemistry taught us about alcohol, yes. Find a a USDA study I participated in and from which I draw my conclusions here:http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foo…

                                    Marinades or special concoctions do not “tenderize” meat

                                    Neither one permeates the meat very deeply. Don’t believe me? Buy a cheap cut and some “tenderizer”, pour food coloring into the solution, and put your meat into it. A day later cut it open – only a very shallow outer layer will be dyed. Marinades adhere to the outside and permeate into the meat fractions of a millimeter, but they flavor, not tenderize, the meat.

                                    Yogurt based marinades penetrate deeper and do tenderize. In general, still, the old-wife’s tale of marinades “penetrating deep and tenderizing” is a myth.

                                      When you burn yourself (happens to anyone), don’t add ice to the injury or flour or anything else!

                                      Adding ice to a burn will only damage the tissue more (think freezer burn), flour is a bad idea, also. When you burn yourself rinse with cool, not cold, water to stop your skin from cooking, add antibiotic ointment, cover, let heal. See a doctor for anything bigger than 5cm.

                                        “Well Done” meats aren’t inherently safer than medium rare or rare meats

                                        Muscles are great things. One of the cool things about them is their ability to be completely shut off against many food borne illnesses. Most any, close to 99% of all, food borne illnesses are found not in the muscle but – through cross-contamination – on its outside. Once that part of the meat is exposed to the heat of a pan most of them are dead, too. Two caveats: ground meat and, a pet peeve of mine, those “tenderizer” needle stamps. Both will, if it is present, introduce nasty critters into the inside of the muscle or product. If you use ground meat grind it yourself after washing off the outside of the meat with water, working extremely cool all the time. ”

                                          Here’s the link to the original answer

                                          Featured photo credit: chef by seasonal kitchenvia Shutterstock

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                                          Last Updated on January 21, 2020

                                          The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

                                          The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

                                          Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

                                          your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

                                            Why You Need a Vision

                                            Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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                                            How to Create Your Life Vision

                                            Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

                                            What Do You Want?

                                            The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

                                            It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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                                            Some tips to guide you:

                                            • Remember to ask why you want certain things
                                            • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
                                            • Give yourself permission to dream.
                                            • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
                                            • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

                                            Some questions to start your exploration:

                                            • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
                                            • What would you like to have more of in your life?
                                            • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
                                            • What are your secret passions and dreams?
                                            • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
                                            • What do you want your relationships to be like?
                                            • What qualities would you like to develop?
                                            • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
                                            • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
                                            • What would you most like to accomplish?
                                            • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

                                            It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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                                            What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

                                            Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

                                            A few prompts to get you started:

                                            • What will you have accomplished already?
                                            • How will you feel about yourself?
                                            • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
                                            • What does your ideal day look like?
                                            • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
                                            • What would you be doing?
                                            • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
                                            • How are you dressed?
                                            • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
                                            • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
                                            • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

                                            It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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                                            Plan Backwards

                                            It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

                                            • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
                                            • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
                                            • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
                                            • What important actions would you have had to take?
                                            • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
                                            • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
                                            • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
                                            • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
                                            • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

                                            Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

                                            It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

                                            Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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