There are a lot of myths when it comes to food and cooking. Many of us were taught to cook by our parents and grandmothers— who were, themselves, taught to cook by their parents and grandmothers. However, passed down alongside that culinary knowledge were a lot of wives’ tales and myths that have now been proven to be false. Here are a few common ones:
Storing Bread In The Fridge Makes It Last Longer
When we aren’t able to finish a loaf of bread, we’re told to put it in the fridge to make it last longer. Unfortunately, taking that advice will actually ruin your bread quicker. While putting bread in the freezer will make it last longer, if it’s stored in cold temperatures that are higher than freezing (you know, like those of a fridge), the starches in the bread will actually crystallize faster. What you should do, instead, is wrap it up and leave it at room temperature— or just freeze it completely.
All Alcohol Burns Off During Cooking
There is nothing better than a red wine pasta sauce— but unfortunately, there may be more booze in there than you think! While we’re taught that alcohol burns off food completely during the cooking process, recent studies have revealed that anywhere from 4-78% of alcohol remains afterward! This could be a good thing, depending on your interests—but, otherwise, the Food Network says it takes about 3 hours to completely burn off all alcohol used in a recipe.
Putting Salt In Water Makes It Boil Faster
A lot of people think putting salt in water makes it boil faster— but the truth is, it actually makes the whole process take longer. This wives’ tale may stem from the fact that salt water gets hotter faster than pure water; however, it also has weighs more and has a higher boiling point, making plain water faster to boil in the long run. According to Live Science, this could change when you increase the amount of salt and decrease the amount of water— but you’d need at least 20% salt in your water to make it boil faster, and that’s way more than would (or should) ever be used in cooking.
Fresh Veggies Are Healthier than Frozen Veggies
Although most people think fresh veggies are a healthier alternative to frozen ones, they actually have it backwards! Vegetables start decaying as soon as they’re picked— and by the time they’re shipped and purchased by you, they’re already on their way out. Ideally, picking them from your own garden and cooking immediately is the best option— but alternatively, frozen veggies are also great! Because they’re frozen soon after being picked, the nutrients are all sealed in.
You Need A Pot Full Of Boiling Water To Cook Pasta
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a ton of water to make pasta— and you also don’t have to wait for it to boil first. HouseholdHacker showed that barely covering the pasta with cold water actually helps prevent sticking in the early stages of cooking. When they conducted a little experiment,the pasta that started in the bit of cold water cooked just as fast as the regular pot— with no difference in flavor and consistency.
Live Lobsters Scream When Boiled
Although a live lobster being boiled does make that horrifically disturbing sound, they’re not actually screaming— Thank God. Lobsters don’t have lungs or a throat and wouldn’t be able to scream if they wanted to. What you’re actually hearing is the steam escape from the shell, kind of like the noise a kettle makes when it’s hot.
Adding Oil To Boiling Pasta Will Stop It From Sticking To The Pot
Although a lot of people do this, it really doesn’t make much sense— at least not where cooking is concerned. Water and oil don‘t mix. Therefore, when you add oil to a pot of water, it simply sits on top, doing very little to prevent the noodles from sticking to the bottom. Additionally, the noodles get covered in grease which prevents them from absorbing flavors from spices and sauce. Instead, just stir frequently during the first few minutes of cooking, then every few minutes after that.
Microwaving Food Kills Vitamins And Nutrients
Although a lot of people think microwaving food destroys the vitamins and nutrients, scientists seem to disagree! According to Harvard Health: “The cooking method that best retains nutrients is one that cooks quickly, heats food for the shortest amount of time, as uses as little liquid as possible. Microwaving meets those criteria.” Put a bit of water in a cup while microwaving, and you will steam the food from the inside out. “That,” they continue, “keeps in more vitamins and minerals than almost any other cooking method, and shows microwave food can indeed be healthy.”
Searing Meat Seals In The Juices
A lot of recipes call for searing meat. And, while searing is great for appearance, complex flavors, and sauces, it is definitely not good at keeping juices locked in. When you sear meat, the browning that results is caused by a loss of moisture. The real way to make meat juicy is just to let it sit for 5 minutes after cooking.
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