back to top
Food

Can You Tell Which Of These Popular Cooking "Facts" Are Actually Lies?

Don't believe everything a chef tells you.

Posted on

There have been so many "facts" cooked up about food that it has become almost impossible to determine which are real. For each question, try to decide if the old wives' tale is actually helpful — or dicey at best.

  1. Getty Images
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Alcohol doesn't completely evaporate during cooking.

    In fact, 5–85% of alcohol can remain in the food depending on how it is cooked. Learn more about cooking with alcohol here.

    Alcohol doesn't completely evaporate during cooking.
    Via Instagram: @www.instagram.com/yashikawa
  2. Getty Images
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Steak should always be cut against the grain.

    Cutting steak against the grain shortens the muscle fibers, making it easier to chew. Learn how to properly cut your steak here.

    Steak should always be cut against the grain.
    Via Getty Images
  3. Getty Images
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Searing meat does not seal in the juices.

    Searing is used to add flavor and texture to meats, not seal in their juices. Cooking at a high temperature causes meat to undergo the Maillard reaction, resulting in a nice crust with deep flavor.

    Searing meat does not seal in the juices.
    Via Getty Images
  4. Getty Images
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    The seeds are not the hottest part of the pepper.

    The hottest part of the pepper is actually the material surrounding the seeds. The seeds themselves have very little flavor. If you want to tame the heat, remove the inner pith, not just the seeds.

    The seeds are not the hottest part of the pepper.
    Via Getty Images
  5. Getty Images
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Avocado pits don't prevent browning.

    Instead of adding the pit, limit oxygen exposure by creating an airtight layer of oil or water (really!) on top of your guacamole. See the technique here.

    Avocado pits don't prevent browning.
    Via Getty Images
  6. Getty Images
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Storing tomatoes upside down really does keep them fresher.

    This limits oxygen from entering the stem hole (a small tear from harvesting), thus slowing down the ripening process. See other ways to keep tomatoes fresh here.

    Storing tomatoes upside down really does keep them fresher.
    Via Getty Images
  7. Getty Images
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Adding oil to pasta water will not prevent your pasta from sticking together.

    Stirring and making sure your water is at a full boil are the only ways to prevent pasta from sticking. Oil floats to the top of water, making it an actual waste. Even Alton Brown agrees.

    Adding oil to pasta water will not prevent your pasta from sticking together.
    Via Getty Images
  8. Getty Images
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Salted water does not boil faster than unsalted water.

    In fact, adding salt to water actually increases the boiling point. Salt is used to season water, not speed up the cooking process. Read the science behind it here.

    Salted water does not boil faster than unsalted water.
    Via Getty Images
  9. Getty Images
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Leaving butter out overnight will over-soften it.

    Over-softening butter is a serious mistake that will prevent baked goods from creaming properly. Butter should only soften for 30–45 minutes before baking. If it feels completely pliable, it is over-softened. Learn the correct way (yes, there is a correct way) to soften butter here.

    Leaving butter out overnight will over-soften it.
    Via Getty Images
  10. Getty Images
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Washing mushrooms in water will not make them soggy.

    In fact, mushrooms are about 90% water to begin with. The key to successfully browning them is making sure they are completely dry before cooking. Let them dry on a towel-lined sheet tray for at least 15 minutes after washing. See how to properly wash them here.

    Washing mushrooms in water will not make them soggy.
    Via Getty Images
  11. Getty Images
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Storing fruit in a paper bag will actually speed up the ripening process.

    The paper bag traps the ethylene gas released by fruits, thus speeding up the ripening process. See other ways to ripen fruit here.

    Storing fruit in a paper bag will actually speed up the ripening process.
    Via Getty Images

Can You Tell Which Of These Popular Cooking "Facts" Are Actually Lies?

Now you know not to believe everything those fancy chefs tell you.

So go ahead, be a rebel and wash those mushrooms in water.

Now you know not to believe everything those fancy chefs tell you. Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF
Pixar
Take quizzes and chill with the BuzzFeed app.
Get the app
You used to believe what you were told, but you're a changed cook now.

No more lies!

You used to believe what you were told, but you're a changed cook now. Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF
Pixar
Take quizzes and chill with the BuzzFeed app.
Get the app
You know your cooking facts from fiction.

Nothing can fool you!

You know your cooking facts from fiction. Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF
Pixar
Take quizzes and chill with the BuzzFeed app.
Get the app
You're a chef who can't be fooled!

Nobody can fool you! Not even a chef!

You're a chef who can't be fooled! Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF
Pixar
Take quizzes and chill with the BuzzFeed app.
Get the app

Every. Tasty. Video. EVER. The new Tasty app is here!

Dismiss