There are a lot of myths and old wives’ tales when it comes to cooking and baking – many that are passed down from generation to generation. “A watched pot never boils.” “Run onions under cold water before chopping.” “Add sugar to make a dish less spicy.” Is there any truth to any of these sayings? In this blog post, we will be debunking 6 common kitchen cooking myths and finding out which ones are true and which ones are fiction.
6 Common Cooking Myths
1. Don’t open the oven door while baking a cake or it will fall
Truth! Opening the oven door while baking a cake is a common mistake because it can be tempting to check on your cake’s progress. But – try to refrain from doing so until your timer goes off. If you can’t fight the urge, try turning your oven’s light on. Then you can check the progress without opening the oven door.
When you open the oven door, hot air rushes out and cold air rushes in. This can potentially cause your cake to collapse and/or keep your cake from rising altogether. And, no one likes bringing an uneven cake to get-togethers. We promise it will be worth it if you keep that oven door closed until the end!
2. Adding oil will make pasta noodles not stick together
Fiction! Oil will actually coat the noodles and make them unable to absorb any sauces or spices for flavor. Noodles actually clump together because they have a layer of starch on the outside. Typically if you stir the noodles within the first 1-2 minutes of cooking in water, they will not stick together in the pan. So, when you start boiling water, avoid pouring oil in the water and just stir them every so often to avoid them clumping or sticking together.
3. Run onion under cold water to keep the tears at bay
Fiction! If your eyes tear from cutting onions, many people will tell you to run the onion under cold water. However, the truth is the water MAY act as a barrier but not by much. You’ll most likely still tear up. Onions release gasses and enzymes into the air that cause your eyes to burn and tear. If you’re trying to avoid the tears, your best bet is to try a sharp knife. The sharper the knife, the quicker it is to slice through the onion. A dull knife takes more effort to slice, pushing more on the onion, and releasing more gasses into the air – triggering the tears.
4. If your dish is too spicy, add sugar
Truth! Okay, how many times has this happened to you? It happens frequently in our kitchens. But if you accidentally add a little too much spice, not to worry there’s an easy fix – add sugar. Adding sugar to a spicy dish will help to calm the heat, as sugar has a balancing effect on spicy foods. You can also add honey or brown sugar for a little balancing sweetness. Additionally, acidic flavors like lemon, lime, or pineapple juice can calm the heat as well.
5. An air fryer is a form of deep-frying
Fiction! Air frying and deep frying are very different cooking methods. Air frying uses hot air to cook food, therefore is healthier than deep-frying in oils. In fact, an air fryer cannot be used to deep-fry your foods due to the lack of oil and ability to get as hot as a deep fryer can. The air fryer circulates the hot air around the food, cooking it quickly and evenly, and making it a healthier alternative without any oil/grease needed.
6. Adding salt to a pot of water makes it boil quicker
Truth! But, the old saying, “a watched pot never boils,” is only slightly true. Adding salt to water will increase its boiling point slightly – but not enough to make it boil faster. In fact, if you add 20 grams of salt to five liters of water, instead of boiling at 100° C, it’ll boil at 100.04° C. So if you’ve got a few minutes to spare, you may want to save your salt for other baking and cooking needs.
About Bektrom Foods, Inc.
Bektrom foods is a manufacturer of baking mixes (including protein baking mix line and low sugar baking mix line up), pancake mixes, quick bread, oatmeal packets, deluxe sides, dinner sides, rice and noodle sides, instant potatoes, chicken batters, and protein coatings, spice shakers, and spice grinders. Our production is available in co-pack, private label, or house-branded lines. Learn more about our products!