May 31 2019 – Robert Fiumara
6 Cooking Misconceptions You Should Try To Avoid
As an aspiring chef, you’ll likely hear some misconceptions about cooking on your journey. Friends, family, and even colleagues may share cooking “tips and tricks” that are actually untrue. While some may be trivial, others can provide false information that ultimately impacts the progress of your budding career. Debunk these six common cooking myths in your kitchen.
Salt Reduces Boiling Time
While technically salt raises the boiling point of water, the difference is so minimal as to not be of any consequence when a chef adds salt to the pot. You would have to pour much more salt in a pot of water to make a noticeable difference in cooking time – enough to make the food inedible. Adding salt to the pot can add flavor to your foods, but don’t expect it to trim down boiling time.
You Should Rinse Your Chicken Before Eating
Thousands of cooks around the world have been brought up learning to rinse their chicken before cooking. Unfortunately, this practice could lead to salmonella. The water can splash off the raw chicken and spray your sink, dishes, and countertops with bacteria. If you have other food sitting nearby, the water from the raw chicken could contaminate it. Anything you need to rinse from your chicken will likely be cooked off anyway.
Sharp Knives Are Dangerous
This myth has truth behind it – of course, sharp knives are dangerous. What many chefs don’t realize, however, is that a dull knife is even more unsafe in the kitchen. Trying to cut with a dull knife could easily lead to the knife slipping off the item rather than cutting into it – increasing the risk of cuts and injuries. Professional chefs sharpen their knives regularly for safer and more efficient chopping.
Chicken Is Fully Cooked When It’s Not Pink
Don’t rely on your eyes alone to determine when chicken is fully cooked. Chicken can appear white on the inside and still technically be raw enough to transmit disease. Chicken is only fully cooked when the interior temperature reaches 165 degrees. Invest in a meat thermometer to make sure your poultry is always cooked enough.
The Spiciest Part of the Pepper Is the Seed
Pepper seeds aren’t the hottest part of the pepper. They simply sit closest to the hottest part: the white membrane. This makes the seeds taste spicier than other parts of the pepper, but they are not the part of the pepper containing the heat. It is the white membrane that contains the intensity. When you cut the membrane, the spicy ingredient escapes and adheres to the seeds.
Rinsing Pasta Halts the Cooking
You don’t have to rinse your pasta in cold water to preserve its texture. This is a myth. Cold water does not “shock” warm pasta as it might with other food. In fact, rinsing your pasta after cooking can wash off the layer of starch on the outside of the noodles. This is what keeps your pasta moist and sticky. Rinsing your pasta could be why your sauce seems runny or won’t stick to your noodles, or why they easily dry out. Instead, cook your noodles to about 80% of the desired consistency. Then, remove from water and let stand until you’re ready to eat.
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