40 Cooking Myths That Have Been Debunked

40 Cooking Myths That Have Been Debunked

If you've ever heard that "microwaving your food destroys the nutrients," did you know that it's actually false? We hear a lot of different cooking myths in our day to day lives, but how do we know if it's true or not? Today, we're debunking 40 common cooking myths so you can learn the truth. Which ones have you heard of before?

1. Myth: Searing Meat Seals in Juices

Contrary to popular belief, searing meat doesn't "seal" in its juices. While it adds flavor and texture through caramelization and the Maillard reaction, juices are actually lost during this process.

Madie-Hamilton-Dz-Hi4Euwca-UnsplashPhoto by Madie Hamilton on Unsplash

2. Myth: Adding Oil to Pasta Water Prevents Sticking

While oil can prevent water from boiling over, it doesn’t stop pasta from sticking. Stirring pasta regularly and using plenty of water are more effective ways to keep it from sticking.

Tina-Dawson-F1Krjnoewdk-UnsplashPhoto by Tina Dawson on Unsplash

3. Myth: Washing Mushrooms Makes Them Soggy

Mushrooms don't absorb a significant amount of water when washed quickly. It's perfectly fine to rinse them under running water to remove dirt.

Thanh-Soledas-0E2Epqgk T4-UnsplashPhoto by Thanh Soledas on Unsplash

4. Myth: Alcohol Completely Cooks Off in Food

Some alcohol remains even after cooking, depending on the cooking method and duration. It's not always fully evaporated or cooked off as many believe.

Matt-Seymour-Utcmrsyghgy-UnsplashPhoto by Matt Seymour on Unsplash


5. Myth: Microwaving Destroys Nutrients

Microwaving is actually one of the better cooking methods for preserving nutrients, as it cooks food quickly and without much water.

Lissete-Laverde-4Jhcv1Yrg1O-UnsplashPhoto by Lissete Laverde on Unsplash

6. Myth: Salting Water Raises Its Boiling Point

The amount of salt typically used in cooking water slightly alters the boiling point, but not enough to make a noticeable difference in cooking times.

Jason-Tuinstra-4Ofatz6Sdys-UnsplashPhoto by Jason Tuinstra on Unsplash

7. Myth: Adding Salt to Beans While Cooking Makes Them Tough

Salt doesn't make beans tough; in fact, it helps season them. Beans can be tough due to their age or the quality of water.

Shelley-Pauls-T4X660Okiys-UnsplashPhoto by Shelley Pauls on Unsplash

8. Myth: Cast Iron Skillets Are Hard to Maintain

Cast iron skillets are surprisingly easy to maintain. Regular seasoning and avoiding prolonged soaking in water keep them in great shape.

Rayia-Soderberg-Fusq49Ld1Xy-UnsplashPhoto by Rayia Soderberg on Unsplash

9. Myth: You Should Rinse Cooked Pasta

Rinsing pasta after cooking removes the starch that helps sauce adhere to it. It's best to transfer it directly from the pot to the sauce.

Heather-Gill-Sj7Uorconic-UnsplashPhoto by Heather Gill on Unsplash

10. Myth: Frozen Vegetables are Less Nutritious Than Fresh Ones

Frozen vegetables are often flash-frozen at peak ripeness, preserving their nutrients effectively, sometimes even better than fresh veggies that have been stored for a while.

1024Px-Frozen VegetablesFlixtey on Wikimedia Commons


11. Myth: You Can't Refreeze Thawed Food

You can safely refreeze food that has been thawed in the refrigerator. However, the texture might be slightly affected.

Cristiano-Pinto-2Lwgq02Dgl8-UnsplashPhoto by Cristiano Pinto on Unsplash

12. Myth: Margarine is Healthier Than Butter

Margarine varies in composition, but some types contain unhealthy trans fats. It's not universally healthier than butter.

Sorin-Gheorghita-094Mp Cbdpm-UnsplashPhoto by Sorin Gheorghita on Unsplash

13. Myth: Cooking Vegetables Diminishes All Their Nutrients

While some nutrients are lost during cooking, others become more bioavailable. Methods like steaming and stir-frying can minimize nutrient loss.

Conscious-Design-Immhjrp4Dcm-UnsplashPhoto by Conscious Design on Unsplash

14. Myth: Using Metal Utensils on Nonstick Pans is Fine

Metal utensils can scratch and damage the nonstick coating, shortening the pan's life. Use wooden or silicone utensils instead.

Ricky-Singh-27C9Frs7Try-UnsplashPhoto by Ricky Singh on Unsplash

15. Myth: You Must Wash Chicken Before Cooking

Washing chicken can spread harmful bacteria around your kitchen. Cooking chicken to the proper temperature is sufficient to kill any bacteria.

Jk-Sloan-9Zla37Vnl38-UnsplashPhoto by JK Sloan on Unsplash

16. Myth: Cooking with Olive Oil Releases Toxins

Cooking with olive oil is actually safe. It has a lower smoke point than other oils, but it doesn't release harmful toxins at normal cooking temperatures.

Jonathan-Ocampo-Icgfwfqgdzo-UnsplashPhoto by jonathan ocampo on Unsplash


17. Myth: You Should Soak Onions in Water to Tone Down Their Flavor

Soaking onions in water dilutes some of their flavors but isn't necessary. Simply cooking them can mellow their taste effectively.

Sincerely-Media-Grhwjva1Kta-Unsplash (1)Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

18. Myth: Cooking Neutralizes Spices’ Health Benefits

Many spices, like turmeric and garlic, retain their health benefits even when cooked. Cooking can even enhance some beneficial compounds.

Ji-Jiali-R8Ysjfxvesq-UnsplashPhoto by ji jiali on Unsplash

19. Myth: You Should Always Cook with Wine You Would Drink

While quality matters, cooking wine doesn't have to be high-end. The nuances of expensive wines are often lost in the cooking process.

Hermes-Rivera-Ak6Wgqxyhfw-UnsplashPhoto by Hermes Rivera on Unsplash

20. Myth: Flipping Meat Frequently Makes it Tough

Frequent flipping can actually result in evenly cooked meat. It doesn't make the meat tough, contrary to popular belief.

Paul-Hermann-Jeiqzogwwku-UnsplashPhoto by Paul Hermann on Unsplash

21. Myth: You Need a Lot of Water to Cook Pasta

Using less water can actually be more efficient. It requires less energy to boil and the pasta starches more concentrated sauce.

Sergio-Camalich-Zorsgr-Xh-8-UnsplashPhoto by Sergio Camalich on Unsplash

22. Myth: Baking Soda and Baking Powder are Interchangeable

Baking soda and baking powder serve different purposes and aren't interchangeable. They chemically react differently in recipes.

Clint-Patterson-Huaxlo-Llva-UnsplashPhoto by Clint Patterson on Unsplash


23. Myth: Cooking in a Smoker is Always Unhealthy

Smoking can be a healthy way to cook, as it adds flavor without extra fat. The key is moderation and avoiding over-smoked foods.

Pascal-Meier-1Uvctvsn-2O-Unsplash (1)Photo by Pascal Meier on Unsplash

24. Myth: You Shouldn't Use Metal Bowls for Whisking

Metal bowls are fine for whisking. The myth likely stems from a time when metal bowls were made of materials that could react with acidic ingredients.

Jurien-Huggins-Isazjjyw8Zk-UnsplashPhoto by jurien huggins on Unsplash

25. Myth: Lettuce Must Be Torn, Not Cut

Lettuce can be cut with a knife without significant harm. Tearing is preferred to avoid bruising, but it's not a strict rule.

Rayia-Soderberg-1Eezrqmhix8-UnsplashPhoto by Rayia Soderberg on Unsplash

26. Myth: Room Temperature Eggs Are Unsafe

Room temperature eggs are often used in baking for better incorporation into batter. When handled properly, they are safe.

Katherine-Chase-Bzf1Xby5Xoc-UnsplashPhoto by Katherine Chase on Unsplash

27. Myth: You Must Always Peel Vegetables

Many vegetables' peels are edible and packed with nutrients. Peeling is often a matter of preference, not a necessity.

Hans-Isaacson-Hvqfawaen70-UnsplashPhoto by Hans Isaacson on Unsplash

28. Myth: You Shouldn't Wash Cast Iron with Soap

Modern cast iron skillets can be washed with a small amount of soap without harming them. It's the prolonged soaking that should be avoided.

Anshu-A-Xv7Y6Lq90Fm-UnsplashPhoto by Anshu A on Unsplash

29. Myth: Brown Eggs Are More Nutritious Than White Eggs

The color of the eggshell is determined by the hen's breed and doesn't affect the egg's nutritional value.

Rebekah-Vos-Ebmjerqbddk-UnsplashPhoto by Rebekah Vos on Unsplash

30. Myth: Raw Oysters are Only Safe to Eat in Months with 'R'

This myth originated when refrigeration was less common. With modern refrigeration, oysters can be enjoyed safely year-round when properly stored.

Edoardo-Cuoghi-3Pnvc3O7Gb4-UnsplashPhoto by Edoardo Cuoghi on Unsplash

31. Myth: You Should Only Flip Fish Once While Cooking

Flipping fish more than once doesn't ruin it. Gentle flipping can actually ensure even cooking, especially for thicker fillets.

Adrian-Infernus- Epvzzm37Oi-UnsplashPhoto by Adrian Infernus on Unsplash

32. Myth: Dairy Should Be Added at the End of Cooking Soups and Sauces

Adding dairy products like cream early on in cooking can help them integrate better into the dish and reduce the risk of curdling.

An Vision-5Sn5N5-Jm3C-UnsplashPhoto by an_vision on Unsplash

33. Myth: More Bubbles Mean Boiling Water is Hotter

Once water reaches boiling point, it doesn't get hotter, regardless of the number of bubbles. The size and number of bubbles indicate the water’s boiling strength, not temperature.

Karen-Bailey-59Fwhrqigyw-UnsplashPhoto by Karen Bailey on Unsplash

34. Myth: Resting Dough Makes it Tougher

Resting dough is crucial for many recipes. It allows gluten to relax, making dough easier to work with and often resulting in a tender final product.

Phil-Hearing-32W8Mnbuxpk-UnsplashPhoto by Phil Hearing on Unsplash

35. Myth: You Shouldn't Wash a Wok

A wok can and should be cleaned after each use. The key is to dry it thoroughly and apply a light coat of oil to maintain its seasoning.

Clem-Onojeghuo-R8Ldttswguc-UnsplashPhoto by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

36. Myth: Cold Eggs are Easier to Peel

Actually, eggs that are slightly warm or at room temperature are often easier to peel. Cold eggs can adhere more stubbornly to their shells.

Maria-Ionova-Kdlrpkwl-8A-UnsplashPhoto by Maria Ionova on Unsplash

37. Myth: Cooking Spinach Destroys All Its Iron

While some iron is lost during cooking, spinach still retains a significant amount of its iron content, along with other nutrients that become more bioavailable.

Louis-Hansel-4Vmqrwyfmdw-UnsplashPhoto by Louis Hansel on Unsplash

38. Myth: You Shouldn't Salt Water for Green Vegetables

Salting water for cooking green vegetables like broccoli or green beans can enhance flavor without harming color or texture.

Gareth-Hubbard-Qpcsuerqbac-UnsplashPhoto by Gareth Hubbard on Unsplash

39. Myth: Bigger Bubbles Mean Your Yeast is Better

The size of bubbles in yeast dough is more about the dough's hydration and less about the quality of the yeast. Good yeast activity can show in both big and small bubbles.

Nadya-Spetnitskaya-Toyiqxf9-Ys-UnsplashPhoto by Nadya Spetnitskaya on Unsplash

40. Myth: Nonstick Pans are Unsafe at High Temperatures

Modern nonstick pans are generally safe up to medium-high temperatures. The key is avoiding extremely high heat which can damage the coating.

Cooker-King-Lowtrcpor0W-UnsplashPhoto by Cooker King on Unsplash