Common cooking myths debunked

Cooking is full of helpful tips that we’ve picked up over the years but not every bit of perceived wisdom is necessarily true.

It's easy to be misled into common cooking myths (photo: Adobe)
It's easy to be misled into common cooking myths (photo: Adobe)

Could some so-called hacks be more of a burden than a help in the kitchen?

Experts at Wren Kitchens have revealed the most popular cooking myths that Brits believe to be true.

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​1 Mushrooms never need rinsing

You're only diluting your smoothie if you add ice to it (photo: Adobe)

Mushrooms are typically encrusted with soil and other debris like everything else growing on the ground so it’s crucial to wash them before cooking.

2 Marinades tenderise meat

While marinating your meat might enhance its flavour, it's doubtful that the texture will change significantly.

The likelihood that your meat will be much softer on the inside from marinating alone is limited because marinades rarely reach meat far below the surface.

Adding oil to pasta water to stop the pasta from sticking is a common myth (photo: Adobe)

3 Smoothies need ice

Although ice gives smoothies a more palatable texture than a glass of room-temperature fruit puree, utilising frozen fruit will achieve the same result without watering down your beverage.

4 Pepper seeds are the spiciest part

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Although a pepper's seeds may taste the spiciest, your tongue is being tricked because of their proximity to a hotter component of the pepper.

The membrane around the seeds often has the highest concentration of capsaicin, which rubs off on the seeds to give them their fiery flavour.

5 Washing your chicken before cooking gets rid of bacteria

You might have believed washing poultry in water would help reduce your chance of contracting a foodborne disease, but research indicates that this is not the case.

The moment water touches your chicken, bacteria are spread throughout your sink, kitchen and on your hands.

6 Keeping a pit in your avocado stops it from browning

The pit will only keep the area of the avocado it’s touching from being exposed to air but won’t be beneficial to the rest of the fruit.

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7 Adding oil to water will stop pasta from sticking

Scientifically, oil and water don’t mix, and it’s highly unlikely any oil will transfer onto the pasta whilst it’s boiling.

The key to perfectly cooked pasta involves adding sea salt to the boiling water.

​8 Cooking removes the alcohol content

Around five per cent of the initial alcohol content will remain in the mixture, no matter how long you’ve boiled it.

9 Cooking vegetables destroys nutrients and vitamins

Some (not all) of the nutritional value in veg is removed during the cooking process. Veg containing more of the water-soluble vitamins will lose the most nutritional value. Veg containing more fat-soluble vitamins will lose less.

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