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"Gordon Ramsay's Method Is Just Old, Inaccurate Folklore": People Are Sharing The Cooking Advice They Ignore At All Costs

The fact that I've never even questioned some of these is *simply* wild.

Everyone has their own school of thought when it comes to cooking — no two kitchens or cooks are exactly alike! Some beliefs (like throwing pasta against the wall to see if it sticks) are simply...false.

However, there are other techniques that are wildly debated — like the "best" way to chop an onion.

Recently, u/Swimmin_Duck asked the r/Cooking community to share the "cooking advice they ignore," and here's your fair warning that some of these are ~piping~ hot takes. 🔥

Since I cook for a living, I also felt compelled to add a few of my own, too...just to spice things up a little.

1. "Salting your eggs before cooking them has become the proven best choice for people wanting tender scrambled eggs (or omelets!) that aren't the slightest bit watery."

"Gordon Ramsay's method to salt them during the cooking process is just old, inaccurate folklore passed down from chef to chef — salting them while they cook just makes them tough and watery."


Gordon Ramsay salting cooked scrambled eggs with an X through it

2. "Most people discard a whole brick of cheese when there's a little bit of mold on it..."

"When I find a touch of mold on any hard cheese, I'll generally just chop off the chunk of mold with a knife and carry on."


Red arrow pointing to bits of mold on a wedge of hard cheese

3. "Salad dressing recipes loooove to tell you to 'stream in the oil' while whisking. Nah, just throw it all in a jar and give it a good shake."

Peppery dressing in a Mason jar

4. "I ignore directions to 'cook onions for three minutes until translucent' in a recipe at all costs. Like, OK, I'll come back to you in 10 minutes when they're just starting to soften."

5. "Most pasta recipes will tell you to bring a massive pot of water to a boil. If I'm eventually going to toss the pasta with a sauce of some sort, I almost always use faaaaar less water than called for — just enough to cover the uncooked pasta by 2 or so inches."

"This serves two purposes: First, the water will come to a boil much faster. Second, you'll be left with some super-starchy pasta water that's perfect for helping each and every noodle cling onto all that luscious sauce."

—Ross Yoder

Pasta cooking in a very small saucepan

6. "I tweak most measurements — especially where garlic or salt is concerned."

7. "My cooking changed for the better when I started using Better Than Bouillon stock concentrates. It tastes SO much better than carton stock and stock cubes in terms of its flavor, the jars hardly take up any space in the fridge, and it lasts pretty much forever."

"I'm vegan, too, so I love that they have vegan versions of their chicken and beef flavors (that also taste really good). They also have some especially unique flavors, like sautéed onion and roasted garlic!"


Jar of Better Than Bouillon chicken base

8. "I always use salted butter. I find that it just makes everything taste so much better, especially when used in sweet baked goods (in place of unsalted butter)."

9. "Many chefs will tell you that adding oil to butter (when sautéing or searing something) will 'raise its smoke point' so it won't burn. That's...literally not how chemistry works."

Chicken searing in a pan with butter and oil

10. "When a recipe calls for an onion, I'll pretty much disregard whatever color onion it 'needs.' I plan on using whatever onion I have available, and I honestly don't think it changes a dish all that much."

A pile of freshly harvested onions of various colors lies on the ground

11. "Depending on the kind of rice you're cooking, it's not always crucial that you rinse it. Some rice can get really sticky — unwashed sushi rice would totally suck, but if you don't rinse your basmati or jasmine rice, it's not going to be the end of the world."

Pot of freshly cooked, hot rice

12. "I never make simple syrup on the stovetop. Just microwave some water and swish the sugar around until it's fully dissolved. Bonus points if your microwave vessel is also your storage container — I hate extra dirty dishes!"

13. "I bought ground white pepper for a recipe I was making once upon a time (because white sauces 'can't have black pepper'), and I still haven't made a dent in it. I'd much rather just grind black pepper fresh when I want to use it — so what if there are visible pepper flecks?!"

Grinding black pepper into a dish

14. "My mom used to be an operations manager at a culinary college. They specifically told the students not to use expensive wine. They recommended boxed wine because the wine stays sealed from the air and stays good for longer."

"By the time you're done cooking with it, anything that would make an expensive wine taste 'better' will be destroyed anyway, so your expensive wine will be ruined."


15. "Rinsing chicken before cooking it is totally unnecessary. Cooking chicken to a USDA-advised 165 degrees will totally kill off any salmonella-causing bacteria, so when you rinse poultry under running water, all you're doing is running the risk of unintentionally splashing raw chicken juice all over your sink and countertop."

Rinsing chicken under a kitchen faucet with an X over it

16. "Properly measuring dried spices has never been my strongest suit. For any of the spices in the dishes I cook, a teaspoon is just a bit in my palm, a tablespoon is more than that, and anything less than a teaspoon is just a pinch."

"People always rave about 'how well seasoned' my food is, and that's because the use of dried spices is totally subjective."


Sprinkling ground paprika over sliced vegetables

17. "I tend to disregard mise en place suggestions — I'm just going to get the water boiling (or pan heating) and then prep as I go. Separate little dishes for all of the components?! Do these people cook on weekdays? Do people do their own dishes?!"

A variety of different seasonings and herbs, each in their own small container

18. "I know every baby boomer mom and cardiologist is frowning at this comment...but I refuse to EVER omit salt."

19. "Most recipes written for American audiences that originate from other countries are extremely stingy with herbs and spices. My Italian wife calls it 'Italian food for American people.' It takes a lot of experience to know exactly how to use herbs and spices properly, but anyone can start by just increasing the suggested amounts incrementally and seeing how it tastes."

Spices on chicken in a large wok

20. "Here's a secret: Despite what most people who write recipes want you to think, using pre-shredded cheese isn't always going to ruin whatever you're making."

Bag of pre-shredded cheese

21. "Instead of making my own homemade stock, I find that stock cubes work just fine. They really taste great in most applications!"

Holding a chicken stock cube over a measuring cup with stock in it

22. "That rule about 'never cleaning mushrooms with water' comes from standard prep practices in commercial kitchens (which don't even apply to most people)."

"If you're using your mushrooms right away — which, if you're cooking at home, you probably are — rinsing with water is fine! If they'll sit in the fridge for hours or days after being washed, that's when they'll get slimy and gross."


Scrubbing a mushroom with a sponge

23. "I never, ever, ever add garlic at the same time as my onions when I'm sautéing them. I only ever sauté garlic for 30 seconds at the very most, to prevent it from burning and becoming bitter."

Burnt garlic sautéing with onions and circled

24. "Unless the flour you're baking with is absolutely ancient or full of noticeable lumps, there's no need to sift it each and every time you use it. Just make sure you're thoroughly whisking it into your batter or dough, and there will be virtually no difference in texture."

Sifting flour onto a cutting board

25. "Instead of making a roux with flour to thicken sauces, I'll use cornstarch as a thickener. I'm never too fancy for cornstarch."

Arrow pointing to cheese sauce being drizzled on top of French fries

26. "When you're cooking ground beef, so many recipes will tell you to 'drain the fat.' Hell no! Fat is flavor! Use the rendered fat to cook up the veggies you'll use in the dish, and the end results will be so much better."

27. "I always use more vanilla extract in my baking than what the recipe calls for. People writing recipes normally have higher-quality ingredients than the average person. One teaspoon of $1 vanilla flavoring isn't going to do much compared with a teaspoon of high-quality vanilla."

Pouring vanilla into a bowl of batter

28. "Instead of relying on recipe timing when I'm cooking meat — especially chicken and steaks — I always use an instant-read thermometer. 'Cook times' go completely out the window."

Meat thermometer stuck into steak on the grill

29. "If the warm water from your sink tastes fine — clear, with no minerally taste — add warm water (instead of cool) to your pasta pot to cut down on time spent waiting for it to boil."

"This one totally depends on where you live and how old your pipes are. Hot water tends to pick up more minerals from your pipes (and can make whatever you're cooking taste a bit off), but if your warm water tastes OK, it'll come to a boil much faster than cold water would."

—Ross Yoder

30. "When cutting onions, people say you're supposed to make horizontal cuts parallel to your cutting board. I only make vertical cuts (facing the root of the onion) before chopping it up. Those other cuts are redundant — the onion is layered already!"

Onions being cut horizontally with arrow pointing to it saying "nope"

31. "People always tell you to never wash your cast-iron skillets with soap, but apparently it's just an old rule from way back in the day when soap contained lye and other harsh stuff. Nowadays, a bit of soap isn't going to hurt your cast iron."

Washing cast-iron skillet with soapy water

32. "Adding oil to your pasta water won't prevent the noodles from sticking. The oil largely remains separate from the water, and the tiny bit of oil on the noodles will actually prevent it from soaking up as much of the sauce as it otherwise would."

Olive oil in boiling water with X over it

33. "I rarely pay attention to sugar measurements when baking. By default, I pretty much use half (or even a third) of what is called for...and I NEVER miss it. So many baked goods are sickeningly sweet already."

Someone pouring sugar into cake batter

34. "When recipes call for black pepper, I take it with a grain of pun intended. Salting your food is mandatory, but black pepper is just a spice that somehow became synonymous with salt. Not all people like it, and I don't find it necessary in most dishes."

Are there any pieces of commonly believed cooking advice that you always ignore? Let us know in the comments. 👇

Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.