"I Never Bother Doing It": Home Cooks Are Revealing Popular Pieces Of Cooking Advice That Have Never, Ever Made Sense In Their Own Kitchens
"I cringe every time someone's go-to is: 'There's no limit on garlic.' People rely too much on garlic for flavor. There are other ways to build flavor in your dish..."
When it comes to cooking, everyone has their own way of doing things. Cooking practices are so unique, frankly, that even the most "standard" cooking practices aren't always broadly accepted. Recently, redditor u/thatartistperson27 asked home cooks to share the "piece of cooking advice everyone always says that they disagree with," and while I vehemently disagree with some of these, I have to say...some of these opinions are pretty darn valid!
1. "That single-use kitchen tools are trash. Single-use tools can have a place in the kitchen! If you cut a lot of apples, an apple slicer is worth the investment. If one of those ugly vegetable slicers gets you to eat more vegetables, buy one."
2. "Putting oil in pasta water. It does nothing, and now you just dumped perfectly good olive oil down the drain. Oil it after you strain it if you don't want it to stick."
3. "I have to wash mushrooms. I can’t just dust them off and call them clean."
4. "To only use unsalted butter when baking. I always use salted butter. It usually seasons it perfectly, since butter is only ever about a quarter of the total mass. I find it easier to gauge salt levels this way than by just adding salt."
5. "I over-mix my pancake batter because I like them with a little more gluten development."
6. "Don’t bother making the horizontal cuts when dicing an onion. It doesn’t add much, and just makes the onion fall apart while slicing."
7. "Washing cast iron is fine. Fight me!"
8. "I cringe every time someone's go-to is: 'There's no limit on garlic.' People rely too much on garlic for flavor. There are other ways to build flavor in your dish."
9. "That you need to make a roux for homemade mac 'n' cheese. I don’t bother making one. If you have good cheese, just melt it with a little bit of milk, butter, and some of the starchy pasta water to emulsify. No need for the added complication of flour."
10. "The idea that you have to tear lettuce because it ‘bruises’ if you cut it with a knife drives me nuts. Who has time for that?"
11. "That you have to peel your potatoes for a meal to be good. For most meals, I actually like the potato skins. As long as you wash it (and your carrots!), no need to peel for most meals."
13. "Taking out a roast an hour before cooking to bring it to room temperature. The only thing on a roast of any size that is going to get to room temp in an hour is the surface of the meat."
14. "I never bother sieving dry ingredients like flour or sugar when baking, and I've literally won awards for my cakes. I buy cheap flour and sugar as well, and yeah, sometimes things clump, but really by the time I've mixed it all, it makes no difference."
15. "I don’t agree that MORE seasonings equal well-seasoned. Everything has a place. For me, salt and pepper are great a lot of the time."
16. "Everyone recommends brown butter for everything these days...even cookies. It only ever tastes burnt to me. Working in kitchens, I've tried it a million ways from a million people, and I just don't get it..."
17. "Anyone who says the water has to be boiling before putting the rice in is wrong. What do these people think rice cookers do?"
18. "You don't need to treat a steak as a holy entity. You can flip it, and you can use a fork to do it."
19. "That bacon is better in the oven. To me, it's just not as good as when I cook it in the pan."
20. "That putting lemon juice on food 'brings out the flavor.' No, now it just tastes like lemon."
21. "Cracking your eggs on the counter. I tried it, and I hated it. I will forever be a 'side of the bowl' egg cracker for the rest of my life."
22. "When cooking a béchamel sauce, I don't put the milk in little by little, like everyone says you're supposed to. I do it all at once. Never had a single clump in my sauce."
23. "For me, it's adhering to mise en place. I usually just prep as I go for most recipes, unless it requires a huge amount of chopped ingredients or cooks quickly."
24. "Adding in your garlic alongside other veggies. I never add the garlic early. I will never understand why recipes instruct to add it so early — it burns so fast and quickly takes on a bitter flavor. For me, garlic goes in at the end of the sautéing stage to maintain its texture and flavor."
25. "Needing to deseed and peel tomatoes. I never do it to mine. There’s a ton of flavor in the seeds, and I’ve never had skin so bitter it ruined anything. Just feels not worth the hassle, and if I really need it taken care of, there’s a variety of canned tomato products that have the work done."
26. "That you should hand wash almost every piece of cookware. The only item I'm willing to hand wash is my chef's knife. Everything else in my kitchen is dishwasher safe."
27. And finally: "I think a jar of pre-minced garlic is fine. I'm picky about the brand, but unless a dish is a raw garlic-forward dish, the flavor of the pre-minced is fine once cooked."
What's a piece of cooking advice that most people swear by that you disagree with? Tell me about it in the comments below.
Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.