Food & Cooking

Ten cooking myths debunked | Lifestyles

Q. What are some of the common cooking Myths? There is just so much conflicting information out there.

A. Some of the most common cooking claims you may have run across in your lifetime simply are not true. I get a lot of questions about food, cooking and nutrition and am sharing and debunking the Top 10 Myths most asked about in 2020.

Myth: Cooking vegetables removes nutrients.

Truth: Only with boiling. The trick to retaining most nutrients, especially vitamin C and B vitamins, is to use as little water as possible and cook for a minimal amount of time. Steaming and microwaving, as well as dry-heat methods like grilling, roasting and stir-frying, retain the most nutrients.

Myth: Salting pasta or potato water makes it boil faster.

Truth: Adding salt makes the water hotter but it’s not going to boil any faster. The reason to add salt is to season the food, not speed up the clock.

Myth: Rinse meat before cooking.

Truth: Recent USDA research has found that rinsing raw meat or poultry increases the risk for spreading bacteria to your sink, hands and cooking equipment, which can cause foodborne illness.

Myth: Using high heat cooks grains faster.

Truth: High heat won’t actually speed the cooking of rice and quinoa. The water needs to simmer so it can permeate the grains. High heat also causes water to quickly evaporate, which would result in an undercooked grain that may burn.

Myth: Fresh eggs peel more easily when hard-boiled.

Truth: To ensure easily peeled hard-boiled eggs, the American Egg Board suggests that you buy and refrigerate them a week to 10 days before cooking. This brief “breather” allows the eggs time to take in air, which leads to membranes separating from the shell.

Myth: Chicken is safe to eat when it’s no longer pink.

Truth: It’s only safe when cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F., as recommended by the USDA for food safety. Whether you cook a whole bird or chicken parts, color can change from pink to white at a lower temperature, so it’s best to test with a food thermometer.

Myth: Alcohol burns off when cooked.

Truth: Cooking will result in some, but not total, loss of alcohol. A study from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Nutrient Data Lab reveals that the amount of alcohol that remains in food after cooking is directly related to the temperature at which the food is cooked and the amount of time cooked. If you simmer a wine-reduction sauce for 15 minutes, it retains 40{c33c21346ff5e26ab8e0ae3d29ae4367143f0d27c235e34c392ea37decdb8bed} alcohol. Even after an hour, 25{c33c21346ff5e26ab8e0ae3d29ae4367143f0d27c235e34c392ea37decdb8bed} of the alcohol remains. A pot roast made with 1 cup of burgundy and roasted for more than 2 hours, however, retains only 5{c33c21346ff5e26ab8e0ae3d29ae4367143f0d27c235e34c392ea37decdb8bed} alcohol.

Myth: Chile pepper seeds contain the heat.

Truth: A chile pepper’s spicy heat comes from the white membrane — also referred to as the pith or ribs — of the pepper, not the seeds. The seeds contain little to no capsaicin, which gives peppers their intensity. When the membrane is cut, the capsaicin escapes and adheres to the outside of seeds, making them seem spicy.

Myth: Well-done meat is safer to eat.

Truth: Eating steak that’s pink is safe if it’s cooked to medium rare (130°F). Because E. coli bacteria primarily live on the surface of the meat, it’s easy to destroy by cooking. When meat is ground or mechanically tenderized, E. coli can be transferred to the inside of the meat, in which case it must be cooked to 165°F (well done).

Myth: It’s always best to add oil to pasta water.

Truth: Some of the best Italian chefs don’t advise it. Although oil helps keep the water from boiling over, it prevents any sauce from sticking to the pasta.