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How to Debunk the Top 6 Cooking Myths

Some long-accepted kitchen rules have been disproven over the years. See if you're still relying on any of these outdated cooking myths.


  • Step 1: Don't rely on the cooking myth that gnocchi and spaetzle are done when they rise to the surface of a pot. It's the bubbles that form on the surface of the dumplings that cause them to rise. Experiment with a small batch to see how long they take to cook; it depends on their size.
  • Step 2: Do use eggs straight from the refrigerator when you bake, even if you're planning to beat the egg whites; there's no need to bring them to room temperature beforehand. Now cook with confidence with these newfound good truths!
  • FACT: It's a cooking myth that adding a slice of raw potato to a too-salty soup or stew will remove some of the sodium.
  • Step 3: Go ahead and salt dried beans before cooking them; contrary to popular belief, it won't toughen them.
  • Step 4: Don't bother trussing a turkey, chicken, or any other poultry. It lengthens the cooking time and dries out the breast meat.
  • Step 5: Do flip meat to your heart's content when grilling. The accepted wisdom that steak and burgers should be flipped just once is a cooking myth: flipping meat multiple times actually helps it cook more evenly and faster. In fact, a burger that's flipped every 15 seconds has 40 percent less overcooked meat than one that's been flipped just once.
  • TIP: Searing meat before cooking doesn't seal in the juices; it actually causes more moisture to be lost. But it does make the meat tastier by caramelizing the surface.
  • Step 6: Don't think that frying foods in very hot oil prevents them from absorbing grease. It's true that frying foods in oil that's not hot enough will make them taste greasier, but that's because there's more water left on the surface, making the food soggy. Food fried in very hot oil actually absorbs more oil, even though it tastes crispier.

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