Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Food Lab’s Top 6 Food Myths

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Serious Eats -

The Food Lab's Top 6 Food Myths

The Food Lab's all about clearing up culinary misinformation; separating the old wives' tales from the old wives that keep telling them.
So here are the six most common and egregious food myths I commonly encounter, and the truth behind them. You can use this information to either improve your cooking, or to sound like a pompous windbag at your next cocktail party.

1. Moist Cooking Methods Give you Moister Results Than Dry Cooking Methods


2. Frying at a Higher Temperature Prevents Food From Absorbing Oil

Next to myth number 4 below, this is probably the most widely circulated food myth from home cooks and great chefs alike, and it's easy to see why. There's no denying that frying food at a low temperature—say below 300°F or so—leads to greasy end results, and that upping the temp to 350°F or above will infinitely improve your food's crispness. But does "greasy-tasting" necessarily equate to "more grease"?

3. When Grilling, It's Best to Flip Just Once in the Middle

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Common backyard know-how dictates that burgers and steaks should only be flipped once, half way through cooking. But has anyone ever bothered questioning why we do this? Does it actually create a noticeable improvement in the way your meat comes out?

5. Pasta Must Be Cooked in Massive Amounts of Boiling Water

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Well, this one is actually true, but only if you are dealing with really fresh (as in you rolled it yourself) pasta. With dried pasta, as long as the pasta is completely covered in water, it'll cook just fine. People cite the fact that a large pot of water will lose less heat than a small pot of water when you add pasta to it, but this is in fact not true. There is a difference between heat (energy) and temperature (a value based on how much energy a given amount of a given substance holds).

6. Salting Beans During Cooking Will Make Them Tough

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