November 29, 2020

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Food the meaning

The popular food hacks that don’t actually work

The popular food hacks that don’t actually work

The endless cooking advice in magazines and hacks found online can be overwhelming to even the most seasoned home cooks. Should you be covering your leftover avocados in lemon juice to stop them browning and is it possible to make potato wedges using an apple corer? We debunk the most popular cooking hacks, tips and tricks that don’t actually work.

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Some advice suggests that adding salt to water will make it boil faster and cook your food quicker. It doesn’t quite work like that, though. Salted water has a higher boiling point, meaning it will take longer to boil. You should still season your pasta or potato water, just do it after it’s reached boiling point.

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This isn’t a very safe way to open a bottle so we’d never suggest you try it. You’re most likely to either break the neck of the bottle (ending up with glass shards in your wine) or break apart the cork (resulting in bits of cork floating around in your wine). Either way, lay off the wine until you’ve got a corkscrew.

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It’s a widely believed myth that adding baking soda to the water in which you’re cooking eggs will make them easier to peel later on. All it does is waste baking soda.

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The egg peeling hack of adding vinegar to the cooking water is also a myth. Making sure you put your eggs in boiling water and then plunging them in cold water when ready should do the trick.

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Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.

Whoever came up with this amazing hack clearly never actually tried doing it. You won’t end up with halved tomatoes if you try cutting them while they’re squashed between two plates or lids. All you need is a good chopping board, a sharp knife and just a little patience.

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A hack is supposed to make your life easier and help you do things more efficiently, but using tongs to squeeze a lemon certainly won’t achieve a better result. What’s more effective and quicker is using a juicer or your hands. What may be helpful is microwaving the citrus on high for around 20 seconds beforehand – it’ll soften the lemon and make it easier to squeeze.

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It’s widely believed that if you’ve over-seasoned your broth, adding a whole, peeled potato will soak up all the excess salt but in reality, it doesn’t work. Instead, add extra ingredients like rice, pulses or water to help balance it out.

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Unless your garlic cloves have reached a very considerable level of dryness (which means you probably shouldn’t be using them anyway), this hack won’t work. The fresher the garlic, the juicier it is and the more the skin sticks to it. No amount of shaking will make it come off the clove.

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We’ve all shed a few tears while chopping onions but there’s not much you can do to stop it. A specific chemical irritant found in the juice of the onions stimulates the eyes’ lachrymal glands so no amount of rinsing will remedy that. Try using a really sharp knife to minimize the amount of juice squeezed out of the onion when it’s cut.

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Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.

Using a squeezy bottle to dispense pancake batter could work if it’s got a large nozzle and wide neck but don’t even think of repurposing a ketchup bottle. No amount of scrubbing will rid the bottle of the taste of tomato sauce. It’s also very impractical for cleaning afterwards.

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It’s a popular hack but there’s no scientific explanation suggesting that putting a wooden spoon over a pan will stop its contents from boiling over. It may stop whatever you’re boiling going over for a split second, which might be enough time for you to take the pot off the heat or turn down the gas, but it won’t stop it from eventually spilling over.

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If you still happen to have an old CD spindle around, don’t be so quick to store your lunchtime bagels on it. It might seem like the perfect vessel for transporting your bagels from A to B but the spindles aren’t airtight so the bread will be rock solid by noon.

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Although it does look like a convenient spot to stick your wooden spoon or spatula, the hole in a pan handle is actually meant to be used for hanging it up. Not all utensils will fit the handle hole or will stand in the right angle so as not to drip on your stovetop.

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Unless you’ve got an industrial-grade mill, it’s highly unlikely you’ll be able to produce fine confectioners’ sugar from a bag of granulated sugar. Some food writers suggest using a spice grinder, which does work to an extent, but it will still have a negative impact on the final bake. Just pop to the shops and pick up some confectioners’ sugar.

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All rinsing pasta will do is wash off the starch, meaning when the pasta is added to the sauce, the sauce won’t thicken as nicely and won’t stick to the individual pasta pieces. To prevent it from sticking together, cook it in a big enough pot, stir regularly and boil until al dente​ (firm).

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Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.

Storing a loaf in the fridge does slow down the growth of mold, however, it also increases the rate at which the bread stales. Unless you’re planning on only eating your bread toasted, keeping your bread in the fridge won’t keep it soft for longer.

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Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.

It’s actually the white membrane of chili peppers which makes them hot. The seeds only seem like the hottest part of the chili due to their proximity to the membrane. The seeds themselves have little to no capsaicin (the component that gives peppers their heat). It’s when the membrane is cut and the capsaicin escapes with the juice and comes into contact with the seeds, that they’ll feel like they’re hot.

Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.

Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.

Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.

Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.

Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.

Cutting potato wedges with an apple corer seems like a great idea in theory but not so much in practice. Firstly, the flesh of an apple is much softer than that of a potato so you would need an incredibly sharp apple corer. Secondly, if it was sharp enough to go through a potato, it would be an accident just waiting to happen.

Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.

Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.

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