There are many pervasive and persistent cooking myths that just don’t seem to die. We went back to our chefs to debunk the top five cooking myths that we keep hearing so you can separate cooking fact from fiction.
MYTH: Do not flip your steak more than once while cooking
You should flip your steak at least four times if you want even cooking and grill marks. That being said, you do not want to flip too much or press the steak down at any point.
-Angie Ford, Buenos Aires Polo Club
MYTH: Sear your steak to lock in juices
People used to believe that searing a crust onto you steak somehow locked in the moisture, but browning the meat is actually more about flavour. The true secret to a juicy steak is letting it rest properly before serving.
-James Harrison, La Vache!
MYTH: Salting water makes it boil faster
Adding salt to water actually raises the boiling point of the water, due to a phenomenon called ‘boiling point elevation’. As a result, your water is boiling hotter but not really any faster.
-Tony Ferreira, Black Sheep Restaurants
MYTH: Risotto needs constant stirring
You do not want to stir the rice constantly as it will add air into the risotto, cooling it down and making it gluey. But if you do not stir it enough, the rice will stick to the bottom and burn. Agitating the rice is important because risotto’s creaminess comes from the starch generated when grains of rice rub against each other. So stir it often, but feel free to give your arms (and the rice) a break.
-Lisette Magampon, Osteria Marzia
MYTH: Marinades make your meat more tender
Not all marinades are created equal. Common vinegar or citrus-based marinades impart flavours to meat but do not actually do anything for tenderising. It is important that the marinade has a balance of acidity. Too much acid and will make the meat seize up and toughen from the reaction between the protein and the acid. On the other hand, certain fruits that are commonly used in marinades, like pineapple and papaya, have natural enzymes called proteases that help break down the meat. While this can make your meat more tender, it also has the potential to make it mushy if they are over-used. The best option for tenderising meats is using dairy-based marinades such as yoghurt or buttermilk.
-Billy Otis, Taqueria Super Macho