9 Ridiculous Cooking Myths You Probably Believe

#4. Pork Needs to Be Well Done

Bacon is the oxygen of the food world. It's amazing, you can't get enough of it and anyone too stupid to love it deserves to die anyway. You love bacon, and all of its delicious, porky cousins. But you'd better make sure that pork is well done, right? You've got to fire up the grill and get that pig cooking. Anything less than well done and you'll get worms all up in your colon and stomach, and eventually your brain and your thoughts (probably).

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Ahh, the appetizing taste of burned, dead worms.

That's why restaurants prepare pork chops the way they want, without even giving you any options. You can tell a waiter how rare you want a cheeseburger, but if you order pork chops, they're not going to let you decide if you want them rare or medium, because any choice that isn't "well done" just means "full of worms."

The Reality:

Full of bullshit, is more like it. Due to a fear of trichinosis (a parasitic disease caused by eating raw or undercooked pork), people have, for years, made sure that they don't eat pork unless it's been cooked to a well-done state. By the way, that fear was completely legit, because trichinosis is a worm that slithers menacingly around in an animal's (or some lucky human's) digestive system. After that, it burrows its way into the flesh and the muscles. In other words, it's a terrifying hellbeast.


Meet your tapeworm's new roommate.

The thing is, that fear was legit many, many years ago. Today, due to modern pork processing standards, cases of trichinosis in the U.S. have been reduced to about 11 each year, and most of those cases weren't even from pork -- they were from the consumption of wild game. You could go to a restaurant and order pork chops medium rare and eat them and totally not die. You wouldn't just be safe from worms, you'd be entering some brand new pork territory, as most people have only ever had pork after it's been thoroughly cooked, thus robbing it of all its flavor. Imagine it. Juicy, warm, moist pork chops sitting on your plate, melting in your mouth, and no worms to be found for miles and miles.

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You might want to aim for the vegan table at this feast, though.

#3. Putting Oil In Pasta Water Keeps the Pasta from Sticking

We've neglected a big portion of our audience so far. We've covered the people who like to cook and the people who like to go out to eat. But what about those who can't cook lobster and steak and who can't go to restaurants because they're too poor, or they can't stop farting or whatever? What about them?

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What if you're too terrified of explosions to risk cooking Hot Pockets again?

Well don't worry, because this entry's about pasta. Anyone can make pasta. Boil some water, throw some pasta in and, unless you want the pasta to stick together and get all blobby and horrible, you add a little oil to keep everything separate. That's all it takes. You get out the vegetable oil and generously get that pasta all lubed up. It is the only cooking trick you have ever learned.

The Reality:

And it's wrong. As long as we're talking about "facts" that you know, here's an actual fact: Water and oil don't mix. They just straight up hate each other.

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And pasta makes for a godawful threesome.

Here's a cool thing about pasta you may not know: The different pasta shapes are not meaningless. There isn't a shady organization of pasta designers trying to trick people into buying arbitrarily shaped pastas for no reason. Different pasta shapes serve different functions. Some are good for soups and broths. Angel hair is better for thinner, delicate sauces, and spaghetti is better for thicker sauces. Fusilli (the twisty kind) is good with any sauce, but cavatelli (the little hot dog bun kind) is best with thick, chunky sauces. Hundreds of years ago, ancient pasta architects used science and alchemy to come up with the noodle designs that were most conducive to catching and storing different sauces, because they want you, the eater, to have the best experience possible.

You know what happens when you add oil to pasta water? The pasta, regardless of the shape, will be so slippery that it will no longer absorb your sauce. After all of the work that those diligent pasta magicians went through, you ruin all of it by pouring oil all over your pasta, and it won't even keep the pasta from sticking together. Selfish. That's what you are.

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Laugh it up, you cold bastards.

#2. Cooking Vegetables Makes Them Less Nutritious

By this point in the article, you're probably just fed up with cooking in general. You don't even know what to believe anymore, so you've decided that you're just not going to cook from now on. Raw food, all day. Why? It's healthy. You've been enveloping yourself in all of this information and one thing really stands out: Cooking vegetables causes their enzymes to die. You'd get more nutrients if you printed out this article and ate it, a thing we in no way are suggesting you do, even though we think it'd be really funny to see you try.

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Come on. Do it.

It makes sense, when you think about it (the vegetable-cooking thing). The enzymes in the vegetables die off when they're heated, which is common sense that anyone can understand, because everything dies when you heat it up too much. So, the cooked vegetables must be less nutritious than raw ones, right?

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Might as well switch those out with some Cheetos.

The Reality:

Nope. It turns out that when you eat raw vegetables, even though their enzymes are intact, they dissolve and get washed away in your digestive acids. Just like a body in a vat of hydrofluoric acid. And the thing is, the enzymes in plants are what helps them grow; they're not needed by humans because we have digestive enzymes of our own, rendering plant enzymes pretty useless.

So the next time you think that your vegetables aren't nutritious when they're cooked, just think of Walt from Breaking Bad as he's dissolving a body in acid. It'll help to curb your appetite, too.


Hydrofluoric acid is hell on nutrients.

#1. Salt Is Salt

You have a ravenous craving for cookies that can only be described as "monsteresque," and you don't have any Oreos or Chips Ahoy kicking around in your cabinet, so you decide that you're going to take a step back in time and make them from scratch. You really want these cookies.

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Only about 30 percent of cookies get past the "dough" stage.

You've got all the right ingredients, except you have table salt when the recipe calls for kosher salt. What are you, a Rockefeller? You're not in the business of having a variety of salts lying around your house like some big fancy chef guy. Salt is salt. You get out a big mixing bowl and mix everything together, and then you lay them on a cookie sheet and stick them in the oven. Even though you used table salt, they'll turn out fine, right? Salt is salt, right? Maybe kosher salt is more flavorful, or maybe sea salt is slightly better for you, but salt is still salt, right? They all serve the same salt-like purposes, right?

The Reality:

We wouldn't include it in this article if it wasn't a lie.

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Begone, false temptress.

Because table salt is much finer than kosher salt or sea salt, using it in recipes that call for the latter two can absolutely ruin a dish. Bitter and not at all like the real thing. When you use table salt in place of sea salt or kosher salt, you're going to wind up with oversalted, briny food every time.

Next time, spend the extra few bucks and pick up kosher salt if the recipe calls for it. Or just screw the whole thing and spend that money on cookies instead. Do something and do it fast because, if you're anything like us, this article made you absolutely starving.

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You'd better hope the chef is smarter than you.

For more myths you undoubtedly believed, check out 6 Ridiculous History Myths (You Probably Think Are True) and Your Mom Lied: 5 Common Body Myths Debunked.

And stop by LinkSTORM to see why you should not put your hand on a hot stove.

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