Kitchen "tips" and habits made up a big percentage of things we discovered we were doing wrong. Searing meat to seal in juices? Baking soda absorbing fridge odours? Alcohol that "cooks off" instantly? A great debunking page dispels such common kitchen myths.
Photo by pixietart.
Peter Aitken put together a great page with a number of common kitchen myths and the reasons why they're misunderstood. Some of them you may already have cast aside, but many are hard-and-fast laws, passed down through generations, that refuse to stand up to science. Including the ever-popular orange box:
A box of baking soda in the fridge or freezer absorbs odors
This is a very clever and successful marketing ploy by the baking soda people, but the fact is that baking soda is very poor at absorbing odors. It seems to make sense, however, so lots of people have spent untold billions of dollars to put boxes of baking soda in their fridge or freezer to no effect. Activated charcoal would work much better but is expensive. Better to wrap your food and clean the fridge once in a while.
One more myth that I must apologise to all my dinner guests over the years for: believing that any alcohol you add to a recipe just "cooks off" when it's been in the pan for a bit. Aitken offers up a chart of alcohol retention dependent on cooking methods:
So much for bananas foster being a non-alcoholic dessert. Hit the page for more great reads on modern cooking myths, and share any pseudo-science you've cast aside in your own kitchen in the comments.