You’ve Been Splitting Your English Muffins Wrong This Whole Time

You’ve Been Splitting Your English Muffins Wrong This Whole Time
Photo: Magdanatka, Shutterstock

The most challenging aspect of this job is knowing what “most people” already know. Thinking about food and cooking nearly all of the time means I have lost perspective on what’s “common knowledge,” and what would be beneficial to share with the public. In these moments of uncertainty, I turn to my fellow Lifehacker staff, who are (thankfully) not food writers.

English muffins, for example, are a common bread product, and one of the few you should not split with a knife. It says so right on the Thomas English Muffin packaging, and yet several of my fellow life hackers had no idea that a fork was actually the right tool for the job.

FINALLY. The secret to NOOKS. (Photo: Claire Lower) FINALLY. The secret to NOOKS. (Photo: Claire Lower)

According to instructions on the box, one should “gently split the English Muffin in half” using “a fork or your hands.” My fingers are too stubby for such delicate work, but the fork works like a dream.

By gently inserting the tines around the circumference of the muffin, you break up the delicate network of gluten and flour, and the muffin falls apart with ease. This preserves the bubbled, jagged texture that makes up the muffin’s famous nooks and crannies, optimising the amount of surface area that can be browned, giving the muffin texture. Using a knife deflates the nooks and flattens the crannies, defeating the entire purpose of this particular bread product in the first place.

Once your muffin is fork-split, just pop it in the toaster or griddle it in some leftover bacon grease (here’s a useful guide on how to collect, store, and cook with bacon grease), then put an egg, bacon, or fresh tomato slices on top of it. I’ve been doing a lot of grease griddling recently, and I highly recommend it without hesitance or reservation.

 

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