Let’s be real: we can’t scroll through our feeds these days without coming across a “life-changing” cooking tip. Personally, I’ve fallen for many viral cooking “hacks” that claim to make certain kitchen tasks easier/better. Unfortunately, not all hacks are created equal and some just…don’t work. Redditor u/Malkadork recently asked the r/Cooking community to share the cooking hacks they consider to be overrated. Here’s what the home cooks had to say.
1.“Slicing cherry tomatoes between two plates. Slicing horizontally is dangerous, you’re dirtying two extra plates, and slicing a few cherry tomatoes takes about thirty seconds. I could understand if people had to cut five hundred of them for one restaurant, but then again, they probably have a better technique than this.”
2.“That thing about using a can space on the side just messes up my cans.”
3.“Mayo instead of butter for grilled cheese. The internet went wild over it, and there are still some true believers out there. I say ‘meh’.”
4.“I’m opposed to many air-frying tactics that claim to speed up the process or cook better than the oven or pan. While some methods are great (hello, Trader Joe’s hashbrowns), other methods just don’t do it for me ( looking at you, chips).”
5.“Peeling boiled eggs – you can’t add anything to the water or cooking time to make them easier to peel. It’s about the egg, breaking the shell and letting them sit in cold water for a few minutes.”
6.“That you have to add oil to the pasta water, or that you have to add oil to it before you put your sauce on it. There’s a pasta place here that puts oil on all their pre-cooked noodles and the sauce that add just slides right off it. It’s an oily mess.”
7.“Most kitchen appliances are a hassle to clean and can be replaced with a lot of 101-level skills. You’d be surprised how far a sharp chef’s knife can really take you.”
8.“Pulling herbs through a hole in the strainer to remove the stems. This is so stupid, it doesn’t work, it messes up your strainer, and it’s no way faster than just removing the leaves by hand. It’s in every ‘hack’ video and it makes me angry.”
“Hold the bunch of parsley or cilantro tightly and then run a fork through the leaves a few times to remove the leaves. So easy and it really works.”
9.“Every time I see a ‘hack’ that suggests something was designed in a specific way that it obviously wasn’t. The worst for me is ‘the hole in the pan handle is supposed to hold your spoon.’ It clearly isn’t, and just because it CAN, doesn’t make it a “hack”.
10.“Basically, any hack to peel garlic never works for me. I just break the effin out of them. If I need thin slices, then I lightly break or twist the cloves a little.”
“I came here to say that ‘shaking garlic in a jar to peel it’ never works.”
11.“I find there’s a lot of confusion about onion insertion. Like, you can make horizontal cuts and shit, but for most applications, it’s unnecessary and you’ll be able to get a fine cut just by running the knife through vertically and then slicing it thinly.”
12.“I’ve never understood the rice and finger dipping trick. I feel like there are so many factors that come together to make it work, like the size of your rice pot/pot, the size of your finger, the amount of rice, etc. I think that it’s a tried and true good for people who stick to the same pot and rice measurements every time. But for someone new to cooking rice or struggling, it would be frustrating to have someone tell you he said the right way to cook rice is a hack and not with ratios and measurements. It leaves a lot of room for error.”
13.Fried turkey. It still tastes like turkey, but you spent a lot of money on peanut oil and had to put yourself at unnecessary risk.”
14.“Putting a potato in soup or sauce to remove the salt – DOESN’T WORK! People push this myth so far, it’s busting.”
15.“The wooden spoon placed on top of the boiling noodles will keep it from boiling over… dammit!”.
16.“Throwing everything into a slow cooker at once without browning, leaving it all day and expecting good results.”
17.“Some people advocate sous vide as the be-all-end-all for all cooking. It’s not. Sous vide works great for some dishes, but it’s far from the best universal method.”
18.“Don’t cook with a wine you wouldn’t drink. This may apply to someone who drinks cheap wine, but no one needs to spend more than $10 on a wine to cook with. A $4 wine can go a long way.”
19.“How to peel ginger. The thing is, you don’t need to peel ginger at all for most dishes.”
20.“Add liquid to a roux slowly to prevent lumps. I’ve always followed Chef John’s adage: hot roux, cold liquid, no lumps. It’s never failed me. The only time I add slowly is if I’m adding liquid hot in a roux.”
21.“Oh, there’s so much to make coffee that makes me laugh. French coffee: three tablespoons of coffee, nearly boiled water, stir for a minute, wait four minutes and you’re done. All this water, stir for a minute. Wait, add more water… good lord. Coffee, hot water, stir, wait, dip, drink.”
22.“Any rubbish about separating the yolks and whites. Don’t use a plastic bottle, don’t rub the garlic on your fingers, etc. – just tear it in your hand and let the white come through.”
23.“Using a food processor to make the pie crust dough. I think if I made a lot it would be faster, but I’ve never had a problem using a regular old pastry blender while monitoring and adjusting the consistency. “
24.“Using butter instead of oil. Yeah, I get it, but I don’t want everything to be rich and greasy, and I don’t want to go through a stick of butter in a week.”
Are there any cooking “hacks” out there that you think are overrated? Tell us in the comments or fill out this anonymous form!
Note: Answers have been edited for length and/or clarity.