Experts reveal the common cooking myths that Brits believe to be true

  • Research by Wren Kitchens has highlighted the most popular cooking myths which Brits believe to be true, from well done meat being safer to adding oil to pasta water to prevent sticking
  • Expert Chef Andrew Dixon from the Grand Hotel York provides commentary to debunk these myths and highlights which ones are true and which can be de-bunked

From draining rice after cooking to adding milk to make scrambled eggs fluffy, which cooking habits are helping us perfect our meals in the kitchen, and which could be seen as hindering?

Wren Kitchens has conducted research asking Brits which common cooking myths they believe to be true before highlighting tips that can better improve dishes. In order to take a closer look at the validity of these myths, Chef Andrew Dixon from the Cookery School at The Grand, York then provided expert insight to help make meal time that bit easier.

The most popular myths

1. You need to drain water from rice after cooking

Almost two fifths of Brits (37%) believe that you need to drain rice after cooking, making it the most popular cooking myth. This myth is most popular amongst Brits aged 65+ as more than half (54%) believe it to be true. Chef Andrew Dixon agrees with this aged-old myth adding: “Yes definitely, cook your washed rice for 8 minutes on a rolling boil, strain the water, place the dry rice back into the pan off the heat, place a lid on top and leave for 6 minutes”.

2. Your chicken is cooked when you can no longer see any pink

A third of Brits (33%) also believe that a lack of pinkness means that your chicken is fully cooked. Almost half of Brits aged 18-24 (47%) believe this to be true. However, Andrew Dixon argues that a lack of pink does ‘not necessarily’ mean that chicken is fully cooked. He adds that ‘chicken needs to be cooked to a core temperature of 73 degrees to make sure it is fully cooked’. So rather than looking at the colour of your chicken, ensure to check the temperature of it for safest consumption!

3. Cooking removes nutrients from vegetables

Another popular myth which a third of Brits (32%) believe to be true is that cooking removes nutrients from vegetables. However, Chef Andrew Dixon argues that ‘Vegetables do lose some nutrients when cooked, but that doesn’t mean you should only eat them raw’. He goes on to say that ‘Cooking vegetables can actually be beneficial to a healthy diet. When you cook vegetables, it can enhance the absorption of nutrients that are otherwise difficult for your body to process in a raw form’. Therefore, highlighting the importance of cooking your vegetables for a balanced healthy diet and to have a positive impact on your cooking.

4. Adding oil to pasta water will stop the pasta from sticking

31% of Brits believe that adding oil to pasta water prevents it from sticking. However, Dixon argues that adding oil to pasta water does not prevent sticking ‘at all’. He continues, ‘The secret to cooking perfect pasta is you need a large pan with plenty of salted boiling water. Enough water so the pasta can cook on a rolling boil’. So, save on oil when next cooking up a delicious pasta dish!

5. Well-done meat is safe to eat

One of the most believed myths for Brits aged 35-44 (29%) and popular amongst over a third of Brits overall (31%) is that well-done meat is safer to eat. However, Chef Andrew Dixoncomments that ‘it all depends on the type and cut of meat’. He reiterates that ‘Chicken, turkey, guineafowl, and some game should be eaten well done core temperature of 73 degrees. The core temperature kills dangerous bacteria carried by raw poultry’ and that ‘minced burgers and sausages should also be eaten well done’. However, ‘you can eat a joint or cut of certain red meats pink etc as the bacteria is on the outside of the meat and heat kills the bacteria’. Therefore, depending on the type and cut of meat will depend on how the bacteria is killed.

6. Adding milk to scrambled eggs makes them fluffier

A third of Brits aged between 55-66 (33%) believe that adding milk makes fluffier scrambled eggs. However, Chef Andrew Dixon argues that ‘milk makes scrambled eggs runny and watery’. To elevate your future scrambled eggs to really WOW your family and friends he advises that ‘instead of cooking in a pan, whisk the eggs in a bowl over a bairn marie, add a spoon of crème fraiche to make fluffy and lighter’.

To find out more information about Brit’s most popular cooking myths visit the blog post: www.wrenkitchens.com/blog/the-uks-biggest-cooking-myths-true-or-false

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