Cooking Rules You Can Ignore

Whatever they say, cooking is a science with its very own know-hows, rules and postulates, theories to prove or refute, fallacies many believe to be true for years. New times bring along new scientists and pioneers, who thoroughly disprove all theories, causing us to rethink everything we thought we knew.

cooking rules

When someone debunks yet another culinary myth, we involuntarily ask ourselves: What if in a decade someone else finds new evidence refuting long-standing theories? Well, we can’t pick and choose. What remains is to welcome discoveries. We have selected for you the five most deep-rooted myths. It seems that some could not possibly be another sham, but who knows?

You Can Put a Hot Pan in the Fridge

hot pan

More times than not, you cook a dish, wait until it has cooled to room temperature, and then put it into the refrigerator. Everybody knows to follow one of the most basic cooking rules. But experts unanimously insist that it’s better to do the opposite. Remember how in Disney cartoons the heroes often had a thought-cloud above their heads? If it appeared above us right now, it would probably say: “What?”

Ideally, cooked food should be refrigerated as soon as possible because it inhibits the development of bacteria. However, most ordinary refrigerators are not designed for cooling pans and can fail. In that case, better consider the temperature of the room. If it is 85 °F and above, let the hot pot cool on the stove, because the refrigerator already works to the limit. If the room is cold, the equipment’s resources can cope with the heat, if the volume is small.

You Can Reboil Water

cooking rules

We were always told the opposite, and the majority of us still adhere to this unspoken rule. Let’s start with the facts: water becomes heavy when boiling, meaning that the number of heavy hydrogen isotopes increases several times. When talking about ordinary freshwater, their content is quite low.

Suppose you break one of the most fundamental cooking rules and boil water twice, thrice. The increase in the concentration of isotopes is insignificant. You need to boil the same water — in the same kettle — for 20–30 years to produce the outcome you have always feared.

Teflon Pans Are Safe

cooking on Teflon

When polytetrafluoroethylene or Teflon pans first appeared on the market, they caused a boom! Every homemaker got several pans of different sizes, and all other types of cookware became slightly less popular. Then it turned out that when heated, polytetrafluoroethylene emits toxins, and everyone had to fetch their old pans from the pantry. Is polytetrafluoroethylene dangerous?

Ludwig Fischer — Doctor of Science who has debunked more than one culinary myth, claims the opposite. When heated, Teflon does not enter into chemical reactions with food. Even if a particle enters the stomach, it is naturally cleansed from the body with no harm to health.

You Can Skip Washing the Office Mug

dirty mug

There are two types of employees: the ones who wash their mug and the ones who do not bother. Which group do you belong to? It turns out that it is more hygienic to not wash your mug, provided that you are the only one using it and you prefer natural coffee without sugar or cream. Scientists explain it this way: if there are microbes in the mug, they are likely to have come from you, so you are not at risk of picking up anything new. One more thing: it is far more dangerous to wash your mug with a common sponge than to not wash it at all. What do you say to that?

Microwaved Food Is Safe

microwaved food

All products lose part of their nutrients when heated — on the stove, in the oven, or the microwave. That’s the reality. But the loss after cooking or reheating in the microwave is minimal: the temperatures are lower, and the time taken is shorter than during cooking on the stove. Moreover, foods like cabbage, carrots, and tomatoes become enriched with antioxidants!

We do not urge you to rid your mind of doubt and firmly believe. Just be aware of the existence of sound refutations. Send the link to your friends. Who knows, maybe they also believe in these old myths you can safely leave in the past?


I am an English major with a love of languages and fiction, and with an incurable travel bug. In my free time, I read fantasy, drink copious amounts of coffee, and like to go see movies. Culinary art means everything to me. My main hypostasis is the taster, though. The music school has taught me to appreciate the symphony of airy meringues, to create harmonious overtures of light snacks, hard rock of meat, fish, and vegetables on the grill. Choir classes have accustomed me to hear and feel the people nearby and create perfect harmonies of sounds.

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