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Hot Water Myths Debunked

in Education/Entertainment by

Water doesn’t boil quicker if you throw salt in it and other myths about cooking are debunked. The microwave is bad, you have to put salt in the water to boil before and other great beliefs between stoves that you should stop doing when you cook because they are lying.

When it comes to the kitchen, everyone has their own beliefs! Some people take their eggs out of the fridge for a while before frying them because they are convinced that at room temperature, the oil jumps less. Some people salt their meat before cooking it, while others view this practice as sacrilegious.

Customs and habits in the kitchen come from family heritage friends, TV shows and even coworkers.

We can’t address all of the myths, but here are a few of the more popular ones that we hope to debunk.

Img source: parade.com

Myth: Microwaving food sucks up all of its nutrients

Cooking in the microwave is fast, comfortable and yes, despite what some people say, quite healthy. Any method of reheating food will destroy a certain amount of vitamins and nutrients, but surprise! The microwave is one of the systems in which less of them are lost thanks to the fact that the heating is done quickly and with less intensity.

Per this Harvard Medical School Study:

“The cooking method that best retains nutrients is one that cooks quickly, heats food for the shortest amount of time and uses as little liquid as possible. Microwaving meets those criteria.”

Img source: lg.com

Myth: Cool before putting anything in the fridge

Let’s see if your mother has also thrown this piece of advice your way: “Don’t put your stew in Tupperware and place it in the fridge until it cools down or you’ll ruin it!”

Why, do you ask, would people say this? Well, it seems that they believe that if you put a hot container in the fridge we make the appliance have to provide more energy to keep it at the same temperature as other foods, but if we let the food cool first,  it could also grow stale and go bad too soon.

We’re split. Look, your refrigerator is using up electricity as it does its thing, so having a few more items to cool is really not going to make a difference. The alternative of having food go bad more quickly is worse.

Img source: dailydot.com

Myth: Pouring cold water over a burn

When we accidentally burn ourselves with a pot or with the oven, we tend to run to the tap and plug in a good jet of water to relieve the pain. Well, as long as it’s not too cold. A radical shock in the change of temperature can make the damage in the skin even greater. Needless to say, you should never apply ice immediately to a burn. Again, cool water only. Alternatively, use cool wet cloth.

Myth: Salt makes water boil faster

Do you add a handful of salt to cold water before you boil it? Your trick does not work. Experts explain it from a molecular point of view: “When water temperature rises, molecules move faster, collide more frequently and release more gas molecules of steam. The chemical salt ions take up a bit of space, causing fewer collisions between water molecules, so they do not release as many vapor molecules as pure water would. Therefore, more energy (a higher temperature) is required for the salt water to start boiling. ”

Img source: curiosity.com

To raise the boiling point of a liter of water one degree would require approximately 58 grams of salt. It is true that salt causes the boiling point to rise, but in such minute amounts that it does not make a significant difference in the fact that the water boils more or less quickly. If you want to boil water more quickly, just use a water boiler or an electric kettle.

These are just a few of the myths around water that we have heard repeated the most. And they refuse to die! For some reason, despite evidence to the contrary, something tells me these myths will still be around for many years to come.



Peter is a freelance writer with more than eight years of experience covering topics in politics. He was one of the guys that were here when the foreignpolicyi.org started.

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