What are some cooking/baking myths or tips that don't really pan out in reality?

In the last few years Instagram and YouTube DIY and tips accounts have exploded in popularity. The accounts’ owners have figured out that the best way to get followers/subscribers is to prioritize quantity over quality. This has led to ridiculously unnecessary DIYs and completely false tips. I find both of these hilarious so I save them to laugh at later. Here are some cooking/baking/food tips that really just don’t work.

The first hack claims that you can soften butter by pouring boiling water into a cup, dumping it out, and then putting the cup over a pat of butter.

This would be a super useful hack if it worked, but when I first saw it I thought it didn’t make sense logically. So I tried it out:

I decided to use a nice small pat of butter.

Pouring boiling hot water into a mug (I decided against a glass because I don’t think my family would appreciated shattered glass everywhere)

I decided to use a timer so I’d feel more scientific (TM) about the whole thing. I tried to cut into the butter after about a minute (I forgot to start the timer for about thirty seconds after I started (not very scientific)). In the video of the hack this is about how long they made it seem like it would take for the butter to melt.

Right on the edge I could kind of cut, but it still felt like cutting cold butter. As you can see in the picture I didn’t get very far into the butter. I’d say that the first millimeter of the butter was nice and soft. The rest is still refrigerator cold.

This is over two minutes later. It has definitely been longer than the hack implied and the butter is still hard enough that I can pick it up with the knife. The first centimeter or so though, is soft enough that I can cut through it without a ton of effort, but the rest of it is still too hard to spread on toast or anything, though.

After five minutes the butter has pretty much stopped softening any faster than if it was just sitting on the counter. It’s soft and sweaty on the surface (from steam?) but still cold. When I picked it up to put it back in the fridge it was cold to the touch. Everything is a lie. Give up.

Next up:

This hack is pretty popular. It claims that you can tell how well done any steak is by pressing into the meat with your finger and comparing the squshiness to the above chart. (i.e., if the center of the steak is as squishy as your thumb meat?? when you touch your thumb to your ring finger then the steak is cooked to medium)

The problem with this is that different cuts of meat are naturally different levels of tenderness. A sort of squishy sirloin could be rare while an equally sort of squishy filet mignon could be well done or even over-cooked.

This hack is a sort of okay rule of thumb, but isn’t trustworthy. With beef prices what they are, don’t take risks, just use a thermometer!

This is one of my favorites:

So you start with a green, unripe sour banana

Bake it for five minutes, which is about long enough to cause a surface reaction but will barely start to warm up the center of the banana,

Now you just slice into your partially-cooked, green-turned-black banana and it’ll be “perfectly ripe!”

no No NO!!! First of all, cooking a banana dramatically changes its texture, so you won’t be able to eat it like you would a “perfectly ripe!” banana. Secondly, the banana was only cooked for five minutes so the outside will be mushy and maybe sweet, but the inside will still be an under-ripe, raw banana. My final gripe with this hack is:


That’s all for now, maybe I’ll bake a green banana for myself later, or add more terrible hacks.

EDIT: I’m going to add one more hack because you guys seem to really like this answer

So for this one we finally solve the eternal problem of man: that sad feeling when your spaghetti and the hot dog you eat with it aren’t interconnected enough.

So at first glance this looks great; I mean this does look pretty fun, you get the correct spaghetti to meat ratio, it looks fun, kids would love it probably. Its main problem can only be found in execution. Somewhere on the internet I read that the spaghetti inside the hot dog is completely raw (the center of the hot dog never gets hot enough to really cook the noodle) so instead of a fun, quirky dinner you’d get hot-dog-water tainted spaghetti with crunchy raw-noodle hot dog chunks.

Ignoring the fact that hot dogs and spaghetti have never gone together in my head, I wish this hack worked.

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