People Are Calling Out These 24 "Cooking Hacks" That Don't Work Or Might Even Make Your Food Worse

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 simply...don't work. Recently, Redditor u/Malkadork asked the r/Cooking community to share the cooking hacks they find to be overrated. Here's what home cooks had to say.

1."Slicing cherry tomatoes between two plates. Cutting horizontally is dangerous, you're dirtying two additional plates, and cutting a few cherry tomatoes takes about thirty seconds. I could understand if people had to cut five hundred of them for a restaurant but, then again, they probably have a better technique than this."

cherry tomatoes between two plates
cherry tomatoes between two plates
cherry tomatoes that have been sliced in half with a serrated knife
cherry tomatoes that have been sliced in half with a serrated knife

u/Technical-Writer1839 / Via


2."That thing about using a can opener sideways just mangles my cans."


3."Mayo instead of butter for grilled cheese. The internet went wild for this, and there are still some true believers out there. I say 'meh.'"

a grilled cheese sandwich on a plate

4."I'm at odds with many air frying tactics that claim to speed up the process or cook better than the oven or a pan. While some methods are brilliant (hello, Trader Joe's hashbrowns), other methods don't quite do it for me (looking at you, french fries)."


5."Peeling boiled eggs — there is nothing you can add to the water or boiling time to make them peel easier. It comes down to the egg, shattering the shell, and letting them sit in cold water for a few minutes."

someone holding a hard boiled egg that has been partially peeled

6."That you have to add oil to your pasta water, or that you need 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 you add just slides right off of it. It’s an oily mess."


7."Most kitchen devices 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."

a tool used to cut, pit, and slice avocados

8."Pulling herbs through a hole in your colander to remove the stems. This is so stupid, it doesn’t work, it dirties your colander, and it is in no way quicker than just removing the leaves with your hands. It’s in every 'hack' video and it pisses me off."


"Hold the bunch of parsley or cilantro tightly, and then run a fork through the the leaves multiple times to pull the leaves off. So easy and actually works."


9."Every time I see a 'hack' that suggests something was designed in a specific way that it obviously wasn’t. The worst to me is the 'hole in the handle of your pan is supposed to hold your spoon.' It’s obviously not, and just because it CAN, doesn’t make that a 'hack.'

a wooden spoon placed in the hole of a pot handle

10."Basically any hack to get the peel off the garlic never works for me. I just smash the eff outta them. If I need thin slices, then I lightly smash them or twist the cloves a bit."


"Came here to say the 'shaking garlic in a jar to peel it' never works."


11."I feel like there's a lot of fuzz around hacking your way into an onion. Like yes, you can make horizontal cuts and shit like that, but for most applications, it's unnecessary, and you'll be able to achieve a fine cut simply by running your knife vertically through and then chopping thinly."

gordon ramsay slicing horizontally into an onion

12."I never understood the rice and finger dip trick. I feel like there’s so many factors that came together for it to actually work, like the size of your rice cooker/pot, your finger size, amount of rice, etc. I guess it’s a good tried-and-true for people who stick to the same pot and rice measurements every time. But for someone who is new to cooking rice or is struggling, it would be kind of frustrating for someone to tell you the right way to cook rice is by a hack and not with ratios and measurements. It leaves a lot of room for error."


13."Deep fried turkey. It still tastes just like turkey, but you spent way too much money on peanut oil and had to endanger yourself unnecessarily."

a deep fried turkey in a foil tray

14."Putting a potato in soup or sauce to remove saltiness — IT DOES NOT WORK! People push this myth so far, it's grating."


15."Wooden spoon placed over the boiling noodles will keep it from boiling over...bullshit!"


16."Throwing everything into a slow cooker at the same time without browning, leaving it on all day, and expecting good results."


17."Some folks advocate sous vide as the be-all-end-all for any and all cooking. It’s not. Sous vide works great for some dishes, but it’s far from being universally the best method."

vacuum sealed turkey breasts in a sous vide water bath

18."'Don't cook with a wine you wouldn't drink.' That can apply to someone who drinks cheap wine, but no one needs to spend more than $10 for a wine to cook with. A $4 wine can work great."


19."Ways to peel ginger. The thing is, you don't actually need to peel ginger at all for most dishes."

someone peeling ginger with a spoon

20."Adding liquid to a roux slowly to prevent lumps. I have always followed the Chef John adage: hot roux, cold liquid, no lumps. It has never failed me. The only time I add slowly is if I am adding hot liquid to a roux."


21."Oh there are many for making coffee that make me laugh. French press coffee: three tablespoons of coffee, nearly boiled water, stir a minute, wait four minutes, and you're good to go. All this water, stir a minute, wait, add more water...good lord. Coffee, hot water, stir, wait, plunge, drink."

a french press with coffee next to a mug full of coffee

22."Any garbage about separating egg yolks and whites. Don't use a plastic bottle, don't rub garlic on your fingers, etc. — just crack it in your hand and let the white run through."


23."Using a food processor to make pie crust dough. I suppose if I were making a lot it might be faster, but I’ve never had a problem using a regular old pastry blender as I monitor and adjust the consistency."

pie crust dough being made in a food processor

24."Using butter instead of oil. Yeah, I get it, but I don't want everything to be rich and fatty 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? Let us know in the comments or fill out this anonymous form!

Note: Responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.