People Are Sharing The Most Useless "Hacks" That Actually Make Cooking Way Harder Than It Needs To Be

·6 min read

If you spend time reading about food on the internet or watching cooking videos on TikTok, you know there are a whole lot of *tricks* out there. But of course, not every cooking hack actually works the way it's supposed to. So redditor u/secret-snakes asked, "What cooking 'hack' do you hate?" Here are some food "hacks" that, according to home cooks, just make the job more difficult.

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1."Using a plastic water bottle to separate egg yolks from the whites and, by extension, using any tool to separate the yolks. Just use your hands."

A person separating egg yolks from the whites
Elva Etienne / Getty Images

2."Basically, any garlic-peeling hack. They don't work. Just smack the clove with a knife and you can wriggle the skin right off."

Peeling garlic on a cutting board
Lucy Lambriex / Getty Images

3."Trying to make scrambled eggs fluffier by adding sparkling wine. I've seen this all over the internet, so I tried this one out for myself. The eggs had a weird, sweet flavor that was definitely not desirable in my morning breakfast. The best method is the tried-and-true, age-old one: Mix your eggs with a little water or mix, then scramble them over low heat with butter."

Uncooked beaten eggs in a bowl
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4."Making frothy milk for coffee using an empty foaming hand-soap bottle. Just buy a milk frother!!! They are like $10 at Target and do the job so much better."

Close-up of cappuccino
Nenov / Getty Images

5."I've tried so many tricks for making hummus, and none work. I've tried blending it with ice, blending when the chickpeas are hot, using dried or canned chickpeas, taking all the skins off, soaking the chickpeas with baking soda, etc. The best way to make hummus is not a hack at all: Just blend everything together and make sure there's enough liquid in the blender so it can become smooth."

A person stirring chickpeas
Ian May / Getty Images/EyeEm

6."Any 'hack' that's supposed to make peeling boiled eggs easier. I had no idea there was so much debate around boiling and peeling eggs. Just pour out the water after the eggs are done boiling and run cold water over them. Then lightly tap the egg against a hard surface to crack the shell all around. The shell comes right off."

Peeling a hard-boiled egg

PHM8

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7."One-pot pasta meals. The sauce always comes out the wrong consistency, and it’s really hard to keep your noodles al dente."

A one-pot pasta recipe

8."Halving cherry tomatoes by placing a plate on top of them and evenly slicing through. What’s wrong with putting on some music, pouring a glass of wine, and just halving those suckers one by one for five peaceful minutes?"

A composite photo of slicing tomatoes with a Tupperware lid
Evie Carrick / BuzzFeed / Via buzzfeed.com

9."IMO, any hack for poaching eggs (whether it's creating a whirlpool, adding vinegar, etc.) is totally unnecessary. They all seem to be for the sake of improving the appearance of the poached egg. I find that if you just calm down and wait it out, you get a perfectly poached egg with no extra effort required."

An egg being poached in a pot
BuzzFeed

10."I've seen people use a cheese grater to peel off the stems of cilantro through the holes, but this has never worked for me. It's much faster to just pull the leaves off by hand."

Cilantro bring put through a grater
BuzzFeed

11."Making 'boiled' eggs in the air fryer. Why would I pull out my air fryer for that? It takes just six minutes to make soft-boiled eggs the tried-and-true way."

A person holding a peeled egg above a bowl of peeled eggs
Cathy Scola / Getty Images

12."Microwave mug cakes. I see so many 'magic' mug recipes, but in reality, the texture is always way off."

Two chocolate mug cakes
Iryna Melnyk / Getty Images

13."Cooking food in the dishwasher. This trend started in the '70s, and now it's a TikTok thing, but it has always been (and remains) stupid."

Turning on a dishwasher

"Instead of trying to cook vegetables in the dishwasher, just boil them, for goodness' sake, or even pop them into the microwave."

u/TheLadyEve

Grace Cary / Getty Images

14."Adding olive oil to pasta water while the pasta is boiling to prevent it from sticking. Major no. All you need to do is stir. If you don't stir the pasta, no amount of olive oil will keep it from sticking together anyway."

Taking spaghetti out of a pot
Kajakiki / Getty Images

15."Peeling ginger with a spoon. I just use a knife and square it off. I’m okay with losing a little bit of the ginger if it means not spending twice as much time prepping it with a spoon."

Peeling ginger
Lucy Lambriex / Getty Images

16."Using a straw to de-stem strawberries by poking a hole through the bottom of the berry. Seriously? Just rip the stem off."

Strawberries in a bowl of yogurt
Fleur Schinning Photography — WW / Getty Images

17."I've seen this new 'hack,' which is using a cooling rack to dice avocado, mango, egg, etc. All I can say is, whoever came up with this either has never cleaned a cooling rack or doesn’t own a knife."

Diced avocado on a cutting board
Jose Marquina / Getty Images/EyeEm

18."Using mayo instead of butter on the outside of grilled cheese. People say to try it, but mayo just doesn't provide the flavor or crunch I want. The OG method — butter on the outside of the bread — is the only way."

A grilled cheese sandwich sliced diagonally
Matthew Boyer / Getty Images

19."Adding mayonnaise to scrambled eggs to make them taste better. I loathe the flavor of mayonnaise, and I can always tell it's in there. Add a splash of milk to scrambled eggs, not mayo."

Scrambled eggs on toast
John Shepherd / Getty Images

20."Making homemade whipped cream in a Mason jar. LOL. The thing is, you *can* make whipped cream this way, it just takes forever. Is it worth it? A hand mixer will work just fine."

Whipping cream in a bowl
Anastas_ / Getty Images/iStockphoto

21."The idea that you can instantly ripen an avocado in the oven. I’ve tried baking avocados to ripen them several times, and it has never worked for me. Just let them ripen on the countertop naturally. As long as you don't store avocado in the fridge, it'll ripen in a day or two."

A peeled avocado
Kinga Krzeminska / Getty Images

22."Using a muffin tin to store toppings (like taco toppings) instead of small bowls to save on dishwashing. This 'hack' is completely ignoring the fact that a muffin tin is one of the hardest shapes to clean effectively by hand and usually can't go in the dishwasher."

A muffin tin being used to store taco toppings
u/thewun111 / Via reddit.com

23."Putting cornstarch in scrambled eggs to make them creamier. No thanks. Cooking them at a low heat and stirring constantly is all you need for perfect scrambled eggs."

Scrambled eggs in a bowl
Oleksandr Boiko / Getty Images/500px

24."Using TicTac containers or other repurposed jars to store spices. Let's talk about the extensive amount of time and effort needed to clean, prepare, and label the boxes. My question is, Where are the containers you bought those spices in originally?"

Jars of spices in a cupboard
Fancy / Getty Images

What popular food or cooking hacks are, in your opinion, totally worthless, silly, or straight-up extra effort? Tell us in the comments.

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